RGCI - FAR Final Rule Small Business Opportunities Overseas – Dont Pack Your Bags Yet

DoD issued a final rule on April 26, 2022, amending the FAR to support the Small Business Administration regulation of including overseas contracts in agency small business contracting goals. The final rule is effective May 26, 2022.

So, What Does This Mean?

Well, the ruling is confusing. What we did find is that the Small Business Administration Policy makes the application of small business contracting procedures to overseas procurements mandatory. While the FAR final rule states it was made to support SBA’s “mandatory” policy of including overseas contracts in small business contracting goals, the FAR does not make the application of small business procedures to overseas procurements mandatory. What? One part of the Government is not playing nice with another part – say it isn’t so. The FAR final rule leaves it up to a Contracting Officer’s discretion to apply the procedures to their overseas contracts. We believe this is driven from the numerous public comments addressing the potential conflicts of this FAR change due to existing treaties, international agreements, local foreign laws, and diplomatic issues related to overseas contracts. The FAR Council considers the discretionary decision in the ruling necessary to allow contracting officers to avoid these conflicts.

So, What Was Updated in the FAR.

FAR 52.219-1(c)(1)(xii) Small Business Program Representations was added to state:

This provision applies to solicitations when the contract is for supplies to be delivered or serves to be performed in the United States or its outlying areas, or when the contracting officer has applied Part 19 in accordance with 19.000(b)(1)(ii).

FAR 19.000(b)(1)(ii) states Contracting officers may apply this part outside the United States and its outlying areas.

What is the Purpose of this Change?

The purpose of the change is to allow the application of FAR Part 19 and expand opportunities for U.S. small business concerns in overseas prime contracts. FAR 19.702(b) does not require small business subcontracting plans for contracts performed entirely overseas, but the change allows the use of set-asides for prime contracts overseas. The FAR council states that the final rule provides Contracting officers discretion in making a set-aside decision for overseas acquisitions so they can choose the appropriate acquisition strategy.

As a Small Business Should I Bid on a Prime or Subcontract Performed Overseas?

Redstone GCI works with commercial companies that jump on the chance to get their first government contract, not understanding all the legal, administrative and accounting requirements especially with a cost reimbursable contract. Before you pack your bags, understand that an overseas contract brings with them even more requirements than a stateside U.S. contract. Contractors should do research to ensure what the country requirements are with respect to international agreements, local laws, local market conditions, as well as clauses such as DFARS 252.225-7002 Qualifying Country Sources as Subcontractors. There can also be other cost such as Value Added Taxes (VAT) on materials or services. While your purchases may be exempt from VAT taxes, in some cases the taxes are required to be paid up front and refunded at a much later date which can impact cash flow.

Will This Impact my Purchasing System?

If you are a small business receiving a prime contract overseas, you will not be subject to the small business subcontracting plan, however, you will need to have purchasing policies on handling subcontract purchases on overseas prime contracts.

If you are not a small business, FAR 19.702 directs the Contracting Officer not to require a small business plan if the contract is performed entirely overseas.

Redstone GCI assists contractors throughout the U.S. and internationally with understanding the Government’s expectations in purchasing system reviews. We often review purchasing policies and practices to ensure compliance with DFARS requirements, perform “mock audits” to assess whether purchasing files comply with policies, procedures, and regulation, and provide CPSR related training to contractor purchasing/buying departments.

Contact Us About Our International U.S. Government Contract Consulting Services

Written by Lynne Nalley, CPA

Lynne Nalley, CPA Lynne is a Director with Redstone Government Consulting, Inc. providing government contract consulting services to our clients primarily related to Commercial Item Determinations and support, Cost Accounting Standards, DFARS Business System Audits, Proposals, and Incurred Cost. Prior to joining Redstone Government Consulting, Lynne served in several capacities with DCAA and DCMA for over 35 years. Professional Experience Lynne began her career working with DCAA in the Honeywell Resident Office, Clearwater, FL in 1984. Lynne’s experience included various positions which involved conducting or reviewing forward proposals or rate audits, financial capability audits, progress payments, accounting and estimating systems, cost accounting standards, claims and disclosure statement reviews. She is an expert in FAR, DFARS, CAS and testified as an expert witness. Lynne assisted in drafting the commercial item guidance for DCAA Headquarters. Lynne was assigned as a Regional Technical Specialist where she provided guidance to 20 field offices on highly complex or technical issues relative to forward pricing, financial capability or progress payment issues. As an Assistant for Quality, she was involved in reviewing and ensuring audit reports were in compliance with policy and GAGAS as well as made NASBA certified presentations to the staff including but not limited to billing reviews, CAS, unallowable cost and progress payments. To enhance her experience in government contracting, Lynne accepted a position with DCMA in 2015 as part of the newly organized DCMA Cadre of Experts in the Commercial Item Group. This included performing reviews of prime contractor’s assertions and/or commercial item determinations as well as performing price analyses. Lynne was a project lead and later became a lead analyst where she engaged with the buying commands on requests and reviewed price analysis reviews performed by a team of 5 analysts. She also assisted the DCMA CPSR team relative to commercial items and co-instructed the Commercial Item Training presented to DCMA. Education Lynne earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from the University of Central Florida. Certifications State of Florida Certified Public Accountant State of Alabama Certified Public Accountant Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) Level III- Auditing DAWIA Level III – Contracting

About Redstone GCI

Redstone Government Consultants are a team of the most senior industry veterans and the brightest new talent in the industry. Many have held senior government positions including leadership roles in the DCAA. Our new talents bring significant accounting and software experience along with fresh perspectives, inspiration and energy to our team. Through our leadership and combined experience, we provide a unique perspective, bringing both government and contractor proficiencies to bear and ensuring rock-solid government compliance for our clients.

Topics: Proposal Cost Volume Development & Pricing, Small Business Compliance, Contracts Administration, DFARS Business Systems