8a Contracting

More About 8(a) Contracting

Tribal and ANC-owned firms have been granted special contracting opportunities under the FAR for general government contracts and DOD contracts in particular. These include unique 8(a) rights, expedited A-76 authority, and bonuses for DOD contractors that subcontract with Native American-owned firms.

  • Special Rights Under the SBA 8(a) Program. - Tribal and ANC 8(a) firms are eligible to receive sole-source 8(a) contracts regardless of dollar size, with no upper limit, while all other 8(a) firms may not receive sole-source contracts above $4 million for services and $5 million for manufacturing.
  • Special Rights Under the A-76 Program - The A-76 program (“A-76” refers to the number of the implementing Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular) imposes a long and cumbersome procedure for any government facility that wishes to contract out (i.e., outsource) an activity that employs ten or more civilian government employees. (The average A-76 study takes 23 months.) Language in the Defense Appropriations Act3 provides that a command does not have to go through the A-76 process but may do a direct conversion of that function to a private contractor, regardless of the number of civilian employees, if the command contracts with a firm that is 51% or more Native American owned, so long as the conversion is cost-effective.

The 5% Subcontracting Bonus - Pursuant to statutory language and implementing regulations, a DOD contractor that subcontracts with a firm that is 51% or more Native American owned are entitled to receive a bonus equal to 5% of the amount of the subcontract award.