Final Rule: Consolidation of Mentor-Protégé Programs and Other Government Contracting Amendments, 85 FR 66146-01, 2020-19428.pdf (govinfo.gov).
This is the consolidation of the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development (BD) Mentor-Protégé Program and the All Small Mentor-Protégé Program. Importantly, the final rule contains amendments and changes to a host of key SBA rules, such as the regulations governing small business joint ventures (13 CFR § 125.8 and the corresponding joint venture rules for the various statuses), the affiliation tests (13 CFR § 121.103), the recertification rule (13 CFR § 121.104), and the 8(a) rules (13 CFR Part 124).
Look for more changes in the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act.
Buy American Act Rule Changes (January 19, 2021)
The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council issued a final rule on January 19, 2021, that makes significant changes to longstanding rules under the Buy American Act. The rule went into effect on January 21, 2021, and applies to solicitations issued on or after February 22, 2021, and resultant contracts.
The new rule increases the domestic content requirement from 50 percent to 55 percent; the end product now must consist of more than 55 percent of US-origin components (by cost) to be considered domestic for purposes of the Buy American Act.
The final rule implements the requirement that domestic iron and steel end products may contain no more than 5 percent foreign iron or steel. This does exempt commercial-off-the-shelf fasteners from the domestic content requirements.
The final rule increases the price evaluation preference for domestic offerors to 20 percent for other-than-small businesses and 30 percent for small businesses. This does not affect the 50 percent evaluation preference in US Department of Defense procurements.
President Biden Signed Executive Order – Buy American Provision
Directs agencies to close current loopholes in how domestic content is measured and increase domestic content requirements.
Increases oversight of potential waivers to domestic preference laws.
Directs agencies to utilize the Manufacturing Extension Partnership: a national network in all fifty states and Puerto Rico that supports small- and medium-size manufacturers.