Some of the contracting officers, military personnel, and contractors I met at the recent Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) Small Business Conference had a lot of questions about the Justice40 initiative and how partnering with a tribal-based "Super 8(a)" could make their jobs easier. There’s a lot of new terminology to learn, but more importantly there are tremendous contractual advantages to understand and leverage.
If you are in the same boat as those folks at SAME and looking for more information, here’s what I shared. As you’ll see, there’s good reason these 8(a)s are called “super.”
1. Access expedited, direct-award contracting
The super status of 8(a)s gets triggered when businesses are owned by Native American tribes, Alaskan Native Corporations, or Native Hawaiian Organizations. By partnering with a Super 8(a), you benefit from sole-source awards up to $100 million. Alongside that also comes faster procurement cycles with contract obligations in less than 30 days and direct-award contracting that cannot be protested — and the decreased time and costs that result from both. Additionally, Justification and Approval (J&A) confirmation is not required for using the Super 8(a) for the procurement.
2. Reach your diverse spend targets by supporting a small, tribal business
Super 8(a)s require businesses be owned and managed 51% or more by a tribe. Meeting this threshold automatically assumes the company to be socially disadvantaged without formal explanation. This presumption allows you to meet goals without having to produce substantial amounts of evidence to prove disadvantaged status for any diverse spending mandates.
3. Increase your RFP award contract fee determination
The White House Justice40 initiative drives funding to small, disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution. One aspect under Justice40 requires that all future Prime Contract RFPs issued by the Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration will dictate a separate requirement for use of lower 48 state tribal companies in the agencies’ small business utilization goals. Super 8(a)s allow federal agencies to reach enhanced scoring for your Small Business Subcontracting Plan during the procurement process for a lower 48, tribal company utilization.
You might be thinking that while that all sounds great, can Super 8(a)s be trusted to have financial solvency and bonding capacity? I can’t speak to all of them, but there’s one I can.
The Super 8(a), HUBZONE certified, Catawba D&Z LLC is a mentor-protégé joint venture that combines the tribal-owned Catawba Engineering and Environmental Services with its significant experience in infrastructure construction, SRM, demolition, and environmental services with the resources and capabilities of Day & Zimmermann, a 120-year-old family owned business and maintenance and construction leader with more than $2.7 billion in annual revenue and 52,000 personnel worldwide. This Super 8(a) offers even more advantages, allowing you to support the small business goals for a tribal-owned, small disadvantaged, and HUBZONE business while also securing projects with D&Z's depth of experience and resources.
I encourage you to learn more about the unique aspects of Super8(a)s and the Justice40 initiative and how they can lend an advantage to your work—I’m happy to discuss either topic as well as answer questions about how Catawba D&Z and other Super 8(a)s can give you access to quick procurements, expertise, and resources to safely, quickly, and cost-effectively deliver on your important projects. Complete the form below, and I’ll be in touch.