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GAO Reports Increase in Number, Value of DOD’s Sole-Source 8(a) Contracts Above $22M

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The Government Accountability Office has found that the number of sole-source contracts over $22 million that the Department of Defense awarded through the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) program rose from six in fiscal year 2016 to 65 in FY 2021.

DOD awarded 159 sole-source 8(a) contracts over the six-year period and the total value of these contracts reached $3.4 billion in FY 2021, up from the FY 2016 figure of $143.5 million, GAO said Monday.

The congressional watchdog observed a fluctuation in the number of competed 8(a) contracts above $22 million. These contracts rose from 100 in FY 2016 to 186 in FY 2020, but dropped in FY 2021.

Despite the decline, the total value of these competitively awarded contracts hit $9.5 billion in FY 2021, up from $3.3 billion in FY 2016. The number of 8(a) contracts over $22 million that the Pentagon competitively awarded over the six-year term was 738.

GAO studied data from the Federal Procurement Data System between FY 2016 and FY 2021 to report on DOD’s adoption of authority that requires a written justification and approval for sole-source 8(a) contracts in accordance with the FY 2020 National Defense Authorization Act.