Section 303 (h) of Public Law 100-656 and Section 210 of Public Law 101-574 incorporated into the Small Business Act requires that agency contracts be directed solely to small business manufacturers under set-aside provisions. This requirement is commonly referred to as the Nonmanufacturer Rule. The Small Business Act also contains provisions that allow the Administrator of the SBA (U.S. Small Business Administration) to waive this requirement when there are no small business manufacturers or processors available to supply the product to the Federal Government. The Administrator has delegated the authority to make decisions on waivers of the Nonmanufacturer Rule to the Associate Administrator for Government Contracting in the following cases:
- after reviewing a determination by a contracting officer that no small business manufacturer or processor can reasonably be expected to offer a product meeting the specifications (including period of performance) required of an offeror or by the solicitation; or
- for a product or class of products after determining that no small business is available to participate in the Federal procurement market.
These two types of waivers of the Nonmanufacturer Rule are regularly referred to as “individual waivers” or “solicitation-specific” and “class waivers.”