Title 13

SECTION 130.700

130.700 Suspension, termination and non-renewal.

§ 130.700 Suspension, termination and non-renewal.

(a) General. After SBA has entered into a Cooperative Agreement with a recipient organization, it shall not suspend, terminate or fail to renew the agreement unless SBA gives the recipient organization written notice setting forth the reasons and affording the recipient organization an opportunity for a hearing. Subject to this requirement and the provisions of § 130.700(c) regarding non-renewal procedures for non-performance, the applicable general procedures for suspension and termination are contained in 13 CFR 143.43 and 143.44, and in OMB Circular A-110, Attachment L.

(b) Causes. Causes which may lead to suspension, termination, or failure to renew include non-performance, poor performance, unwillingness to implement changes to improve performance, or any of the following reasons:

(1) Disregard or material violation of these regulations;

(2) A willful or material failure to perform under the Cooperative Agreement or under these regulations;

(3) Conduct reflecting a lack of business integrity or honesty;

(4) A conflict of interest causing real or perceived detriment to a small business concern, a contractor, the SBDC or SBA;

(5) Improper use of Federal funds;

(6) Failure of a Lead Center or its subcenters to consent to audits or examination or to maintain required documents or records;

(7) Failure of the SBDC Director to work at the SBDC Lead Center on a full-time basis;

(8) Failure promptly to suspend or terminate the employment of an SBDC Director, subcenter Director or other key employee upon receipt of knowledge by the recipient organization and/or SBA that such individual is engaging in or has engaged in conduct resulting in a criminal conviction or civil judgment which would cause the public to question the SBDC's business integrity, taking into consideration such factors as the magnitude, repetitiveness, harm caused and remoteness in time of the activity or activities underlying the conviction or judgment.

(9) Violation of the SBDC's standards of conduct as specified in these rules and as established by the SBDC pursuant to these rules; or

(10) Any other cause not otherwise specified which materially and adversely affects the operation or integrity of an SBDC or the SBDC program.

(c) Non-Renewal Procedure. (1) Subject to § 130.700(a), when an SBA District Director believes there is sufficient evidence of SBDC nonperformance, poor performance or unwillingness to implement changes to improve performance, under the terms of the Cooperative Agreement or these regulations, the District Director shall notify the SBDC Director and any other appropriate official of the recipient organization of an intention not to approve its renewal application.

(2) Notice can be submitted at any time during the budget period, but normally should be sent no later than 3 months prior to the due date for renewal applications at the District Office.

(3) The notice shall specifically cite the reasons for the intention not to renew. It must allow the recipient organization 60 days within which to change its operations to correct the problems cited in the notice, and to report to the Project Officer, in writing, regarding the results of such changes.

(4) If the recipient organization is unwilling or unable to address the specific problem areas to the satisfaction of the SBA District Office within the 60-day period, the SBA Project Officer shall have ten (10) calendar days after expiration of the 60 days to submit to the AA/SBDCs a written description of the unresolved issues, a summary of the positions of the District Office on the issues, and any supportive documentation.

(5) The AA/SBDCs shall transmit a written, final decision to the recipient organization, the SBDC Director, the SBA Project Officer and other appropriate SBA field office personnel within 30 calendar days of receipt of such documentation, unless an extension of time is mutually agreed upon by the recipient organization and the AA/SBDCs.

(6) The AA/SBDCs shall consider written documentation of the issues to be resolved, including all relevant correspondence between the Project Officer, District Director and any other SBA personnel and the affected recipient organization. At a minimum, such documentation shall commence with the first written notice of issues invoking the non-renewal procedure. In addition, the AA/SBDCs also may communicate with the recipient organization and appropriate SBA personnel.

(7) If the AA/SBDCs determines that the evidence submitted establishes nonperformance, ineffective performance or an unwillingness to implement suggested changes to improve performance, the AA/SBDCs shall have full discretion to order non-renewal of the SBDC. The SBA District Office shall then pursue proposals from other organizations interested in applying for SBDC designation. The incumbent SBDC shall have until the end of the budget period or 120 days, whichever is longer, to conclude operations and to submit close-out documents to the SBA District Office. Close-out procedures shall conform with applicable OMB Circulars.

(d) Effect of action on subcenter. If competing applications are being accepted, a subcenter of the previously funded recipient organization may apply for designation as the recipient organization, so long as the subcenter was not involved in the conduct leading to non-renewal or termination of the former recipient organization.