May 5, 2018
The DoD Office of Small Business (SB) Programs has the stated mission of, “maximizing opportunities for small businesses to compete for DoD prime contracts and subcontracts.” Clearly, this goal is advantageous for SBs, as well as the DoD and other government agencies. Leveling the playing field and helping SBs better compete reduces the risk of large enterprises monopolizing funds. A higher quantity of competitors encourages innovation, benefitting all.
Small Business, Big Impact
In a recent post, “Small Business. Big Impact,” Amy Sajda, director of the Defense Logistics Agency’s (DLA’s) Office of Small Business Programs, stated, “Many [small businesses] want to protect our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines just like those of us [civilians] who work for the government. They’re a vital part of our defense industrial base, and supporting them means we’re supporting the American economy.”
The numbers of contracts awarded to small businesses reflect the daily work of Sajda and about 50 small business specialists at DLA headquarters and major subordinate commands.
Small Business Specialists Work to Achieve Set-Aside Goals
“According to federal acquisition rules, if two or more small businesses are able to provide whatever it is you’re buying and there is an expectation that the award will be made at fair-market price, the acquisition is supposed to be set aside for small businesses. Large business can’t even compete for it,” said Chris Hall, deputy director of DLA’s Office of Small Business Programs.
The article with the Defense Logistics Agency further clarifies, “If the acquisition strategy allows the contract to be set aside for small businesses, small-business specialists also help determine whether it should be set aside for businesses in socioeconomic categories like small; 8(a) small disadvantaged business; women-owned; service-disabled veteran-owned; and historically underutilized business zone (HUBZone) small business.”
Small business specialists also conduct market research and participate in outreach at events to find new small businesses that can meet procurement needs.
Tracking 8A Small Business Spending – A Big Challenge
Government organizations have established goals to award minimum percentages of small-business-eligible prime-contract spending to small businesses as well as woman-owned small businesses (WOSBs), small disadvantaged businesses (SDBs), HUBZone-certified small businesses and service-disabled, veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSBs). The WOSB, HUBZone and SDVOSB goals are established by Congress.
Tracks in the snow are easy to see, but visibility into the status of or your set-aside goals can be trickier.
Helping Procurement Officers Herd Cats & Report on Veteran-Owned Spending
Small Business Specialist are tasked with the crucial responsibility of ensuring the agency directs a portion of spend to these businesses. In many government organizations, the SB Specialist may wear more than one hat, as duties are combined. DoD small business professionals try to shape defense procurements to manage a small business set-aside and a robust small business subcontracting program.
Gaining complete visibility of your 8(a) set-aside goals is challenging. In order to collect all necessary data and track compliance, SB specialists must stay connected with division PO’s across the agency. Status reports must be generated regularly for each 8(a) set-aside goal to pinpoint issues early and ensure compliance.
Achieve 8(a) Set-Aside Compliance with Ease
BriteProgram simplifies spend tracking and reporting, helping you meet set-aside goals. Automate recurring 8(a) compliance tasks with scheduled alerts, online data collection forms, and workflow. With BriteProgram, you can launch in days with on-premises or AWS cloud options. Read more about this solution here or contact WSI so we can help you ease the tasks of herding cats to meet your set-aside goals.