April 14, 2014 by cs
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Shoultz, president of Florida-based Frazier Engineering.]
For more than 20 years, Frazier Engineering had a strong commercial and municipal/county government customer base that comfortably sustained our small business.
But as the economy changed, we knew we had to change.
We decided to pursue unique certifications that would enable us to compete for federal work in a smaller competitive pool certifications such as 8(a), Disadvantaged Business Enterprise/DBE and Minority Business Enterprise/MBE).
Through the Small Business Administration 8(a) program, we were given opportunities that we would not have had before. However, if we did not already have the knowledge and manpower to support the requirements of those opportunities, our certification would only have been as good as the paper it was printed on. Our success to date has been the result of a solid team, being financially and technically sound, having a strong work history, and being actively responsive.
I’d like to share some lessons we’ve learned over time.
As a small-to-midsize, growing business leader, I would definitely recommend the time and effort involved in pursuing government contracts.
Keep reading this article at: http://www.floridatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/04/01/business-money-edge-chamber/7146529/
April 8, 2014 by cs
Braulio Castillo, the president of IT contractor Strong Castle, was arrested April 1 by Loudon County, Va., authorities and charged with first degree murder in the death of his estranged wife, Michelle.
Castillo gained notoriety as a result of a June 2013 hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that examined the validity of the service-disabled veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) status enjoyed by the firm he co-owned with his wife.
Castillo’s disability arose from a sports injury incurred at the U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School. Additionally, Castillo’s firm enjoyed a special status as a HUBZone company under a Small Business Administration program that gives preference to firms located in designated neighborhoods. SBA decertified Strong Castle’s HUBZone status in May 2013, while the Department of Veterans Affairs affirmed Strong Castles SDVOSB status last September.
keep reading this article at: http://fcw.com/articles/2014/04/02/castillo-murder-charges.aspx
April 1, 2014 by cs
Members of the House Small Business Committee on Tuesday voted unanimously in favor of several revisions to the Small Business Administration’s new budget proposal, with several lawmakers criticizing the agency for committing too much money to new, unproven programs and too little to fulfilling its underlying responsibilities to small employers.
“By necessity, budgets require hard choices,” Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-Mo.) said during a brief markup of the budget on Tuesday. “To the extent that the SBA… budget request makes hard choices, they ultimately make them in the wrong place.”
Democrats and Republicans on the panel agreed on revisions that would trim $50 million from the agency’s $710 million budget proposal that was published earlier this month as part of the president’s broader spending blueprint. The committee’s recommendations now move to the House Budget Committee for review.
SBA officials maintain that the proposal would ensure that employers have the resources they need to start and grow their businesses, and it would give the department the resources it needs to expand important exporting, capital access and other educational programs. On the agency’s blog earlier this month, Marianne Markowitz, the agency’s acting administrator, said the plan “builds on SBA’s proven track record of assisting America’s small businesses.”
Keep reading this article at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/on-small-business/house-committee-rips-sba-for-unauthorized-pilot-programs-contracting-woes/2014/03/26/15f84f80-b433-11e3-b899-20667de76985_story.html
March 28, 2014 by cs
The House Small Business Committee recommends cutting almost $50 million from President Obama’s fiscal 2015 budget request of $864.64 million for the Small Business Administration.
Committee Democrats will present their own views on the White House request at a later date, said Ranking Member Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.) at a March 25 committee markup.
Although the budget request is for $64 million less than the agency’s current year spending, the March 25 majority committee report says there’s room for more cuts.
Keep reading this article at: http://www.fiercegovernment.com/story/house-small-business-calls-50-mil-cut-obamas-sba-budget-request/2014-03-26
March 20, 2014 by cs
Submitting a proposal for a task order under an 8(a) Government Wide Acquisition Contract does not result in automatic recertification of the offeror’s small business size status.
In a recent decision, the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals held that unless the Contracting Officer expressly requires recertification, an offeror’s size for an 8(a) set-aside task order is governed by that offeror’s size status for the underlying GWAC.
SBA OHA’s decision in Size Appeal of Reliasource, SBA No. SIZ-5536 (2014) involved a Homeland Security RFQ for IT support services. The RFQ stated that DHS intended to award the contract as a task order under the 8(a) STARS II GWAC. The RFQ was set aside for 8(a) participants under NAICS code 541513.
After evaluating quotations, the Contracting Officer announced that KNEWEBS, Inc., d/b/a Consulting Services Inc. was the apparent awardee. An unsuccessful offeror, Reliasource, filed a SBA size protest.
Keep reading this article at: http://smallgovcon.com/sbaohadecisions/8a-task-orders-no-automatic-size-recertifications
March 18, 2014 by cs
The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Surety Bond Guarantee Program helps small business get bonded. If you wish to learn about this program, you are invited to participate in a free, live webinar on Thursday, April 17, 2014 from 10:00 to 11:00 am EDT.
This webinar is ideal for small businesses with:
- Limited financial resources
- No prior bonded work experience
- Been in business less than three years
- Desire to increase your current bonding capacity
The webinar will cover Contract Bonds, including:
- What they are and why they are required
- How to get pre-qualified
- Working capital and bank support
The webinar also will provide complete information about SBA’s Surety Bond Guarantee Program, including:
- Program eligibility
- Required information
- Application process and fees
Advance registration is required. Please register online at http://events.sba.gov/eventmanagement/EventRegistration.aspx?id=9a6d088f-24b1-e311-abc5-02bfa56e2a24
Date: Thursday, April 17, 2014
Time: 10:00 am – 11 am
Internet: https://connect16.uc.att.com/sba/meet/?ExEventID=87462470 (copy the link into your browser to attend).
Phone: 888-858-2144 and then enter meeting code 7462470# to connect by phone.
Prepare in advance for the conference at: https://connect16.uc.att.com/sba/Prepare
For more information please contact Ms. Melanie Bryant at 404-331-0100, ext. 603 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 10, 2014 by cs
The House Small Business Committee has marked up and approved a six-pack of contracting reform bills, including legislation that would raise the current agency goals for steering work to small businesses.
The package approved Wednesday would particularly affect the construction industry, women, and disabled veterans. It includes a plan to raise agencies’ small-business prime contracting goal from 23 percent to 25 percent and establish a 40 percent goal for small-business subcontractors.
“Greater small business involvement in federal contracting benefits companies and taxpayers alike,” said panel Chairman Sam Graves, R-Mo., who sponsored the bill outlining the new contracting goals. “Small firms are innovative, and increased competition often leads to savings for the taxpayers.”
A second Grave bill would “improve transparency and accountability” by discouraging bundling of contracts to give an advantage to large companies over small businesses. Bills sponsored by Rep. Richard Hanna, R-N.Y., would restrict the government’s use of reverse auctions in awarding construction contracts and increase construction companies’ access to surety bonds for use in federal procurement work.
Keep reading this article at: http://www.govexec.com/contracting/2014/03/committee-approves-bill-increase-agencies-small-biz-contracting-goals/80023
March 2, 2014 by cs
An 8(a) Program mentor has agreed to pay a False Claims Act settlement of $928,000. The settlement stems from the government’s claims that the mentor abused the 8(a) mentor-protege program.
According to a Department of Justice (DOJ) press release, the mentor firm performed eight 8(a) prime contracts on behalf of its protege–without an SBA-approved joint venture. The government also contended that the mentor’s extensive role resulted in the protege firm failing to meet the applicable limitation on subcontracting.
According to the DOJ, Okland Construction Co. Inc., a large business, entered into an 8(a) mentor-protege agreement with Saiz Construction Co., an 8(a) participant. Although the SBA did not approve joint ventures between the companies, Okland allegedly prepared the bids for the 8(a) contracts and Okland’s employees served as project managers, submitted invoices, and performed payroll and other accounting functions.
The government also alleged that Okland’s extensive involvement resulted in Saiz’s inability to meet the 15% limitation on subcontracting applicable to general construction contracts. Okland allegedly concealed its extensive involvement in the 8(a) contracts by misrepresenting to the government that its employees were employees of Saiz.
Keewp reading this article at: http://smallgovcon.com/8a-program/8a-program-mentor-to-pay-928000-false-claims-act-settlement/
Consultant to veteran-owned small business, once suspended by SBA, says CEO provided inaccurate information
February 10, 2014 by cs
A consultant for MicroTechnologies LLC, one of the federal government’s most prominent small-business contractors, said the firm’s founder authorized him to submit information to the Small Business Administration in 2005 that the agency later said “appears to be a complete fabrication,” the consultant told The Washington Post.
Alanson R. Anderson said MicroTech founder Anthony R. Jimenez provided the material included in a successful SBA application for entrance into the SBA’s 8(a) program for small, disadvantaged businesses, qualifying for preferential treatment, including contracts awarded without competition.
At the time, Anderson was president of Sourcetec Corp., a small-business consultancy retained to guide Jimenez through the application process.
MicroTech’s application included statements in response to SBA questions about the firm’s ties to two other companies. One of the statements said the firm had “no link, relationship, or partnership of any kind” with a firm owned by two MicroTech investors. SBA rules prohibit small and disadvantaged contractors from being overly affiliated with larger firms.
In December, the SBA suspended MicroTech after agency officials said they had new information that Jimenez had provided “false and misleading statements” about the firm’s ownership, operations and ties to other companies. The suspension was triggered when the SBA began a process known as “debarment” that would block MicroTech from future contracts.
Keep reading this article at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/consultant-for-microtech-said-he-vetted-inaccurate-information-with-firms-ceo/2014/01/30/9fb50e9c-89dc-11e3-a5bd-844629433ba3_story.html