March 22, 2013 by cs
President Obama in 2009 told federal agencies that no-bid contracts were “wasteful’’ and “inefficient.’’ Four years later, his administration spent more money on non-competitive contracts than ever before.
Federal agencies awarded $115.2 billion in no-bid contracts in fiscal year 2012, an 8.9 increase from $105.8 billion from 2009, according to government data. The jump unfolded even as total contract spending decreased by about 5 percent. Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Raytheon were top recipients of sole-source contracts.
Those top Pentagon vendors and other large contractors can draw on established relationships with procurement officers to claim a greater share of non-competitive work, said Robert Burton, former acting administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy under George W. Bush.
“It highlights a growing problem in the procurement system,’’ said Burton, who represents contractors as a partner at Venable in Washington. “The pie is shrinking, but at the same time, the number of non-competitive awards has increased. That’s a bad combination.”
Keep reading this article at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/no-bid-us-government-contracts-jump-9-percent-despite-push-for-competition/2013/03/17/9f6708fc-8da0-11e2-b63f-f53fb9f2fcb4_print.html
January 15, 2013 by cs
The Obama administration plans to help small businesses access new markets quicker by giving them better access to technology developed in federal laboratories, as well as by expanding grant programs.
As part of its recently updated small business cross agency priority framework, the administration says it wants agencies to take steps to streamline the process for private-public research partnerships so that startups can access research and development grants 50 percent faster.
Keep reading this article at: White House to expand small business access to federal innovation, grants – FierceGovernment http://www.fiercegovernment.com/story/white-house-expands-small-business-access-federal-innovation-grants/2013-01-08#ixzz2Hb2FbXP6
January 7, 2013 by cs
Washington’s elected officials are taking new steps to direct more government work to small businesses, just as contractors are bracing for the threat of sequestration.
President Obama on Tuesday signed as part of the military spending budget a series of provisions to help small firms compete for more federal contracts and ensure that agencies take their annual small business contracting goals more seriously. Most notably, the law requires that small business contracting performance be part of employee reviews for senior agency officials, which factor into their consideration for bonuses and promotions.
The change comes after the federal government missed its stated small business contracting goal (23 percent of total procurement across all agencies) for the eleventh straight year in 2012. Though lawmakers stopped short of imposing penalties like reducing budgets or senior level compensation for agencies that fall short of the annual goals, as had been previously proposed in both chambers, this is the first time they have provided formal incentives to encourage agencies to deliver on their annual pledge to small businesses.
Keep reading this article at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/on-small-business/obama-signs-law-intended-to-deliver-more-government-contracts-to-small-businesses/2013/01/04/eb452e10-55f7-11e2-bf3e-76c0a789346f_print.html.
December 19, 2012 by cs
There is a federal Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) pending that could spell major changes in the way the U.S. Department of Transportation administers its disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) program. DBE requirements are a part of all contracting performed by the nation’s airports, state highway departments, and transit systems.
Some predict that if the new rules go into effect as currently proposed, DBEs will see a decrease in contract opportunities and an increase in the burden on DBE-certified firms.
The deadline for comments to the USDOT proposed rule was originally November 5, 2012, but was extended to 11:59pm on December 24, 2012. The NPRM can be found at http://www.regulations.gov/?sms_ss=gmail&at_xt=4d46cf13eca091f6,0#!docketDetail;D=DOT-OST-2012-0147;dct=FR%2BPR%2BN%2BO%2BSR.
DBE firms and businesses who could potentially benefit from DBE contracting are being urged by several advocacy groups to submit comments by the deadline. Contractor trade associations already have been active in submitting comments, pro and con.
The following is a summary of the most significant proposed changes:
Rebuttal of Economic Disadvantage: The most noteworthy proposed revision is USDOT’s desire to broaden the areas which automatically rebut a presumption of disadvantage. Currently, a Personal Net Worth (“PNW”) exceeding $1.32 million automatically rebuts the presumption of economic disadvantage, but a local Office of Minority and Women Business Enterprises (an OMWBE operated by an airport, highway department or transit system) may rebut the presumption if it has a “reasonable basis to believe the individual is not socially or economically disadvantaged.” USDOT proposes including, as part of that rule, a second statement taken from USDOT’s guidance (which is currently not an official mandate):
- If the person demonstrates an ability to accumulate substantial wealth, has unlimited growth potential, or has not experienced or has not had to overcome impediments to obtaining access to financing, markets, and resources, the individual’s presumption of economic disadvantage is rebutted, even if it individual’s PNW is less than $1.32 million.
USDOT states that with this language, it is appropriate for recipients (certifying agencies such as OMWBE) to review the total fair market value of the individual’s assets and determine if that level appears to be “substantial” and indicates an ability to accumulate substantial wealth. The purported purpose of this provision is to give recipients a tool to exclude an individual who, in overall asset terms, is what a reasonable person would consider to be a wealthy individual, even if their liabilities bring their PNW below the $1.32 million cap. Notably, USDOT also seeks comment as to whether a more “bright-line” approach would be preferable, such as saying that someone whose Adjusted Gross Income on his or her Federal income tax return was over $1 million for two or three years in a row would lose the presumption of economic disadvantage, regardless of PNW.
New Personal Net Worth Form: USDOT proposes a newly designed PNW statement required of all applicants. The new form would include all assets owned by the individual, including ownership interests, personal assets, and the value of the personal residence. USDOT also seeks comment on whether the spouse of an applicant owner should have to file a PNW statement.
Transfers: USDOT proposes to directly add a paragraph into the regulation restating the requirement that assets transferred to an immediate family member for less than fair market value within the last two years can be counted toward an individual’s PNW calculation. USDOT also proposes that transfers from business owners to the companies be counted toward the owner’s PNW to avoid artificially depressing that owner’s PNW.
Certification Related Provisions: USDOT also proposes several changes to how ownership and control are determined. Specifically, the rule will require applicants to submit additional proof as to the sufficiency of their initial capital contribution and the circumstances of any funding streams to the firm since its inception, including collateral value, proof of asset ownership, and more stringent guidelines relating to deposits made by the applicant.
Good Faith Efforts: USDOT adds some clarification for establishing Good Faith Efforts to meet the DBE goal. USDOT states that prime contractor bidders whose bid includes a promise to include DBEs after the contract awarded is not to be considered as a good faith effort. USDOT proposes that bidders would have two options: (1) bidders may submit Good Faith Effort documentation along with original bids, or (2) Bidders may submit good faith documentation within one day of being notified of their winning bid.
Counting Trucking Operations: USDOT proposes to revise the current requirements for how much of a DBE trucking company’s involvement can be counted towards a DBE goal. The proposal would give credit to a DBE that leases trucks from non-DBE entities but uses its own employees as drivers. This change is already implemented in many states.
There are several ways to submit comments on these proposed rule changes. The easiest way is to simply file comments online at the regulations.gov web site. Go to www.regulations.gov and then type in docket number OST–2012–0147. This will connect you to a web page where you can type-in and/or upload your comments. Be sure to include the docket number in any submission you make.
Please note that all comments, including any personal information you provide, will become part of the docket and will be publicly posted without change at www.regulations.gov.
December 19, 2012 by cs
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has published two final rules revising size definitions for small businesses in two broad industry categories: (1) Information and (2) Administrative and Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services.
SBA increased the revenue-based size standards for 15 industries and retained the current revenue-based size standards for five industries in the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Sector 51: Information. SBA will review the employee-based size standards within this sector at a later date. As a result of these revisions, the SBA estimates that up to 500 additional firms will become eligible for SBA’s loan and federal procurement programs.
SBA also increased the revenue-based size standards for 37 industries and retained revenue-based size standards for seven industries in the NAICS Sector 56: Administrative and Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services. SBA will review the employee-based size standards within this sector at a later date. Up to 2,700 additional firms will become eligible for SBA’s loan and federal procurement programs because of these revisions, according to the SBA..
November 16, 2012 by cs
Major U.S. companies including General Dynamics Corp. and Medtronic Inc. have received billions of dollars in federal government contracts that were supposed to go to small businesses
The BGOV Barometer shows that about $4.74 billion, or 45 percent, of more than $10.6 billion targeted for small businesses under government acquisition rules were won by bigger competitors in the year that ended Sept. 30, 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Companies that need the revenue the most are losing opportunities, said Margot Dorfman, chief executive officer of the Washington-based U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce.
“I think this particular issue should be one of the top concerns of the Small Business Administration and the president,” Dorfman said in an interview. “Fix it now. Let’s not wait.”
Keep reading this article at: http://about.bgov.com/2012/11/13/big-firms-edge-out-small-for-billions-in-awards-bgov-barometer/
October 26, 2012 by cs
The Obama administration’s efforts to reach a congressional goal of steering 5 percent of federal contracting to women-owned small businesses were showcased Wednesday at an unusual forum that brought together Small Business Administration officials; a female contractors advocacy group; and specialists at the Pentagon, the largest awarder of federal contracts.
After two years, SBA’s Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program has fallen short of the 5 percent goal, awarding about 3.4 percent of contracts to women-owned contractors, according to Antonella Pianalto, vice president for government affairs at American Express. The company joined with the advocacy group Women Impacting Public Policy to sponsor the event held in Alexandria, Va., at the Defense Department’s new Mark Center.
Of 205,000 women-owned small businesses, she said, only 1.8 percent gross more than $1 million a year compared with 5.3 percent of all small businesses. But in federal contracting, as many as 42 percent top $1 million, which is a reason she helped launch a “Give me 5 percent” campaign in 2008 to educate women in small business and to make sure they register in a federal database and certify themselves as qualified women-owned entities.
Keep reading this article at: http://www.govexec.com/contracting/2012/10/sba-and-pentagon-join-forces-boost-women-contracting/59019/?oref=dropdown
September 21, 2012 by cs
The Obama administration has pushed agencies to increase contracting opportunities with small businesses, most notably creating a governmentwide task force to share best practices.Yet the federal government, as a whole, has continued to miss its 23 percent small business contracting goal.
In fiscal 2011, federal agencies spent $91.5 billion on small business contracts but were still $5.4 billion short, reaching 21.7 percent of the 23 percent goal. It was the sixth year in a row the government missed the mark.
Keep reading this article at: http://www.federalnewsradio.com/1011/3021046/Special-Report-Small-business-contracting-goal-remains-elusive.
August 30, 2012 by cs
The General Services Administration is leaning toward splitting its next major multiple award IT contract into two parts: one that would be unrestricted and one for small businesses.
Jim Ghiloni, the program manager for the One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services (OASIS) contract, wrote in a blog postthat this is GSA’s “current thinking.”
“GSA believes this approach affords the opportunity for the broadest participation by all small businesses in the industry and will provide a vehicle that will facilitate agencies’ ability to comply with the small business set-aside procedures and manage their small business program goals,” Ghiloni wrote in the blog.
The small business set-aside would be for firms who qualify as 8(a), service- disabled veteran owned, Historically Underutilized Business Zone and women-owned. The unrestricted contract would be open to all vendors.
Keep reading this article at http://www.federalnewsradio.com/?nid=445&sid=3000121.
August 21, 2012 by cs
The federal government didn’t meet its small-business goals in fiscal 2011, but Deltek analysts expect that agencies might get closer in 2012, thanks to renewed focus by procurement officials.
The Simplified Acquisition Threshold, a government procurement method used for purchases between $3,000 and $150,000, is receiving attention from the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, which recently had an independent party analyze contracts equal to or below the threshold.
The investigation found a lack of consistency in reporting this level of contract spending and made clear that many contracting opportunities and dollars are not going to small businesses.
Keep reading this article at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/deltek-one-tool-could-help-agencies-meet-small-business-targets/2012/08/19/4e14e81e-e302-11e1-ae7f-d2a13e249eb2_story.html.