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"Attack ON the Small Business issues!" (Hey! Haven't we seen this movie before?)

Posted By Guy Timberlake, The American Small Business Coalition, LLC, Sunday, June 20, 2010
In early May I blogged about the Administration's Small Business Task Force (Dear Mr. President: About that Interagency Task Force on Federal Contracting Opportunities for Small Business...) which has recently scheduled a public hearing for Monday, June 28th at Department of Commerce. They plan to hear feedback from those interested in offering it, on a series of topical questions to help the Task Force begin to size up what to accomplish and how to accomplish it. I think.

My original comments (which I stand by) pointed out the tremendous potential for lack of truly good and useful ideas from the Task Force since the members are the agency heads who will then appoint other senior leaders from their agencies to tend to the "business" of the Task Force as opposed to having a group of Industry Small Business Leaders sitting at the table with career feds who will continue to manage the solutions developed by the Task Force long after this Administration has departed. Additionally, those career feds are the "boots on the ground" who know what works and why it works and can speak poignantly about the approaches discussed and developed by the Task Force and ensure the solutions can be integrated successfully to complement if not enhance achievement of their agency mission goals

This is not to imply or say the leaders appointed by this Administration are not creative and do not have the ability to generate good ideas, but in the scheme of their overall responsibilities, I do not have confidence this activity nor this issue will cause a ripple in the "pools" of their respective concerns.

Nonetheless, I have registered to attend the public hearing and offer my two cents related to:
  • How can prime contractors be more effectively held responsible for their subcontracting plans?
  • What aspects, if any, of the rules governing set-asides should be changed?
In a follow-on to the Task Force blog entry, I submitted "Ahem! Change B2G Small Businesses Could Believe In! (and live with, literally!)" where I offered a few suggestions on helping the cause of continued small business participation in federal contracting.

These suggestions are referred to as "Federal Contracting Change Small Businesses Can Believe In" and if implemented would create a tremendous impact on the U.S. Economy not to mention the morale of the men and women leading the true small businesses that strive to make a difference every day by supporting the diplomatic, humanitarian, intelligence and defense missions of our Government, here and abroad.

Here are those suggestions again:
  • Small Business Subcontracting Deliverables versus Goals - Institute a change which makes small business participation a deliverable for companies considered "other than small business" where a dollar value is attributed to the subcontracting plan. The incentive is clear.

  • Parity in the Small Business Program - Level the playing field to create fair opportunity for small businesses and remove some of the complexity in order to make it easier for companies to engage less on the certifications and more on their capabilities. This will also help simplify it for the government acquisition professional, too.

  • Expand and Set-Aside Simplified Acquisitions - Increase the range of the Simplified Acquisition Threshold to $500,000 and change the "reservation" to a total set-aside for companies eligible to receive SBA Assistance for Federal Contracting.
When I attend the public meeting, and hopefully have the opportunity to leverage my allotted two minutes, this is what I plan to comment on.


Guy Timberlake
Chief Visionary and Chief Executive Officer

"The person who says it cannot be done

should not interrupt the person doing it."

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