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Small Government Contractors: Can I interest you in an additional $600M-$800M?

Posted By Guy Timberlake, The American Small Business Coalition, LLC, Thursday, June 21, 2012
Better yet. Can I possibly interest you in an additional $8 billion in small business purchases this fiscal year (or next)? I mean, these are essentially the questions being put in front of you right now, whether you know it or not.
Not sure what I'm talking about? You must have missed that memo. In fact, you missed two of them.
There was the June 6th memo by newly confirmed OFPP Administrator Joseph Jordan and SBA Administrator Karen Mills that included a section entitled "Maximizing Opportunities for Small Businesses Under the Simplified Acquisition Threshold." The first part of this section reads like this:
"Pursuant to longstanding statutory requirements in the Small Business Act, agencies are required to automatically set aside work for small businesses that is equal to or less than the value of the simplified acquisition threshold (SAT) (generally $150,000) unless the contracting officer determines the "rule of two” cannot be met – i.e., there is not a reasonable expectation of obtaining offers from two or more responsible small business concerns that are competitive in terms of market prices, quality, and delivery." 
Then Joe McDade (Director of Small Business Programs for Air Force or SAF/SB) and LtGen Charles Davis (Military Deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Acquisition) or SAF/AQ) issued a memo on June 15th that was distributed to all MAJCOMs, FOAs and DRU's (that's Major Commands, Field Operating Activities and Direct Reporting Unit's). The title of this memo was "Increased Use of Small Business Concerns" and also includes guidance related to Simplified Acquisitions under the "Immediate steps to increase small business performance." section. It has a similar theme as the OFPP/SBA memo and goes like this:
"In accordance with FAR 19.502-2(a), all requirements between the micro purchase ($3,000) and the Simplified Acquisition Threshold (SAT) ($150,000) shall be set-aside for small businesses unless an exception applies and is documented by the contracting officer."
I have to say, I'm a fan of the direction of these memos.
Based on and specifically cited in the Air Force memo, $600M to $800M more in purchases from small businesses would have to occur this fiscal year to achieve the Air Force small business threshold of 14.5%.
If you take the language from the OFPP/SBA memo and apply it to FY11 simplified acquisition spending (roughly $16 billion dollars with half awarded to small businesses) this could potentially mean an additional $8 billion in spending with small businesses, government-wide.
By the way, had that $8B been awarded to small business last fiscal year when agencies collectively achieved 22.7% of their 23% goal, I would have bet a limb that goal would have been met, and then some.
So, to my fellow small businesses I ask, can I interest you in an additional $600M to $8B in additional business? What will you do to increase your awareness of this stream of spending? What will you do to increase your visibility to these customers and buyers? When will you start?
If you would like more information about Simplified Acquisition Spending by place of performance, visit our Simplified Acquisition Snapshot™ page. For our twice monthly webinar series dedicated to detailing agency-specific spending in this area, visit our Simplified Acquisition Spotlight™ page. This information is captured, consumed and disseminated on an ongoing basis by our SAP Task Force.


The Chief Visionary

"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it."

Tags:  air force  increase small business participation  memo  ofpp  sba  simplified acquisition 

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