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A simplified acquisition solution to missed opportunities for small federal contractors

Posted By Guy Timberlake, The American Small Business Coalition, LLC, Wednesday, January 02, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, January 02, 2013

The echoes of those calling for Congress and agencies to "do right by small business” in government contracting continue to bounce off the Corinthian Columns and marble floors of the U.S. Capitol, with no tangible resolution in sight.

I personally don’t know anyone that is genuinely surprised by this.

The mounting frustration I share with many others is the fact a solution very much within the reach of Government and Industry, continues to be snubbed by both for different reasons.

 That solution is purchases currently made by federal agencies when they use Simplified Acquisition Procedures. This streamlined purchasing method provides administrative relief for agencies, and substantive opportunities for small companies to develop relationships, past performance and domain expertise, at a lower level of risk for them and the agencies.

My use of "snubbed” refers to Government not leveraging the opportunity to help foster growth in the industrial base of small businesses that will eventually be the mid-tier and large prime contractors supporting day-to-day business and mission operations for civilian, defense and intelligence agencies, as a number of them do today, just on a smaller scale. Additionally, if some or all of the $16B in purchases that were not awarded to small businesses in FY11 and 12 had been, it may have been enough to push government across the finish line to meeting the overall government-wide small business goal.

When I say "snubbed” it also refers to a great number of small businesses who overlook these smaller dollar value opportunities that have an inherent lower risk, simply because most are blinded by the billion dollar opportunities that are dealt every day, and generally because we all believe bigger is better.

Here are the facts as I know them today.

The Federal Procurement Data System – Next Generation (FPDS-NG) shows federal agency purchasing of goods and services using Simplified Acquisition Procedures totaled $30.480 billion dollars from FY2000 to FY2010.

For FY2011 to FY2012, that total is $30.419 billion dollars, and we are still awaiting final numbers from the Department of Defense due to the 90-day delay in posting transactions for operational security. In a nutshell, FY11 and FY12 will eclipse what was spent over ten fiscal years by the time all is said and done.

By the way, if you add YTD Simplified Acquisition spending for FY13 to FY11-12, the current total is $31.631 billion, over one billion dollars more than was spent during FY2000-FY2010.

Even with shrinking budgets and a plethora of available contract vehicles, spending in this area increased dramatically from $3.8B government-wide in FY09 to $11.1B in FY10, and hasn't looked back yet.

Do you see the opportunity?


The Chief Visionary

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

Differentiate Yourself. Develop and Leverage Your Small Business C4ISR™.
(Capacity, Commitment, Core Competency, Intelligence, Strategy and Relationships)

Tags:  simplified acquisition snapshot 

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