This is a good one.
On November 7th, Neal Fox, a contributor to Government Computer News
(www.gcn.com) offered up a commentary entitled:
In this submission, Mr. Fox (former
assistant commissioner at GSA for commercial acquisition) takes some pretty good
shots at the SBA (join the party!) for finally stepping up and taking a stand,
albeit the wrong one from his vantage point. The issue at hand had to do with a
protest filed by a Florida small business with regard to a competition and
subsequent award by the Army under the GSA Schedule.
There was a decent amount of coverage
about this issue, so I'll cut to the chase.
Since his commentary, GAO has decided not
to decide and essentially squelched the protest. Neal Fox was
concerned upset by the fact that had GAO sustained the protest,
everything in the range known as the Simplified Acquisition Threshold, ($3000 to
$100,000) would have been 100 percent set-aside for small businesses. That's not
a bad thing. Especially since most large companies scoff at having to process
such a miniscule order.
Let me clarify something. I actually
agree with Mr. Fox as it relates to SBA and their often fickle response(s) to
this and other issues. However, I fervently disagree with this statement by Mr.
"And since the real niche for small
businesses is generally as subcontractors, this is the real issue that is broken
and requires fixing."
Now, I'm sure he has significant basis
for the statement, but the issue is, small businesses are not pack mule's for
larger companies and I doth protest anytime someone relegates us (The American
Small Business Coalition is a small business, also.) to the position of "only
being good enough to be a sub."
Where are my ladies from Delta Decisions
with their recent win at FEMA? Where is my man Chad Monnin and the team at AEGIS
Mission Essential Personnel with their recent $414M win at INSCOM?
There are MANY very qualified,
sophisticated and committed small businesses of every size and discipline, who
can take point on a plethora of Government requirements and skillfully deliver
an economical, complete and timely solution. With or without a large company in
One of the items I plan to discuss with
some senior acquisition officials is how to create an accepted use of coalition
approaches for small businesses where the "choke point" is intact, but the
capacity and capabilities of the team are measured, and not just those of the
one. Maybe it's a Joint Venture, maybe not. We'll see.
Mr. Fox, I appreciate a lot of things you
do and have accomplished, but, ease up on kicking small businesses to the curb.
(I wonder if he cares. Probably not.)
Personally, I'd like to see the
Simplified Acquisition Threshold increased to$500,000 and completely
set-aside for small businesses. I've voiced this to a few folks on the Hill
already. Hey, it never hurts!
- The CVO