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Okay, so most likely everyone has seen or
heard the news about the task force stood up to take on the perpetual
issue of small business contracting opportunities (another task force
was also established to address Veteran Small Business Development).
Well, that's great! The highest office in the land is giving our issue
attention and that should be a good thing. Right?
About that Interagency Task Force on Federal
Contracting Opportunities for Small Business...
In the opening paragraph of the Executive
Order, it states "Small businesses
must be able to participate in the Nation's economic recovery, including
businesses owned by women, minorities, socially and economically
disadvantaged individuals, and service-disabled veterans of our Armed
Forces. These businesses should be able to compete and participate
effectively in Federal contracts."
You are singing our
song Mr. President! We know how to compete, we just need help from the
other side of the field in the area of participation.
hiccup (the Executive Order continues):
Section 1. Establishment. There is established an
Interagency Task Force on Federal Contracting Opportunities for Small
Businesses (Task Force).
The Secretary of Commerce (Secretary),
the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (Director), and the
Administrator of the Small Business Administration (Administrator) shall
serve as Co-Chairs of the Task Force and shall direct its work.
Sec. 2. Membership. In addition to
the Secretary, the Director, and the Administrator, the Task Force shall
consist of the following members:
(i) the Secretary of the Treasury;
(ii) the Secretary of
(iii) the Attorney General;
(iv) the Secretary of
(v) the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development;
the Secretary of Transportation;
(vii) the Secretary of Veterans
(viii) the Secretary of Homeland Security;
the Administrator of General Services;
(x) the Administrator of
the National Aeronautics and Space Administration;
Director of the Minority Business Development Agency;
Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy;
the Director of the Domestic Policy Council;
(xiv) the Director
of the National Economic Council;
(xv) the Chair of the Council
of Economic Advisers; and
(xvi) the heads of such other executive
departments, agencies, and offices as the President may, from time to
First, how about we let the big guns go manage the other
important activities associated with the running of their agencies and
councils and put some career problem-solvers on the job. With respect to
the members of your Cabinet, what's needed here is innovation and true
insight from folks who are in the trenches.
Which brings me to
my next point. Where are the stakeholders of the small business
community? I mean if we are talking about
innovation and useful idea generation, who better to offer them up?
Don't be afraid of overly self-serving or unrealistic ideas coming from
the small business contingent because in large part, these are the true
patriots of our Nation who want to see you and your team do well. It has
nothing to do with party affiliation, or seeking hand-outs, we simply
want to support our Country while making an honest living. For many of
these fine men and women it is even more personal for they were the
warfighters whom were under your command, or that of another
Commander-in-Chief. They are back to offer insights that may help
another Soldier, Sailor, Airmen or Marine accomplish their mission and
get back home.
As the economic engine of this great United
States, we have just one request to respectfully submit to you and that
is, give us a seat at the task force table so we can play a role in
shaping this part of our future just as we do for our families and
employees every day.
Before I finish, I would like to share a few
of the ideas that I and others have discussed over the years as ways to
effect "Change We Can
to you Mr. President!
- Small Business Subcontracting Program -
Institute a change which makes small business participation a
deliverable with a percentage of contract value attached to it.
Companies not delivering simply do not get paid.
- 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.
and Set-Aside Simplified Acquisitions - Increase the range of
the Simplified Acquisition Threshold to $500,000 (okay, we'll take
$250,000) and change the "reservation" to a set-aside for small
businesses. That would go a long way to fueling the engine!
Chief Visionary and Chief Executive Officer