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GAO has a 'Simplified' business opportunity for SDVOSBs at VA

Sunday, November 04, 2012   (2 Comments)
Posted by: Guy Timberlake (
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Many thanks to Steve Koprince for the recent plug in his SmallGovCon blog. If you are not tracking him, he produces some very useful content for government contractors across the board, especially useful to small contractors.

Case in point is his recent review of a GAO protest involving the VA, Phoenix Environmental Design, Inc, and one of my favorite topics, simplified acquisitions.

Now, I'm not going to recite Steve's blog entry entitled GAO: VA Must Prioritize SDVOSBs for Simplified Acquisitions, you can click here to read it.

I will delve into the meaty part (aka, the business opportunity) which should hold more than a passing interest for SDVOSB companies.

Earlier this year, a joint memo issued by OFPP and SBA urged agencies to maximize opportunities for small businesses for purchases under the Simplified Acquisition Threshold. It went on to suggest that agencies ensure they apply the "rule of two" in these instances. This recent GAO ruling should be considered icing on the cake for SDVOSB companies as it just goes to further illuminate an area of spending that has been on the rise since FY2003.

In FY11, federal agencies spent more than $15B using Simplified Acquisition Procedures, and while FY12 is still being closed out, that number is already at $12.5 billion dollars. Remember, the DoD portion of that spending won't be known until the end of the calendar year due to their operational security policy for FPDS-NG.

So, how about the VA?

They reported spending $924.6 million dollars via simplified acquisitions during FY12. This is down from $1.4B in FY11, but FY12 is still being closed out.

Here's the part SDVOSB companies should jump all over.

Of the awards in FY12, it is reported that only $379,971,765.48 was awarded to small business. That means a little more than $500M was awarded to "other than small business."

If I were a SDVOSB company in a position to pursue these opportunities, that's where I would start.

Any SDVOSBs interested in knowing more about what was purchased, the average competition level and more?


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)


Steven Mackie, SSI says...
Posted Thursday, November 08, 2012
Excellent very timely article as we start our CY 2013 target agency analysis! Thanks Guy! Maybe we can make that SDVOSB certification work for us...
Jaime Gracia says...
Posted Monday, November 05, 2012
The VA has it opportunities, no question. However, it continues to be a struggle for SDVOSBs to get certified through CVE to be eligible for these awards in the place. VA has refused to grant "fast-track" authority to firms that who are legitimate SDVOSBs, but not officially certified through CVE. Only firms certified are eligible for SDVOSB contracts at VA. Of course the need to reduce fraud is the impetus, but hundreds of firms are on stuck in the bureaucratic meat grinder that is the CVE certification process. Improvements have been made, no doubt. Nonetheless, vast improvements are necessary to prevent otherwise eligible companies from missing out on competing for VA SDVOSB contracts. Adding insult to injury is the failure of VA leadership in not only following the law (e.g. the Aldevra protests – note plural – that GAO continues to uphold and VA thumbs their noses at them), but now they have a vast misunderstanding of their own agency’s set-aside rules in regards to simplified

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