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The "rule of two" and crazy federal dollars spent in a simplified sort of way.

Monday, December 17, 2012   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Guy Timberlake (
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As we wrap up the 2012 calendar year, here at The American Small Business Coalition, we're counting down the final days to another $15.5 billion dollars in federal spending for FY12.

You're probably thinking I'm just a bit off since FY12 ended on September 30th, right? While technically it did, because Department of Defense delays posting their contract data for ninety days (for operational security) we won't know the whole story on federal spending until December 30th.

For the record, as of 12/15, FPDS-NG shows $13.8B spent via Simplified Acquisitions during FY12, which means if $700M more in DoD spending presents itself by the 30th, FY12 Simplified Acquisition spending will match the level of spending we saw in FY11. This will also confirm a few of my theories related to the dramatic increase in spending via this acquisition method over the last few years.

I'm taking bets for dinner at a local steakhouse that we'll hit that number, at least.

Here's my point, total spending via Simplified Acquisition Procedures (SAP) from FY03 through FY10 is only slightly more ($600M) than the combined SAP spending during FY's 2011 and 2012. As I mentioned, the total for FY12 will change over the next two weeks once all of the DoD transactions are posted.

Not only is that a big chunk of money, it's even bigger when you realize the FAR cites a preference for small businesses when purchases are made using this streamlined acquisition method and that less than half of the dollars awarded via SAP in FY11 and FY12 were awarded to small business concerns.

During the last two completed fiscal years, federal agencies could have awarded an additional $15B to small businesses which would have been a tremendous boost in developing the small business industrial base and helping foster growth for future mid-tier and large government contractors. Isn't that at least part of the reason for federal small business programs?

I would love to see the Capitol Hill folk focus on something productive such as making Simplified Acquisitions mandatory set-asides with a threshold of $500K, instead of their typical business as usual, otherwise known as nothing useful for the average American.

Hey Congress, can you hear me now?

What's worse is while Congress is politicking for a solution to achieve federal small business goals, the sad and simple truth is if agencies had awarded the other half of the Simplified Acquisition purchases issued in FY11 and/or FY12 to small business concerns, it's likely the Government would have achieved its primary small business goal.

Imagine that.

To give agencies everywhere a pool of viable small federal contractors to help them leverage the "rule of two" and because we want to see our members doing business and growing their businesses, we've begun a members-only activity focused on identifying and capturing what amounts to a $15.5B opportunity for small businesses of many, many disciplines.

Not so coincidentally, we call this the SAP Task Force and the goal is business in-hand for business growth.



The Chief Visionary

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