Small business goals are a touchy subject for me because in an ideal world, small businesses would get a fair shake in federal contracting because of what they bring to the table, versus their socioeconomic designations.
But that's not what this post is about.
The new OFPP Administrator issued a memo a few days ago that has me anticipating some possible change in how federal agencies compete and award simplified acquisitions.
For those not familiar with the subject or why I'm an evangelist for this acquisition method, it's how I got my start years ago when I entered the 'conventional' federal sector (which followed six years of supporting the U.S. Intelligence Community). Simplified Acquisitions resulted in my developing a number of great relationships with customers (now friends) at places like NUWC Keyport, Luke AFB, Edwards AFB, NAS Whidbey Island, Naval Station Everett, Hickam AFB, Port Hueneme, Camp Butler... you get the picture.
For the last few years I've led sessions educating companies about this area of government spending and the ever-increasing opportunities that represented $4 billion in total government spending in FY09 and $16 billion in spending in FY11.
One section in Joseph Jordan's June 6 memo sent to Deputy Secretaries, Chief Acquisition Officers, Senior Procurement Executives and Agency Small Business Directors is entitled "Maximizing Opportunities for Small Businesses Under the Simplified Acquisition Threshold" which talks about "...a third-party analysis of data in the Federal Procurement Data System suggests that a significant amount of work under the SAT is not going to small businesses, including for products and services in industries where small businesses are typically well represented."
Glad you finally noticed.
At one point, FPDS-NG reported $8.4 billion of the $16 billion had been awarded to small businesses to which I previously commented "I wonder how many agencies would have made their small business goals had the other half of the SAP awards been issued to small business?"
Maybe we'll find out.
By the way, to all agency officials that need a hand setting up their ad hoc reports in FPDS-NG to drill down into what simplified acquisition spending looks like in your agency, call me at 410-381-7378 x112. I will personally come see you or host a one-on-one webinar to help you get squared away, on my dime. I will volunteer my time to help each of you get to a place where more of these opportunities wind up in the hands of those small businesses who would be very happy for a few more $20k, $50k and $150k purchases.
While I'm there, maybe we can discuss emulating Air Force's SABER program for goods and services used by your agency.