When we started our business as an 8a, even as former military acquisition professionals, we encountered so much "red-tape" in getting on the GSA Schedule that we eventually had to hire a company to assist us in the process. 8 months and $15K later, we finally got onto the IT Schedule 70. Instead of being easy for the small company, it was hard, and expensive. I have talked to other companies who did not have the time ...more »
3. Small Business Participation
We welcome feedback on how to increase participation in Federal contracting.
Question 1: How can we make doing business with the government easier and less costly for small businesses, minority businesses, new entrants, and non-traditional government contractors?
Question 2: If you are a small business, minority owned business, or new entrant, what features of the federal acquisition system are most helpful and which are least helpful to you?
Small businesses seeking to enter the federal space must apply through various programs. These include GSA for GSA Schedules, set-aside programs (e.g. HubZone, 8(a), veteran-owned), etc are required to deal with multiple organizations and submit similar information to each. Create a consolidated application for small businesses that would permit them to apply for the special programs through a single application process. ...more »
Contracting specialist should be more forthcoming answering questions. It's very hard to have a productive dialogue before and after award.
Acknowledging that the acquisition process is frustrating and cumbersome is a start, but to understand how to fix it starts with a willingness to look at the acquisition processes, technologies, and professionals from the perspective of a small business owner. Follow a small business owner's experience with the acquisition system - from the first sources sought to award of a contract - for a specific procurement and ...more »
Contracting Officers/Specialists get comfortable processing set aside contracts of a particular type. Some are more comfortable with the WOSB program versus SDVOSB or HUBzone and naturally gravitate towards what they know. We continually face the comment of "if you bring me an 8(a), I can make this happen quickly but I can't give you an estimate for how long it may take otherwise" SBA has an incomplete set of practical ...more »
Many procurements recur every 3-5 years with small deviations in the requirements. FBO provides today's snapshot of opportunities while FPDS provides the historical view - GSA should consider ways to structure data in these systems to better connect today's opportunities with its historical predecessor(s). By understanding how a particular contract unfolded previously could help new entrants better position themselves ...more »
Small Businesses operating in the federal marketplace often find themselves competing against Large Businesses who hold long term Multiple Award Contracts (MACs) that they obtained while they were a small business (SB). These large businesses may be able to compete as a SB in SB Set-Asides, even though they no longer qualify as a SB for the applicable NAICS code per SBA size determination regulation. For example, the ...more »
The Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI) should be on every small business federal contractor's list of issues to quickly be educated upon. The FSSI has been identified as a procurement vehicle which it is expected will be applied to over 90% of all Federal Government Spending. In a nutshell, FSSI awards contracts to a select few while leaving the vast majority at-risk of losing government business. For example, ...more »
Over the last decade, the number of laws, regulations and provisions that apply to commercial item have dramatically increased. For example, in 1996 under 52.212-5(b) there were 17 provisions of law or executive orders identified as applicable to commercial item contracts. In 2012, the number has climbed to 51. The resulting explosion of statutes and regulations applicable to commercial item contracting increases complexity, ...more »
Issue: Extensive data collection requirements via the Federal Acquisition Regulation combined with an explosion in data reporting for agency specific procurement programs and the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI). These data reporting requirements are increasing costs and risks for contractors across the federal procurement enterprise. Costs that are ultimately borne by customer agencies through higher prices ...more »
Issue: Reform the MAS Pricing Policies. Specifically, eliminate the Price Reduction Clause (PRC), GSAR Clause 552.238-75. The current MAS pricing policies do not reflect current practices in the commercial market place. The pricing policies are inconsistent with the statutory and regulatory mandates for competition at the order level. The increased transactional and contract administration costs for compliance with the ...more »
Issue: The overly complex, burdensome ordering procedures for the establishment of Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPAs) under the GSA Schedules program. Specifically the preference for multiple award BPAs over single award BPAs. The strong preference of multiple award BPAs undermines the ability of customer agencies to achieve best value outcomes using the GSA Schedules program. It essentially limits the tools in the tool ...more »