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Government Contractor’s Blog

Small Business contracts critical to DOD mission

In a January 27th memo, the Office of the Under Secretary for Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment reported small businesses are critical to their mission and spell out the steps to increase small business involvement. The memo also states the importance of meeting small business goals and prioritizing those goals over attaining Best in Class contract goals if achieving both is not possible. (Federal Computer Week January 31, 2023)

The memo further states “Best in Class contracts should be balanced with other contract strategies, including the use of set-aside contracts that can help increase diversity within the supplier. The best tools and data analysis should be utilized to support small business concerns in procurement decisions to increase small business opportunities.” (Memorandum, the Office of the Under Secretary for Defense January 2023)

The acquisition teams within the DOD will receive automatic Tier 2 spend under management or SUM credits when contracts are awarded to small socioeconomic businesses. The memo states, to track progress, a Tier 2 socioeconomic small business category will be developed. (Federal Computer Week January 31, 2023)

The Department of Defense has three main strategic goals to increase small business participation:

  • Leverage programs that were originally meant to expand the industrial base.
  • Increase set-asides.
  • Greatly reduce entry barriers. (ibid)

The memo provides a foundation for the DOD to make certain small business activities are in alignment with the department’s national security priorities.

Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. Kathleen Hicks feels that reducing barriers and creating more opportunities for small businesses will enable the department “to expand, innovate and diversify, increasing our warfighter advantage strengthening our supply chains, increasing competition in our marketplace and growing our economy here at home.” (ibid)

The memorandum recommends DOD acquisition personnel look to gain additional resources through the Acquisition University website.

Are you a small business looking to work with the Department of Defense? Give us a call.

Think you never win at the RFP game, here’s why

Does your business work on a response to an RFP for weeks, sometimes months, or years, and never win a contract? Was the contract influenced by another company or maybe the contracting officer had never heard of you? Let’s break down what you can do next time to ensure you are at least on the “shortlist” for the contract award.

According to Mark Amtower of GOVCON News, both are problems all contractors face and both are areas the contractor is in control of. In order to overcome both, a contractor must pursue procurement early in the process. Below are five steps every contractor should take. (GovConwire.com January 3, 2023)

  • Differentiate your company from the competition. Define your position by calling attention to your past performance, the time you have been involved in a defined area, and the agencies you are working with. Publicize your claims on your website and LinkedIn. LinkedIn is crucial because this is where your company and your subject matter experts are vetted. All key personnel profiles should clearly define your areas of expertise. (ibid)
  • Support your LinkedIn page through claims of your company’s differentiated position. (ibid)
  • Expand your network in targeted agencies, to those agencies that already know your company, and to agencies you want to work with. According to Mark Amtower, there are 2.72 million feds (DOD, IC, and civilian) on LinkedIn, therefore reaching out to agency leaders is not difficult. Look specifically for program managers, contracting officers, COTRs, and anyone involved in the RFP process. Connect on LinkedIn, with a personalized note. (ibid)
  • Develop and share content that reinforces your company’s differentiated position. People within your company, such as sales and subject matter experts and those involved in business development should be sharing the company content. Not only on the company’s LinkedIn page but on their personal LinkedIn profiles as well. There are GovCon groups on LinkedIn where you can and should post about your company (webinars, speaking engagements, white papers, etc.) Once an opportunity is identified, content should be sent directly to key influencers through LinkedIn. (ibid)
  • When you learn of a possible RFP or task order, increase your activity. This is the time to “step it up.” Increase content production and activity on LinkedIn. Use LinkedIn to set up meetings. LinkedIn has a meeting capability, use zoom or meet in person. (ibid)

Inflluencing a procurement and making your company known are both within your control. Start early in the process and share often.

Have questions concerning website and LinkedIn content and/or how to research GovCon agency decision-makers? Give us a call.

The SBA & DOD are teaming up to reinforce Small Business Development

On Friday, December 2, 2022, the Defense Department and the U.S. Small Business Administration signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for both agencies to better meet the needs of small businesses in the United States. The goal is to bolster small business development, both nationally and locally. (Executive Gov December 9, 2022)

Farooq A. Mitha, director of small business programs at DOD, and Mark Madrid, associate administrator of SBA’s Office of Entrepreneurial Development, signed the agreement at the Maryland Procurement Technical Assistance Center, a DOD-funded office in College Park, Maryland. (U.S. Department of Defense December 7, 2022 l DOD News)

There are over 90 Procurement Technical Assistance Centers throughout the US. These centers are set up to work with small businesses looking to obtain contracts with either DOD or other federal agencies. The centers are currently going through a rebranding and will move from Procurement Technical Assistance Centers to APEX Accelerators. The goal of the APEX Accelerators is to increase the number of businesses able to participate in the government marketplace. (ibid)

“One of the things that we want to make sure that we’re doing is providing resources and support to small businesses who are looking to do business with DOD, with other federal agencies, with state and local government and really reduce barriers to entry,” said Mitha. “And we can’t do that without our APEX Accelerators. And we can’t do that without a … strong partnership with the Small Business Administration and the [Small Business Development Centers] program.”  (ibid)

At the signing, Madrid said, “Today was about breaking down silos and working together because we’re all in it for the same reason. If you look at DOD [and] SBA, you look at the APEX Accelerators, you look at our SBDC network, we’re all trying to make government, and ultimately opportunities, more accessible to our small businesses at the end of the day. That’s what we achieved today.”  (ibid)

As a result of the MOU, Madrid is certain the DOD and the SBA will find many ways to better integrate training conducted by their APEX Accelerators and SBDCs. Their goal is to jointly conduct at least one national event a year together. (Executive Gov December 9, 2022)

SBA and DOD also launched a joint effort, called the Small Business Investment Company Critical Technologies Initiative, to drive investments in critical technologies that are key to national security. (ibid)

Are you looking to take advantage of one of the more than 90 APEX Accelerators resources and or the Small Business Investment Company Critical Technologies Initiative (SBICCT)? Give us a call.

GSA and the Small Business Administration are teaming up!

GSA is partnering with the Small Business Administration (SBA) to increase 8(a) contracting opportunities. The partnership makes it virtually effortless for GSA customers to use the MAS program to access various solutions from 8(a) contractors. (BUY.GSA.GOV l Interact November 18, 2022)

Once the implementation is complete the PA provides these benefits:

  • Increased opportunities for 8(a) contractors, allowing these contractors competition in a safe set-aside environment.
  • Accessibility to 8(a) contractors and various socioeconomic contractors, thus allowing for a vast range of products and services.
  • Increased ordering flexibility under the MAS Program.
  • Streamlined acquisition processes, thus incentivizing agencies to use 8(a) solutions.
  • GSA and SBA standardized processes for reaching an agreement on acquisition strategies. (ibid)

GSA is looking at a spring 2023 implementation of the Partnership Agreement. (ibid)

Are you an 8(a) contractor or have questions concerning your 8(a) contractor status? Give us a call.

New Emissions Rule right around the corner

The White House proposed the Federal Supplier Climate Risks and Resilience Rule on November 10. With the new rule, larger Federal contractors will face new requirements to report data on their specific greenhouse gas emissions to protect the Federal Government’s supply chains from climate-related financial risks. (MeriTalk November 11, 2022)

According to the White House the rule, “would require major Federal Contractors to publicly disclose their greenhouse gas emission and climate-related financial risks and set science-based emissions reduction targets.” (ibid)

The White House said, “under the proposed rule, the largest suppliers including Federal contractors receiving more than $50 million in annual contracts would be required to publicly disclose specific Scope 1, Scope 2, and relevant categories of Scope 3 emissions, disclose climate-related financial risks and set science-based emissions reduction targets. Federal contractors with more than $7.5 million but less than $50 million in annual contracts would be required to report Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. All Federal contractors with less than $7.5 million in annual contracts would be exempt from the rule. Small businesses with over $7.5 million in annual contracts would only be required to report Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions under the proposed rule.” These disclosures and rules help to contribute to President Biden’s Federal Sustainability Plan. (White House Fact Sheet November 10, 2022)

The types of emissions that require disclosure are direct emissions, indirect emissions from purchased energy, and indirect value chain emissions. (MeriTalk November 11, 2022)

The White House said, “the proposed rule leverages widely-adopted third-party standards and systems that many Federal contractors already use when disclosing their emissions and setting emissions reduction targets, including the DCP environmental reporting system, the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) Recommendations, and the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) criteria.” (ibid)

The proposed rule is issued through public comment by the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council (FARC) and amends the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). (ibid)

Questions concerning the new Emissions Rule and the reporting requirements? Give us a call.