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.
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