Small Business Utilization Goals; Fact or Friction?

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Dale M. Posthumus 7 years ago.

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  • #171924

    Thursdays small business panel at the tower club covered by WBJ. I didn’t go to the event, but I would be interested in thoughts about what is being done to achieve these contracting goals and wich agencies and big contracting shops are serious about it?

    Small Business Utilization (WBJ)

    My two cents: Kevin Boshears has made great strides in DHS to reach small business goals, but most agencies don’t. Large contracting shops will follow suit only if achieving these goals stops being the exclusive dominion of the toothless OSDBU offices whose measure of success has become more about how many small businesses are on their rolls than how much real business is being done with them.

  • #171936

    Dale M. Posthumus
    Participant

    There are people/agencies who are good at it (Boshears is a good example, IMHO) and there are people/agencies who are not. There are people like Jody Paustian, very good at working with small business, working at the IRS, an agency that shows a demonstrated disdain for the capabilities of small business. There are intel agencies like DIA, who are good, and intel agencies like another one, whom I won’t name, who only look for excuses for their dislike of small business. There are people like the SBA 8a rep I came across a couple of years ago who refused to speak with any one in the company but the owner and the woman who replaced her was active, ready to, help, and ready to fight for your rights against Federal agencies who were abusing the process.

    It starts with management. It must be driven down through the acquisition and program ranks. And there must be real consequences for those employees who consistently fail to meet goals, ignore regulations, and abuse contractors (abuse Fed employees, too). If not, the same people will remain in a position to judge those who have crossed him/her.

    I applaud those like Boshears and Paustian who are true advocates of small business programs, and the law.

  • #171934

    Sandra Broadnax and her team at NGA are fantastic, and NGA takes its small business goals very seriously from what I have seen in responding to about a dozen RFPs from them.

  • #171932

    One thing to bear in mind about the IC, and I have had a similar “get out” experience in the IC, is that they don’t have to meet SB goals like the rest of the federal government. NGA does, but only because it is dual IC/DOD.

  • #171930

    Dale M. Posthumus
    Participant

    True, but the goals are still there, they are aware, and they feel some pressure. It is an attitude/culture. I was at a conference a couple of years ago where Sherry Baldwin, the DIA SB director, stated that when she came to DIA, there was an atitude that small business was not capable of doing the kind of work DIA required and its work was to big, couldn’t be broken up. She changed that attitude and DIA has a much better record with small business. At the very same conference, the rep from another IC agency got up and said the exact things DIA used to say — small business is not capable and it is not possible to break up our work.

  • #171928

    Jaime Gracia
    Participant

    Some OSDBU offices are staffed by feds who are being put out to pasture, who know very little about their own agencies or the small business community at large. Their standard answer or advice to small businesses is to go look at FedBizOpps. Mr. Boshears is certainly not that way, in my personal dealings with him, as I believe him to be the best out there. Great small business staff at DHS, for the most part.

    OSDBU office are not the answer to enforce the rules. That must come from procurement officials (e.g. HCAs and CAOs) to hold contracting officials accountable for large businesses that double-cross their small business “partners,” or who do not conform to those contracts required small business subcontracting goals per FAR 19.7.

    If agencies want to improve their small business goals and relationships with the small business community, this a good place to start. This would also be a great target for OFPP.

  • #171926

    we have been invited to work with IC’s, in “work,” what was conveyed to us was, “you identify the set-aside RFP’s you are interested in, and we become your sub. Once we land the business, we will manage the rest.” When I was naive enough to ask one of these IC’s, “Why would X Company be interested in an advertising or marketing contract,” the answer was, “The Federal Governments likes us, we do everything for them, all the time and they love us.” In essence, what they were asking us to do was find opportunities we could win and deliver the spoils to them. The whole time, telling us just how lucky we were to be invited into their inner circle.

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