NITAAC Aims to Boost Small Business Contracting
Fee reduced for CIO-SP3 Small Business Contract
The new CIO-SP3 Small Business contract provides federal agencies with a single avenue to meet their socio-economic small business goals. And with its $20 billion ceiling, the 10-year contracting vehicle also offers innovative small businesses a significant opportunity to demonstrate their capabilities and expand their footprint in the federal marketplace. “When we first conceived the CIO-SP3 Small Business vehicle, we wanted to reach out to this underserved community and provide set-asides for agencies to satisfy some of the more difficult areas in their small business goals,” said Diane Frasier, Director of the NIH Office of Acquisition and Logistics Management and Head of the Contracting Activity. “We completely embrace the administration’s re-emphasis on using small businesses.”
“One of the reasons we created this contract was that small business utilization wasn’t as high as we desired.”
Mary Armstead, NITAAC Program Director
With many federal agencies facing intense pressure to increase their use of small businesses, CIO-SP3 Small Business makes it easy for agencies to meet their goals in federal socio-economic categories, NITAAC officials said. The contract is unique among GWACs in that it has five separate small businesses categories, each with highly qualified small businesses. “Our customers wanted an easy way to satisfy their set-aside requirements,” said Robert Coen, NITAAC Deputy Program Director. “There is no other contract exactly like this for agencies to address their specific small business goals.”
Agencies using CIO-SP3 Small Business can issue task orders in these five categories:
Small Business, 8(a), Service Disabled Veteran Owned, HUBZone, and Women Owned.
To encourage agencies to use the CIO-SP3 Small Business contract, NITAAC is charging agencies a reduced contract access fee of just 0.75 percent, in contrast to the 1 percent fee for the full-and-open CIO-SP3 contract. Small business contract holders were subjected to the same rigorous technical evaluation by NITAAC as the large businesses, and were required to demonstrate a range of IT capabilities in at least three task areas in addition to Task Area 1 of the contract, “IT Services for Biomedical Research, Health Science and Healthcare.” All small businesses can provide IT services and solutions supporting the Federal Enterprise Architecture, the Department of Defense Enterprise Architecture and the Federal Health Architecture.
Features of CIO-SP3 Small Business
NITAAC supports the CIO-SP3 Small Business contract with the same services and features as the full-and-open contract. Agencies can use NITAAC’s Electronic-Government Ordering System (e-GOS) to conduct set-aside competitions and manage the ordering process from start to finish, including awardee selection and notification. NITAAC officials will review agencies’ Request for Proposal (RFP) packages and offer advice to ensure that agencies stay within contract scope and structure their RFPs so they obtain the desired services and solutions. Training and customer support are free.
NITAAC officials are confident that a separate contract will provide more opportunities for their small business contract holders. “One of the reasons we created this contract was that small business utilization wasn’t as high as we desired,” said Mary Armstead, NITAAC Program Director. “We had a number of small businesses under CIO-SP2i, but they were competing with large companies for task orders. This vehicle will level the playing field, and create more meaningful opportunities for small businesses to compete.”
“Our goal is that the CIO-SP3 Small Business contract will generate as much sales as the full-and-open CIO-SP3 contract, if not more,” Coen said.
CIO-SP3 Small Business, with its large $20 billion ceiling, discounted fee of 0.75 percent, and easy access to the socio-economic small business categories will give small business contract holders an opportunity to thrive.