ITAA: Raise SBA size limits

The Information Technology Association of America called on the Small Business Administration today to raise the size limits it uses to determine the eligibility of small IT companies for federal set-aside contracts.

“The realities of today’s federal marketplace demand a different strategy with regard to size standards for the IT industry,” ITAA said in a letter sent to SBA and reported in an association news release.

“SBA’s restructured size standards need to reflect and promote today’s small business and continue to permit the federal government to rely on small businesses as the source of innovation, competition and job growth,” according to the release.

ITAA wants SBA to define a small business as having a maximum of 500 employees or $50 million in annual revenue. The industry group said the current annual revenue cap of $23 million is unrealistic because companies that move out of the set-aside program at that size cannot compete in the marketplace with much larger companies.

ITAA also made the following recommendations:

  • SBA should establish separate and distinct size standards for federal procurements.

  • The definition of IT devices should be broad enough to reflect the diverse and dynamic IT services provider base.

  • SBA should further examine the emergence of convergent technologies and incorporate them into the restructuring initiative.

SBA should also apply separate standards to federal contracting from those it uses for loans and other financing programs, ITAA said. The complexity of the federal marketplace requires companies to be larger than they need to be to compete in the commercial sector, it said.

ITAA also asked SBA to seek more input from industry on how the merging of telecommunications, data processing and imaging technologies should affect the agency’s policies.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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