6 steps for agencies to aid small businesses

As his first official action as administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, Joe Jordan released a new memo June 7 intended to improve small business contracting.

Jordan’s memo, in conjunction with the Small Business Administration Administrator Karen Mills, gives agency officials six steps to increase contracts for businesses through multiple-award contracts (MACs).

Jordan wrote on the OMBlog June 7 that these tactical steps include using the authorities provided by law to set aside orders under MACs, turning to small businesses for small-dollar awards, and strengthening accountability to meet annual small-business contracting goals.

Jordan and Mills ordered agency officials to:

  • Encourage their acquisition workforce, in an agency memo, to consider setting aside orders for small businesses on MACs.
  • Think about requiring set-asides under MACs if the agency is not currently meeting its small business goals.
  • Modify MACs to provide for set-asides.
  • Require that contract documents include details on how officials considered the set-aside tools.
  • Give feedback to SBA officials about the agency’s set-aside rule on greater consideration of set-asides on MACs.
  • Take advantage of free training from the General Services Administration.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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Reader comments

Sat, Jun 9, 2012

What we need like a hole in the head is another memo from OFPP. What would be helpful is for OFPP to take an active role in updating the FAR to make any sense at all regarding small business. The disaster that has been made of the Part 8 and Part 19 mashup needs to be clarified, immediately, if any headway is to be made. In addition, the comments about the awards under the SAT to OTSB - the nonmanufacturer rule is at work here. When an agency needs to buy Microsoft Office, what are they going to do? Find a small business manufacturer of the software? No, obviously not. What they have been doing is trying to find a SB reseller on GSA schedules, so at least the dollars go to/through a SB. Now that GSA has decided that the nonmanufacturer rule applies to orders under Part 8 (although the FAR does not say this), agencies can't use the new set-aside rules to buy these brand-name items off schedule from a SB. They can possibly still buy from a SB reseller but the OTSB vendors still have a chance.

Sat, Jun 9, 2012 Amtower

These are so bland as to be meaningless: "encourage", "think about". "modify"... Why not burn some incense and chant....

Thu, Jun 7, 2012 Guy Timberlake McLean, VA

A very simple yet obvious opportunity to "aid small businesses" is creating more awards under simplified acquisitions. Agencies awarded a combined $16 billion via simplified acquisition procedures in FY11 with better than half going to small contractors. I wonder how many agencies would have met their small business goals had the other $8 billion been awarded to small companies? Congress and the Administration should look to the simple solutions instead of re-inventing the wheel or re-hashing practices that have been ineffective in the past. Guy Timberlake The American Small Business Coalition

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