Acquisition

GSA speeds payments to small business contractors

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The General Services Administration wants to keep money flowing to its small businesses contractors and subcontractors, reducing payment waits to15 days.

In an April 10 memo, Jeffrey Koses, GSA's senior procurement executive in the agency's Office of Acquisition Policy, said the agency was allowing GSA's contracting personnel to deviate from federal rules to speed payments to its small business prime contractors and prime contractors' small business subcontractors within 15 days, instead of the usual 30. The change, said Koses, applies to all contracts and orders where GSA is the only agency making payments. It does not apply to federal supply schedule contracts or multi-agency contracts, he said.

Under the change, federal contracting officials can insert language into contracts and solicitations allowing the accelerated payments. The change sets a goal of 15 days after receiving an invoice from a small business contractor, or a prime contractor with small business subcontractors, according to the memo.

The move, said Larry Allen, managing director of the Federal Market Access Group at BDO USA, is GSA's recognition of the new, remote, less centralized work environment and the logistics involved. In a more diffuse working environment, payments can tend to take longer, he said.

"Small businesses live and die on cash flow," he said. If payments are delayed, they can suffer or even sink, he said.

The rule probably doesn't to short term, one-time contracts, however, explained Allen. "It doesn't impact contracts such as a one-time order and shipment of 1,000 laptops," he said. "It does apply to multi-year agreements that might ship 1,000 laptops per quarter" over a longer term.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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