UPDATE (5/3/13): One important point I failed to mention is that on OASIS SB, GSA intends to award at least three spots in every pool to the following socioeconomic groups-8(a), SDVOSB, HUBZone, WOSB, and EDWOSB. This does not mean that only 25 of the 40 spots in a pool are available for other small businesses, though. The top 40 evaluation will proceed “blind” to socioeconomic status. If there are not at least three representatives from a particular socioeconomic group in the top 40 for a given pool, additional awards will be made to the next highest rated qualified bidder(s) in that group until there are three.
Welcome to the first post in a special series about the GSA OASIS draft RFP. First a disclaimer – all posts are based on information obtained from the OASIS draft RFP and the most current Q&A available on the OASIS Industry Community on GSA Interact. Changes are certain to occur between the draft solicitation and the final; Aronson will identify major known changes as soon as we are aware of them. Please subscribe to our RSS feed to follow this series and to make sure that you receive breaking information as it happens!
Today’s post will discuss the use of NAICS code ‘pools’ to determine a contractor’s size status and eligibility to bid on OASIS SB. Initially, GSA had intended to base the size standard for OASIS SB on a single NAICS code (541330 exception, $35.5M) based on market research concerning the preponderance of work likely to be awarded under the vehicle; however, a recent rule proposed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) caused them to change this approach. Due to the provisions of Section 1331 of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 and concerns about the improper allocation of small business credit under multiple-award contracts, the SBA plans to make significant changes to the FAR. Under the proposed rule, “the contracting officer may divide a multiple award contract for divergent goods and services into discrete categories, each of which is assigned a NAICS code with a corresponding size standard.”
In order to accommodate the probable rule change, GSA Continue reading »
Updated 10/1/12 – OASIS News: GSA Announces Separate OASIS Small Business Contract, Update on Draft RFPs
For the latest OASIS news, be sure to check out our latest blog posting here.
UPDATE: Based on the number of questions on GSA Interact’s OASIS Industry Community, it seems that interest in this opportunity continues to grow; however, GSA has been very tight-lipped on most details about the contract, putting prospective bidders in a “wait and see” pattern. We will all have to wait a little longer now – the estimated release date for the OASIS and OASIS SB draft RFPs has now been moved to late October to allow time for GSA to post the OASIS Business Case and review comments. In other news, GSA recently sponsored a Customer Working Group with potential agency users and Program Manager Jim Ghiloni reports that the participants were extremely positive about OASIS and OASIS SB, which are now “revered as exciting developments throughout government.” As always, keep tuned to FedPoint for the latest OASIS and government contracting news!
GSA’s OASIS Program Manager, Jim Ghiloni, announced last week that the highly-anticipated $48B OASIS professional services contract vehicle will be divided into small business and unrestricted contracts. The purpose of this configuration is to help agencies meet their socioeconomic goals by allowing them to award set-aside task orders under OASIS SB. As part of this objective, Ghiloni states that “GSA is looking for the solicitation to result in adequate numbers of awards in each socioeconomic category to ensure meaningful competition for each task order set aside for specific socioeconomic groups. GSA believes this approach affords the opportunity for the broadest participation by all small businesses in the industry and will provide a vehicle that will facilitate agencies’ ability to comply with the small business set aside procedures and manage their small business program goals.” Continue reading »
GSA is offering free training in Washington, DC July 20th to assist local small businesses in understanding the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 8(a) certification process. This course is especially timely because the SBA issued the first comprehensive overhaul of the 8(a) program in over a decade on March 14, 2011. The workshop will cover the following topics to assist small companies in determining if the 8(a) program is a good choice for their business: Continue reading »
Because federal contractors never have enough to do in September, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) estimates it will finally release the $22B EAGLE II RFP by the end of the government’s fiscal year (read the draft solicitation). This IDIQ is a follow-on to the blockbuster EAGLE I contract, which resulted in over $8B in task orders to 50+ contractors, large and small. EAGLE I did so well, in fact, that almost a third of the small business participants ended up being acquired by larger companies and the top 5 small companies had $538M in task orders. The success of this vehicle is likely to continue, as it will be mandatory for DHS Contracting Officers to consider EAGLE II when making all IT procurements, although they are not required to purchase from it.
It’s no wonder that EAGLE II is one of 2010′s most anticipated contracts. Pre-solicitation events quickly filled to capacity and competition is expected to be fierce for the unspecified number of “tickets to the dance”. The draft period for EAGLE II has been lengthy, in part due to DHS taking the lessons learned from EAGLE I and applying them to the new contract. Some of the major changes expected in EAGLE II include:
In April 2010, President Obama established an inter-agency Task Force charged with expanding outreach to the small business community and helping agencies meet the goal of awarding 23% of contracting dollars to small businesses. The task force is co-chaired by the Department of Commerce, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the Small Business Administration (SBA).
The Task Force is seeking public comments on obstacles faced by small business government contractors including problems encountered with large businesses teaming agreements, mentor-protege relationships, and small business subcontracting. Other possible areas include small business set-aside contracts, the 8(A) program, contract bundling, and training. Members of the public may submit their comments to the Task Force at SB_TaskForce_Comment@sba.gov. The comments are due by June 30th.
Synergy Enterprises Incorporated (SEI), based in Silver Spring, MD, is a small business that embodies the American Dream. Founded by naturalized citizen Prachee Devadas in 2003, the company has grown from one to over 110 employees. Starting a company in her home, Mrs. Devadas probably never guessed that she would end up providing services to agencies like the Departments of Education, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, Defense, Energy, Transportation, and more…or that she would end up in the Oval Office advocating to the President for small government contractors. Continue reading »
SBA’s training portal offers free online training courses designed to assist entrepreneurs during this period of economic recovery. Courses provide targeted self-paced training for small businesses, including those owned by women, minorities, disadvantaged individuals and veterans. The self-paced, instructional guides provide an overview of the federal procurement process, provide information about the federal marketplace, contract rules and, most importantly, how to sell to the government and where to find contract and Recovery Act opportunities. This is part of a federal government-wide initiative to strengthen access to contracting opportunities being led by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Department of Commerce.
- The Recovery Act Opportunities course (www.sba.gov/fedcontractingtraining) is indexed by subject matter to allow ease of use, includes direct links that highlight the best contracting resources, and includes practical and fundamental steps to engage business owners in the federal contracting arena. It is one of more than 24 online tutorials offered by the SBA, and is available 24/7.
- In addition, SBA introduced its newest online course for women small business owners in September 2009, Winning Federal Contracts: A Guide for Women Entrepreneurs. This training module is also free, very comprehensive and includes numerous resources, including many targeted for women-owned businesses.
Have questions? Contract the government contracting professionals at Aronson & Company for assistance obtaining new contracts, administration and compliance of existing government contracts, and proposal pricing support among our many offerings!
Learn about the ramifications of changes to Section 8(a) and the positive impact it could have on growing your government contracting business. Experts at the Tech Council of Maryland (TCM)’s Small Business Government Procurement Summit will specifically discuss the 3/2/10 SBA proposed rule to create Section 8(m) in the Small Business Reauthorization Act of 2000. This proposed rule (Section 8(m)) would give certain women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) a special set-aside status. The Small Business Administration (SBA) identified 83 industries are in which WOSB are under-represented or substantially under-represented. Industries were determined by SBA size standards and based upon the Kaufmann-Rand Foundation analysis of “share of contract dollars awarded” and also “share of number of contracts awarded”.
Since the rule is in the draft stage, the public may submit comments to this proposed rule up until close of business on May 3, 2010. You can find the proposed rule by clicking here. In order to qualify under the proposed WOSB rule, a business must be 51% owned by one or more women who are U.S. citizens, primarily managed by women, and in order to be deemed “economically disadvantaged,” owners must demonstrate economic disadvantage in accordance with the requirements set forth in the proposed rule. The proposed rule will also include WOSB’s to self-certification. Continue reading »
The Federal Government normally seeks “full & open” competition for the its procurements. But under certain circumstances, procurements can be set-aside so that only firms in certain socio-economic classes are eligible to bid. Currently, the Government can set-aside procurements for 8(a) firms, Service Disabled Veteran-Owned firms, and firms located in a Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone). The Government’s position has been one of set-aside parity. None of these firms have a greater right to set-aside contracts than the others.
However, the Government “set-aside parity” approach is not in accordance with the enabling statutes. The Contracting Officer “shall” set-aside certain procurements for HUBZone firms. The Contracting Officer “may” set-aside certain procurements for 8(a) or Disabled Veteran firms. The General Accountability Office (GAO) ruled in May, 2009 that the plain meaning of the words “shall” and “may” give the HUBZone firms first priority in setting aside contracts. Continue reading »
On 9/4/09 we looked at contracts awarded to small businesses using ARRA funds where the competition was limited to certain types of contracts. Those were contract awards to companies with federal certifications such as an 8A, Hub Zone, and SDVOSB to name a few. The latest version of this report can be found here.
This time the focus of our analysis was on contract award totals for each socio economic category the federal government works towards fulfilling goals mandated by Congress. This new report can be downloaded here.
The notable areas of interest from these reports are most particularly in the way the numbers bring to light the dollars the government actually takes credit for having awarded to small businesses, as opposed to the amount of dollars it sets aside for them with a clear intention of awarding to a small business. The set-asides when used, clearly establish the government’s intent to award a particular contract to a small business to meets its goals. And what gets awarded to a business when the government does not use a set-aside is an award from full and open competition. It is here that the government really gets lucky, because it ends up taking credit for dollars a small business is awarded regardless of whether it ever intended to award it to a small business. The fact that a small business is competitive enough to take on a Lockheed Martin or IBM to win business is to the credit of the small business, but the government gets to take credit for having met its goals anyway because it so happened that the contract winner was a small business.
There is an interesting distinction between “intended” amounts and what the government “happens” to get credit for!
What We Are Writing
- A Marriage of Inconvenience: GSA Schedule Contracts & The Contractor Code of Business Ethics & Conduct Clause
- Emerging Small Businesses: To Grow Your Business, You Must Plan For Growth
- Government Contracting: Look Before You Leap!
- GSA Schedules – Strategies for Success
- New Employee vs. Independent Contractor Considerations
- Pay on Display – Understanding the Executive Compensation and Subcontractor Data Reporting Requirements & Ramifications
- The GSA Schedule: Your Ticket to the Federal Market (May 2010)
- The New FAR Codes of Conduct and Compliance Program Provisions
- The Seven Deadly Sins (of contract compliance)