SBA to improve 8(a) program

The Small Business Administration is working to improve its 8(a) program by streamlining the application process, providing more technical assistance to these firms, and developing a CD-ROM training course on federal procurement, said Linda Williams, SBA associate administrator for government contracting.

Recommendations for improving service delivery to 8(a) firms are being vetted within SBA, and the CD-ROM should be finished by August, Williams said. To streamline the 8(a) application process, the agency plans to create an online application, she said.

In addition, the SBA and the Office of Procurement Policy are working to develop a system that will automate subcontracting reporting. The two offices are now developing the business case for this IT project, Williams said.

The SBA also recently reactivated its surveillance review program, which is designed to determine how well agencies are complying with small-business programs and policies. Officials hope to have 18 reviews completed by the end of the year, said Williams, who spoke April 9 at FOSE.

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