Acquisition panel adopts favorable small-biz recommendations

Small businesses working with the federal government may have a shot at winning more contracts, after the Acquisition Advisory Panel voted last month to adopt recommendations designed to help small companies procure government contracts.

Congress established the panel in 2003 to review government acquisition laws and regulations to ensure use of commercial practices and performance-based contracting. It comprises representatives from the Small Business Administration, General Services Administration, Defense Department and private industry.

The panel will submit its recommendations, along with its full report, to the Office of Federal Procurement Policy and Congress. No timeframe was given for when it will be forwarded.

The recommendations should allow small businesses greater participation in the more than $300 billion government contracting market. The panel heard from nearly 90 witnesses, resulting in more than 4,000 pages of meeting transcripts on how to improve the federal procurement system.

Among the panel's areas of focus was the government's practice of awarding contracts to several vendors that then compete with one another throughout the contract for recurring work. The panel recommends reserving one or more of these multiple contracts for small businesses as well as limiting competition for some of the recurring work to small-business contract holders.

Another recommendation is to resolve confusion over the government's various small-business preference programs by giving government contracting officers greater discretion in selecting companies to meet their agency's goals for awards to businesses in each category, such as businesses owned by disabled veterans.

To make the most of small-business programs, the panel suggests delivering more training and best practices to improve government officials' understanding of such programs.

The panel also suggests prohibiting the government's use of cascading procurements, which let the government determine, after the proposals are received, whether a procurement will be reserved for a particular small-business preference. The panel determined that the practice impedes competition while increasing costs to small businesses in preparing proposals that the government may never consider for an award.

The panel will meet through July to address other procurement issues under their statutory charter, such as commercial buying practices, performance-based contracting, interagency contracting, contractors in the federal workplace and the acquisition workforce.

Reader Comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

What is your e-mail address?

My e-mail address is:

Do you have a password?

Forgot your password? Click here


  • Dive into our Contract Award database

    In an exclusive for WT Insider members, we are collecting all of the contract awards we cover into a database that you can sort by contractor, agency, value and other parameters. You can also download it into a spreadsheet. Our databases track awards back to 2013. Read More

  • Navigating the trends and issues of 2016 Nick Wakeman

    In our latest WT Insider Report, we pull together our best advice, insights and reporting on the trends and issues that will shape the market in 2016 and beyond. Read More

contracts DB

Washington Technology Daily

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.