President Obama’s April 2010 memorandum establishes an Interagency Task Force to examine federal contracting opportunities available for small businesses. The Administrator for the Small Business Administration, the Secretary for the Department of Commerce, and the Director for the Office of Management and Budget, are serving as co-chairs of the Task Force. Other agencies on the Task Force along with invited interested parties both from the public and private sector, are being asked to offer their views on the challenges that small businesses face in pursuing federal contracts.
Some of the recommendations and ideas under discussion include:
• Increasing teaming efforts to increase opportunities for small business contractors
• Encouraging small businesses to make good use of mentorship programs such as the mentor-protégé program
• Examining small businesses set-asides and the changes needed and how to mitigate the effects of contract bundling
• Improving training and outreach on procurement issues so that small businesses can participate more in the federal marketplace
• Using new technologies to help small businesses and the agencies better identify contracting opportunities
• Improve training in the procurement process for federal program managers, acquisition officials, and small businesses
• Expanding outreach strategies to match small firms with other small firms
Within 90 days after the release date of the memorandum, the Assistant to the President and Chief Technology Officer and the Federal Chief Information Officer in coordination with the Task Force are to develop a website to improve transparency and accountability. The web site is to illustrate the importance of participation in the federal marketplace by small businesses, including those owned by women, minorities, socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, and service disabled veterans.
Written comments on the issue should be sent directly to SB_TaskForce_Comment@sba.gov by June 30, 2010. A meeting is going to be held on June 28, 2010 in the Department of Commerce auditorium to hear oral comments and discussion on comments received related to the challenges faced by small firms. To register for the meeting, email SB_TaskForce_Comment@sba.gov. The agenda for the meeting will be posted at www.sba.gov/aboutsba/sbaprograms/gc/index.html.