Posted on September 30th, 2012 3 comments
Did you know small businesses have been given a leg up in obtaining government contracts? There are a number of programs that require contracting agencies, by law, to place contracts with small businesses. Did you also know many of these set asides self certified? No red tape, just say so when you register with CCR.
Small business set asides are for contracts valued between $3000 and $150,000. The list below describes the type of set aside and how to qualify.
To find out more look at the SBA working with government.
- Small Business. Self certified. Usually a business with less than 500 employees or less than $5,000,000 in revenue?
- Small Disadvantaged Business. Self certified. 51% owned and controlled by either African Pacific Americans, Subcontinent Asian Americans, and Native Americans.
- Veteran Owned. Self certified. 51% of the business owned by veterans.
- Service Disabled Veteran Owned. Self certified. Same as veteran owned but must qualify as serviced disabled through the Veterans Administration(VA).
- 8(a) Business Development. SBA certified. 51% owned by a socially or economically disadvantaged people.
- HUB Zone. SBA certified. 51% owned by US citizens with headquarters in a designated HUB Zone.
- Woman-Owned. Self certified through SBA or third party certifies. 51% owned and controlled by women.
- SBIR/STTR. Research innovation program. Allows small business to compete for research and development funds.
Posted on August 22nd, 2012 3 comments
So you’ve been reading some of my posts but still don’t know where to find those government contracting opportunities. Well let me help a bit.
There are two main places to look on the web, Federal Business Opportunities (FBO), and the Army Single Face to Industry (ASFI). These are the two websites the Army (ASFI) and other government entities (FBO) use as the Government Point of Entry or GPE. Yes, we love our acronyms.
In general we are required to post any requirement to FBO that is over $25,000. There are some exceptions, but these are special cases that I won’t cover here. The posting will include a request for quote (RFQ) or proposal (RFP) documentation that should describe in enough detail the requirement needed by the Army or other federal agencies. Also the contact info of the contracting officer or contract specialist should be listed in case you have questions.
ASFI is essentially the same thing but, you guess it, for the US Army. Here you can find requests for requirements under $25,000. Note the US Army posts to ASFI and can automatically post to FBO from inside ASFI. So some of what you see on ASFI will also be posted on FBO.
You can also find Army requirements on some of the local post web pages. If you do a google search for the contracting office of the post you are interested in you may find a link to the installation contracting office contracting opportunities page. These will list specific requirements for that installation only. However, if you utilize ASFI or FBO you should find the same opportunities there.
Posted on August 22nd, 2012 No comments
Its been more than three years since my last post. The three plus year hiatus was necessary to get a few things done. First I needed to learn more about acquisition and contracting, and gain more expereience and education. Next I needed to really think about where this blog was headed. So after a long break from writing I am ready to begin again.
During my three year writing break I was able to participate in a number of overseas contracting jobs participating in US Army excercises across south west asia. From the Repbulic of Korea to as far east as Sri-Lanka and a number of countries in between. My team and I were fortunate enough to interact with a number of outstanding soldiers and businesses from the USA and all over the world. Writing contracts in this enviroment had a number of challenges but for the most part was an excellent learning experience.
The Blogg will continue to focus on helping small businesses break into contracting. The next series of posts will cover everything from CCR registration to business entities to writing proposals. We will link to professionals who can (for a fee) provide hands on help with all the tasks needed to suceessfully fulfil a government contract. Additionally we will be making some changes to the layout of the blogg. I appologize for the loss some of my other posts, but I will replace them if I can. In the end my goal is the same: Making doing business with the government easier. Happy bidding.
Posted on August 21st, 2012 No comments
$50,000, $226,000, $9.6 million, these are just some of the dollar figures that individuals members of the contracting community have been arrested and jailed for. The money represents bribes or Kickbacks given to them by contractors for favorable business arrangements. Many of the individuals are uniformed members of the Armed services and others are civilian contract employees. Most are “cooperating” with authorities. What that means is that they will be dropping names of the contractors that bribed them. In the end everyone gets to go to jail.
Why discuss this? Because with the cool economy and increased competition for contracts it can be tempting for new and seasoned contractors to resort to bribes in order to obtain contracts. This has become such a problem in the past that the Army has created a department of the Criminal Investigation Division just to investigate allegations of fraud related to acquisitions.
Is it worth it? Heck no!! Look at the case of MAJ Cockerham, who is doing time for taking $10,000,000 in bribes. He’s not alone because his wife and sister are doing time with him for helping to launder the money. He was just one of 29 civilians and soldiers who were being investigated for contracts worth over $6 billion, according to a 2007 NY Times article. Despite this probably 99% of contractors and government employees are honest.
But like my 1SGT and I used to say it’s that damned 1% that keeps you working late at night.
Here is the so what? For contractors there are legitimate ways to gain a foothold in contracting with the government. Ways that are legal and won’t get you thrown in jail. I’ll detail some tips in a later post. Subscribe to the RSS feed to get updates.