The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has offered participants in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 8(a) Business Development Program the opportunity to tell Congress about their views and experience in the program.
Currently, GAO is working on its report regarding the 8(a) Program’s eligibility thresholds. In GAO’s own words, these reports and testimonies serve to provide “Congress, executive agencies, and the public timely, fact-based, non-partisan information that can be used to improve government and save taxpayers billions of dollars.”
As such, GAO is actively seeking 8(a) business owners willing to participate in virtual discussion groups about the 8(a) Program. The National 8(a) Association‘s announcement of this opportunity says: “Understanding and reporting your perspectives on the program is essential to GAO’s ability to provide Congress with an accurate, complete and useful report.” The announcement further explains:
GAO is seeking the perspectives of 8(a) business owners on the program’s eligibility thresholds. If you are an 8(a) small business owner, GAO is looking for business owners such as you to participate in virtual discussion groups to discuss your reasons for getting 8(a) certified, your experience with bidding for and winning federal contracts, your thoughts on the updated eligibility thresholds, and other concerns related to 8(a) eligibility you may have. We plan to hold these discussion groups between June 16 and July 2.
The announcement also discusses the manner in which GAO will use this feedback–and assures 8(a) business owners it will be kept confidential, stating:
The feedback you provide during the discussion group on your experience with the 8(a) program and lessons learned will be discussed in our report to Congress. Your feedback will be reported in aggregated form and no individual names or business names will be used. During the discussion group, we will not ask you to share any business strategies that you feel are proprietary or give your business a competitive edge. While the virtual discussion group event will be recorded, the recording will be used for transcription purposes only and will be deleted thereafter. In the unlikely event that it is requested, Congress or a court may compel GAO to provide information included in audit documentation such as the transcript.
If you are an 8(a) business owner and are interested in participating in GAO’s virtual discussion group, which is currently scheduled to be held sometime between June 16 and July 2, GAO encourages you to reach out directly to firstname.lastname@example.org or to call (202) 512-7975 to speak with Peter Kramer, a GAO Analyst assisting with this opportunity.
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