SBA Scorecard: Largest Small Business Federal Contracting Year, Some Goals Missed

It’s that time of year again! The time of year that all federal government contractors wait for with bated breath to see how well agencies performed in relation to their small business subcontracting goals (or at least how well the metrics show them to be doing). Time for the SBA’s Annual Scorecard. Ok, so maybe it’s not quite that hyped up. But it is informative, nonetheless. And for 2023, it looks like things are looking up with every category making gains from the previous year. Once again, government-wide performance earned an overall score of an “A” by achieving 109.13% of its goal coming in with a whopping $178.6 billion spent with small business contractors.  

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Government Claim Appeals Nuggets from the ASBCA and CBCA 2023 Annual Reports

Everyone has New Year traditions. Some do resolutions, some take vacations, some simply buy a fun new calendar. Here at SmallGovCon we like reading the different federal contracting annual reports. These annual reports function as almost yearbooks or like a friend’s yearly holiday card that discusses all the highlights of the past year. These annual reports are a great resource for contractors to catch up on what a specific agency or tribunal has been up to, and plan for the year ahead. In this quick review of the CBCA and ASBCA’s annual reports, we will cover some of those takeaways. Who knows, maybe in reading this post, you can find something that gives you your own federal contracting new year’s resolution.

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DoD Revises its Other Transactions Guide

Something we frequently hear, when talking to those involved in the federal contracting industry, is that just when you think you have a handle on all the different ways federal contracting is run, you find out about another new program, authority, protest, guidance, regulation, or any other possible wrinkle of federal contracting. One prime example of this is that many individuals getting into federal contracting will often be surprised that the FAR is not the only standard that may drive how a procurement activity is handled. As we have blogged about in the past, “Other Transaction Authority” can come into play on certain procurements. The Department of Defense (“DoD”) utilizes this unique type of procurement authority and releases an “Other Transaction Guide” to dictate how this authority will be used. But with all things, only change is guaranteed, and any contractor who thought they knew this unique procurement authority’s ins and outs will need to take another look, as the DoD has just released a revised “Other Transactions Guide” based on industry guidance and regulatory changes.

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Congressional Research Service Report Discusses Emergency-Related Acquisition Flexibilities, the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

This Congressional report, issued December 27, 2022, provides a “discussion of acquisition flexibilities federal agencies may use to facilitate the government’s response to and recovery from disasters and emergencies.” The report explains the various types of flexibilities and some of the pros and cons of each. And it concludes by identifying several significant issues related to these acquisition flexibilities. Let’s take a look.

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SBA Issues 2021 Small Business Scorecard, Small Businesses Contracting Over $154 Billion!

The SBA recently released the Government Wide Small Business Procurement Scorecard for fiscal year 2021. This annual scorecard details information on the various categories of small businesses recognized by the SBA, including whether SBA met its goals related to small business federal contractors. Specifically, the scorecard is used to assess “how well federal agencies reach their small business and socio-economic prime contracting and subcontracting goals,” to “provide accurate and transparent contracting data,” and “report agency-specific progress.” SBA met or exceeded its goals in the majority of categories despite the fact that the overall number of small businesses decreased. Below, we take a look at the process, the numbers, and discuss which groups are, and which are not, receiving the greatest benefits.

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GAO Tested SBA on its Tribal 8(a) Verification Process and Found It Mostly Held Up

Federal and state-recognized Indian tribes and members of such tribes are presumptively socially disadvantaged, and if tribal association is verified, no further information is needed to verify social disadvantage for a Small Business Association (SBA) 8(a) program application. However, in 2021, the SBA Office of Inspector General (OIG) reported that, although the process for awarding 8(a) program status involves a multi-level eligibility review, the SBA does not have a formal verification procedure for verifying the federal or state-recognized status of Indian tribes associated with tribal applications. As such, GAO was asked to evaluate the SBA’s verification of 8(a) applications claiming federal or state-recognized tribal association. The following is a summary of those findings. 

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