GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service Over-Reported Small Business Contracts by $89 Million

Every year, when the SBA releases its annual Small Business Procurement Scorecard, I hear from a few folks who mistrust the data. “I think small business awards are being over-reported,” is a pretty common theme for Scorecard skeptics.

A new GSA Office of Inspector General report is a reminder that it’s not paranoia if people are really out to get you. According to the GSA OIG, the GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service over-reported small business contracts by a whopping $89 million in just two fiscal years.

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Clean-Up on Aisle “FAR”: Joint Venture and Subcontracting Plan Rules Get Modernized

Joint ventures and small business subcontracting are two issues near and dear to the hearts of many small business federal contractors. Well, the Federal Acquisition Regulation will soon be updated with respect to both of these topics. The new rules will align with SBA’s rules and remove any inconsistencies. Let’s dive in!

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SBA Inspector General Identifies “Challenges” with Multiple SBA Programs

The SBA Office of the Inspector General has taken it upon itself to look at the SBA’s programs and activities in order to determine what risks the SBA may face in the 2020 Fiscal Year. It appears that the OIG did not like what it found.

The examination found multiple risks and problems associated with SBA programs, including the 8(a) program, the WOSB program, and SBA’s small business contract goaling methods.

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Proposed FAR Update to Allow Small Business Set-Asides for Contracts Outside USA

Traditionally, small business set-asides are not utilized in Federal contracts performed outside the United States. The SBA allows for contracts performed outside the United States to use set-asides or sole-source awards, but the FAR does not reflect this. Recently, the Department of Defense, General Services Administration, and NASA have proposed an update the FAR that would reflect the allowance of small business set-asides and sole-source awards in contracts performed outside of the United States. 

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2020 NDAA to Add Cybersecurity Training, Additional SBA Annual Reporting, and Promote Workforce Development

The draft 2020 National Defense Authorization Act includes a number of provisions that will affect government contractors, especially small business contractors, including the three provisions featured in this post.

Read on for how the 2020 draft NDAA impacts annual small business reporting by the SBA, cybersecurity training for small businesses, and evaluation of past performance to focus on workforce development.

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Senate Highlights Decline in Number of Small Businesses Getting Federal Contracts

Recently, a member of the Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship called for increased small business participation in federal contracts during a hearing on the SBA’s contracting programs. Senator Ben Cardin based his concern on a recent report showing that the number of small businesses with federal contracts was at a 10-year low.

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“Eliminate Most DoD Small Business Set-Asides,” Says Section 809 Panel

The Section 809 Panel has recommended that Congress eliminate most small business set-asides for DoD acquisitions. The Panel would replace the longstanding set-aside system with a meager five percent small business price preference.

For small government contractors, this recommendation is the policy equivalent of a five-alarm fire. Small contractors may need to fight hard to save the set-aside system.

Get ready for a battle.

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