Today, the Department of Transporation (DOT) released it's FY 2011 procurement forecast. To view and print the forecast please click here.
The Department of Defense is proposing to standardize the process of distributing orders electronically and posting them on a central site for all contractors to access.
Currently the DoD has this capability and the proposal would officially standardize the process. The benefit and belief is the new rule will help small businesses.
If there are any concerns from small businesses or other parties, officials are taking comments on this proposal until November 30 2010.
For more information click here.
It is first important to know the difference between prime contractor and subcontractor. A prime contractor sells to the government; whereas, a subcontractor sells to who sells to the government.
Some small businesses are not aware of what they are committing to when becoming a prime contractor for the government. The government views a prime contractor as the single point of contact, and is accountable for cost and schedule and performance.
One problematic area for a small company working as a prime contractor for the government is payment. A typical company invoices the government 30 days after starting a contract and the government has up to 90 days to respond to that invoice. The government pays a prime contractor when it sees fit so it could take at least four to five months. Most small companies do not have a cash reserve to put front so much money and wait months for payment.
Another problematic area is the language and clauses to a contract. Many small companies are unsure of all the terms, acronyms, clauses, references and requirements in a contract. These results in a poorly negotiate contract and the uncertainty of the contract itself.
In most instances it makes sense for a small business to be a subcontractor. The advantage is the business relationship with the prime contractor and the face to face time. The prime contractor can also pay invoices within days of receipt and as a subcontractor it will be easier to have access to the information you need to complete the job.
The government has a contracting goal of 5% with women-owned companies and to date the federal government has never met this goal. Starting in 2011, the Small Business Administration (SBA) will have procedures in place to help women-owned companies gain access to more federal contracts.
The program will allow contracting officers to restrict competition in 83 industry categories to women-owned small businesses. When the program was being defined 45 industries were deemed “underrepresented” and 38 industries were deemed “substantially underrepresented” by women-owned companies.
It is believed with this new program with federal government will achieve the 5% contracting goal with women-owned companies.
For more information click here.
There is a small business dashboard which shows all government agencies and their contracting dollars with small businesses and socio economic companies. The dashboard is broken down further into eligible dollars, actual dollars, goal % and actual %. This is a great tool to see which agencies are not fulfilling their goals and if your company can help them.
To view the dashboard click here.
On Monday September 27 2010, President Barack Obama signed the small business bill into law! The law also sets up a lending fund for small business and $12 billion in tax breaks.
“It was critical that we cut taxes and make more loans available to entrepreneurs.” Obama said in remarks at the White House. “So today after a long and tough fight, I am signing a small business jobs bill that does exactly that.”