Presidential task forces on small Biz contracting.
President Barack Obama announced this week the establishment of two task forces aimed at improving small-business contracting with federal agencies. These task forces will work with various agencies to remove barriers to accessing federal contracts, and will monitor goals for federal contracting with small businesses.
Established by Presidential Memorandum, the first task force, the Interagency Task Force on Federal Contracting Opportunities for Small Businesses will take a more broad view at small-business contracting and work to help agencies meet their contracting goals. The second task force, established through an Executive Order is called the Interagency Task Force on Veterans Small Business Development, and will focus primarily on veteran-owned, and service-disabled veteran-owned small-business contracts.
In a memo sent to the heads of all executive departments and agencies, Obama underscored the need to keep small-business contracting front-and-center, stating: "While Chief Acquisition Officers and Senior Procurement Executives have many priorities, small business contracting should always be a high priority in the procurement process."
The Interagency Task Force on Federal Contracting Opportunities for Small Businesses is charged with providing the White House within 120 days recommendations for removing barriers many small businesses face in contracting with the federal government. Such potential recommendations could, according to Obama's memo, include contract un-bundling, enhanced training for contracting officers, greater utilization of teaming and the mentor-protege program, improved technology to better help small businesses access contracting opportunities, and enhanced tracking of small business participation in the federal marketplace.
The Commerce Department Secretary, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and Administrator of the Small Business Administration will serve as co-chairs of the Interagency Task Force on Federal Contracting Opportunities for Small Businesses, which will be comprised of many senior agency officials.
The Interagency Task Force on Veterans Small Business Development will address the fact that, in recent years, only one percent of federal contracts have gone to service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, despite the agency-wide goal of three percent. SBA Administrator Karen Mills will head this task force, which will be comprised of a handful of other agency staff and representatives of a veterans' service stakeholder organization.
NSBA is pleased to see this concerted effort to enhance small-business opportunities in the federal marketplace and encourages both task forces to actively seek small-business input.