NDIA Rocky Mountain Chapter Small Business Committee
AFSPC Small Business Contracting Working Group
“Recommendations on improving small business contracting competitiveness at AFSPC and SMC”
The mission of the AFSPC Small Business Contracting Working Group is to compile recommendations from industry on methods for AFSPC and SMC to increase contracting competitiveness for small businesses in their acquisition programs and better benefit from the innovation, agility and efficiency which the Secretary of the Air Force recognized that small businesses can bring to the Air Force and DoD mission.
In response to a growing shortfall in Air Force small-business contracts, Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne issued a memorandum in March 2008 charging all MAJCOM Commanders, Program Executive Officers with goals to increase their small business contracting percentages. In this memo AFSPC was goaled to issue 15.02% of its contracts to small businesses. As reported by the Air Force Small Business office, only 9.41% of AFSPC contracts were let to small businesses in FY08, which resulted in a $0.5B short-fall from the goals established by Sec Wynne.
NDIA and twelve other leading trade associations and community development organizations sent a letter to Sec Wynne, responding to his memorandum, outlining various recommendations for improving small-business contracting with the Air Force in partnership with industry. These recommendations included the creation of advisory committees for the three commands not meeting the 23 percent goal, Air Force Space Command, Air Force Materiel Command and Air Mobility Command and pointed out that since these commands, taken together, represent the bulk of Air Force procurements, the Air Force was unlikely ever to meet their statutory small business contracting goals unless these commands were to set aside more contracts for small businesses. To date, these recommendations have not been implemented.
Following a meeting of the NDIA Rocky Mountain Chapter Small Business Subcommittee with Ed Kurtz, the SBA Procurement Center Representative at AFSPC, we received the following invitation to prepare a briefing package with industry input on recommendations on how AFSPC could increase their small business contracting percentages. We have also received an invitation to present this same briefing to Maj Gen Basla the AFSPC/CV.
Email from Ed Kurtz, PCR Office of Govt Contracting, US Small Business Administration
“As you know, AF Space Command and SMC have been tasked by the Air Force to increase their Small Business Contracting percentages from 9.41% in FY08 to 15.58% in FY09 and 17.48% by FY13. This significant increase will require new thinking on how small businesses can support space acquisition programs in a prime contract role. I would be pleased if the NDIA Rocky Mountain Chapter Small Business Committee and the California Space Authority could provide a briefing package with recommendations from their small business members that could assist me, and my counterpart Leonard Manzaneres in our role as Procurement Center Representatives, in engaging in discussions with AFSPC and SMC on how the current acquisition policy can be adjusted to improve small business contracting competitiveness. I will look forward to receiving these inputs”
Working Group Objectives
The working group will:
- Solicit input from industry on areas where small businesses are qualified to support AFSPC and small business set-asides can be expanded
- Identify issues, concerns, and barriers to Small Business participation at both the Prime and Subcontractor levels
- Research methods used by other services and agencies to increase small business competitiveness within their programs
- Identify contracting methods that could be used to allow small businesses to participate as contractors within major systems acquisitions
- Identify “de-bundling” strategies that improve Small Business participation at both the Prime and Subcontract level while improving mission performance
- Solicit inputs from small businesses developing products for use in commercial or military space programs on how changes in acquisition methods could open up competition or reduce costs for major systems acquisitions
- Solicit inputs from small businesses on opportunities to better leverage their innovation and agility in maturing technologies for insertion into future generations (increments) of a product
- Prepare a briefing for SBA and AFSPC leadership with compiled findings and recommendations from the working group efforts
Contact Juanita Dailey at juanitad@Navsys.com to be added to the Working Group’s distribution list.