The Office of Government Contracting & Business Development (GC & BD) works to create an environment for maximum participation by small, disadvantaged, and woman-owned businesses in federal government contract awards and large prime subcontract awards. GC advocates on behalf of small business in the federal procurement world.
Each year, our government spends billions of dollars in goods and services purchases from private firms. To foster an equitable federal procurement policy, government-wide small business goals, in terms of a percentage of annual expenditure, are established for federal agencies. SBA negotiates the goals annually with each federal agency on an individual basis. Currently, the overall small business goal is 23%. This includes the specific goals of 5% to Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSB), 3% to service disabled veterans, 5% to small disadvantaged businesses, and 3% to Hubzone firms.
Under the Small Business Act, federal agencies conduct a variety of procurements that are reserved exclusively for small business participation. These transactions are called "small business set-asides" and include the Small Business Reserve, Set-Asides above the simplified acquisition threshold, the Small Business Competitiveness Demonstration Program, and the HUBZone Empowerment Contracting Program.
For all procurement actions expected to exceed the $100,000 simplified acquisition threshold, prime contractors are required to make a "best effort' attempt to make use of small, disadvantaged, and women-owned small businesses as subcontractors if the opportunity exists under the contract. For procurement actions expected to exceed $550,000 ($1 million for construction), the winning contractor is required to provide the agency contracting officer with a written plan that establishes a small business subcontracting goal. The plan details how the winning contractor will make use of small business in each subcontract category and provide for timely payments.
GC & BD administers several programs and services that assist small businesses in meeting the requirements to receive government contracts, either as prime contractors or subcontractors These include the Certificate of Competency, the Non-Manufacturer Rule Waiver, and the Size Determination programs. The office also oversees special initiatives such as the Women's Procurement program, the Veteran's Procurement program, and the Procurement Awards program, and the Annual Joint Industry/SBA Procurement Conference.
GC & BD also plays a major role in the formulation of federal procurement policies that affect small businesses.