The Office of Government Contracting (GC) works to create an environment for maximum practicable participation by small, disadvantaged, service-disabled veteran–owned, and woman-owned small businesses in Federal government contract awards and large prime subcontract awards. GC advocates on behalf of small business in the federal procurement environment.
Each year, the United States government spends hundreds of 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 prime contracting small business goal is 23%. This includes the specific goals of 5% to Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSB), 3% to Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned (SDVO) small businesses, 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-aside . These set-asides can be for small businesses in general or specific, for HUBZone certified firms, 8(a) certified firms, Service Disabled Veteran-owned small firms, or once implemented, those firms participating in the Women’s Small Business Contracting Program.
For all procurement actions expected to exceed the $150,000 simplified acquisition threshold, prime contractors are required to make a "best effort' attempt to make use of small disadvantaged businesses, SDVOs, and WOSBs as subcontractors if the opportunity exists under the contract. For procurement actions expected to exceed $650,000 ($1.5 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.
Through GC headquarters staff and field staff positions, Procurement Center Representatives (PCRs), Commercial Market Representatives (CMRs), Certificate of Competency (COC) Specialists, Size Determination Specialists, and Industrial Specialists (IS)-Forestry, GC administers 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 Program, Natural Resources Assistance Program, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Program, Small Business Size Determinations, Waivers of the Nonmanufacturer Rule, and the Women-Owned Small Business Program.
The office also oversees special initiatives such as the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned program, Women-Owned Small Business program, and the Federal procurement awards program.
GC also plays a major role in the formulation of federal procurement policies that affect small businesses.