Farooq Mitha, director of the Department of Defense’s office of small business programs, said DOD is working on a new strategy to encourage more small businesses to participate in defense contracting, Defense News reported Monday.
He said the strategy, which could be released in the spring of 2022, would guide initiatives to attract innovators, new entrants and nontraditional contractors.
“It’s going to be: How do we all work towards increasing small business participation, because we’ve seen a decline over the past decade in our prime contractors that are small ― a pretty significant decline,” Mitha said. “The bulk of it is how to do make things easier from a structure, engagement and a policy perspective.”
The new strategy is likely to offer recommendations for programs that enable the military to work with new vendors with emerging technologies, including the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs.
“If we want to increase the [defense industrial] base, if we want to bring in new entrants, if we want to transition new technologies [into the military], we’ve got to have stability in the programs that are meant to do these things. I think that’s been something that we’ve been laser focused on, and we’ve gotten some feedback from industry on that as well,” said Mitha.
Mitha shared his views on category management and noted that his office is examining ways to safeguard small companies from investment risk and identify set-aside contract opportunities through market research as it drafts the strategy.