The Biden administration has issued a memorandum outlining the steps agency acquisition officers can take to meet the fiscal year 2022 goal of awarding 11 percent of total contract dollars to small disadvantaged businesses.
The memo calls on agencies to use existing and open market contracts to achieve a mix of new entrant and seasoned 8(a) businesses and SDBs, evaluate acquisitions under the simplified acquisition threshold and maximize the use of the 8(a) business development program, the White House said in a June 29 release.
Agencies should review the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) no-contracts list of eligible firms, work with an 8(a) contractor for a construction project, consider software development requirements that might be suitable for the 8(a) program and take advantage of the General Services Administration’s 8(a) STARS III governmentwide acquisition contract.
According to the document, the 8(a) STARS III GWAC provides agencies access to more than 1,100 8(a) contractors offering a range of information technology services, including artificial intelligence, robotic process automation, cybersecurity, quantum computing and blockchain technology.
The administration said the contract has supported more than $15 billion in agency orders to SDBs over the last decade.
The memo also urges agencies to maximize opportunities for SDBs when using GSA’s Federal Supply Schedule program and use the category management Quick Decision Dashboard and the Small Business Dashboard to immediately identify the existing contracts that offer access to SDBs.
Lesley Field, acting administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy at the Office of Management and Budget, signed the memo with Bibi Hidalgo, associate administrator for government contracting and business development at SBA; Farooq Mitha, director of the office of small business programs at the Department of Defense; and Miguel Estien, acting national director of the Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency.