White House establishes small business contracting task forces

The White House on Monday established a pair of interagency task forces to help federal agencies award more contracts to small businesses.

The first task force will focus on improving procurement opportunities for all small businesses and helping agencies meet statutory contracting goals. The second group will focus exclusively on improving contracting opportunities for small businesses owned by veterans and service-disabled veterans -- a subcategory that typically receives among the lowest percentage of set-aside contracts.

"In recent years, the federal government has not consistently reached its small business contracting goals," President Obama wrote in an April 26 memo to all federal agencies and departments. "Although we have made some progress -- particularly with respect to Recovery Act contracts -- more work can and should be done. I am committed to ensuring that small businesses, including firms owned by women, minorities, socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, and service-disabled veterans, have fair access to federal government contracting."

The new Interagency Task Force on Federal Contracting Opportunities for Small Businesses will provide the White House with recommendations in the next 120 days for removing barriers to small business participation in the government marketplace. Those suggestions, according to the memo, could include unbundling large projects, improving the training of federal acquisition officials and using new technologies to enhance federal small business programs.

The memorandum calls for the group to use "innovative strategies, such as teaming, to increase opportunities for small business contractors and utilizing and expanding mentorship programs, such as the mentor-protégé program."

The task force also should expand outreach strategies to match small businesses with contracting and subcontracting opportunities, as well as revise or clarify existing legislation, regulations or policies, the memo directed. By late July, the White House's top technology leaders will develop a website that tracks the participation of small businesses in federal contracting, the directive said.

The Commerce Department secretary, director of the Office of Management and Budget, and administrator of the Small Business Administration will serve as co-chairs of the Interagency Task Force on Federal Contracting Opportunities for Small Businesses. At least 15 other senior agency officials also will serve on the panel.

In a separate executive order, Obama established the Interagency Task Force on Veterans Small Business Development. The group will focus on developing policies, such as expanded mentor-protégé relationships, which will help agencies meet the goal of awarding at least 3 percent of their contracts to small businesses owned by disabled veterans.

In recent years, only about 1 percent of all contracts have gone to service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses.

The executive order directs the task force to develop proposals that would improve training and counseling to veteran-owned firms; reduce paperwork and administrative burdens; and enhance the company's access to capital.

The SBA administrator will run the task force, which will include seven other agencies and four representatives from a veterans' service or military organization or association.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.