DoD Contractors’ Input Sought to Reduce Small Business Supply Barriers

By Jeanna Van Rensselar | 24th Sep 2021

Did you know that DoD is currently seeking comments from small businesses on how to improve the working relationship with DoD?  

The Office of Small Business Programs for the Department of Defense (DoD) is looking for comments and information from small businesses currently in, or interested in becoming part of, the defense industrial base.  The goal is to help DoD update its small business strategy by maximizing opportunities for small businesses. To that end, DoD is seeking public input on the barriers that small businesses face in working with DoD. 

Some Background 

Small businesses play a major role in DoD's supply chain and ensuring supply chain resilience. Last year, DoD awarded a record $80 billion dollars to small businesses through prime contracts, of which over $30 billion dollars was awarded to small disadvantaged businesses.  

Despite this, over the last decade small businesses in the defense industrial base have decreased by more than 40%. A recent survey of small businesses conducted by the National Defense Industrial Association found that 65.7% of businesses reported that the COVID-19 pandemic had negatively impacted them.

11 Topics of Interest

DoD is seeking to gauge the impact of the pandemic, as well as other negative influences, on small businesses in the defense industrial base. To this end, DoD is requesting input from small businesses as well as those with relevant expertise in the following areas.

1. Government business practices that might inhibit or deter small businesses from producing and/or providing goods, services, and materials for DoD requirements

2. Regulations and business practices which may strain rather than strengthen the relationship between the DoD and small businesses

3. The impact of DoD's major programs to support small business participation in the defense industrial base, specifically, the Mentor-Protégé Program, Indian Incentive Program, Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, the Rapid Innovation Fund, Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR)

4. The use of past performance information during the periods of source selection, ongoing performance, and collection of information

5. Increasing DoD's utilization of small business innovations

6. DoD's efforts to assist small businesses that seek to do business with the government, including experiences in working with DoD's contracting workforce

7. Contracting timelines and the impact of those timelines on small businesses

8. The availability of skilled labor and other personnel to sustain a competitive small business ecosystem

9. Research, development, and demonstration priorities to support production and an advanced manufacturing base for DoD's requirements

10. Policy recommendations or suggested executive, legislative, regulatory action to foster more resilient supply chains, greater competition in the defense industrial base, and/or more small business participation during the procurement process

11. And finally, any additional comments from small businesses relevant to the assessment of supply chain resilience required by E.O. 14017, E.O. 14036, and E.O. 13985.

Your comments can be submitted to the Federal Register at this link: https://bit.ly/3lzDBJH

Be sure to follow the recommended submission format.  

The deadline for submitting comments is October 25, 2021.

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