Gary Peterson of TRIDEC reports that the Small Business Administration (SBA) is requiring the Department of Energy to asume direct accountability for its small business contract awards.
“The new initiative for the Department of Energy to now contract directly with small businesses presents a challenge of not only impacting sustained performance but increasing cost.  This will result in an impact to both the agency from an administrative perspective and small businesses competing in an already complex government procurement process.
Due to the complexity of cleanup scope, history has shown that the DOE direct procurement process will be lengthy with as much as a 9 – 18 month window for awarding a contract, excluding any protests.  As available federal funding continues to be reduced, increasing responsibilities for government procurement specialists is not practical. Prime contractors currently perform this small business procurement role.  The government should focus on the performance of its few prime contractors and not increase management and administrative demands required to manage and provide oversight to multiple small business contracts.
Total value allocation and the number of small business awards may also be impacted.  For example, when the government releases a procurement it is usually fairly large due to the number of required regulations and complexity in scope.”

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