The new National Defense Authorization Act is full of small business actions and policy decisions.
I went through some of these in last week’s post, and we’ll continue today.
Section 862 – Amendments to data quality improvement plan
This section works on the increasing tendency to bundle (or consolidate) contracts. While bundling clearly makes it easier for the contracting folks, with much less to administer and less competitions to run, it tends to make requirements too big for small businesses and therefore shuts them out of priming work they could easily do.
The NDAA now requires specific identification and data analysis before justifying a consolidated/bundled approach. This is a very small business-friendly provision.
Section 863 – Notice of contract consolidation for acquisition strategies
Continuing on the same theme of bundling, this section requires a pre-publication, pre-solicitation, notice of bundling. And those bundling decisions will be protestable. This is good for small businesses, but will increase the potential for pre-award/pre-proposal protests.
Section 864 – Clarification of requirements related to small business contracts for services
This is one of those arcane provisions that makes everyone wonder how things got so dang convoluted. This provision is designed to limit instances where an agency (or court, in a protest action) applies “non-manufacturer” rules on certain small business service contracts. It really covers “incidental items” and makes them easier to include in service contracts for small businesses.
Section 865 – Certification requirements for Business Opportunity Specialists, commercial market representatives, and procurement center representatives
In general, the best offense a small business has a small business advocate who takes action before anyone even knows the opportunity is percolating. But the truth is, many of these folks (including procurement center and OSDBU people) lack the training to really stand up with knowledge and specifics. More training and familiarity with small business by these advocates is very desirable.