SmallGovCon: Small Business Committee Raises Concerns to SBA About Certification Speed, Category Management

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives Small Business Committee held a hearing to discuss how the SBA will meet Small Business Contracting goals, and specifically how the SBA can meet its goals related to socioeconomic programs. The committee challenged the Office of Government Contracting & Business Development to show how they will help grow participation in SBA’s small business development programs, and small business participation in federal contracting as a whole. The Small Business Committee raised questions related to inflation, increasing socio-economic program participation, and SBA technology updates…

The committee repeatedly requested updates on SBA’s progress on its certification websites such as and any other IT solutions SBA have been planning on implementing. Ms. Hidalgo stated that SBA has made it a priority that all websites they utilize for certification are running smoothly so small business owners have well oiled machines to utilize when certifying their socio-economic program status. Ms. Hidalgo also informed the committee that the SBA is processing certifications faster than in previous years, and is pushing technology forward in this realm to prepare for SBA overseeing all SDVOSB certifications…

The committee really drilled down on category management contracts and how their June 14th hearing on Governmentwide contracts found that these contracts may have a negative effect on small business participation in federal contracting. Consequently, the committee asked what the OGCBD and SBA are doing to mitigate the effects of these contracts decreasing small business contracting. Ms. Hidalgo stated that the SBA and the White House are aware of this effect and are focusing on how these contracts have effected small business participation. As you may know, category management contracts are government wide procurement vehicles in which businesses or products are placed on Tiers (0 through 3), with each tier having separate requirements for contracting, spending, and tracking. The SBA and White House have negotiated with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to move all socioeconomic firms (SDVOSB, WOSB, 8(a), HUBZone) into Tier 2 of category management. This should allow 33,000 more firms to possibly compete for even more contracts than before. According to Ms. Hidalgo, the SBA is already seeing increases in small business participation due to this tier change in Category Management Contracts… Read the full article here.



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