Well, as with anything from the government, there appears to be conflicting rules being issued. At first glance when you look at 15 U.S.C. 644 (g) (1) it requires that a minimum of 23% of the value of all federal prime contracts issued are being issued to small businesses. President Obama issued a memorandum (Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies,Subject: Government Contracting, dated March 4, 2009) that called for 5 main objectives including to clarify the role of when functions should be performed by federal employees and when independent contractors may be used. When you consider this memo and read between the lines of actions by this administration it is clear that the size of the government workforce will be growing. If indeed that is the case, will it not take more of the federal contracting "pie" from small businesses? Most of the small business content has consisted of services provided to the government so by pulling more work into the government itself, this would logically have to reduce some of the small business contracting, wouldn't it? I know this is not the intent of the administration and if you ask, they will certainly say that is not the case. I rather suspect that this requirement will put more pressure on existing federal employees that are involved with the procurement of goods and services for the government, the contracting officers. As most small business people that do work with the federal government learn, the contracting officer (CO) is in control of your situation in a government contract. If the workload of the CO becomes more difficult, they will try to maximize their effectiveness by taking the path of least resistance. What this means to small business is that they must take extra care to make sure they meet the requirements of the RFQ and make the CO's job as easy as possible. This includes making sure your accounting system meets all the FAR guidelines and your indirect billing rates are up to speed.
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