USWCC Weekly Update 11/17/15

Included: FedCon Optimize, Karen Ward testifies before Congress, GAO report on SBA leadership, US DOT SBIR program, USWCC in the news, USWCC | Atlanta meets with State Senator Parent

USWCC Launches FedCon Optimization for Supplier Members

Join us this week for Supplier Council | Optimize to Secure Federal Contracts. This web conference is launches our comprehensive FedCon Optimization process which ensures businesses are prepared to do business with the Federal Government. Each step focuses businesses to strategically and tactically optimize for targeting the requirements and expectations of buyers, contracting officers, program managers and other acquisition personnel whether directly or indirectly related to the federal government contracting process. Vikki Hawthorne, National Director |Supplier Development will guide you through the process which is limited to USWCC Supplier Members only. Whether you are new to federal contracting or a seasoned expert, FedCon Optimization will position your firm in the federal marketplace.

USWCC Member, Karen Ward – President/CEO of WESSGRP Set to Testify

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez has invited USWCC Member, Karen Ward (whose firm is certified EDWOSB by the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce) to testify on 11/18/15 before the House Small Business Committee, Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce for the hearing, “Continuing Challenges for Small Contractors.” Karen will tell the committee about issues surrounding transparency in government small business reports, how the government continues to allow billions of dollars in awards each year to large businesses to be reported towards achievement of small business goals, how unwarranted exclusions to small business goaling robs small businesses and recommends that large contractor subcontracting plans receive greater scrutiny. These hearings are typically provided live via video. We’ll post at the USWCC website when the link goes live and provide a video of Karen’s testimony when done.

Summit a Success – Book Now for January & March

The National Small Business Federal Contracting Annual Fall Conference boasted a robust agenda including meetings on the Hill and Agency and Prime Contract Briefings and one-on-one meetings. The 400 participants hailed from 30 states and provided tremendous feedback as they gained insights and built relationships to pave the way to obtaining federal contracts. Our next Summits are: January 27 & 28, 2016 National Small Business Contracting Summit | Southeast Conference which is being held in Fort Lauderdale; and save the dates for the DC Spring Conference which is slated for March 16 & 17, 2016.

GAO Releases Report on SBA Leadership

The GAO found that the Small Business Administration (SBA) has not resolved many of its long-standing management challenges due to a lack of sustained priority attention over time. Frequent turnover of political leadership in the federal government, including at SBA, has often made sustaining attention to needed changes difficult. Senior SBA leaders have not prioritized long-term organizational transformation in areas such as human capital and information technology (IT). For example, at a 2013 hearing on SBA's budget, the committee Chairman stated that SBA's proposed budget focused on the agency's priorities but ignored some long-standing management deficits. This raises questions about SBA's sustained commitment to addressing management challenges that could keep it from effectively assisting small businesses.

GAO makes eight new recommendations designed to improve SBA's program evaluations, strategic and workforce planning, training, organizational structure, ERM, procedural guidance, and oversight of IT investments. GAO also maintains that 69 recommendations it made in prior work have merit and should be fully implemented.

In response to our recommendation that the SBA administrator complete the assessment of the agency's organizational structure and make any necessary changes, SBA concurred but noted that the agency had initiated a full review of its organizational structure shortly after the current administrator was confirmed in April 2014. SBA noted that the agency had recently completed that review and determined that major restructuring was not warranted at the time. However, SBA has not provided us with any documentation of its assessment, either during the course of our review or when it provided comments on a draft of this report. Therefore, we revised the recommendation to clarify that SBA document its assessment, including the results and any changes.  Read the full report here: http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-347

US DOT SBIR Program is Open

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program's 16.1 Solicitation is open through December 16, 2015 is open. How to Apply: 1) Read the 16.1 Solicitation for information about the 16.1 topics and about proposal requirements. 1) Review the 16.1 Technical and Administrative Questions due November 23, 2015. 3) Submit a proposal through our secure site.

Contact Us: SBIR Hotline dotsbir@dot.gov or 617-494-2051

USWCC In the News

From Statesman Journal: State of Women Entrepreneurship. Women entrepreneurs face daunting challenges, but they're making progress. http://stjr.nl/1NRj3Xm

USWCC | Atlanta to Meet with State Senator Parent

There are just a few spaces left for this week’s USWCC | Atlanta Growth Masters w/ GA State Senator Elena Parent being held Tuesday November 17 at 11:30am. This meeting will be held at Senator Parent’s office and provide the ability to learn why Ms. Parent became a Senator, the issues on which she is working today and a discussion of your priorities in the region.

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