Small Business 'Success
In September 2004, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's
Central Administrative Support Center(CASC) awarded a contract to
a Historically Black College and University (HBCU). The award was
to Morgan State for approximately $31K to monitor the Chalk
Point Oyster Reef Sanctuary Project, Maryland. This was CASC's first
contract award to an HBCU.
of Commerce, Office of Financial Management (OFM) identified a requirement
for software maintenance and support for the Core Financial and
Enterprise Business System (CFEBS). Additionally, OFM required contractor
support in ensuring system compliance and implementing an Earned
Value Management System (EVMS).
During the procurement planning phase,
the Office of Acquisition Management (OAM) concluded that potentially
there were a number of small businesses that might be capable of
performing the required work. However, because this was a major
and complex acquisition OAM, in consultation with DoCs Office
of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU), determined
that it would be in the Governments best interest to employ
the Small Business Cascading Evaluation Preference Process in relation
to this requirement. Employment of this process authorized the Contracting
Officer to put large businesses on notice that if the agency received
a sufficient number of eligible small business offers, large businesses
simply would not be considered for award.
The decision to use this process enabled
the agency to promote small business participation and, at the same
time, it protected the agency from losing valuable time if there
proved to be inadequate competition among small businesses. As required,
notice of the use of the Small Business Cascading Evaluation Preference
Process was included in the Federal Business Opportunities (FedBizOpps)
synopsis, the cover letter providing the Request for Proposal (RFP)
and the RFP.
As expected, proposals were received
from both large and small businesses in response to the solicitation.
The large businesses submitted their proposals with full knowledge
that the Government may or may not evaluate them.
The Contracting Officer and the Government
Technical Evaluation Team evaluated only those proposals received
from small businesses in an effort to determine if there were two
or more that appeared capable of meeting the agencys needs.
The results proved positive and, therefore, the requirement became
a small business set-aside. Award of this $79 million + contract
was eventually made to Systalex Corporation, an 8(a) company.
Letters were sent to the large businesses
thanking them for their participation in the requirement and advising
them that in accordance with the Small Business Cascading Evaluation
Preference Process the Government had selected an small disadvantaged
8(a) firm to receive the award.
In conclusion, use of the Small Business Cascading Evaluation Preference
Process in support of this requirement worked very well. Not only
were the interests of the small business community protected but
the Government was protected, as well, in the event the small business
community had not proved capable.
The award of this contract proves
that when the Small Business Cascading Evaluation Preference Process
is used fairly and accurately, it is a win-win situation for both
the Government and the small business community.
As an added benefit, awarding a contract
of this size to an 8(a) contractor significantly contributes towards
meeting the Departments socio-economic goals.
2004, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
awarded a multi-million dollar contract to Southeast Earthmovers,
Inc. of Sitka, Alaska for site preparation for a new marine
research facility at Lena Point in Juneau, Alaska. Southeast Earthmovers
is a small, Alaska native-owned company.
Inc., of Lanham, Maryland, a veteran-owned,
woman-owned business is currently providing mailroom, courier, shuttle,
distribution, location/database and duplication services for NOAA
in the Washington Metropolitan area. The contract is for a base
and one year period valued at $2.3M. Prior to Heitech Services providing
the contract support, the Government was extremely dissatisfied
with multiple contractors that had been providing the services.
Heitech Services was
identified as a potential contractor in late August of fiscal year
2002 because the Government did not want to elect the option under
the then current contract. In a six week period a contract was awarded
to Heitech for the services. Heidi Gerding, President and CEO of
the company found a sub-contractor, negotiated the contract with
the Government, hired employees and began services on 10/1/02. The
Government has been extremely satisfied with the services provided
by Heitech. Ms. Gerding is very proactive, in fact, she served as
the project manager for some time
on-site to learn our requirement and ensure that NOAA was satisfied
with the services.
Recently, Ms. Gerding
terminated her sub-contractor that was providing duplication services
because the company was not living up to the standards of excellence
Ms. Gerding requires. Ms. Gerding is to be commended for her responsive
and excellent services provided.
Because of the excellent services
Heidi provided under the above contract, she was recommended and
EDA has a contract with Heitech and they also are very pleased.
and Atmospheric Administration and Economic Development Administration)
In support of increasing small business
participation, the National Institute of Standards and Technology
(NIST) encouraged an existing vendor Varian Vacuum Technologies
to look for opportunities to work with small businesses including
HUBZone, 8(a), veteran-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned, woman-owned,
and disadvantaged businesses where applicable.
After consideration and some changes,
Varian representatives informed NIST staff that it would be able
to provide its products through a small, woman-owned, 8(a), HUBZone
firm called Wildflower. Varian's ability to partner is a
positive step toward helping NIST increase socio-economic awards
and assist Commerce's mission of economic development.
Wildflower has proven to be a solid
performing business and Varian still provides the same technical
support it provides its own customers.
Our congratulations and appreciation
to Mr. Patrick Staines, Supervisory Contract Specialist and his
team at NIST for their outstanding small business support.
(National Institute of Standards and Technology)
Systems Engineering and Technical Assistance (SETA) III, worth approximately
$70 million, was conducted using full and open competition procedures,
cost plus award fee (performance based), with two contract awards.
The awards went to Project Performance Corporation (small
business) and The Signal Corporation (large business and
graduated 8(a) firm). The small businesses competed with other small
businesses, and the large businesses against large businesses.
To encourage subcontracting
and assist it in fulfilling the veteran-owned (including service
disabled) small business goals, the USPTO listed evaluation factors
in the RFP by order of preference. The subcontracting plan for the
large business required at least 20% to be subcontracted to small
business, with measures included to assess their performance.
The Project Performance
Corporation's team consisted of small, HUBZone, veteran-owned small,
service-disabled veteran-owned small, small disadvantaged, and women-owned
small firms. The Signal Corporation's team consisted of small, service-disabled
veteran-owned small, and small disadvantaged small firms. (U.S.
Patent and Trademark Office)
Competitive 8(a) award
in the amount of $535,000 ($5 million ceiling) was made to Consolidated
Safety Service, Inc. for Scientific Support for Coastal Monitoring
and Assessment. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
A unique award was
made to CADDO Design and Office Products for the purchase
of office supply items. The award will provide all necessary office
supplies to USPTO at significantly reduced prices. CADDO is a veteran,
8(a), Native American, small business.
This award also satisfies
the use of mandatory sources i.e., UNICOR, JWOD, NIB and NISH. CADDO
substitutes requested commodity items automatically to ensure that
the mandatory sources are used. The award benefits the USPTO in
the following ways: a) provides a one-stop shop for office products,
b) streamlines the purchasing process, c) standardizes the USPTO's
method of obtaining office products, d) helps USPTO get better prices
due to quantity discounts, e) gets products delivered the next day
(within 24 hours), etc. The estimated value of this award is $5
This one-year pilot
Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) establishes a check and balance
system for purchases by offering an acceptance receipt. Since each
transaction is recorded as a direct purchase to CADDO, USPTO is
able to capture the socio-economic data from purchase card transactions.
CADDO Design and Office
Products is headquartered is in Phoenix, Arizona with local offices
in Fairfax, Virginia. (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office)
Awarded five IDIQ
contracts under a Small Business Set-Aside for Electronic Navigational
Chart Databases - each for $195,000 and $3 million ceiling.
These types of services have historically been awarded using full
and open competitive procedures. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric
In support of the
Office of the Chief Information Officer, USPTO set-aside a requirement
for Enterprise Architecture. This critical acquisition will provide
the USPTO with the support necessary to initiate, develop, facilitate
and maintain an Enterprise Information Technology Architecture in
accordance with the Clinger-Cohn Act (Public Law 104-106). The contractor
will serve as an unbiased third party providing expert advice on
evaluating and incorporation emerging technologies, standards, and
products for the USPTO enterprise infrastructure.
This award is unique
as it was the first 100% HUBZone, small business set-aside at USPTO.
The competition attracted significant number of businesses nationwide.
The fierce competition resulted in the evaluation of twenty-six
proposals and was awarded with an estimated value of $13.5 million
over 5-year period.
The contract was awarded
to Thomas & Herbert Consulting LLC, a veteran-owned,
small business, located in Sliver Spring, Maryland. (U.S. Patent
and Trademark Office)
The USPTO awarded
a requirement for facilities management and end user support for
the Chief Information Officer. The previous contract was performed
by a large business, however this requirement was established as
a small business set-aside.
The services to be
provided under this requirement include: Advance Problem Resolution,
Data Maintenance support, Desk Top Field support, Help Desk support,
Network Operations, UNIX and NT Operating system support, Database
Administration, User ID and Password Administration, Technical Writing,
Warehouse support, Hardware Maintenance and Inventory support. This
requirement may be used to support the relocation of Information
Technology assets to the new USPTO facility in Alexandria, Virginia.
The resulting contract
was issued to Trawick & Associates, a women-owned, small
business. The contract was awarded with a one-year base period and
has nine one-year option periods. The estimated value of the award
is $160.2 million. Trawick & Associates is located in Bethesda,
Maryland. (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office)
USPTO awarded a major
contract in the amount of over $105 million to Diversified Technology
and Services Inc., a women-owned small business located in Virginia.
Diversified will perform examiner file maintenance and support services.
The award decision was based, in part, on their very favorable past
performance history at USPTO and with other Government agencies.
This fixed price requirements contract was awarded on December 17,
1999 as a small business set-aside with a base year and four, one-year
option periods. (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office)
Cotton and Company
won a $200,000 full and open, GSA award for Cost Accounting and
Documentation Services, with a ceiling of $1.5 million (was rated
#1 technically and low cost). (National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Services (BIS), a recently graduated 8(a) firm, successfully
won a competitive requirement for sign language interpretation services
in the amount of $2.7 million for the base year and 4 option years.
(This occurred within 7 days of BIS obtaining its GSA schedule contract).
(National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
Image Media Services,
Inc., a women-owned business located in McLean, Virginia, presented
its capabilities and was chosen under the 8(a) program to perform
the design of the Decennial Nationwide Recruitment Advertising Campaign.
The contract was for $2.3 million. It was not as simple as it sounds.
There were some learning experiences by the government and Image
Media. When it was all said and done, the government program officials
were extremely satisfied with Image Media's performance and products.
Image Media has a GSA FSS contract. They are a full service domestic
and international business development firm.
Image Media was also
awarded, on an 8(a) program competitive basis, the deployment of
the Decennial Nationwide Recruitment Advertising Campaign. A contract
estimated at over $9.2 million. Image has been successful because
of dedication to quality and excellent client satisfaction. They
assembled a team, of an African American firm and a Hispanic American
firm, that complimented their in-house capabilities which resulted
in truly satisfying the customer. (U.S. Census Bureau)