GSA Schedule Changes May Significantly Increase Small Business Contracting

The federal government has not met its stated goal to send 23% of all federal contracting dollars to small businesses. The shortfall represents around $5 - $6 billion annually.

Recently-enacted legislation requires the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) to develop guidelines that would require agencies to set aside task and delivery orders placed against multiple award contracts (aka IDIQ contracts),including GSA Schedules. 

IDIQ contracts are becoming the procurement vehicle of choice for federal agencies and now represent approximately 30% of the federal procurement marketplace. More than $40 billion were awarded last year through IDIQ contracts and another $150 billion were spent government-wide through IDIQs. Requiring a small business set-aside in the IDIQ world would be a good step towards helping the federal government to finally reach its small business contracting goals, or even exceed the 23% goal. 

Under proposed new guidelines, agencies would be required to set aside IDIQ task and delivery orders for small businesses or, at a minimum, to allow agencies the discretion to use small businesses. In order to meet the 23% goal and as aforementioned, agencies would have to spend roughly $5 billion more on small businesses.

It takes 6 months or more for a company to procure a GSA Schedule contract.  The SBA and OFPP will probably publish the new set-aside guidelines sometime this fall. Act now because given the changes discussed above, contracting through GSA Schedules and small businesses is likely to greatly increase. The remaining question is by how much? 

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