Jump to content
The Wifcon Forums and Blogs

Recommended Posts

@Vern Edwards has mentioned the idea of the Department of Defense (DOD) having its own acquisition laws and regulations-- completely separating it from civilian agency acquisition laws and regulations. Maybe you can throw in some other high-dollar, national-security-related agencies like Department of Homeland Security, Department of Energy, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

The National Defense Authorization Act often includes DOD-specific legislation, so this wouldn't be a revolutionary change.

PepeTheFrog hears rumors of the desire to legislate a "Defense Small Business Act" and move all small business contracting laws under Title 10, Armed Forces. This would exempt DOD from Title 15 and the Small Business Act. It would allow DOD to run small business programs with total autonomy and independence from the Small Business Act and the Small Business Administration. 

(1) What do you think of the political feasibility? Would this cause a fight between the H/S Small Business Committees and the H/S Armed Services Committees?

(2) How should DOD shape its own small business contracting and small business programs? The 2018 National Defense Strategy focuses on lethality, rapid acquisition, acquisition reform, and technological innovation from small businesses.

(3) PepeTheFrog hears rumor of the desire to let the civilian agencies handle the "breadline" socioeconomic stuff and let DOD focus on getting innovative technology from small businesses, rather than distributing taxpayer money to a specific ethnicity, sex, or economic region. If that happens, the Small Business Act goal of 23 percent will be impossible to meet because DOD spending is usually more than half of that effort. Of course, that would be the point of exemption from the Small Business Act. 

(4) If you could eliminate any of the small business programs in DOD, which would you eliminate? Which would you keep? Why?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(1) This is politically feasible right now, as long as it doesn't take too big out of a chunk of total federal small business set aside dollars. The DOD, HASC, SASC, and the Trump Administration have momentum to shave things down and become more business-like and focused on DOD needs. Yes, it would cause a big fight. 

(2) Focus on small business programs that provide useful technology and high-risk innovation, especially in four focus areas (a) DOD lethality (weapons and "force multipliers" and technology that makes the military more effective (b) cybersecurity (c) IT infrastructure improvements and (d) cloud services. 

(3) "This will never happen, that's politically infeasible." "There's a small chance that could happen, but it's doubtful." "That's the direction the DOD and Trump Administration are headed, it seems probable." PepeTheFrog is sure someone has an opinion.

(4) Keep the Service-Disabled, Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) program because it is a status that is earned, rather than a genetic endowment like race or sex. Put specific time limits on the benefits of being a small business concern, i.e. for each NAICS code, there is a defined window, e.g. in NAICS code 12345, you can only be qualified as a small business concern for set asides or any other benefit for XX years.

Frog food for thought. PepeTheFrog is certain there are opinions on this stuff! Start croaking! Hop on it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Vern Edwards
On 1/31/2018 at 9:01 AM, PepeTheFrog said:

PepeTheFrog hears rumors of the desire to legislate a "Defense Small Business Act" and move all small business contracting laws under Title 10, Armed Forces. This would exempt DOD from Title 15 and the Small Business Act. It would allow DOD to run small business programs with total autonomy and independence from the Small Business Act and the Small Business Administration. 

Pepe:

If I were the SecDef there is no way I would want that. Why would I? How would it help DOD? Let SBA do the paperwork. I would tell the president to veto the bill or accept my resignation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Vern:

6 minutes ago, Vern Edwards said:

I would tell the president to veto the bill or accept my resignation.

That's a very strong stance! 

7 minutes ago, Vern Edwards said:

If I were the SecDef there is no way I would want that. Why would I?

You would want it because you could exempt yourself (the DOD) from the Small Business Act and make your own regime. Your Defense Small Business Act could be an incredibly watered-down version of the Small Business Act. Or, you could cut out entire portions from it, or include none of it at all. Why wouldn't you want a chance to free yourself from the shackles of the Small Business Act? No 23 percent. No set aside analysis. Small business programs focused on whatever you want: rapid acquisition, attracting "nontraditional contractors," Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)..the sky is the limit. 

14 minutes ago, Vern Edwards said:

How would it help DOD?

Another good question is "How does the current Small Business Act help DOD?" The Section 809 Panel's Volume 1 report is now available, and it skewers small business in DOD. The report complains that small business programs in the DOD focus on achieving set aside goals, and setting aside dollars and contracts for "disadvantaged" groups (PepeTheFrog, as a minority frog, would take great offense to being described as "disadvantaged" because of PepeTheFrog's green skin), rather than providing anything of use for the DOD. Of course, that's what the Small Business Act says, so it might be an unfair criticism. What do you think, does the DOD do an effective job of managing its small business programs?

It could help DOD by allowing DOD to focus on DOD wants, rather than racing around trying to meet quotas. Is the DOD a social welfare program or a military department charged with defending the citizens of the United States of America? (That's a false dichotomy, but great rhetoric.)

20 minutes ago, Vern Edwards said:

Let SBA do the paperwork.

PepeTheFrog thinks that's (part of) the idea behind a Defense Small Business Act. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Vern Edwards
6 minutes ago, PepeTheFrog said:

You would want it because you could exempt yourself (the DOD) from the Small Business Act and make your own regime. Your Defense Small Business Act could be an incredibly watered-down version of the Small Business Act. Or, you could cut out entire portions from it, or include none of it at all. Why wouldn't you want a chance to free yourself from the shackles of the Small Business Act? No 23 percent. No set aside analysis. Small business programs focused on whatever you want: rapid acquisition, attracting "nontraditional contractors," Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)..the sky is the limit. 

And you really think the U.S. Congress, the members of which have catered to small business interests for decades and will have to answer to them when they go on visits to their districts, is going to pass legislation that would allow that?

Well, Pepe, I had no idea you like to write fantasy. You're the next Tolkien. Frodo lives!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Vern Edwards said:

Well, Pepe, I had no idea you like to write fantasy. You're the next Tolkien. Frodo lives!

:lol::lol::lol: A frog can dream, can't she?

It doesn't have to be all or nothing, or so painful that Congress Critters will be tarred and feathered by their small business constituents. Maybe DOD could shift some of the small business burden to the civilian agencies. Increase the goals for civilian agencies, relax some goals specifically for DOD.

DOD acquisition gets all kinds of special favors from Congress, regularly, in the NDAA. 

A frog can dream!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like Pepe's Frog vision.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×