Jump to content


Photo

OSDBU internal issues and meddling


  • Please log in to reply
4 replies to this topic

#1 Motorcity

Motorcity

    Copper Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 24 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Virginia

Posted 19 April 2011 - 06:05 PM

I am curious to know if other Contract Specialists and Officers have ever had issues with their Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization. The reason I ask is because my agency?s SDBU seems to be overreacting about every single contract action in the book. It seems like my hands are tied behind my back whenever I do anything?from using FedBid to Sole-sourcing 8(a) firms. Nothing is ever ?good enough? for them. Apparently, my home agency was ?reprimanded? for failing to meet certain Small Business goals several years back. Now, I understand the importance and role that small businesses play in the economy, but it seems to go overboard with so many things. In many cases, SDBU really hampers our effectiveness by holding things up for days and even weeks at a time. They always need time to review?and then review a little more.

I don't mean to sound whiny but this office seems to hinder rather than help at times. I mean, they are great folks but it seems they would rather meet their SB goals at all costs.

Has anyone had similar experiences with their Small Biz office?

#2 Don Mansfield

Don Mansfield

    Platinum Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,307 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Diego, CA

Posted 20 April 2011 - 10:20 AM

No, I haven't. But keep in mind that a small business specialist is an advisor to the CO--they can't make the CO do anything. The most they can do is refer your decision to the SBA, who can appeal a CO's decision. You should recognize that they do have a job to do and can add value, but don't hesitate to put them in their place if they are being unreasonable. If your relationship with your SADBU is not good, it may be time to renegotiate expectations. Divorce is not an option.

#3 formerfed

formerfed

    Gold Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 723 posts

Posted 20 April 2011 - 10:53 AM

As you stated your goals and OSBDUs often conflict.

But look what likely happens with OSBDU - they are expected to review new acquisitions for possible set-aside with little or no lead time or advance notice, and with little of no information about the technical nature of the requirement. They must educate themselves, research and verify informtion you provide, and match that up with capaibilites of various small sources. One one hand, you are pressuring them for quick action and on the other side, they are listening to numerous small businesses saying they can do anything and everything if given the chance. Plus OSBDU is responsible for ensuring your agency meets their annual goals.

My advice is improve your working realtionship with OSBDU. Start by providing them as much adavnce information about new rquirments as you can. Invite them to participate in your market research. If you see it as an opportunity for small business, initiate it as a set-aside yourself. You'll build credibility with OSDBU. Work with them to collaborately meet your agency goals. Then when you have something that's not suitable, they will be supportive of your decision.

#4 Tamblyn

Tamblyn

    Copper Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 25 posts

Posted 20 April 2011 - 11:49 AM

If anything, our OSDBU is telling us to do less sole source 8(a), SDVOSB and Hubzone and do more competition. A really strange position for OSDBU to take, that should be the competition advocate but guess that is what happens when the OSDBU reports to the Comp Advocate. Sorry 8(a)s, don't come knocking at our door. :huh:

#5 Vern Edwards

Vern Edwards

    Platinum Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,660 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Portland, Oregon

Posted 20 April 2011 - 12:44 PM

No, I haven't. But keep in mind that a small business specialist is an advisor to the CO--they can't make the CO do anything. The most they can do is refer your decision to the SBA, who can appeal a CO's decision. You should recognize that they do have a job to do and can add value, but don't hesitate to put them in their place if they are being unreasonable. If your relationship with your SADBU is not good, it may be time to renegotiate expectations. Divorce is not an option.

That's easy to say, but not always realistic. A SADBU can go over a CO's head to the Chief of the Contracting Office and put plenty of pressure on a CO to set something aside. I know, because I've had it done to me. While they have no formal authority over a CO, some of them wield a lot of influence. That SADBU a CO is trying to put in his place might have spent Saturday on the links with a three-star. In my experience, they can escalate up the chain of command a lot faster than a CO. A CO who tries to put a SADBU in his or her place can find himself overruled and put down.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users