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Meeting Socioeconomic Goals with CIO-SP3 Small Business

Sr Acquisition Consultant


According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), small businesses are the lifeblood of the U.S. economy. In fact, small businesses create two-thirds of net new jobs and drive U.S. innovation and competitiveness. The contributions of small businesses are so great that federal legislation has been enacted to ensure that small businesses have fair and equitable access to federal spending.

This legislation includes the requirement that federal agencies meet goals for small business and establishes several socioeconomic categories by which they can do so. The SBA negotiates with agencies to establish individual agency goals that, in the aggregate, constitute government-wide goals. There are 24 agencies that are subject to meeting socioeconomic goals, and the NIH Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center (NITAAC), through our Best in Class Government-Wide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs), is uniquely poised to assist each of these agencies in meeting their goals and fulfilling their information technology-related missions.  

Goals Met with CIO-SP3 Small Businesses

The NITAAC CIO-SP3 Small Business GWAC features a wide variety of leading small business innovators and can be used by any federal, civilian or DoD agency to fulfill information technology requirements and meet socioeconomic goals. CIO-SP3 Small Business boasts pre-vetted contract holders in key socioeconomic categories, such as:

8(a): The SBA 8(a) Program is an essential instrument for helping socially and economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs gain entry in government contracting. This certification is intended for organizations that are owned and controlled at least 51% by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. The CIO-SP3 Small Business GWAC features 133 8(a) designated Contract Holders.  

Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone): The government limits competition for certain contracts to businesses in HUBZones. It also gives preferential consideration to those businesses in full and open competition. The CIO-SP3 Small Business GWAC features 22 HUBZone small businesses located in underutilized urban and rural communities.  

Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB): The SDVOSB designation is given to small businesses that are at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more service-disabled veterans. The CIO-SP3 Small Business GWAC features 53 SDVOSB Contract Holders.  

Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB): To help provide a level playing field for women business owners, the government limits competition for certain contracts to businesses that participate in the WOSB Federal Contracting Program. In fact, the federal government's goal is to award at least five percent of all federal contracting dollars to women-owned small businesses each year. The CIO-SP3 Small Business GWAC features 21 dynamic Women-Owned Small Businesses.  

NITAAC Has You Covered

No matter your socioeconomic goal, CIO-SP3 Small Business can help you meet it. To learn more about CIO-SP3 Small Business, visit https://nitaac.nih.gov/services/cio-sp3-small-business.


Recommended Comments

Great article covering the importance of the small business community to the US Government...the Federal Government is often called the “greatest customer for a small business” because they purchase more products and services than any other entity on earth—and though profit margins may be a bit slimmer than in certain commercial industries (and of course, certain contract types may require companies to jump through a number of compliance hoops when it comes to things ranging from how they track their time, perform their accounting, and even executive compensation levels) there really is no better or often easier way to secure the funding required to develop a technology and grow your small business...especially for engineering companies in the defense, aerospace, medical/biomedical and energy industries.

Regarding the compliance requirements that are flowed down in many Defense, NASA, and DoE contracts that these same 8(a) and SDVOSB contractors often face; most of these (assuming they are cost type contracts, as well as certain T&M and fixed price) will require the business to have (and maintain) a DCAA compliant accounting system (which also means a compliant timekeeping system).

Many contractors will be required to complete the SF1408 pre-award audit checklist when they are first notified of the award, and this is the government’s way of assessing the company’s current accounting and timekeeping systems. 

A link to the Government’s SF1408 can be found here:


Further, a complete explanation of the SF1408 can be found here:


This just covers the pre-award audit, however. When it comes to actually setting up and maintaining a DCAA compliant accounting system, there is quite a bit more involved than simply filling out a two page checklist and sending it to the program officer.

Here is a great resource on the process and cost of setting up a compliant system:


Great article, and thank you WIFCON and NIH for posting it!

*I should also note that while many NIH grants may not require a fully DCAA compliant system, phase II SBIR’s and many other contracts and grants coming out of HHS and most other agencies will require some form of a job cost accounting system, as well as a DCAA compliant timekeeping system. I’d recommend checking out Hour, Tsheets, or SpringAhead timekeeping systems.

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Thank you so much for the above response. You are indeed correct about DCAA compliance, and might be interested to know that all of the small businesses on NITAAC Government-Wide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs) meet this standard, so users can quickly and easily award Task or Delivery Orders. That's one of the many benefits of using a GWAC; all of the legal groundwork has been taken care of at the Master Contract level. GWACs can only be administered by federal Executive Agents after passing rigorous standards set by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). That's why only three federal agencies currently have this authority: NIH, GSA and NASA. As the federal contracting arm of NIH, NITAAC streamlines IT ordering through three Best in Class (BIC) GWACs, CIO-SP3 Small Business discussed above, CIO-SP3 for other-than-small-business IT Services/Solutions and CIO-CS for IT Products/Solutions. You may have heard them called the HHS GWACs. Or perhaps the NIH GWACs. Our real name is NITAAC -- the NIH Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center -- and you can call us "one and done." One for the desktop or enterprise, one for COTs or custom, one for legacy or emerging technology, NITAAC can help agencies fulfill any IT mission. I hope we'll hear from you before your next acquisition.


Sharon Mitri, NITAAC Communications Manager

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