The 2016 proposal by the Department of Defense, General Services Administration and NASA will amend the Federal Acquisitions Regulations, under rule FAR Case 2015-015, effectively excluding small businesses from winning government contracts.
"It's a travesty that Federal agencies seek to eliminate all opportunities for small businesses to participate in government contracting while at the same time the President, Congress and political candidates call small business the engine that drives America," said Belinda Guadarrama, CEO of Petaluma, Calif.-based GC Micro and an advocate for small business.
The proposed regulation will dramatically affect the 1953 and 1990 Small Business Acts by consolidating contracts under the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI), unless challenged by August 19, 2016.
"The exclusion of small businesses to compete for federal contracts is an assault on the original intent of the law and a threat to businesses nationally," says Guadarrama. "Consolidation of contracts to a handful of chosen vendors will likely result in bankruptcies and certainly the loss of thousands of jobs."
Charles Tiefer, Commissioner (2008-2011) on the Congressionally Chartered, Independent Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, says the FSSI proposal is, "blatant and undeniably illegal." Tiefer also serves as a law professor at the University of Baltimore.
According to Guadarrama, since consolidation began, government contracts have become larger, opportunities have dramatically decreased, both resulting in a significantly negative impact on small businesses. FSSI is responsible for office supply companies reduced from 569 to 15; government services reduced more than two thousand small business vendors to 123 small businesses: janitorial services reduced from 540 to 15 companies; and General Services Administration maintenance and repair shrank from 418 to 10. Thousands of small businesses may be left with unused and useless supply schedule contracts.
Robert A. Burton, former Deputy Administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, effectively the nation's highest procurement policy figure, who reviewed the FSSI changes and testified on Capitol Hill said, "Small businesses have not just lost, but have done so on a devastating scale."
Tiefer says there is ample evidence the distribution of small business contractors has catastrophically shrunk, withered and dwindled and believes, "the proposed regulations would reduce the breadth of small business contracting by up to 80 percent or even 90 percent in lines of business where small business contracting is currently common."
Online comments in response to FAR Case 2015-015 can be submitted at http://www.regulations.gov and searching for FAR 2015-015.
About GC MicroGC Micro is a Value-Added Reseller providing hardware and software integration services and software management services to the Federal Government and Fortune 500 companies. In addition to fulfilling information technology hardware and software requirements, the business offers more than 220,000 products from over 1500 software and hardware manufacturer with access to over $5 billion in product inventory across 14 national warehouses. For more information, visit www.gcmicro.com.
Contact: Belinda Guadarrama CEO GC Micro 707.789.0600