U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
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Executive Order 13360 - Contracting with Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses
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U.S. Department of health and Human Services (HHS)
Person Preparing Report
Debbie Ridgely, Director, Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, HHS
Designated Senior Level Official
Bill Corr, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
It is the HHS’ policy to develop and strengthen opportunities in Federal contracting for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSBs). The Executive Order expects Agencies to provide formal structure, training and a framework to assist HHS’ Operating Divisions in increasing opportunities with SDVOSBs.
Throughout Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 the Department was very proactive in developing outreach opportunities for SDVOSBs. The OSDBU office strongly emphasized its need to increase awards to veterans and service-disabled veteran small businesses at outreach events. These events included National, Regional and Local conferences across the country. OSDBU participated in more than 50 outreach events.
The OSDBU Director highlighted the need to increase awards to SDVOSBs continually. The OSDBU staff continues to strongly support the use of the Sources Sought technique for every HHS acquisition that is posted on the Government’s Point of Entry (FEDBizOpps). Three of HHS’ ten components (Operating Divisions) exceeded its SDVOSB goal. The percentages were 4.38, 5.64 and 5.73. Overall, HHS awarded $178M in contracts to SDVOSBs which represent .92 percent of its total contracting dollars.
Challenges: A major challenge in accomplishing the policy objective of Executive Order 13360 is matching the needs of the Department with the available SDVOSBs. Although the number of SDVOSBs continues to grow, matching a firm’s capabilities to HHS’ requirements is not always easily accomplished or successful. The OSDBU staff continues to educate and train the acquisition and program office personnel on all of the Small Business programs. In addition, in FY 2009 HHS’ base was increased to include requirement such as H1N1 vaccines and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Additionally, Federally funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDC) and related projects present challenges when considering small businesses.
Representatives from the HHS OSDBU have provided technical and financial support for the following Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Events:
HHS Small Business Specialists have counseled hundreds of Veterans and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned businesses over the past year. The OSDBU host bi-monthly Vendor Outreach Sessions on the second Tuesday of the month at the Department’s headquarters in Washington, DC. The vendors have the opportunity to meet with the OSDBU Director and each Small Business Specialist, HHS prime contractors and program and acquisition officials.
During FY 2009 the Small Business Specialists, co-located, within their respective Operating Divisions trained well over 1,000 acquisitions and program office personnel. We are firmly committed to the educational process and believe that continual education is the key to success. Awards to SDVOSBs have seen a steady rise through the years but we still have room for improvement.
HHS has fully implemented the use of the Electronic Subcontracting Reporting System (eSRS). In addition, a senior member of the OSDBU Director’s Immediate Office serves as the Agency Coordinator and serves on the e-SRS Change Control Board. HHS has established eSRS Points of Contract (POCs) in each Operating Division and the eSRS Agency Coordinator continues to provide policy updates. HHS’ Agency Coordinator served on Interagency Subcontracting Taskforce which was lead by the U.S. General Services Administration.
HHS invites prime contractors to its monthly Vendor Outreach Sessions to facilitate “Business-to-Business” meetings between small businesses and large businesses seeking potential teaming partners for subcontracting opportunities.
HHS has seen slow improvement the number and dollars of awards issued to SDVOSBs through the years. In FY 2007 HHS achieved 0.57 percent or $77M and in FY 208 increased to 0.72 percent or $92M. In FY 2009, the Department achieved 0.92 percent or $178M.
A memorandum from the Deputy Secretary strongly encouraging all acquisition and program office personnel to work on increasing awards to SDVOSBs were disseminated to the Heads of each Operating Division.
The OSDBU strongly encourages making awards to the SDVOSB community at the monthly Vendor Outreach Sessions and at all other speaking engagements.
The OSDBU prepared and transmitted small business goal achievement reports for each HHS Operating Division and its contracting activity weekly. The report was generated by the data entered into the Federal Procurement Data System-Next Generation and was forwarded to each Head of the Contracting Activity (HCA). The OSDBU Director continues to encourage each HCA to share SDVOSB achievements with Program and Acquisition Officials.
OSDBU is participating on the planning committee for the Sixth National Veterans Small Business Conference and Expo conference in Nevada.
OSDBU will continue to work with its Office of Acquisition Management and Policy (OAMP) to include SDVOSBs in our Strategic Sourcing Initiatives.
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