The annual National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, was signed into law by President Obama just before Christmas. That makes now the perfect time to take a closer look at the bill, and find out what NDAA small business provisions will affect your company in Fiscal Year 2017.
New SBA Reporting Requirements
The Small Business Administration will soon be required under the NDAA to count two new metrics in their reports on small business contracting:
- Small businesses that were purchased by another entity after being awarded a contract, and therefore are no longer considered small businesses
- Small businesses that won contracts under setasides for certain disadvantaged socioeconomic groups
More data on the government’s contracting goals can only be a good thing for small businesses. In the short-term, the data can help you know where the money is flowing, where the contracts are and what agencies need small business contractors the most. In the long term, unflattering numbers should help push agencies to award more contracts to small businesses.
Pilot program for subcontractors to receive past-performance ratings
The NDAA for FY17 is establishing a pilot program to allow first-tier subcontractors to apply for past performance ratings. If the program is successful, it should help small businesses that have excelled as subcontractors to break into the prime contracting market, and the government hopes it will boost competition.
Optimistic procurement watchers might also note that this provision is likely to help women and minority owned businesses in particular, since they are likely to be newer. If your business fits the bill, keep an eye on this program — and in the mean time, check out EZGovOpps’ advice for WOSBs and Minority-Owned Businesses.
NDAA small business cybersecurity resources
Keeping up with cybersecurity can be difficult and expensive for a small business. The NDAA is trying to solve that problem by offering cybersecurity resources through Small Business Development Centers. This section calls for the Department of Homeland Security to provide risk and homeland security information, and to assist with cyber security infrastructure, cyber threat awareness, and cyber training programs.
Once these resources are put in place, make sure to take advantage of them. Hackers get smarter all the time and if you’re not updating your cybersecurity infrastructure regularly, your business might be at risk. Keeping your business secure is vital to maintaining your customers’ trust.
New small business compliance resources
This is another resource you don’t want to miss out on: The NDAA is also calling for more resources to help small business awardees with compliance with contracting regulations. This provision can be seen as an acknowledgement that the complex procurement process is limiting for small businesses, who may not have the resources to hire as many procurement specialists as the larger players. The resources will be offered through the SBA, procurement centers and the Mentor-Protégée program.
Don’t forget to view our full GovCon News section for more intel.