Since the inception of the program, the Federal Government has not met its goal to obligate 3 percent of eligible prime contract dollars to HUBZone small businesses. Twenty-four federal agencies under the Chief Financial Officers (CFO) Act of 1990 (CFO Act) accounted for 99.28 percent of the total prime contract dollars obligated to HUBZone small businesses in FY 2016 (total of $6.8 billion dollars). Of these agencies, only nine obligated 3 percent of their prime contract dollars to HUBZone small businesses in FY 2016: the Department of Agriculture (USDA); the Department of Commerce (DOC); the General Services Administration (GSA); the Department of Homeland Security (DHS); the Department of the Interior (DOI); the Office of Personnel Management (OPM); the Small Business Administration (SBA); the Department of Transportation (DOT); and the Department of the Treasury (Treasury). The agencies that achieved the 3 percent goal are being called “HUBZone Champions,” and the agencies that did not achieve the 3 percent goal are being called “HUBZone Aspirant Agencies” in this report.

The purpose of this evaluation is to examine factors that contribute to federal agencies reaching the HUBZone Program socioeconomic goal using a mixed-methods analytic approach.1 The SBA can use findings from the evaluation to develop strategies and additional studies to: 1) increase the number and dollar amount of HUBZone contracts to eligible small businesses, 2) support the improvement of marketing and best practices of the HUBZone Program across CFO Act agencies, and 3) provide recommendations for the HUBZone Program.

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Big Changes Are Coming for SBA's HUBZone Program

October 31, 2018

For the first time in 20 years, SBA is proposing an extensive overhaul of its regulations for the HUBZone program. SBA recognizes the difficulty firms face getting into and staying in the HUBZone program, so they are revising the HUBZone rules to provide greater certainty to HUBZone applicants and participants. The proposed rule would reduce the regulatory burdens imposed on HUBZone small business concerns and on government agencies by eliminating ambiguities in the regulations and making it easier for HUBZone firms to understand and comply with the program requirements. This is welcome news for HUBZone firms as well as federal agencies and prime contractors that have struggled to meet their HUBZone spending goals. CONTINUED

SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

The U.S. Small Business Administration published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register to solicit public comments on, among other things, Express loan programs and affiliation standards. This Proposed rule announces the extension of the current comment period for an additional 15 business days until December 18, 2018. 83. Fed. Reg. 222, 57693.


Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement
The DOD issued the following final rules:

• Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Repeal of DFARS Clause “Acquisition Streamlining” (DFARS Case 2018-D033) 83 Fed. Reg. 211, 54676
• Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Mentor-Protégé Program Modifications (DFARS Case 2017-D016) 83 Fed. Reg. 211, 54677
• Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Repeal of DFARS Provision “Bonds or Other Security” (DFARS Case 2018-D036) 83 Fed. Reg. 211, 54677. 83 Fed. Reg. 211, 54679
• Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Update of Clause on Section 8(a) Direct Award (DFARS Case 2018-D052) 83 Fed. Reg. 211, 54681
• Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Repeal of DFARS Clause “Option for Supervision and Inspection Services” (DFARS Case 2018-D041) 83 Fed. Reg. 211, 54680

DEFENSE DEPARTMENT

Performance-Based Payments and Progress Payments (DFARS Case 2017-D019)
The Department of Defense (DOD) is withdrawing the proposed rule on performance-based payments and progress payments that it published on August 24, 2018. 83 Fed. Reg. 193, 50052.

OPM to Agencies: ‘Be Mindful’ of Policies in Trump’s Workforce Orders Despite Court Ruling

According to an article on Govexec.com, Office of Personnel Management acting Director Margaret Weichert issued new guidance for agencies to implement three controversial executive orders, despite the fact that their key provisions were struck down in federal court in August. In a memo to agency leaders, Weichert acknowledged that provisions making it easier to fire federal employees, setting time limits on collective bargaining negotiations, and restricting grievances and the use of official time was ruled unlawful by U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson last summer. But she encouraged agencies to continue to pursue the spirit of those executive orders in their ongoing negotiations for new contracts with federal employee unions. The Justice Department is in the process of appealing that decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, although its request to expedite the case was denied. The government’s opening brief is due December 7th, and unions’ response will be due in February.

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Don’t undermine the goals of small business contracting.

Of late, it seems the federal government’s small business programs have been under attack with fallacies and false narratives, despite having been proved untrue time and time again. Perhaps this is not surprising given the more recent success of the programs. Over the previous eight-year term, the federal government provided an unprecedented commitment to small business programs, which resulted in more federal procurement dollars going to small businesses. In fact, over $90 billion annually went to small and disadvantaged firms and the government met federally mandated small business goals, which either had never been achieved or had not been met for almost a decade. CONTINUED 




HUBZone firms on the rise

A new report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) offers insight into recent growth in the number of HUBZone certified firms as well as into HUBZone contracting, number of zones and application processing times.

Number of HUBZone firms

The number of certified HUBZone firms has been on the rise for the last three years since hitting a low in mid-2015, according to the CRS report.There were 6,558 HUBZone firms as of Nov. 8, up from a low point of 5,207 firms in July 2015. That is a 26% increase. The number of HUBZone firms has experienced fairly large changes in the last seven years. From a high of 8,533 firms in May 2011, the number dropped sharply to 6,900 in December 2011, and then slowly decreased further to bottom out at 5,207 in July 2015. The number rebounded to 5,930 in January 2017 and has continued to grow. Small Business Administration officials blamed the downward trend from 2011 to 2015 on many HUBZone census tracts becoming ineligible due to increased incomes.

HUBZone contracting

It turns out that HUBZone firms are doing fairly well in federal contracting, but a relatively small portion is being awarded through HUBZone set-asides, according to the CRS report. HUBZone firms won $7.5 billion in federal contracts in fiscal 2017, mostly through generic small business set-asides or through socio-economic small business set-asides. Small firms often have multiple certifications in addition to being generically “small.” The HUBZone firms were awarded $1.49 billion through HUBZone set-asides, $347 million through HUBZone price-evaluation preferences and $65 million in HUBZone sole-source awards in fiscal 2017, the CRS report said.


The Council is a partner of SET ASIDE ALERT ,for more news and updates or daily contracting opportunities select the link above to subscribe.  HUBZone Council Members received a 10% Discount on Membership Subscription. 






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