Task force seeks comments on small business contracting

Monday - 6/14/2010, 3:25pm EDT

By Meg Beasley
Federal News Radio

The administration is looking for ways to improve contracting with small businesses and wants the public's input.

In a Federal Register notice issued today, the Interagency Task Force on small business contracting announced a public meeting and request for comments about eliminating road blocks and enhancing productivity of small business-government partnerships.

In a memo issued in April, President Obama established the interagency task force to improve agency contracting with small businesses. In addition to a Web site tracking agency progress in meeting small business goals, the President highlighted the importance of contracting with businesses owned by minorities, the socially and economically disadvantaged and disabled veterans. The administration is especially interested in working with businesses in Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone).

As an extension of this effort, the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Department of Commerce (DoC), and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), who are leading the task force, are asking for input from members of the public and private sectors about challenges facing small businesses and ways to improve small business contracting.

The agencies are specifically looking for comment on:

  • Removing barriers to small business participation
  • Using innovative strategies and technologies to increase opportunities for small business contractors
  • Identifying successful agency and private sector outreach practices for matching small businesses with contracting opportunities

While these are key areas of interest, the task force also welcomes any input about the challenges small firms face.

Comments can be made in person at the June 28 public meeting or submitted via email by June 30.

The June 28 public meeting will be held in the Commerce auditorium at 1 p.m. The task force report is due out by the end of August.

Meg Beasley is an intern with Federal News Radio.

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