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CHIPS Articles: SPAWAR Office of Small Business Programs Awarded DoD Verdure Award for Innovation

SPAWAR Office of Small Business Programs Awarded DoD Verdure Award for Innovation
By Kara McDermott, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command Public Affairs - April 26, 2016
The Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) SmallBusiness.aspx Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP) with the Verdure Award for innovative and proactive approaches in promoting the use of small businesses in SPAWAR acquisitions throughout fiscal year 2015.

The Verdure Award is a part of the DoD's Vanguard Awards Program, which recognizes the exemplary contributions of small business professionals or members of acquisition teams that influence small business participation in defense procurement.

SPAWAR OSBP's use of innovative approaches to build relationships, increase communications and provide tailored trainings improved awareness and understanding of their objectives across the organization.

To build and foster relationships, SPAWAR OSBP assigned each team member as a point of contact for each of the program offices and competencies within the command. This created a culture of teaming that enabled advocacy for OSBP initiatives and small business opportunities on future procurements. Each small business professional worked closely with their designated program office to actively engage in program reviews and procurement planning strategy meetings.

"By becoming an integral part of acquisition teams, our OSBP professionals assist with market research, determination of the procurement, developing small business source selection criteria, evaluating proposals and participating in debriefings after award," said Faye Esaias, SPAWAR's director of small business programs. "These relationships allow us to articulate and advocate OSBP initiatives and small business opportunities for procurement."

Taking relationship building a step further, SPAWAR created office space for the local Small Business Administration procurement center representative — an individual that helps an agency meet small business goals — to sit on-site to facilitate their participation in the procurement process.

The SPAWAR OSBP team also actively collaborates with local industry organizations that support the small business community, such as Procurement Technical Assistance Centers and Small Business Development Centers, to provide training on how small business can do business with the federal government and local commands. On a semiannual basis the team partners with San Diego-based Defense Acquisition University to provide additional training on small business programs to acquisition students.

To promote awareness of small business participation as subcontractors, SPAWAR OSBP developed a contracts data requirements list (CDRL) to track small business utilization on larger contracts. The CDRL is currently utilized in large, high-visibility contracts like the DoD Healthcare Management System Modernization, the Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services and the Next Generation Navy Marine Corps Intranet contracts. This CDRL allows the government to track the prime contractor's subcontracting accomplishments at the micro level.

"We are committed to trying new approaches to increase opportunities for small businesses while also striving to nurture and develop small businesses that can support tomorrow's Navy," said Esaias.

In FY2015, the DoD procured 24.64 percent of all prime contracting with small businesses and exceeded the goal of 21.6 percent for the second consecutive year.

"I am particularly pleased with the commitment and professionalism of the FY 2015 Vanguard Awardees and I appreciate the hard work and dedication of the entire acquisition community in support of achieving our small business procurement goals," said Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall in a memo to the award recipients.

All Vanguard awardees will receive formal recognition during the DoD Small Business Innovation Training Week, May 9-13, in Atlanta.

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