Friday, January 30, 2009

Stimulus Package Small Business Goals

The stimulus package talks about helping small business, but doesn't contain any numbers or goals. Small business esneed to be proactive to ensure that there are measurable goals included in the language. Small businesses should contact the Senate Small Business Committee and ask them to adopt the government-wide goals that currently exist and include the language in the stimulus package. The Senate Small Business Committee Chair is Senator Mary Landrieu. The Committee phone number is (202) 224-5175.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

On Point Washington Technology Article

In case you missed it, Matthew Weigelt wrote a really good article on the Obama administration and how it can benefit small businesses. It's an interesting article because he not only talks about the new opportunities that could come for veteran-owned and woman-owned businesses, but also discusses the potential negative impact to Alaska Native Corporations (ANCs). His article appears in the January 2009 issue of Washington Technology or can be found on line at

It's a well rounded article and I particularly like the attention Mr. Weigelt paid to the woman-owned business contracting program. We've been hearing for years about how this program is supposed to go into effect. We'll see if the Mr. Obama and his SBA Administrator nominee, Karen Mills, will be able to implement a program that makes sense and doesn't lock out the majority of woman-owned businesses.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Molly Gimmel to Speak at NAPAW Annual Conference

Molly Gimmel, D2DInc's co-founder and Executive Vice President, was invited to speak at the 18th Annual Conference of the National Association of Professional Asian-American Women (NAPAW). The conference is April 14-15, 2009 and will be held at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in Baltimore, MD. This year's conference theme is "You Can Make A Difference" and focuses on helping small businesses learn about doing business with federal, state, and local government agencies. Molly will be speaking on the topics of GSA Schedules and government contract pricing. The conference is open to all - not just Asian Americans. For more information, contact or go to to register.

Monday, January 26, 2009

New Contractor Ethics Requirements

From D2DInc's January 2009 e-Newsletter

On December 12, 2008, new contractor ethics requirements went into effect that apply to all government contracts over $5 Million or with a period of performance longer than 90 days. These requirements are laid out in FAR 52.203-13 and have three parts:

1. An ongoing business ethics awareness and compliance program
2. An internal control system
3. Mandatory disclosure of violations

Ongoing Business Ethics Awareness and Compliance Program
All businesses must develop a written code of ethics and conduct, and distribute a copy of that code to all employees involved in the company’s government contracts. In addition, the contractor must conduct training so that all employees, subcontractors, and other relevant parties are educated on the company’s ethics awareness and compliance program.

Internal Control System
Businesses must develop an internal control system to establish procedures to “facilitate timely discovery of improper conduct in connection with government contracts; and ensure corrective measures are promptly instituted and carried out.” This means that companies must document:
  • who is responsible for oversight of the corporate ethics awareness and compliance program;
  • what resources are assigned to that person to ensure that the program is effective;
  • the company’s procedures for detecting criminal conduct;
  • establishment of an internal reporting mechanism, such as a hotline, for employees to report suspected violations; and,
  • disciplinary actions to be taken against violators.
Mandatory Disclosure of Violations
Companies must disclose, in writing, to the agency Office of the Inspector General (OIG), with a copy to the Contracting Officer, whenever it has credible evidence that a principal, employee, agent, or subcontractor has committed a violation of Federal criminal law or the False Claims Act in connection with the award, performance, or closeout of the contract or any associated subcontract. Examples of violations that must be disclosed could involve fraud, conflict of interest, bribery, or gratuity regulations.

We’ve already seen a few RFPs that specifically ask if the bidder has an ethics program and conducts ethics training, and we expect this to be included in most services RFPs going forward. If you need help developing a program that complies with these new requirements, contact Molly Gimmel at (301) 657-4440.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

2009 & Federal Government Contracting

We have been getting a lot of questions about federal government contracting in 2009 and contracting during the Obama administration coming in later this month. So we decided to pass on our insights and recommendations to our blog's readers.

One thing President-elect Obama has promised is change. But what does that mean? Does this mean less government spending? That is yet to be seen. In the interim, we're still operating off of President Bush's last budget, however the Obama team has already sent in advance people to meet with agency personnel. Will opportunities in the hopper be canceled? We won't know until the new administration is in place. What it does mean is companies have to ramp up their marketing efforts and get in front of opportunities BEFORE they hit the streets.

D2DInc works with companies to help them win and management government contracts. We see a direct correlation between a company's ability to win a contract and the amount of advance work they do. The time to get started on a proposal is before the opportunity is in the procurement phase. This is easier said than done. Companies must retrain themselves on how and which government procurements they pursue.

We recommend the following activities.

* Look at your products and services and make sure that what you sell is in line with what the government purchases.

* Review and update your marketing plans quarterly.

* Identify your potential customers, opportunities, competition and teaming partners. Budgets change -- do you know where the money is?

* Attend agency industry days and conferences. Knowledge is powerful, but relationships are essential. People buy from companies that know and trust. A proposal submission isn't the time to introduce yourself to your potential customer.

* Provide training to the personnel who will be working on proposals -- before the RFP is released. This way they know what to expect, how to do it and how to juggle supporting their customer with meeting proposal deadlines.

* Update your proposal library on a regular basis. Save time and make sure your past performance citations and employee resumes are up-to-date on an on-going basis.

* Do a financial review and make sure your direct and indirect cost rates are in line with industry accepted numbers.

We are procurement process experts and help companies successfully navigate government procurement. Our advice to contractors is to make evaluating your contracting practices and direction of your marketing efforts standard company policy.

Here's to a successful 2009!