SBA Budget Request Faulted for Failing To Address Problems in Identifying SBs
By Bloomberg Government
The System for Award Management (SAM) and the Small Business Administration's Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS) database do not reliably identify small business government contractors, according to a House Small Business Committee memo on the fiscal year 2015 budget request for the SBA.
The memo faults the SBA's proposed FY 2014 budget request for not identifying resources to remedy this issue. It serves as a backdrop to the committee's “views and estimates” document evaluating the SBA's funding request for FY 2015.
The full committee plans to mark up the document March 25, the deadline for submission to the House Budget Committee.
According to the views and estimates document, circulated to committee members in advance of the markup, neither SAM nor DSBS fully addresses data flaws that cause large businesses to be identified as small.
In fact, problems with the legacy Central Contractor Registration (CCR) system “were only compounded with the transition to SAM,” the memo says. “SAM does not permit contracting officers to search for small businesses in a given industrial classification, thus limiting the ability of contracting officers to perform the appropriate market research to determine whether to set aide a contract for small businesses or to unbundle a contract.”
DSBS fixed problems with CCR “to some extent,” but problems with the system's search process have since surfaced. “The malfunctioning of DSBS undermines a key strategic initiative of the SBA—to ensure that small business contracting goals are met,” according to the memo. “If the SBA is unable to identify small businesses on its own database, one should not expect that other federal agencies should be able make such identification.”