Air Force Has New Plan to Increase Small Business Contracting

February 24, 2012

The Air Force is taking a carrot and stick approach to improving how many contracts and subcontracts go to small businesses.

The service earlier this month issued a small business improvement plan focused on three goals, one of which could tie real dollars to how vendors meet their goals.

"One thing we are exploring is whether or not we would have an award fee kicker on top of the other incentives we have in the contract that would be focused on how that company exceeds their small business goals," said Joseph McDade, director of the Air Force's Office of Small Business Programs, Thursday at the AFCEA Northern Virginia Air Force IT day in Vienna, Va. "We don't have a particular number yet. We are still early on in the process. But ... award fee kickers will get a disproportionate amount of executive attention for various reasons. If we are trying to target behavior and we are trying to get people to do the thing we want, we think that may be the most effective way to actually make meaningful change. We have a lot of work to do. We are exploring it, but we are nowhere near making a final decision." 

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