WASHINGTON (NNS) -- More than 200 small business representatives attended NAVSEA's third Small Business Industry Day, Aug. 8 in the Humphreys Building at the Washington Navy Yard.
Designed as an education and awareness event to discuss defense contracting processes, the forum hosted a dialog between the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition; Department of the Navy's Small Business Office; NAVSEA Contracts and program executive offices; large business industry partners; and small businesses.
NAVSEA Executive Director Jim Smerchansky said during the opening session that working with small business is one way NAVSEA fosters a culture of affordability and brings innovation to the fight.
"Our mission is to expand the advantage," he said. "We do that by including the views, expertise and talent employed by small business."
Acting Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research Development and Acquisition, Allison Stiller, further elaborated that agility and innovation are ingrained in small business practices, and that is exactly what the U.S. Navy needs.
Emily Harman, director, Department of the Navy Office of Small Business Programs, explained the important role small businesses play in addressing contracting issues, because the Navy and Marine Corps have a cost-conscious budget and a strong need for modernization and improved innovation and speed in all areas.
"If you don't speak up and give us specific examples, we're unable to take the action that we need to take," Harmon said to attending small business representatives, "so you have to speak up. We have to support our warfighters, so we need you to speak up."
Stiller added that more predictable contracting will be set in place for small business to forecast and measure a contract throughout the year. Stiller addressed the need to plan for emergent contract requests as well, because of workforce requirements.
Small business representatives were interested in learning how to speed up the process for awarding funding to a contract and how small business can obtain indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contracts.
"If a program manager is interested in a specific technology or capability offered by a small business for a legitimate requirement, a contracting officer should be brought into the discussion," said Cindy Shaver, Director of NAVSEA Contracts, in response to ensuring supplies or services are going under its intended contract. "Let's have a transparent upfront discussion. The process is cumbersome. I don't write those rules. I try not to make more rules, but we need to work as a team to navigate through that process."
SeaPort-e MACs are scheduled to expire by April 2019, and task orders awarded by April 2019 can have a period of performance five years after the MAC expiration, according to Shaver. Additionally, she said the future of SeaPort-e, NAVSEA's contracting electronic platform for technical, engineering and other professional services, will be replaced with a next generation procurement writing system by 2021.
"From a source-selection perspective, most of our Seaport-e source selections are done on a best value basis," Shaver said. "I can tell you we pay a premium more often than we don't. Often it is not a big premium, but we do pay premiums."
Shaver advised small businesses to find potential opportunities at a prime or subcontractor level and to review NAVSEA's Long Range Acquisition Forecast (LRAF).
NAVSEA buys more than $2 billion in goods and services each year from its small business partners. Interested businesses are encouraged to visit the Department of Defense Office of Small Business Programs www.acq.osd.mil/osbp and the Navy's Office of Small Business Programs www.secnav.navy.mil/smallbusiness/ websites.
Attendance at the industry day was limited, but all briefings, points of contacts and other small business reference resources are available at: http://www.navsea.navy.mil/Business-Partnerships/Small-Business-Forum/
NAVSEA can assist small businesses, including veteran-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned, HUBZone, small disadvantaged, and women-owned small businesses in marketing their products and services to NAVSEA. Small business representatives may contact NAVSEA's Associate Director of Small Business Programs at 202-781-3965 or send an email to NSWCPD_NAVSEASBID.email@example.com, for more information.
For more news visit www.navsea.navy.mil.
For more news from Naval Sea Systems Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/navsea/.
For more Navy news, visit