Question…as a small business person, wouldn’t you like to have as a customer, THE largest consumer of goods and services in the WORLD…I said, the WORLD.
I’m guessing that you said YES, and WHO might that be.
I’m glad that you asked.
If so, That WHO, is the US Govt, and in 2019 alone, the USG spent over $4.4 Trillion dollars.
So now, I guess what’s running through your mind is, well WHAT are they buying and just as importantly, HOW are they buying it. We’re going to get into that. We’re also going to explore the WHEN and the WHERE of how the USG spends its money….let me take that back, OUR MONEY.
Let begin with the WHAT. Well to put it succinctly, the USG buys just about everything ranging in products from planes, trains and automobiles….down to pencils, pens and toilet paper…and everything in between. Now the good part is that they don’t try to keep it a secret. They break the goods, as well as the services down NUMBERS and DESCRIPTIONS. The description of the things that they buy are listed on-line and its called the North American Industry Classification System, or NAICS codes.
A random sampling of the codes will layout the SECTOR (or number), and the overarching description for that number. Here are a few:
11 Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
21 Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction
42 Wholesale Trade
44-45 Retail Trade
48-49 Transportation and Warehousing
52 Finance and Insurance
53 Real Estate and Rental and Leasing
54 Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
55 Management of Companies and Enterprises
56 Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services
61 Educational Services
62 Health Care and Social Assistance
71 Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
72 Accommodation and Food Services
81 Other Services (except Public Administration)
92 Public Administration
Lets dig a little deeper, For example, a popular NAICS code that every agency uses is number 54 – Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services. Although the high level code is only 2 numbers, when we begin to dig, we find that the USG further breaks it all down by adding numbers on to the 54, and giving each number its own specific description. For instance:
Search results for: 54
Number of records found: 95 54 Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
541 Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
5411 Legal Services
54111 Offices of Lawyers
541110 Offices of Lawyers
54112 Offices of Notaries
541120 Offices of Notaries
54119 Other Legal Services
541191 Title Abstract and Settlement Offices
541199 All Other Legal Services
5412 Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping, and Payroll Services
54121 Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping, and Payroll Services
541211 Offices of Certified Public Accountants
541213 Tax Preparation Service
541214 Payroll Services
541219 Other Accounting Services
5413 Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services
54131 Architectural Services
541310 Architectural Services
54132 Landscape Architectural Services
541320 Landscape Architectural Services
54133 Engineering Services
541330 Engineering Services
54134 Drafting Services
541340 Drafting Services
54135 Building Inspection Services
541350 Building Inspection Services
54136 Geophysical Surveying and Mapping Services
541360 Geophysical Surveying and Mapping Services
54137 Surveying and Mapping (except Geophysical) Services
541370 Surveying and Mapping (except Geophysical) Services
54138 Testing Laboratories
541380 Testing Laboratories
5414 Specialized Design Services
54141 Interior Design Services
541410 Interior Design Services
54142 Industrial Design Services
541420 Industrial Design Services
54143 Graphic Design Services
541430 Graphic Design Services
54149 Other Specialized Design Services
541490 Other Specialized Design Services
5415 Computer Systems Design and Related Services
54151 Computer Systems Design and Related Services
541511 Custom Computer Programming Services
541512 Computer Systems Design Services
541513 Computer Facilities Management Services
541519 Other Computer Related Services
5416 Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services
54161 Management Consulting Services
541611 Administrative Management and General Management Consulting Services
541612 Human Resources Consulting Services
541613 Marketing Consulting Services
541614 Process, Physical Distribution, and Logistics Consulting Services
541618 Other Management Consulting Services
54162 Environmental Consulting Services
541620 Environmental Consulting Services
54169 Other Scientific and Technical Consulting Services
541690 Other Scientific and Technical Consulting Service
5417 Scientific Research and Development Services
54171 Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences
541713 Research and Development in Nanotechnology
541714 Research and Development in Biotechnology (except Nanobiotechnology)
541715 Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences (except Nanotechnology and Biotechnology)
54172 Research and Development in the Social Sciences and Humanities
541720 Research and Development in the Social Sciences and Humanities
5418 Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Services
54181 Advertising Agencies
541810 Advertising Agencies
54182 Public Relations Agencies
541820 Public Relations Agencies
54183 Media Buying Agencies
541830 Media Buying Agencies
54184 Media Representatives
541840 Media Representatives
54185 Outdoor Advertising
541850 Outdoor Advertising
54186 Direct Mail Advertising
541860 Direct Mail Advertising
54187 Advertising Material Distribution Services
541870 Advertising Material Distribution Services
54189 Other Services Related to Advertising
541890 Other Services Related to Advertising
5419 Other Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
54191 Marketing Research and Public Opinion Polling
541910 Marketing Research and Public Opinion Polling
54192 Photographic Services
541921 Photography Studios, Portrait
541922 Commercial Photography
54193 Translation and Interpretation Services
541930 Translation and Interpretation Services
54194 Veterinary Services
541940 Veterinary Services
54199 All Other Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
541990 All Other Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
So now, hopefully, you’re better understanding the WHO and the WHAT of OBTAINING USG Contracts, Lets now turn our attention to the WHERE and the WHEN.
For any requirement that a Contracting Office transmits, its got to go through what is called a Governmentwide Point of Entry, or GPE. They achieve that objective through a variety of different modalities.
(1) For proposed contract actions expected to exceed $25,000, by synopsizing the proposed contract action utilizing the Federal Business Opportunities, or FedBizOpps, as the GPE.
(2) For proposed contract actions expected to exceed $15,000, but not expected to exceed $25,000, by displaying in a public place, or by any appropriate electronic means. The notice must include a statement that all responsible sources may submit a response which, if timely received, must be considered by the agency.
Contracting officers may use electronic posting of requirements in a place accessible by the general public at the Government installation to satisfy the public display requirement. Contracting offices using electronic systems for public posting that are not accessible outside the installation must periodically publicize the methods for accessing the information.
(b) In addition, one or more of the following methods may be used:
(1) Preparing periodic handouts listing proposed contracts, and displaying them as in 5.101(a)(2).
(2) Assisting local trade associations in disseminating information to their members.
(3) Making brief announcements of proposed contracts to newspapers, trade journals, magazines, or other mass communication media for publication without cost to the Government.
(4) Placing paid advertisements in newspapers or other communications media, subject to the following limitations:
(i) Contracting officers shall place paid advertisements of proposed contracts only when it is anticipated that effective competition cannot be obtained otherwise (see 5.205(d)).
(ii) Contracting officers shall not place advertisements of proposed contracts in a newspaper published and printed in the District of Columbia unless the supplies or services will be furnished, or the labor performed, in the District of Columbia or adjoining counties in Maryland or Virginia (44 U.S.C. 3701).
(iii) Advertisements published in newspapers must be under proper written authority in accordance with 44 U.S.C. 3702 (see 5.502(a)).
We’re going to dedicate a whole show to the timeframes, stipulations, regulations and statutes that govern the mandatory actions of the CO, but for today's purposes on the WHERE, we’re going to limit the discussion to exactly that, where you can find the requirements.
For more discussion and an opportunity to further define, direct and move forward with your federal government procurement goals and objectives, send me an email at email@example.com.