If you need help with navigating the government procurement process, you'll be happy to know that a multitude of government personnel are available to help you do business with the government. Here are some key procurement contacts that can assist you.
Small Business Specialist (SBS)
Every government purchasing office is required to have an SBS to assist small-business bidders. Larger purchasing offices will have full-time SBS, but even smaller offices will have part-time staff who can meet with you.
A Competition Advocate helps to promote full and open competition in the acquisition of commercial goods. You will find Competition Advocates at major buying offices, where they are assigned at an influential management level. They challenge barriers that could prevent certain vendors from competing for a government contract. For example, the Competition Advocate may challenge statements of work that seem restrictive, detailed specifications that are unnecessary, and contract clauses that are burdensome. They even look at the item specifications to see what can be done to increase competition for that item by challenging the required performance or physical-characteristics description.
SBA Procurement Center Representative
Although Procurement Center Representatives work for the Small Business Administration, you can often find them at major government purchasing offices. The job of these representatives is to identify goods and services that can be provided by small businesses and to try to get those services and goods "set aside" for small businesses.
SBA Commercial Marketing Representative
If you're a sizable company working on a large government contract, an SBA Commercial Marketing Representative will help monitor your performance. If you're a subcontractor, this representative can help you get jobs with prime contractors.