The implication in February's Speaking Out column that government procurement officials are primarily concerned with feathering their own nests, and that procedures set up to assure quality are simply there as barriers to small business is unwarranted. The vast majority of government procurement officials are dedicated and competent.
The problem of expanding small business participation will not be solved by accusations and hand-wringing. One way to solve it is to establish a capability within the Small Business Administration to improve its assessment of the ability of a small business to perform. There are far too many cases where the SBA qualified a source that could not deliver the product. If the technical analysis provided a high probability that a source qualified by the SBA would in fact satisfy the contract, I believe government agencies would be far more prone to take the risk of awarding the contract to such a company.