Small Firms Fret about Air Force’s ‘Small Firm’ Definition
Small businesses – which traditionally have done very well competing against larger firms for the first NetCents program – are now complaining that the Air Force is gaming the system to gut set-aside requirements to small businesses in the second NetCents round.
The Network Operations and Infrastructure Solutions project – a $4.2 billion Air Force effort to provide IT purchasing services to various government agencies, part of the Network Centric Solutions 2 (NetCents 2) contract – will likely employ NAICS codes that include a greater number of potential vendors than was the case in the first round.
Defense Systems reports hearing from small businesses, cited anonymously, that they fear the Air Force is broadening the pool of vendors for its convenience, contravening stated precedence. The story reports that an official from the Air Force Small Business Programs Office warned that recent proceedings indicated this change may make the whole program vulnerable to successful challenges and related delays.