Q: Is it possible to meet with the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Small Business Specialist?
A. Yes. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its components (including the USCG) meet with vendors at monthly Vendor Outreach Sessions. Small businesses are encouraged to register for one of these sessions. Learn more about doing business with the USCG and sign-up for a DHS Vendor Outreach Session.
Q: Is there information available on the USCG’s procurement process and upcoming requirements?
A. Below are some helpful web sites pertaining to the Federal Government’s procurement process, and contract opportunities within the USCG and DHS.
- The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) is the reigning document of regulations for procurement in the Federal government. In addition, each agency usually has its own supplemental regulations. However, the FAR will provide most of the information that you need.
- DHS’ Forecast of Contract Opportunities, also called the Acquisition Planning Forecast System, lists all upcoming acquisitions expected to exceed $150,000. This is especially useful in searching for acquisitions you may be interested in pursuing, with points of contact.
- A good tool for small businesses to find prime contractors and to learn about DHS procurements is located at: https://www.usaspending.gov/index.php .
- SAM.gov publishes all open market (non-GSA schedule) Federal Government opportunities exceeding $25,000.
- For information on Federal Acquisition Schedules (FAS) and how to obtain a contract with the General Services Administration (GSA) that can be used by all Federal Agencies, visit www.gsa.gov. A large portion of Coast Guard HQ procurements are awarded through the use of GSA schedules.
- The Government uses the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) to identify size standards (number of employees or average annual income) for small businesses in many industries. The site also provides information on converting SIC codes to NAICS codes and vice versa.
- Be sure to register in the System for Award Management (SAM), which is required in order to do business with the Federal government.
Q: How do I market IT supplies/services to the USCG?
A. Please be advised that all IT requirements initiated within the components of DHS must be considered for acquisition using the DHS-wide multiple-award contract vehicles called EAGLE for IT services, and FirstSource for IT hardware and supplies. Further information can be obtained by going to the DHS Information Technology Acquisitions site. You are welcome to contact the teaming coordinators for the prime contractors under EAGLE and FirstSource to discuss possible subcontracting or teaming opportunities.
Q. How do I find out about subcontracting opportunities?
- Review Federal Business Opportunities for solicitation announcements and award notices.
- The DHS web site lists prime contractors who are interested in subcontracting with small businesses.
- The DHS Forecast of Contract Opportunities lists existing contracts with prime contractor points of contact.