SBA Certificate of Competency Program
As any small business owner knows, competing for a government contract can be difficult, especially when your capability, competency, credit, integrity, perseverance and tenacity to perform are under scrutiny by a government Contracting Officer. As such, the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Certificate of Competency (COC) program is there to assist. If a Contracting Officer has determined your company is unable to fulfill the requirement of a government contract due to the above mentioned reasons, you may have the opportunity to appeal for a Certificate of Competency.
The COC program helps ensure small, but growing businesses the opportunity to compete for government contracts. The process involves submitting the following documents to the SBA for review: cash flow statement with and without the government contract you are appealing for; tax returns; income statements and balance sheets; resumes of employees expected to perform on the contract; marketing material on your company; copies of any current federal contracts; and the completed COC application form. Once submitted to the SBA, the average review time is 10 business days. Should the SBA find information missing or incomplete, they will typically allow you the opportunity to provide it.
An awarded COC is valid only for the specific government contract appealed for, and it is the responsibility of the government Contracting Officer to submit a formal request to the SBA for a COC.
My personal experience working with the SBA on behalf of my clients regarding the COC program has been exceedingly positive, and an opportunity small businesses and government Contracting Officers should be increasingly aware of.