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Tags Archives: Certificate of Competency

IT-70 Prepares For a New Addition With the Creation of a Cyber Security SIN

Source: Winvale – GSA Schedule Blog

10 Important Facts About the New Health IT SIN

Source: Winvale – GSA Schedule Blog

Everything You Need to Know About the HCaTS Contract Vehicle

Source: Winvale – GSA Schedule Blog

SBA Certificate of Competency Program

Certificate of CompetencyAs 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.

Operating in the Red? GSA and your Financial Statements

financial statementsAs a consultant to companies applying for a GSA Schedule contract, we work closely with our clients to gather the information that I know the solicitation (and contracting officers) requires.  When we start talking about financial statements, a few of my clients ask me “what if we’ve operated in the red last year?”  Knowing my client’s strengths are equally important as knowing any weakness, so we can prepare for and address issues beforehand.  Demonstrating financial viability can certainly be a challenge.

Every company submitting a new offer under a GSA Schedule will have to, and I’ll quote the Solicitation, “Provide a copy of offeror’s most current, complete, audited (if available) two years of financial statements (at a minimum, balance sheets and income statements). GSA uses balance sheet and income statement information to determine financial responsibility. Provide an explanation for any negative financial information disclosed, including negative equity or income. You may be required to provide letters of credit or other documentation to demonstrate that adequate financial resources are available.”

This information will be reviewed by the contracting officer to determine financial solvency. If your company experienced a loss within the last 2 years, you are not alone! The rough economic climate will be taken under consideration by the folks who review financial statements at GSA’s Credit and Finance Department, however they will ask for an explanation around any loss or negative financial information shown, including negative equity or income. Consequently you will need to convey why a negative net income occurred, what changes your addressed, and why you’re optimistic for the current year. Don’t worry, they’re not asking for a 100 page business plan or personal tax returns, but they will want to make sure you’re addressing “the Red” and you have focus on turning your business around.  Remember, once awarded a GSA Schedule your company has a potential 20 year term contract. The Government seeks long term relationships with vendors, meaning they endeavor to award GSA contracts with companies that actually… you know, will be around for 20 years.

In addition to the explanation for any negative financial information disclosed, GSA might also ask you to submit Bank References, an Irrevocable Letter of Credit, and a Certificate of Competency (administered by the Small Business Administration).  So if you have any questions about your financial statements and please consult with the GSA professionals in this matter.

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