About Procurement


Here you can find answers to some common questions about government procurement and also pointers to resources for you to learn more or get involved.

What is government procurement?

Government procurement is the sale by private companies or individuals of goods or services to local, state, or federal governments, which will then use these goods or services to fulfill public projects or provide public services.

What is the scale of government procurement?

The federal government purchases around $250 billion of goods and services per year. In the Department of Labor’s Annual Acquisition Plan and Procurement Forecast, the federal government publishes data on the planned procurements of various federal agencies, which is useful for getting an idea of the current scale of federal government procurement.

What counts as a small business?

According to the Small Business Act, the definition of “small business” varies from industry to industry, but includes the provision that “[the small business] is independently owned and operated and…is not dominant in its field of operation”. To find the current size-standards and related regulations, you should consult the Small Business Administration.

What does it have to offer small businesses?

Through the Small Business Act, the federal government has an interest in providing small businesses ample opportunities to do business with it. The Small Business Administration is responsible for ensuring that legally prescribed portions of procurement involve small businesses—for example, 23% of all prime contracts must go to small businesses, and contracts under $100,000 are set aside for small businesses. Goals are also established to enhance the opportunities for service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSBs),women-owned businesses, minority-owned businesses, and qualified businesses located in HUBZones.

In procuring defense goods, the government often deals with large prime contractors who then hire smaller firms to produce components or spare parts for these products. If your business has ever manufactured weapon-system parts or items for a defense contractor, the government might be interested in purchasing directly from you next time. Through the Vendor Identification Program, the federal government is attempting to connect government purchasers with these small manufacturers, both to increase competition in defense procurement and to help small businesses.

You can get more information on procurement for small businesses from the Small Business Administration.

What markets are involved?

Governments buy goods and services from many different markets, including construction, defense, communications, information-technology, landscaping, security, and many more areas.

What should an organization do to get involved?

Government Contracts are ideal for established businesses which meet certain criteria. If your business.

  • Has been active in the commercial market for at least 1–2 years.
  • Has a quality assurance (QA) program and manual.
  • Has an established accounting system and procedures that are consistent.
  • Has an employee who is comfortable using email to download attachments and browse government websites for required information.
  • Can prove the presence of in-house production capabilities or access to production through subcontractors to provide goods and services to the government.
  • Can provide three references of past performance history.

Then you should sign up for assistance.