To promote the competitive viability of firms owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.
That’s what we’re looking for…
Folk explain it in many different ways. “Leveling the playing field” is the way some call it. Promoting the competitive viability of firms owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals is what they are talking about.
They’re talking about accepting the fact that discrimination has negatively impacted the “levelness” of the playing field. That’s the case for many Americans. Black Americans (African Americans, if you wish), are widely perceived as fitting that category. But then, you have the other ethnic groups who have been similarly affected.
You have women who have been similarly affected, sometimes to an even greater extent. You have people who are negatively affected by the “neighborhood”, so we have the HUBZone folk being involved. Then you have some folk who have been affected by “circumstances” other than ethnic, gender, or geography. We have Service Disabled Veterans, who have been designated as a group for whom the “leveling of the playing field” has become a priority.
We don’t want to hold any other groups back, so these “Designated Groups” can catch up. We don’t want inferior products and services supplied to the federal government, so these “Designated Groups” can catch up. Ergo, we have to do something to enhance the ability of firms owned by the “Designated Groups” to be competitively viable.
That’s what we’re looking for…
In our looking we need to have the cooperation of the segment(s) of business that currently enjoy the “upper hand” in government contracting. At this point we’re not that interested in dealing into the how they got there. We know they’re there. We know that 80% of the federal government contracting is done by 1% of the firms known as “big business”. How to get their cooperation has been the problem. It’s simple to understand that by nature they’re gonna be reluctant to “give up” part of that business they currently hold. That’s a natural phenomenon.
However, it’s also simple to understand that this country is not prepared to accept that firms owned by “The Designated Groups” don’t deserve and equitable share of the business done by its government. We’d like to have “incentives” that would cause these firms to be cooperative. There have been numerous proposals and attempts over the years. However, folk tend to backslide sometimes.
That’s where “disincentives” often come into play. “Liquidated Damages” and “False Claims Act” actions are two examples of these. They get ones attention. But “Mentor/Protégé” and “equitable subcontracting plans” are more positive ways. The liberalizing of archaic and overly restrictive size standards is another, more positive way. And, relevant technical assistance is yet another more positive way to promote the competitive viability of firms owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.
This is what “The Wilfong Hour” is looking for….
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The struggle continues, until we succeed-and we shall-YES WE CAN!!!!!