Callout to President-elect Obama ~ Wilfong’s Corner






Download: GAO Report on State of SBA 8(a) Program

Yesterday, The Wilfong Hour, went to another level.  It was almost as if we made a quantum leap, into “what happens with Barack Obama as our new leader”.  We know it’s not “official” until January 20th.  We know we can only have “one President at a time”.  We have been reminded of that sufficiently, by President-elect Obama.

But, then, we also know we feel what we feel, and we hear well, what people are saying.  We heard the President-elect respond to questioners who wondered about his appointment of so many people who have “been there, before”.  He even kept over a prominent official, The Secretary of Defense, from the Bush administration.  The President-elect said, simply, but eloquently, “Change comes from me.”

These words came from a strong, confident man, indicating that this is, indeed, HIS administration.  He will set the policies.  And he will lead in the implementation of those policies.  We expect that his appointees all understand well, their leader’s, “Change comes from me.” Barack Obama has brought together a strong, capable team.  Many of them are “super stars”, in their own rights.  But, we have no doubt they all understand that this is HIS team.  And, he will not lead from behind.

What are some of the “Change” we expect to come from him?  We talked about some of them yesterday, on The Wilfong Hour.

Number one on the list, is- we expect to be able to realize the kind of potential we’ve come to expect under the myriad of laws enacted by Congress to level the playing fields for firms owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.  We expect that the persons in Government, in HIS administration, will be fully capable of delivering on the implementation of these laws.  We expect that they will be properly trained to carry out their responsibilities.  And, we expect that they will receive adequate resources to do what they are supposed to do, under the law.

We talked, yesterday, about GAO Report 09-16, November, 2008.  For those of you who don’t know yet, that’s the one we referred to yesterday in our Issuance No. 3916.

The GAO report is entitled “Small Business Administration, Agency Should Assess Resources Devoted to Contracting and Improve Several Processes in the 8(a) Program”.  It’s an outstanding report.  Be sure and read it.  Recommend it for reading to your Congressionals.  The report indicates the results of the disgraceful diminution of funding and benign neglect of the program over the last decade or so.  “Doing more with less”, simply was empty rhetoric, that did not translate well.

We heard, yesterday, first-hand testimony of neglectful practices by not just SBA, but other agencies of the federal government.  We heard about the way a specific government agency passed over a qualified SDB contractor because they would not agree to cut their G&A charges to “0” (zero).  That is an unhealthy condition.  It is unworthy of the most powerful nation on the planet, a government whose Congress passed several laws intended to promote the competitive viability of firms owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.   Firms cannot attain viability if they cannot recover their full costs, PLUS a reasonable profit.

We heard of another instance where a prime contractor was “squeezed out of a contract”, because the government agency decided that they were “too successful” to be in the program.  This was an SDB that had on its team a smaller, less “successful” firm, that it was intending to subcontract to.  What a time that would have been for the SBA to come charging to the rescue.

But, SBA suffers from a series of cuts that has left a once- magnificent force of 220 Procurement Center Representatives (PCRs), to a mere 59.  Remember, these PCRs perform “surveillance reviews”, which monitor small business contracting procedures at federal agencies, and the prime contractors that serve them.  One of the things we need from the Obama Administration is the development of “a formal plan to align staff resources with program objectives.”   (This was one of the lacks pointed out in the GAO report.)  We need at least 100 more PCRs.  150 more, would be even better.

We will continue our discussion on the next Hour.  This “Hour” ran into 120 minutes.  We had so much activity, so much “new blood”.  As we attempted to close out, a “fly on the wall” would come out, and react to something just said.  We’ve got so much to cover….and, so little time to get it done.

But, it will get done…we’ve got someone who will lead us out of this current dilemma…


Will this be discussed next Monday on The Wilfong Hour- absolutely….

Join Us for the WILFONG HOUR – weekly call-in small business roundtable


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Henry T. Wilfong Jr., MBA, CPA

President, NASDB

Current or Former Positions:

  • Three-time Appointee of Governor and President Ronald Reagan
  • Pasadena, CA City Councilman
  • Member, Bush-Cheney Transition Team-SBA Advisory Group
  • Member, Department of Energy, Small Business Advisory Committee
  • Associate Administrator for Minority Small Business/Capital Ownership Development, SBA
  • Member, National Council on Policy Review-Black Capitalism
  • Member, Presidential Task Force on International Private Enterprise
  • Member, California Council on Criminal Justice
  • Member, NASA Advisory Council
  • Chair, NASA Minority Business Resource Advisory Committee
  • Co-Chair , Unity Network and Black Republicans for Obama/(BRO)
  • Chair, The WILFONG Hour
1 comment
  1. Hank Wilfong said:

    YES WE CAN!!!!!!

    That became the cry for folk who hungered for Change. We remember well when we caught the fever-when we realized we had hooked up with something special.

    We were listening to a video with Zoe Kravitz singing and La..LaLaLaLa…. In the background was a playover of Barack Obama saying: “With a new wind at our backs, we take this journey across this great country. With a message we carry, that, out of many, we are one. That while we breathe we will hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubt and fear and those who tell us we can’t, We shall respond with the timeless creed that sums up the spirit of the American people, the three simple words….YES… WE CAN..”

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