Welcome to “Ask HUD’s OSDBU,” a new blog series hosted by HUD’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU), where frequently asked questions are posted with informative responses. The goal in this blog is to provide information small businesses can use to effectively pursue federal contracting opportunities.
What is the OSDBU? In 1978 Congress passed P.L. 95-507 which required every federal contracting agency to create an office of small and disadvantaged business utilization to develop, implement, and manage small business utilization programs, policies and procedures.
What does the office do? HUD’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) is responsible for ensuring that small businesses including veteran-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned, HUBZone, small disadvantaged, and women-owned small business concerns are treated fairly and have an opportunity to compete and be selected for a fair amount of HUD’s prime contracting and subcontracting opportunities.
HUD’s OSDBU conducts acquisition reviews and monitors HUD’s Small Business Goal and Achievement (both Prime and Subcontracting); provides internal and external training for acquisition professionals, program offices/managers, and the small and large business communities. Additionally, OSDBU responds to external inquiries from Congress, as well as the Government Accountability Office, Small Business Administration, OSDBU Council, Federal Acquisition Council, Office of the National Ombudsman; and conducts outreach and represents the Department at industry events.
Where to start contracting with HUD? The OSDBU’s advice to small businesses interested in federal procurement is very simple: do your homework, list your certifications and credentials, establish relationships and be patient.
Homework: Before coming to HUD, visit https://www.hud.gov to research the agency and the program office in which you have an interest to understand the Department’s and program office’s mission, objectives and procurement needs. Make sure HUD procures what you are selling. Review beta.SAM.gov and HUD’s Forecast of Contracting Opportunities on https://www.hud.gov/smallbusiness to gain an understanding of procurement opportunities.
Certifications and Credentials: List your certifications such as 8(a), small disadvantaged business and HUBZone certifications on your business cards and capability statements. Your one-page capability statement should specifically indicate your firm’s credentials to compete for the procurement.
Relationships: Establish a relationship with the OSDBU and program office staff. Make an appointment with the OSDBU to introduce your company and its capabilities. Arrange marketing visits with program office staff to discuss contracting opportunities for which you are qualified. Attend one of HUD’s Vendor Outreach Sessions. In this high-tech world, it is still a personal touch that will win you your contract!
Patience: Finally, be patient and establish yourself.