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Local Small Business Continues to Win DOD Engineering Design Contracts

May 13, 2016 in News, Success Stories

ATA Engineering, a sixteen-year old small business engineering services company in San Diego, CA, recently received two large contracts with DoD agencies; specifically, ATA was awarded an SBIR Phase II Contract for $912,625.00 to develop finite element analysis (FEA) tools capable of predicting the post-damage kinematic response of shipboard mechanical systems for the Navy, and a $1.5 million Commercialization Readiness Program (CRP) contract to develop a method and system for ground-based calibration of the structural monitoring health sensors aboard the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter for the Air Force.

ATA Engineering is a provider of analysis and test-driven design solutions focusing on the engineering needs of major manufacturers in addressing their cost, quality, and time-to-market engineering challenges for mechanical and aerospace systems. ATA has built its stellar reputation for its commercial and government customers by using advanced computer-aided engineering software to solve problems in the aerospace, biomedical, automotive, entertainment, and consumer products industries.

SDCOC staff first began working with ATA Engineering staff in November 2011 to assist with, initially, refining their marketing tools and strategy, to more complex topics, which included technical assistance with navigating a successful DCAA audit, and preparing a final patent report on another federal contract. Since then, SDCOC staff have continued to assist ATA Engineering by providing timely & concise responses to complex contracting questions for both pre-award and post-award stages. With a mission to assist small businesses win and successfully perform on government contracts, the SDCOC looks forward to our continued support of ATA Engineering’s government contracting technical assistance needs via our flagship one-on-one Business Advisory Services free of charge.

GAO: Protester Must Show “Specific Exception” to Subcontracting Limitation

May 13, 2016 in News

A protester challenging an awardee’s compliance with the FAR’s limitation on subcontracting faces an uphill battle.

As explained in a recent GAO bid protest decision, an offeror’s compliance with the limitation on subcontracting is presumed; a protester, therefore, must present specific evidence demonstrating that the awardee will not comply with the limitation. In many cases–especially when the solicitation does not require offerors to provide a breakdown of costs of the work performed by the prime and its subcontractors–such evidence may be next to impossible to obtain.

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New NAICS for WOSB and EDWOSB set-asides!

March 8, 2016 in News

March 7, 2016 Expanded list of Industries are eligible for WOSB set-asides.  Effective Wednesday, March 3, SBA made major changes to the Women’s contracting program. Pursuant to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015, a study was … Continued

Source: New NAICS for WOSB and EDWOSB set-asides! – APTAC – Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers

Local Small Business Helps Disabled Vets Get Back in the Race

February 19, 2016 in News, Success Stories

PHP Photo 6 FabricationPeter Harsch Prosthetics (PHP), a small business located in San Diego, California, has gained quite a reputation for providing excellent patient care.  As a family-run prosthetic clinic with a focus on fitting active amputees with high-performance artificial limbs, this is no easy feat.  Nonetheless, the company expects 100 percent patient satisfaction and is committed to provide this no matter how long it may take.  PHP’s hard work and dedication to their patients recently landed them a $14,000,000 Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

While an expert in prostheses, the company does not consider themselves government contracting experts.  However, with the majority of their patients receiving VA benefits, the company definitely knew they needed to pursue contracting opportunities with the VA.  They quickly realized they needed some help in this area.  By word of mouth, they stumbled upon San Diego Contracting Opportunities Center (SDCOC), a program that assists small businesses with government contracting at no cost.

SDCOC staff first began working with Peter Harsch Prosthetics in November 2012, shortly after the company opened and provided assistance on registrations, certifications, and government marketing strategies.  After successfully landing numerous individual purchase orders with the VA, the company decided to compete for a much larger IDIQ multiple award contract.  SDCOC staff Ken Adam and Trisha Ferrand assisted the company in putting together the proposal and pricing for the opportunity.  The company’s proposal was a success, as they were recently notified they are one of three successful San Diego based companies awarded the VA’s IDIQ contract for prostheses.  This new VA contract will streamline the purchasing process, making it much easier for these wounded warriors and high performance athletes to get back on track and back into the race.

SBA Seeks Comment on WOSB Certification Process

January 13, 2016 in News

SBA released an advance notice of proposed rulemaking, which will amend the WOSB Program certification process.  In the 2015 NDAA, Congress directed SBA to end self-certification for WOSBs and EDWOSBs and implement a certification process. SBA is now soliciting feedback on how to best implement Congress’ directive. Through the advance notice, SBA is providing commenters the ability to suggest what they believe is the most appropriate way to structure the WOSB/EDWOSB certification process before SBA engages in formal rulemaking.

Specifically, SBA seeks comments as to the four possible certification approaches. Although the language of Section 825 of the 2015 NDAA authorizes certification by a federal agency, a State government, SBA, or a national certifying entity approved by SBA, SBA requests commenters to weigh in on whether each of the four types should be pursued. SBA also requests comments on whether there should be a grace period after implementation to give firms that have self-certified the time necessary to complete the new certification process, and what should become of the current WOSB repository and whether or not it should be maintained. Further, SBA is inviting commenters to critique the third party national certifying entities currently approved by SBA, as well as the WOSB certification programs available through the SBA’s 8(a) Program and by states that have certified women to be DBEs for the USDOT’s DBE Program.

If you are currently self-certified as a WOSB or EDWOSB, or are thinking of pursuing WOSB/EDWOSB certification, this advance notice provides a unique opportunity to help SBA create a fair and efficient certification process. PilieroMazza has long championed the WOSB Program, and we would appreciate your thoughts as we develop our comments to the advance notice.

Comments to the advance notice are due February 16, 2016.

SDCOC Client Receives Highest Honors for Veteran’s Web Based Self-Help Training Course

September 8, 2015 in News, Success Stories

San Diego, CA, September 4, 2015 –(– Novus Origo has received the highest honor bestowed by the judges of “Best in Class” in three separate categories during the annual Interactive Media Council Awards(SM) program, a competition that recognizes the highest standards of excellence in website design and development and honors individuals and organizations for their outstanding achievement. The IMC judges evaluated Novus Origo based on five criteria: Design, Content, Feature Functionality, Usability and Standards Compliance, and the panel of leading designers, developers, programmers, advertisers, and other web professionals chose Novus Origo’s Web Based training course from more than 450 entries.

Novus Origo’s winning web based self-help course is an interactive behavioral health training course for Veterans titled Anger & Irritability Management Skills (AIMS). The content for AIMS was developed by behavioral experts and is based on 20+ years of working with Veterans. It provides support for Veterans who may have mental or behavioral health concerns, and features video production and training scenarios from real Veterans who have had anger issues and benefited from the course. Team Novus Origo working closely with the VA’s Subject Matter Experts (SME’s) developed the AIMS web-based training for the Department of Veterans Affairs to assist Veterans in better understanding their strengths and weaknesses, defining anger trigger points, identifying goals, and formulating personal plans that can be implemented to confidently identify and manage demanding anger situations.

“We are excited to participate in the 2015 Interactive Media Council’s Awards competition, and are extremely honored to have our web based course selected as “Best in Class” in three separate categories,” said Paul Cevolani, Novus Origo CEO. “We believe in this course and one of our strategic goals as a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) is to support ways to help our fellow veterans.”

“To receive the Interactive Media Council’s highest honor, in not one but three categories, is more than humbling” said Olen Pepple, Novus Origo COO. “We truly believe that this self-help course provides our fellow Veterans the skills and tools to assist them as they combat anger issues.”

The annual Interactive Media Awards™ is an international competition that recognizes the highest standards of excellence in website design and development and honor individuals and organizations for their outstanding achievement.

Novus Origo is an employee-owned Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) that has generated millions of dollars in value for our clients by solving their most complex business challenges. Our teams of proven industry leaders are hand-picked for their expertise in the areas of Strategy and Operations, IT and Program Management, Human Performance and Training Solutions. We are passionate about creating value for our clients and stand behind the results our team will deliver.

Working Together for Veteran Business Success

August 4, 2015 in News

Are you a Service Disabled Veteran-Owned or Veteran-Owned Small Business?  Good news…the San Diego Contracting Opportunities Center (SDCOC) and the Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE) are here to help.  Helping firms get verified as a Service Disabled Veteran-Owned or Veteran-Owned Small Business is a collaborative process with many moving parts. To support this complex application process, the CVE trains small business advisors around the country – CVE Certified Verification Assistance Counselors and SDCOC has 4 CVE Certified Verification Assistance Counselors on staff!  CVE has begun offering webinars for firms in various stages of the Verification process. Specifically, CVE offers:

Designed for firms new to Verification or who have been away from the program for more than a year

How to Stay Verified
Designed for firms who have been verified for 6 months

Preparing for Reverification
Designed for firms whose verification is set to expire in months or in 0 days

These webinars are a great way for veteran owned businesses to receive critical information and updates 24/7.  By selecting any of the webinar titles listed above, you will be taken directly to the registration screen.

*Some of the content in this article was taken from the July 2015 Counselor Newsletter, published by the Department of Veterans Affairs

Bak-Re-Pair Lands Contract with the Defense Commissary Agency

July 28, 2015 in News, Success Stories

Bak-Re-Pair, Inc., a woman-owned small business located in San Diego, California, recently received a $329,000 contract award from the Defense Commissary Agency (DECA) to provide commercial equipment repair and preventive maintenance for Southern California commissary stores. This is the first government contract Bak-Re-Pair, Inc. has been awarded. Bak-Re-Pair, Inc. had been pursuing a contract with DECA for quite some time and are excited to finally find success with the agency, especially since the contract’s scope of work is an exact fit for the services provided by the company.

Bak-Re-Pair, Inc. is a mechanical company that services and maintains food service equipment, service packaging equipment and other commercial equipment, providing parts and service from installation to preventive maintenance. With an in-house machine shop, the company can manufacture or repair custom rollers, racks, carts, and special application equipment, with an experienced background in air handling equipment repair.

Needing assistance with understanding how to respond to the Request for Proposals released by DECA earlier this year, Bak-Re-Pair, Inc. was referred to the San Diego Contracting Opportunities Center (SDCOC) to receive help with submitting a proposal for this business opportunity. With a mission of helping small businesses obtain government contracts, SDCOC specializes in providing this type of assistance free of charge. Senior Procurement Advisor, Tim Warren, met with Bak-Re-Pair, Inc. to walk the company through how to develop a thorough and responsive proposal. The assistance proved to be exactly what the company needed, as Bak-Re-Pair was awarded the contract in May 2015.

“The proposal was very overwhelming and the contract specialist recommended PTAC for help and we are so glad we did. PTAC made the contract much more easy to understand and their help was invaluable in our preparation and completion of the proposal. We know we were awarded the contract with the help of PTAC.”, says Debbie Gilbert, Vice President of Bak-Re-Pair, Inc.

Sterling Design Finds Contracting Success with a Little Help from a Friend

April 27, 2015 in News, Success Stories

Sterling Design, Inc., a small business located in Oceanside, California, has found success in prime contracting with a little help from a local small business resource program, the San Diego Contracting Opportunities Center (SDCOC).  Since 2007, Sterling Design has been awarded numerous prime contracts from the Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Air Force and most recently received its first contract with the Army to deliver displays for the Abrams Main Battle Tank.

The company has designed, manufactured and repaired constituent electronic assemblies for U.S and NATO weapon systems for 25 years. Having significant experience as a DOD subcontractor already, the company became a client of SDCOC in 2007.  Sterling Design was seeking  assistance in locating federal contracting opportunities and bidding as a prime contractor, since the market for new designs had shrunk significantly in size.

“Sterling Design is a avid user of SDCOC’s bid match software system. Additionally, the Procurement Advisors, specifically Tim Warren, are an immense resource for mentoring me on critical issues of federal acquisition rules and practice. Tim and others are experienced, knowledgeable and approachable. They have rendered Sterling Design invaluable advice through the years”, states Dick Kessler, President.

“Our most  recent contract award with the Army is illustrative of the active involvement of SDCOC’s Procurement Advisors and their invaluable advice”, further explains Dick Kessler. After winning the contract, the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) required a preaward survey audit. Despite having 25 years of successful performance, the DCMA representatives deemed Sterling Design not qualified to perform the contract.  As a result, the Army Contracting Office requested that the company obtain a Certificate of Competency (COC) through the U.S. Small Business Administration, a process that allows small businesses to obtain a “second opinion” audit of sorts by submitting a rigorous amount of performance and financial documentation to a SBA review team.

SDCOC staff then provided Sterling Design with advice and tips on how to obtain a successful outcome with the Certificate of Competency (COC) process.  Dick Kessler explains, “The advice of Tim Warren was concise and vital…give them everything they ask for and more. He was right!  And we were finally awarded the contract. SDCOC is not only your friend and advisor, they are also your partner in success”.

New Public Works Contractor Registration Effective March 1, 2015

March 2, 2015 in News

Here’s a reminder to our construction clients that beginning March 1, 2015, all contractors and subcontractors must be registered with the Department of Industrial Relations in order be qualified to bid on or be listed on a bid for a public works job pursuant to new Labor Code sections 1725.5 and 1771.1. This registration requirement also applies to all contractors and subcontractors performing work on public works jobs awarded after April 1, 2015.

Contractors and subcontractors can register online here. The registration process requires contractors and subcontractors to pay a $300.00 fee and certify that they meet the following minimum qualifications:

  • Maintenance of workers’ compensation coverage.
  • Licensed with the Contractors State License Board, if applicable to trade.
  • No delinquent unpaid wage or penalty assessments owed to any employee or enforcement agency.
  • Not under federal or state debarment.
  • No prior violation of the registration requirement; provided, however, one violation in the preceding 12 months can be cured with a penalty payment of $2,000.

Under the new law, a prime contractor’s bid may not be accepted nor any contract entered without proof of the prime contractor’s registration to perform public work.

Prime contractors are also required to make sure that all subcontractors listed on their bids or with whom they enter a subcontract are registered. Contractors can check to see if another contractor or subcontractor is registered online here.

If subcontractors are not registered as required by law and are inadvertently listed on a bid, they may still be able to work on the project if they are: (1) registered before the bid opening; or (2) register and pay a penalty registration fee of $2000 within 24 hours after bid opening.

More information at