JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (Oct. 15, 2021) -- Mission and Installation Contracting Command small business professionals from across the nation leveraged virtual platforms to overcome small business engagement challenges and exceed contracting goals across all socioeconomic categories for the seventh consecutive year.
The MICC executed more than 27,000 contract actions valued at almost $5.2 billion in fiscal 2021, including more than $2.6 billion to small businesses, to ensure installation readiness requirements across the Army while also supporting emerging contract needs in response to COVID-19 and Operation Allies Welcome.
Mark Massie, the assistant director of the MICC Office of Small Business Programs from Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, said the efforts of the command’s acquisition professionals resulted in the MICC exceeding all five of its small business goals set by the Army Materiel Command. He added that while fiscal 2021 and part of fiscal 2020 presented significant challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, his small business team was able to adapt quickly and meet the mission.
“In FY21 we executed our first ever command-wide Advance Planning Briefing for Industry, and it was all accomplished virtually. We continue to reach small businesses and provide transparency of requirements to allow them to plan and succeed,” Massie said. “The biggest impact has been the inability to meet with small businesses in a face-to-face environment. However, we have adapted and are using virtual tools to allow us to continue to meet with industry on a daily basis.”
The virtual Advance Planning Briefing for Industry, or APBI, in March was followed in April with one-on-one virtual matchmaking engagements with more than 290 small businesses in order to continue to strengthen the Defense industrial base. The director said small business professionals were able to take capability statements received and share them with contracting officers to aid in their market research for current acquisition efforts.
“One MICC director was able to meet with vendors from across the nation. Typically, he holds local vendor fairs attracting local vendors,” Massie said. “This event allowed him to connect with vendors across the nation who offer possible services and/or supplies, giving them more sources for possible acquisitions.”
Of the 294 capability statements added to the MICC’s market research database in fiscal 2021, approximately 36% were generated from the APBI, according to Heather Scherer, a MICC small business analyst at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston. Federal acquisition regulations require that contracting officers conduct appropriate market research, including small business capabilities, in consideration for certain awards such as set-asides. Scherer added the MICC achieved 54.88% against a goal of 45% in small business, 33.92% against its goal of 24% in small disadvantaged business, 11.03% against its 9% goal for service-disabled veteran-owned small business, 12.58% against its 9% goal for woman-owned small business, and 10.98% against its 6% goal for historically underutilized business zone small business.
Massie added that his team placed special emphasis on the woman-owned small business socioeconomic category to ensure success for establishments identified by the Small Business Association in specific North American Industry Classification System categories as underrepresented, allowing the command to not only beat its goal but also far exceed its expectations. He added that small businesses also stepped up in fiscal 2021 to meet the service’s COVID response needs. Of the more than $27 million in MICC contract awards for the Army’s fight against the pandemic, $12.5 million went to small businesses.
Massie also credited his small business professionals for overcoming personnel challenges throughout the past fiscal year during key vacancies. He acknowledged the outstanding performance by Amy Ulisse and Luis Trinidad, assistant directors of small business, who filled his position while he served as the MICC chief of staff. Ulisse is assigned to the MICC Field Directorate Office at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, and Trinidad is assigned to the 418th Contracting Support Brigade at Fort Hood, Texas.
“First and foremost, I have an outstanding staff of professionals. It always presents a challenge when we have folks out for an extended period of time,” he said. “However, we all step up to the task and meet the challenge.”
Massie also recognized Ambre Wallitsch who temporarily served as assistant director for the 419th CSB earlier this year and successfully guided the brigade through the fiscal year to meet small business goals before later competing for and earning promotion for the position.
As the MICC small business team begins tackling its fiscal 2022 effort, it is in the process of analyzing prior years’ spend and current and future priority requirements to develop its goals. This entails consideration for a presidential executive order to increase spending to small disadvantaged businesses over the next four years.
About the MICC
Headquartered at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, the Mission and Installation Contracting Command consists of about 1,500 military and civilian members who are responsible for contracting goods and services in support of Soldiers as well as readying trained contracting units for the operating force and contingency environment when called upon. As part of its mission, MICC contracts are vital in feeding more than 200,000 Soldiers every day, providing many daily base operations support services at installations, facilitate training in the preparation of more than 100,000 conventional force members annually, training more than 500,000 students each year, and maintaining more than 14.4 million acres of land and 170,000 structures.