Much in the news over recent weeks regarding transition of power and how the changes in administrations will affect government decision making. The most important advice I’ve learned in times like these is what Mark Twain said:
“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.”
We have been through unpreceded times before. Revolution, Civil War, terror attacks, international conflict. Through all our Union has stood the test of time. The United States of America is an amazing country for so many reasons but the one of interest today is its resiliency. Our institutions have held and our systems remain.
So often in my business, I am fortunate enough to speak with small business owners considering entering public sector work. They typically have some established commercial business. Uncertain if the red tape and perceived bureaucracy of government procurements is worth the time and effort. So many regulations and so many hoops to jump through.
I quickly ask how long their existing customers have been around. Are those customers obligated by law to pay their bills? Are they required by law and policy to work with small businesses? The federal government and most state governments have these requirements. Sure, you may hear stories of this guy never got paid, or that person was delayed 2 months but do you know why? Did they do what they were supposed to? Our government is not perfect. It is ever evolving but the direction is consistent if sometimes unclear.
Increased importance on small business spending and added protection for proprietary information. Republican or Democrat, Red or Blue, the consistent direction of government procurement has been increased focus on small business participation. Certain rules have changed recently requiring verify status rather than self-certification. This added step is set to protect tax payer dollars by only working with verified companies. In addition, with recent hacks of increasing penetration, companies working on federal contracts will need to protect both their information as well as government information. These are the times we live in. Some may see them as unnecessary and cumbersome. I chose to dig deeper to the intent. The budget they have is our tax dollars. The information generated is our information. These steps are necessary in the growth and modernization of our Union.
In times like these, a broader view may be necessary. Our country continues to work and operate. The partnership between government agencies and commercial business will continue to develop and deepen as they have since our founding.