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NEWS | Aug. 7, 2017

PEO Ships Works to Promote Small Business Opportunities

By Team Ships Public Affairs

WASHINGTON - With more than 20 small business contracts awarded to support foreign military sales and boat and service craft acquisition this fiscal year, the Program Executive Office Ships (PEO Ships) works to enhance shipbuilding opportunities for small businesses, a critical component of the Navy’s effort to deliver warfighting capabilities to our Sailors and Marines.

PEO Ships works closely with The Navy’s Office of Small Business Programs to support small businesses, a community recognized for its innovative and agile solutions to acquisition needs.  

As one of the largest acquisition organizations in the Navy, PEO Ships manages the design and construction of destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships as well as a wide range of boats and craft for U.S. agencies and foreign military sales. It is currently competing five new contracts as small business set asides. These contracts have a total potential value of over $1 billion: the PB(X), the landing craft utility (LCU 1700), the towing, salvage and rescue ship (T-ATS), the workboat large, and the harbor tug (YT).

While small business opportunities exist across all of the platforms in PEO Ships, the program office for Support Ships, Boats, and Craft is leading the effort to increase small business participation in acquisition of integrated ship, boat, and craft products and services to U.S. and international maritime forces.  This office is committed to building and sustaining a robust industrial base by creating a culture that is supportive of and responsive to small business concerns.

Small businesses are often not accustomed to the acquisition process of a government contract.  To promote awareness, PEO Ships shares best practices for submitting competitive proposals and adhering to contract requirements. These discussions often take place at Industry Days prior to solicitation of a new contract and highlight opportunities for small businesses, facilitating an exchange of information between interested parties and the government’s program, contracts and legal personnel. 

In 2016, PEO Ships held an Industry Day in support of the upcoming Patrol Boat (PB(X)) procurement that attracted 28 small businesses.  Of those businesses, over 20 were new to the Navy patrol boat industrial base.  

As maintaining adequate cash flow and stable workloads can be challenging for small businesses, PEO Ships works with NAVSEA contracting professionals to provide performance-based, commercial-type payment clauses to accommodate restrained fiscal resources. Additionally, through increased use of indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity type contracts for standard boat and service craft, companies are able to plan workload over a longer period of time, creating necessary stability.  

By providing potential bidders with simplified proposal requirement checklists and conducting post-award conferences to address questions regarding contract terms and conditions, small businesses can more easily navigate the complexity often associated with government contracts.  

Opportunities for small businesses to learn about working within the PEO Ships portfolio will be discussed this week at NAVSEA's Small Business Industry Day, hosted Aug. 8 on the Washington Navy Yard. While attendance for this event closed last month, presentations and other small business resources will be posted to following the event.