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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Memorandum For Small Business Owners


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The mission of the Department of State is to create a more secure, democratic and prosperous world for the benefit of the American people and the international community. We promote and protect the interests of Americans by:

  • Managing diplomatic relations with other nations and international institutions.
  • Promoting peace and stability in regions of vital interests.
  • Promoting U.S. business interests abroad.

The mission of the Department's Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) is to ensure that all legislatively specified categories of small businesses in our prime contracts and subcontracts are effectively utilized to the maximum extent possible. Every Department employee who has a role in the acquisition process, whether as an end user or a contracting officer, has a responsibility to support the Department's efforts. We:

  • Champion U.S. small business interests in the acquisition process.
  • Provide counseling to the small business community on how to do business with the Department in order to expand the base of small business firms selling to the Department
  • Provide training and counseling to our internal customers about contracting with small businesses and we assist them with identifying resources that result in increased opportunities for small businesses

The OSDBU locates qualified small businesses in all legislatively specified categories in a variety of ways: (1) liaison with the U.S. Small Business Administration (2) use and encourgage the use by our acquisition community of the Dynamic Small Business Database, the Contractor Central Registration (CCR) database, the Veteran Business Registry (VetBiz) and the Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) database to identify potential sources, (3) participating in various outreach events sponsored by Federal agencies, members of Congress, trade associations, and national Chambers of Commerce and (4) one-to-one counseling to small businesses upon request. Since the Department's mission is international, we do not maintain domestic regional offices or appoint regional small business specialists. The OSDBU is located in Arlington, Virginia and has sole oversight for the Department's small business advocacy program worldwide.

We cannot over emphasize the need for small businesses to maintain current, accurate information in the CCR database. Since the U.S. General Services Administration's (GSA) Federal Procurement Data System Next Generation (FPDS-NG) interfaces with CCR, federal agencies only receive credit for socio-economic categories that firms enter into CCR. The contracting officer cannot change information uploaded from CCR into FPDS-NG. All firms interested in doing business with the government must register in CCR. CCR streamlines the process of competing for and being paid under Federal contracts.

If you have questions about the Department's small business program, please contact us at (703) 875-6822.

Shapleigh C. Drisko
Director
Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization



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