NVSBE 2017: Lamont Norwood - How to do Business with the EPA
Good. Morning. I'm Lamar Norwood I'm the direct procurement national. Program manager, in EPA's AHS abou office and thank you guys for coming really appreciate, it do we have any veterans, in the audience. Guys. Stand up. Thank. You for your service we appreciate. Thank. You. So. How many of you all have EPA, contracts. Okay. That's, good but that means that we have our work cut out for us so doing. This presentation I, want this to be interactive you, guys have any questions while I'm going through please. Do not hesitate to, ask me because this is for you. Beginning. This is the formal, definition of. Our mission but essentially, we're your advocates. Inside. EPA and, also outside the things that we do now let, me tell you inside. EPA is much harder of a job in doing this because we have to convince our program office for, offices and our contracting, officers that. You guys exist, we, do this we know that you're out there but they are the ones that we have to convince that you're out there. This. Is the actual, components of our office that Denise runs, again. I'm the. Person that you talk to when we're talking about direct procurements, but, EPA's azu office is a little bit different, we have two, components that some odds of blue offices don't have because. We are grants agency, or I should say and we'll see this later when we were a grants, dominated. Agency, we, have a small disadvantaged. Business. Enterprise section. A DBE program which, deals with EPA grants, and this is really unique the EPA we, have the asbestos small. Business, on Bloods 'men office because we're regulatory. Agency. A lot of our regulations can impact negatively, impact, small businesses, so we actually have that function, to Denise. These. Are our small business accomplishments and what. I always say is the agency, makes it really easy for, me to do this if. I with some other agencies, I wouldn't want to do this because their numbers don't look like this. Last. Year and this is a snapshot of October. The first we, awarded, approximately, forty point fifty one percent of all, of our contracts, of small business, today does anybody know what the statutory goal, is for the federal government. So. Small business. Twenty-three. Right. So, EPA almost, doubles, what, the statutory goal for the total, small business of the government what happens at the end of the year SVA, totals. Up everything, from everybody and. What they want to do is come up with twenty three percent one. A yearly basis, we do forty, two thirty nine to forty percent some years has been high as 42 or 43 so. When you talk about EPA we're definitely a pretty. Friendly small business agency but that doesn't mean that we don't we don't work hard because we have to to, maintain those numbers, another. Number that you look at is a service-disabled. In, 2017. We've met that goal also and this is a snapshot at, October the first numbers kind of fluctuate, and SBA, doesn't freeze the numbers, usually. Sometime. In the first quarter, maybe early second, quarter because they're the obligations.
And Some other things any, questions. That's. Three percent right. And that's a statutory. Goal meaning that congressionally, is three percent across-the-board. We. Do we, do we do we're. Meeting with the National HUBZone, Council, we're, doing some things behind the epa closed doors we're trying to reach. Out to our. Program, offices to let them know what you guys exist, the, mindset, about the HUBZone program is a little bit different, a lot of people think that the HUBZone contractors. Are mom-and-pop. Shops that, can't. Do some of the things that some. Of the other social economic, categories can do so we are looking at that believe me that's, the one goal that we have had a difficult, time meeting I think maybe about four years ago we came extremely. Close we were at two point six seven so. We could do that then we. Can we can make the goal we just have to strategize, and think strategically on. How we're going to do oh. The. Rule of two is always yes most step for everybody for all small businesses, right. Right, I. Know. You do. Well. That's that's what our. Strategically. Thinking we have to get more hub zones to come, back in and say we can do the work this. Is just another look at the the chart I just showed just a little bit easier to follow as, far as the the small business achievements, are concerned. These. Are the negotiated. Small business goals for FY, 18. And, that what, I want and I think I should look at the Astra's down, I did SBA recommended. Small, business goal I think, and I'm pretty sure almost 99%, sure that our new, goal is gonna be 39%. And, that's. A good thing for us because last. Year again when, I was in here I had no clue what the. Procurement, budget. Would look like or what our procurement, numbers our final numbers would look like based, on the you. Know thought that the the budget, was going to be severely cut, and. We'll talk about that but these are going to be the goals. For 2008. Subcontracting. And prime, contracting. This. Chart is hard to see but we're. One of six. Agencies that, has, received an a on the SBA scorecard, and I want to say wow. This is from 2009. Through. 2016. Actually, before, 2009. The scoring was a little bit different it was like green yellow and but. They actually now grade agencies, on their. Small business program, this is in jest the numbers, but it's inclusive of the whole is a holistic look at the agencies small business program, so that's something that we're really proud of and I always tell everyone when I bring, this chart up don't. Look at the aides because they're already small business friendly a pluses. Look at some of the B's that are up there they want to get to that a level and they want to get to that A+ level, so, look at some of the agencies that may not be doing as well as the aides and the a-pluses and hopefully.
We're, In the process now we're getting, to, put together our, scorecard. Submission. To SVA for, it's, always a year behind 4:17, so hopefully, we can get an a off of what we did in 17. Any. Questions. I. Would love to get an A+ but. The thing that we have to do and I'm pretty sure is to make that HUBZone goal and, some other things but no we always want to do the best that we can do. These. Are and I just went back through and looked at these last week these are the top areas, that we award our dollars, in the top makes codes now, if you're not in these next codes it doesn't preclude you, from doing business with the EPA but. As, you can see number. One is other professional, services that surprised me number two is hazardous, substance, removal, so you know that's what we do as an agency so. A lot of our money goes into that but, again these, are the top five but, if you're not in there doesn't mean that we don't do what, you guys do. Yeah. I think that um, downloaded. Them upload them to the system so I think they'll be sending them out to you if not before. You leave I'll give everybody my card and if you don't have it I'll send it to you okay. Guys. This is a really important site this is available for everybody it's called USA, spending, and basically. Information I'm showing you I got, from this website if. You go in you can look at every federal, agency you can see what their top spin is in with top Nix codes their spin is in so, that if you do this research you can cut out some people that you may want to market to because you can see that they may not be a good fit for you but this, is an excellent website I basically. Get most of my information that, I put on these slides from this website and it's available to anybody, so you can go on there and get it. Now. If. Last year if I was here and, I. Talked about the actual procurement budget. We, were at 1.6, last year I would probably said that I. Don't. Expect that we will award a billion dollars in 17. Because just of the information. About EPA is be severely cut but. As you can see it really didn't affect us on the direct, procurement side if you look at it if you just took a straight line and ran through that you. Probably will wind up for an average of 1. Billion point, 55, or something like that so we basically. Stayed in the same range that we usually are in so. It didn't really affect us, and I always get the joke from other agencies are you guys still in business or you're, still around you still don't fit Pennsylvania, Avenue but we're definitely, in business. Not. That I know of when I mean you can see if we you, know we stay on that same course as far as the, budget is concerned but, you know again. You, know my common, response, to a lot of questions like that is that I don't know but I don't think so just my opinion. I've. Heard of anything like that so. Hopefully, that doesn't happen but. This. Is the annual. Service-disabled. Veteran-owned. Achievements, with the agency, you can see that we spiked in FY. 14 we're as high as five point two nine percent, and we. Kind. Of leveled off at three, point eight now, hopefully and. Just knowing what I know in the agency, that downward trend we. Don't want that to continue we want to see it pop back up to at least say. Four percent four point five something like that so we have our work to do even though we meet that goal what. I don't like is seeing that downward trend going, along and I, and I know one reason why we had a hundred. Million dollar award, under. The bets to you actually, was the largest award to a service-disabled. Veteran-owned, firm on, that gee whack well, when, you award a hundred million dollars to a company, they don't stay small for long so. Of course we're. Still awarding, things but, that number is going down because a lot of that hundred million dollars is now, going. To a large, company instead, of small, exactly. Right. No. Achieving. The. Goal. Is three. Know. That goal is set by Congress a statutory. So we can't we, can't change that we can't negotiate that. This. Is another way and we talk about doing business with EPA I always, bring, this up because EPA, is not just a contracts, agency, in the, past we've been much more for grants agency, if we award 1 billion dollars, in contracts, then, usually, it was about four billion dollars in grants and when I say grants now. The grant to start your business but let's say that the, drinking. Water, problem, in Flint Michigan if. You go on to Gulf spin you can see the vp8 Flint Michigan or Michigan the, state received. A lot of EPA, money and grants so. That's another way but when the state a city, or municipality receives. A grant from EPA and they, don't do the work themselves, then. That means that they have to hire so, that's when our program kicks in for minority, businesses and, women-owned businesses, so, basically, if you get a let's, say if you were doing something with the drinking water in Michigan.
Or EPA. Gave a grant to the state of Maryland to build a field chase tracing, plant if your company was doing some of that work then. Indirectly. You're an EPA contractor. Because that money is actually federal, money going. To the state then, the hire contractors. And there's, a website, called grants.gov, where, you can actually track to see where that money is going from. The agency, to what. Municipalities. City or state Denise you have any. So. That's another way indirectly. Where you can follow EPA money and it's all, kinds, of different avenues it could be IT it, could be construction. It could be a lot of different things so, when you look at the agencies, don't. Just look at the rec procurement, but there's also ways where indirectly, you. Can win awards that it happened to be EPA money but they're not direct, contracts. Most. Of the Superfund, sites I would say are contracts. Yeah, the grants, are a little bit different, and. Again grants.gov will, give you that information. This. Isn't a snapshot, of FY 16, and, if. You look at the, orange, that, is actually, contracts, money so you see grants far outweigh, at EPA contracts. In. 2016. We award almost four billion dollars, of grants that could be ITB. Construction, it could be a whole, lot of different things so, that's a whole lot of money going out the door and. When. You talk about FY, 17 and. The difference, and what was impacted, by the changes, this. Is what FY 17 looked. Like EPA, no, longer, is. A grants agency, based on this year, it's almost one the one with contracts, and grants so. A lot of the grants were cut so that's where the impact, came as far as the, cuts of EPA wasn't contracts, through those grants you, asked me last year I thought it would have probably been contracts, well maybe a combination of both but it. Was a grants that got cut. Any. Questions. Yeah. Those are yea those grants, and nonprofits. Also correct Thank You Denise, but. That will. Impact small businesses, because that means there's less of, that money for you guys to actually go after. This. Is something we put together follow, the money again as the, grants websites and you guys will get this so you don't have to take pictures or anything I'll send it to you if you don't get it from the, VA but, it's just information about, other. Things, besides the right procurement, which would be the grants where you can follow the money. This. Is something that's really really really important. This, is our vendor, profile. Small business vendor profile system and basically it's our database, we. Find contractors, who are interested in doing business with EPA if. I go and look at the small dynamic, business search and put 5 4 1 5 11 in there I'll, come, up with probably a thousand, contractors, but, if I go to our database, and I look for that I'll know that it's people who have sat. Through these presentations. Have gone to our website, you. Are you guys are interested in EPA. If I get a call from a contracting, officer saying hey I need to find a service-disabled. Veteran-owned firm that does XYZ, I'm, going to this database and look because I know that, you. Guys have actually sat in have, gone to our website, I've registered so. This is really important, if you don't do anything else they are take away anything else from this take. This away if you're interested in doing business with EPA. This. Is the acquisition forecast. And this is just a snapshot of what it looks like and, during. The 2 and the 1 and a half days that I've been here I've stressed, to everyone that I've talked to if you want to know how to do business not, with just EPA with. Any federal, agency look, at their acquisition, forecasts, this, is an, EPA, does a really good job I was actually a, Contracting. Officer and small business specialist for another agency, and on. September, October, the first I will put together the forecast and it, would not change this. Isn't more fluid it's, just supposed to change our contract nurses are supposed to go in if something it's not gonna be a word they're, supposed, to take it out and I'm quoting, quotes supposed to take it out, so. If you want to do business with EPA this is the best place, to look. These. Are some procurements, that I pulled out of the acquisition, forecasts. Good. Actually. It has it we, did a mass, email to all of our contracting, officers we, went through the forecast and we found that there were some that did not have points of contact, a point, of contact is supposed to be on every single one so. Now they're responding back and they're really making sure that the ones that don't have points, of contact they will and. The most the time it's gonna be the contracting.
Specialists. And. I'm not gonna promise you that they'll get back to you but if they don't please give me a call please email me and let me know okay. This. First one. The. First procurement, I just went and pulled out things I thought you guys might be interested in this first, procurement. And this is the best way to track it if you look at the next code it's, actually a warehouse and. Labor. Services. Contract, coming out of our office of administration, and resources, management they do a really really, really good job with small business awards, now. This one and because I know that some contractors, happen, to be service disabled but they may be a day and there may be other things this, happens to be an 8a award but. If your service is able in your a day doesn't, preclude you from going after it, the. Second one is an IT development. And operation, management, contract. It's 50, million to a hundred million this. Is a small business set-aside the. Reason why I put this here and it's actually coming out of our office of water is, that if we can find to, service, disabled veteran-owned firms then, we can set this aside and that's, the rule of 2:19. For nineteen point five oh two. The. Third one. This. Is interesting when. I looked at this this morning it's actually, an IT. Award. Projected. Award but it says provides. Case management, tracking and, I guess it's more of like a database. Or a tracking, system. But. This is another one that's a small business set-aside. Maybe. You guys have any questions please don't hesitate to ask, hmm. I. Think. This oh. That. Was a next slide I'll get right, I'll get back to it yeah. Okay. The next one is the. Purpose was contract, is about region one for our agent range, of on-site IT, support, services, this. Is due to be awarded in October. 2018. This. Is another small business set-aside, and this, is great because they actually had the manager, of region. 1 as a point of contact is the regional, acquisition, manager, for that whole, region. As a point of contact I. I. Don't know I wouldn't, think so this, is October, 18, so it's. Well. Everything. That you see up there has. To come to us and, then. We make, recommendations to the contracting, officer so, they. May come to us and they totally change by the time it gets to us they may say hey we did a market research and found two, services say but we found eight, days or we found hubzones. So, this is just the initial snapshot, of, it but, it can change from the time it gets us so hopefully it does not change where we see that this is a large business or full and open does that'll be a problem. So. We would love to see every services, they were better no affirm they can do it do that then. This is the one that you were looking at this, is Region three and, it's helped us land support. Now. On this and they. Have a lot of these on the forecast to be determined, saying that they haven't done their market research I know small, businesses, can do this, I. Would, be shocked that this ever comes out the EPA is full enough to. Be honest with you but, what I love to see is either you. Guys service is a veteran owned companies or HUBZone, companies go after this this, is a small business set-aside, I can, almost promise you this will be the small business set-aside. What. We're, trying to do now is to meet with the program offices, at least two years out three years out to, sit down and give them recommendations then, for us to get it on the back end and then, for them to say hey this has to be awarded we can't do market research we've, done what we can do if it gets closely, award date then, they can always say hey you, know this is agency, critical, or they'll. Put this in the box it was kind of hard to actually fight back but if we meet. With program offices and contracting, officers up front three, years or two years out then we can start to affect change.
Okay. This next one is actually coming out of the office of minister of administration. That's the office that we work on there and, this, is actually, management, consulting, services, this is a service-disabled. Veteran-owned, set aside. The. Procurement. Looks like it should be awarded in October, of 2018. And. It's actually, looks. Like developing. Databases. For a variety of economic work, products. But. This is a service-disabled. Veteran-owned set aside so, I wanted to show you guys we just not only do the small business set-asides but we. Do service-disabled, veteran-owned set asides - they are actually, set aside so. It's not like we just happened into, a. Small, business set-aside to companies, or the company they wanted as a service save disables so we actually do set aside those contracts. And. This last one is really interesting, this is a and. We're employing more contracting, officers to do this this is actually a small, small. Contract. It's 100 well, just. For my knowing. In the agency its small it's 150, to 250. Thousand, it's interpreting. And. Sign, language of sign language contract, so, this is also a small business set-aside. So. Just to give you a flavor this, is what the forecast looks like and if. I'm in the audience and, I'm not up here, and. I want to do business with EPA that's the first thing I'm looking at to see you know because I want to weed out agencies. That might not want. To do business with or it might not be a great fit with so. This is the way to do it. These. Are just tips for doing business with not only EPA but all. Federal, agencies, keep, its certifications. Current, update. Marketing, materials, or business cards make, sure guys that you put your Nate's codes on your business cards, because if, I get an X code if I get a business card and take it back to Washington I, and, you think the next codes not on there I don't know what you do the, only way I find out is go on your website and look so. That's really important, we can actually look at the next codes and tell. Capability. Statements, posture, your. Elevator speech. Utilizing. Your P tax is anybody familiar with the P tax, really. Important especially if you're a new business, a, lot. Of good information come, out of the P tax they actually funded by DoD and they're, usually located at a university. Oh. One. Other thing. Okay. I'm. Not familiar with the point of contact I know we do but I'm not familiar with the point of contact. Yes. Yes. EPA's. Decentralized. As far as our contracts, are concerned we, award contracts, and headquarters, but we also have regional offices, that we award contracts, in so it's not just EPA. Washington, DC, we. Have people who are called small business coordinators. And they're kind of like the, odds of Google counterparts, and the in, the program offices, in the regions so. For instance in this region, which i think is region 5 we have Adrienne Callahan so, if. You're going to look at region 5 and their forecast, is also on our forecasts. Also you, would contact if you don't see a point of contact you may want to contact Adrian. While. The money Sources, Sought the forecast database, current. List of contractors, this is another good site. If. You want to be a subcontractor. Of course you have to know who are the prime contractors, at EPA this, is a list of all of our current. Contractors. Small. And large. That. Connect. Is. Also, a great website some of the smaller procurements. Some. Of the simplified acquisitions, that you won't see on the forecast, because the, forecasts, were not mandated. To put simplified, acquisitions, on there some people do but, you'll see those on affecting that grants. We talked about those, markets. Your firm you guys are here so I don't have to tell you about that you're doing a great job of just being here, this. Is a list of our regional. Small business coordinators, so. Those are our points of contact, in the, regions, that are your, small business eyes and ears and, again guys don't you know I'll say this information. If. You don't get it from the VA, so. These are all of our EPA contacts. And again, all. Of these areas. They. Do procurement. They, are. Outside, of the Washington headquarters but they have their own procurement shop, except. For Regent. Ten. Actually. Regent seven does procurements, for Regent, seven and ten. And. Thinking about this is Regent 7. These. Are some of the upcoming small business outreach of course we're here now in, our region five office, in Chicago there's, an outreach event in February. That's, scary. We. Actually, at headquarters, we have four small. Business events we actually had one last week for the veterans a lot, of people that are here, we're. At our event in Washington, but, we have our woman-owned counseling, session, in, March. This. Is something if you guys are in the Washington DC area, the.
28th. Annual government, procurement, conference it used to be called the aza booth directors, conference that, is a really, great conference. To go to every. Federal agency is their state, agencies, are there all, of our prime contractors. Are there that is a really, good place to network. Also. When we go there we actually take our procurement, officers, our contracting, officers there and, most of the other agencies, have their contracting, people there so that's a really good conference, to go to. Yeah. Excellent, excellent. Every. Year and this is one of the strategic things, that we've done in the past and we continue, to do we. Partner with the National HUBZone, council every year to give a HUBZone summit, and one of the EPA, regional. Offices, we're. Looking at May for, this, in. Our Dallas office in region six. We've. Done that Lana. Yeah. We did in Atlanta, maybe maybe. About three years ago we had the care for these days where we travel so we can't do anything in Miami or Las Vegas or, anywhere like that. So. We but we have done it in Atlanta, and that may be next we actually had our biggest turnout, in the Lamb it was like 300, people almost 400, people so. That definitely is a consideration, I. Think. I think only about nine agencies, are using affecting, that. So. Guys that was a the, presentation, again if, you have any questions, if you don't feel comfortable asking, them here of. Course will be at our booth but, please. You know that's what I'm here for that's. What Denise is here for and the. Lady and the pretty, is. That aqua, did. You stand up for a sec. This. Is Miss army witzy and. She. Didn't stand, up when did the introductions, but she works for she. Works in the office of aza blue officer she's very knowledgeable she's. Been doing a great job at, our booth so please. Don't hesitate to ask her any questions, also, so. Okay guys any other questions, anything that you please don't, you know don't spare me that's what I'm here for. Yes. Most definitely. For. 3431, right. You. What, what is what. Okay. I think maybe some of our our. Private contractors. - probably. Yeah. Booz, Allen, then. They're remedial, firms that that. We have and. A, lot of that is tied into those contracts. So, what I would say is again. Go to our website, you'll see but. You, want to contact, if you're looking at the subcontracting. Work the diversity. Managers, of the supplier. Diversity managers. Of the prime contracts. And. That's one thing that we did we we. Had our event last week we had at least four or five prime. Contractors. Come in to, talk about subcontracting. Opportunities. Right. Right that's another place where. Subnet. That. I think it's gov is where, prime contractors. List their subcontracting. Opportunities. Any, other questions guys. I. You. Know a lot, of. Dropping. Of a good way to put this. With. The budget cuts and some changes within the organization. As far as EPA is concerned some of the IT. Things. Were put on hold like the agile, that we had coming out that's kind of changed. From. The original, way that we thought it was going to be is kind of morphed into something else I'm not sure about that. I can email me and I can find out for you. Right. I'll shoot. Me an email and I'll find out for you but. Some of the things have been on hold based on. You. Know I kind. Of draw, an analogy if. If. You're a program officer and your budget may. Be cut then, you're gonna kind of wait, to, find out what, the budget looks like before you commit yourself to doing something and then when, you commit yourself to doing it depending, on the budget it, may look different than what's your the vision in the beginning. I'm. On the contract, side but I would say. Right. Look at look at grants.gov. Any. Other questions. The. Word, pretty long is in. Glory. Years. You. Know got some information back and forth but he did his due diligence also. So, now it's not only coming from us but that. What. You have to do that to win that award also. Right. But see that the other parklands you did your research and you asked me about that. Right. So then I could go and get the information for, you that you didn't have. And. Guys let me tell you this this is the perfect scenario for me, if. I'm up here I want. Somebody who wants to say mr.. Norwood I saw. This on your forecast we can do it we've. Done this before. I know we can do it that's. Great to me because you're coming to me giving me this information I just gave you and, then I can do some work for you the. Scenario that I really don't like it's me telling you what's out there where you can already see what's out there you know, so that I employ you guys and I'd say it over and over and over look at the forecast come, to me and say, hey we can do this we've done it before that's.
What We can help being Glenn's a perfect example I mean he actually knew about that procurement and he's asked me about one this. Week so I'm gonna find out some more information for, him so that's what I want and that's what anybody in the ossible office would love to have for. You all to come to us and say hey we found this on your forecast, we can do it. Make. Sure. Any. Other questions guys, well. Thank, you so much we appreciate your service to our country and we. Appreciate, you coming here and if any you have any questions, I have cards please. If you don't want to ask them here email me when I get back to Washington, and thank. You guys for being a great audience I'm, not throwing anything. You.