Laying the proper foundation for GovCon*

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  1. Gain context through Government Market Fundamentals and other on‐demand or live webinars:
  2. Review policies and expectations for counseling:
  3. Contact your counselor to coordinate counseling date/time†:
  4. Convey business goals and GovCon ambitions. Counselor assists with each topic as time allows†. One item per session, each subsequent session follows homework and covers a new topic:
    • eVA.Virginia.gov, SWaM / Micro, SAM.gov, or other registration;
    • Review capability statement and marketing to gov. via DSBS and eVA;
    • Cybersecurity and other compliance discussion;
    • Finding primes, learning how to approach as a subcontractor or prime and proceed with teaming / subcontracting agreement;
  5. Advanced topics. Counselor assists with each topic as time allows†:
    • Deep dive into market research and determining which buyers to target;
    • GSA Schedule (do readiness assessment on gsa.gov MAS prior to meeting);
    • Finding opportunities and bids (SAM, BMS, other aggregator resources);
    • How to submit proposals and leverage set aside status to compete and win;
    • Actual proposal reviews require minimum 2 weeks before submission.

Footnotes:
*A checklist for ‘kickoff’ counseling sessions. Useful for new to GovCon or new(er) in business. Not always applicable to advanced businesses who may have more specific questions not addressed above.

 

†Has the client taken training before counseling session on this topic? If not, reschedule counseling for after at least one live or on‐demand training course has been completed for most effective counseling session.

Printable version: https://virginiaapex.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Laying-the-proper-foundation.pdf

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Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) Compliance

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(limited availability, recordings expire 2/28/2025)

  1. Breaking Into GovCon (recorded 10/30/2023, 53 minutes)
  2. Proposal Adequacy (recorded 11/6/2023, 39 minutes)
  3. Cost and Price Analysis for Small Businesses (recorded 11/13/2023, 27 minutes)
  4. Accounting System Requirements (recorded 11/20/2023, 54 minutes)
  5. Real Time Labor Evaluations (recorded 11/27/2023, 43 minutes)

(older recordings expiring 7/31/2024)

Learn more about DCAA here: https://www.dcaa.mil/guidance/audit-process-overview/

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Cybersecurity Compliance (and CMMC)

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  1. Learn about NIST 800-171 requirements (currently applicable to all levels of DoD contractors including – including lower tier subcontractors): https://csrc.nist.gov/publications/detail/sp/800-171/rev-2/final
  2. Learn about Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC):
  3. Follow the CMMC AB (accreditation body) for news: https://cmmcab.org/
  4. TO BE COMPLIANT:
    • Contact your local APEX Accelerator counselor to make sure you understand how it applies to you and the process. Virginia clients email apex@gmu.edu if you don’t know your counselor.
    • Create a System Security Plan (SSP) – template available on link #1 above from NIST
    • If applicable create a Plan of Action and Milestones (POAM) – template available on link #1 from NIST (look under Documentation)
    • Perform your Basic (self) Assessment against NIST 800-171 – instructions and documents available on link #1 above from NIST (look under documentation)
    • Perform your self-assessment for CMMC: https://www.projectspectrum.io/#/cyber-readiness-check
    • Publish your results from the NIST 800-171 Basic (self) Assessment into the Supplier Performance Risk Management System (SPRS): https://www.sprs.csd.disa.mil/ and review FAQ: https://www.sprs.csd.disa.mil/faqs.htm#nist
    • If applicable, locate an official Certified 3rd Party Assessment Organization (C3PAO) to perform a CMMC 2.0 level 2 assessment (get multiple quotes on the open market to see how much it will cost for the assessment): https://cmmcab.org/marketplace/

Other resources:

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DIBBS Pocket Guide

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DIBBS Pocket Guide: Double-sided flyer contains a wealth of information including acronyms, definitions, an overview of the registration, solicitation search, and quoting processes, and links to additional resources.

The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Internet Bid Board System (DIBBS) is a web-based application that enables the supplier community to search for, view, and submit secure quotes on Request for Quotations (RFQs) for DLA items of supply. Through DIBBS, users can also search for, view, and upload proposals for Requests for Proposal (RFPs) and Invitations for Bid (IFB). Additionally, users can view awards and other procurement information. Link directly to DIBBS: https://www.dibbs.bsm.dla.mil/ 

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Personnel Clearances (PCL), Facility Clearances (FCL), and Facility Security Officer (FSO) training

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The Department of Defense – Defense Security Services issues the personnel security clearances (PCL) for U.S. citizen employees of a contractor who require access to classified information. Clearances may be at the CONFIDENTIAL, SECRET and TOP SECRET level.  Individuals cannot apply for a personnel security clearance application on their own. Rather, the company determines whether an employee will require access to classified information in performance of tasks or services related to the fulfillment of a classified contract. Once the company makes this determination, the individual may be processed for a security clearance. Review the Defense Security Service website of Frequently Asked Questions for additional information: http://www.dss.mil/psmo-i/ps_faqs.html

A facility clearance (FCL) is an administrative determination that, from a national security standpoint, a facility is eligible for access to classified information at the same or lower classification category as the clearance being granted. The FCL may be granted at the Confidential, Secret, or Top Secret level. A contractor or prospective contractor cannot apply for its own facility clearance. A procuring activity of the Government, or cleared contractor in the case of subcontracting, may request the clearance when a definite, classified procurement need has been established. Review the Defense Security Service website of Frequently Asked Questions for additional information: http://www.dss.mil/isp/fac_clear/per_sec_clear_proc_faqs.html and the checklist for application: http://www.dss.mil/isp/fac_clear/fac_clear_check.html 

Facility Security Officers (FSO) are a required to establish and maintain a FCL and information about training to become a certified FSO can be obtained here: https://www.cdse.edu/toolkits/fsos/new-fso.html

Additional resources:

FAQ on Industrial Security Clearances – Bureau of Diplomatic Security Department of State

DCSA Facility and Personnel Clearance Procedures and Requirements

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