DOD Commercial Solutions Opening Program Rocks Procurement Again

Mark your calendars for June 10, 2019 to attend the second outstanding Air Force CSO Program's "Pitch Day." A year ago in June 2018, the Department of Defense (DoD) launched the Commercial Solutions Opening (CSO) Program. The CSO Program is a specially designed program that allows the various arms of the military to issue a general solicitation for commercial technology products and services and then select proposals from among those submitted by businesses.

On June 10, 2019, the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) is supporting the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (JB NDL) second Pitch Day. This is an excellent opportunity for small and/or diverse businesses meeting minimum requirements to present innovative technology solutions, new capabilities, and/or ways to improve existing technologies not currently in use by the Air Force.

Unlike many government procurement opportunities, the primary evaluation factors are technical importance and funds availability, with price evaluated only in terms of its reasonableness and fairness but not in terms of lowest price. This gives small businesses a much better opportunity to fairly compete for contracts.

Streamlining the contracting procedure is the ultimate goal of bringing the latest state-of-the-art technological products and services to the military in order to close capability gaps and promote innovation. The first year Air Force CSO pilot program event was held in New York City and was a roaring success, leading to over $27 million in government purchases and contracts. A major step in the streamlining process is the implementation of a technical peer review evaluation of proposals, with reviewers consisting of people who are scientific, technological or subject matter experts.

The proposals for the June event were due May 17, 2019, but even businesses that did not submit proposals should take advantage of this excellent opportunity to attend the event for learning and networking purposes. Business representatives can listen to pitches, and meet Air Force contracting officers and PTAC procurement specialists. The PTAC offers free counseling, training and technical resources to New Jersey based businesses in all counties except Union County.

Pitch Day will be held at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, NJ. More information is available on the NJIT website at https://www.njit.edu/ptac/procurement-technical-assistance-center-ptac/. Plan to attend this exciting and productive event, and learn how to succeed in government contracting.