The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) is pleased to announce the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Annual Small Business Awards Program. Awards will be made to program elements, and eligible power marketing administrations, facility management contractors (FMCs), small business program managers (SBPMs), contracting officers, and small businesses that have demonstrated exceptional performance during FY 2021.

Program and Background: DOE seeks to continue growing its engagement with small businesses to further Agency missions. DOE works to meet its Small Business Administration (SBA) established goals for four socio-economic categories: Small Disadvantaged, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned, Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZones), and Woman-Owned small businesses. Additionally, the Department’s Mentor-Protégé Program is a vehicle for cultivating small businesses for DOE missions.

DOE’s Annual Small Business Awards Program recognizes the outstanding performance of people and organizations that promote and expand the Department’s use of small businesses. The awards will be presented to small businesses, program elements, SBPMs, contracting officers, and FMCs. The FY 2021 Annual Small Business Awards program will be facilitated electronically, and awards will be shipped to each award recipient.

Participation: Participation is open to DOE program elements and power marketing administrations, facility management contractors, small business program managers, small business prime contractors, Federal and contractor acquisition personnel, and DOE mentors and protégés. Note: Western Area Power Administration and Southwestern Power Administration are the only power administrations eligible to participate in the awards program.

Guidance on Submitting a Nomination: Below is general guidance on submitting a nomination.

  • Nominations are for DOE personnel (Federal or contractor) and small businesses that work with the Department or M&O contractors.
  • Valid nominations shall only be submitted through Federal or contractor SBPMs, contracting officers and specialists. A list of DOE’s SBPMs may be found on OSDBU’s website: DOE's Small Business Program Managers Directory.
  • Below are guidelines on writing a nomination:
  1. Focus on FY 2021 accomplishments only.
  2. Organize your nomination the same as the criteria for the award.
  3. Relate actions with results, and mission accomplishments.
  4. Use statistics to support accomplishments. Do not attach data tables or charts.
  5. Evaluators only read the first 1,000 words.
  • A company or an individual may be nominated for only one award category. For example, company GoBo, Inc. is a Women-Owned Small Business. You may choose to nominate GoBo, Inc. in either the Women-Owned Small Business of the Year, Small Business of the Year, Mentor of the Year or Protégé of the Year award category.
  • Award nominations will be accepted from January 17, 2022 through February 18, 2022.
  • The SBPMs are responsible for initially assessing any nominations received from outside participants and for ensuring that the nominations are submitted in a timely manner by 11:59 PM (EST) February 18, 2022.
  • Small business entities must be in good standing with the Department of Energy and with Federal procurement guidelines to include the Excluded Parties Listing System (EPLS). The nominator must verify and validate that the small business has an up-to-date or current reporting status in the Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS), has a positive report, and fulfills the small business category for which it is nominated.
  • A nominee for any of the small business award categories must own or operate a business defined as “small” for its primary industry under the applicable SBA size standards. Nominees must also be residents of the United States or its territories. Small businesses that are nominated must comply with all applicable Federal laws.
  • Award nominations must be submitted by using the Smart Sheet. To obtain access to the awards submission’s portal, please contact Anita Anderson, Chairperson of DOE’s Annual Small Business Awards Program (anita.anderson@hq.doe.gov).
     

Evaluation Committee: An Evaluation Committee will be selected to review, rate, and determine the award recipients. The committee will consist of DOE senior-level government employees. Each nomination will be evaluated by the committee based on a performance grading scale. To ensure objectivity, OSDBU recuses Evaluation Committee members from voting on nominees that work within their program office. 

FY 2021 Award Categories:

Federal Small Business Program Manager of the Year

Description: Recognizes an individual who embodies the many facets of an energetic, forward-thinking, DOE small business program manager. His or her efforts far exceed expectations in working with, advocating for, and assisting to increase utilization of small businesses.

Criteria: Meets or exceeds the OSDBU’s Scorecard small business goals and/or the following criteria:

  • Implements strategies to increase the value of competitively awarded contracts to small businesses.
    • Advocates and obtains top-level agency commitment to small business contracting.
    • Executes significant events to increase small business participation in the procurement process.
    • Demonstrates that policies and procedures are in place to ensure compliance with prime forecast goals or subcontracting plans and attainment of related goals.
    • Plans training for contracting staff/managers to better execute small business/socio-economic procurements.
    • Collaborates with SBA, other agencies, or community groups on formulation of small business procurement policy initiatives.
    • Submits all plans and reports due to SBA.
  • Creates/Implements new outcome-focused initiatives that enhance competencies and capabilities of small business supplier base.
  • Develops new markets for small business – identifying and creating opportunities for small business participation within programs not previously performed by small business.

Federal Contracting Officer of the Year

Description: Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated outstanding small business achievements as a contracting officer; demonstrated ability to identify and overcome challenges; and continuously seeks self-development and leadership opportunities to promote socio-economic programs.

Criteria:

  • Collaborates effectively between OSDBU, local SBPM, and local SBA procurement center representative – leading to new small business contract awards. 
  • Exceptional pre-award and/or post-award actions related to DOE’s Small Business Program with results supporting overall DOE mission and objectives.
  • Communicates the importance of DOE Small Business First Policy (DOE P 547.1A) to all program office clients. 
  • Promotes Category Management solutions consistent with the Small Business Act and other statutory socio-economic responsibilities.
  • Expands subcontracting opportunities throughout the solicitation process and negotiates challenging subcontracting goals.

Federal Procurement Director of the Year

Description: Holds the position of managing the operations of a federal procurement organization for an operations office or program office (title such as procurement director, purchasing director, Head of Contracting Activity, etc.). The successful candidate has displayed leadership and commitment to maximizing small businesses utilization through policies, procedures, outreach, and creating an atmosphere of “small business first” throughout his or her organization. Candidate selection criteria will be based on a balance of objective results-oriented measures and created/implemented policies, programs and practices promoting small business.

Criteria:

  • Dollar and/or percentage increases in small business obligations.
  • Percentage increase of small business awards versus large business awards from the previous year.
  • Significant small business contract awards supporting line missions or support functions.
  • New or updated socio-economic operating policies and programs.
  • Procedures or systems that focus program offices and buyers to consider small business first.
  • Building community and small business development through outreach efforts.
  • Creating or expanding small business use in non-traditional functional areas.
     

Facility Management Contractor (FMC) Small Business Program Manager of the Year

Description: Recognizes an individual within a DOE facility who embodies the many facets of an energetic, forward-thinking SBPM. His or her efforts far exceed expectations in working with, advocating for, and assisting in the increased utilization of small businesses.

Criteria:

  • Implements strategies to increase the value of competitively awarded contracts to small businesses.
  • Advocates and obtains top-level agency commitment to small business contracting.
  • Executes significant events to increase small business participation in the procurement process.
  • Demonstrates that small business data is accurately reported in Federal Procurement Data System–Next Generation (FPDS-NG).
  • Demonstrates that policies and procedures are in place to ensure compliance with prime forecast goals or subcontracting plans and attainment of related goals.
  • Plans training for contracting staff/managers to better execute small business/socio-economic procurements.
  • Collaborates with SBA, other agencies, or community groups on formulation of small business procurement policy initiatives.
  • Submits all plans and reports due to SBA.
  • Creates/Implements new outcome-focused initiatives that enhance competencies and capabilities of small business supplier base.
  • Develops new markets for small business identifying and creating opportunities for small business participation within programs not previously performed by small business.

FMC Contracting Officer of the Year

Description: Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated outstanding small business achievements as a contracting officer; demonstrated ability to identify and overcome challenges; and continuously seeks self-development and leadership opportunities to promote socioeconomic programs. 

Criteria:

  • Collaborates effectively between OSDBU, local SBPM, and local SBA procurement center representative – leading to new small business contract awards. 
  • Exceptional pre-award and/or post-award actions related to DOE’s Small Business Program with results supporting overall DOE mission and objectives.
  • Communicates the importance of Small Business First Policy (DOE P 547.1A) to all FMC program clients within his/her site/laboratory.
  • Leverages market research tools in partnership with the site Small Business Program Manager to expand small business subcontracting opportunities.

FMC Procurement Director of the Year

Description: Holds the position of managing the operations of a procurement organization for a management and operating contractor. The successful candidate has displayed leadership and commitment to maximizing small business utilization through policies, procedures, outreach, and creating an atmosphere of “small business first” throughout his or her organization.  Candidate selection will be based on a balance of objective results-oriented measures and created/implemented policies, programs and practices promoting small business.

Criteria:

  • Dollar and/or percentage increases in small business obligations (may use Electronic Subcontracting Reporting System (eSRS), Individual Subcontracting Report (ISR), Summary Subcontracting Report (SSR) information or other fact-based data systems).
  • Percentage increase of small business contract awards supporting line missions or support functions.
  • New or updated socio-economic operating policies.
  • Procedures or systems that focus program offices and buyers to consider small business first.
  • Building community and small business development through outreach efforts.
  • Creating or expanding small business use in non-traditional functional areas.

Mentor of the Year*

Description: Recognizes the efforts of a DOE Mentor that has exceeded the requirements of their Mentor-Protégé agreement.  These results have enhanced the protégés ability to successfully compete for federal contracts.

Criteria: 

  • Accomplishments exceed the Mentor-Protégé agreement
  • Protégé demonstrates growth and self-empowerment through the Mentor-Protégé program.

Protégé of the Year*

Description: Recognizes the significant development of a DOE Protégé that has enhanced its ability to successfully compete for federal contracts through its participation in the DOE Mentor-Protégé program.

Criteria:

  • Accomplishments exceed the Mentor-Protégé agreement.
  • Protégé demonstrates growth and self-empowerment through the Mentor-Protégé program.

8(a)/Small Disadvantaged Business of the Year*

Description: This award recognizes the outstanding performance of a small business, certified by SBA’s 8(a) and/or Small Disadvantaged Business programs, for their exceptional performance in activities contributing to core DOE mission accomplishments.

Criteria: Recipient excels beyond expectations or contract requirements by providing:

  • Creative or unique solutions to DOE requirements.
  • Extraordinary customer service, and/or significant value (schedule and budget related).
  • Productivity and efficiency gains.
  • Innovative ideas to the specific project and/or task being performed.
  • Cost, time, and manpower savings for the Department.

Women-Owned Small Business of the Year*

Description: Recognizes the exceptional performance of a Women-Owned small business directly contributing to the accomplishments of core DOE mission objectives and requirements.

Criteria: Recipient excels beyond expectations or contract requirements by providing:

  • Creative or unique solutions to DOE requirements.
  • Extraordinary customer service, and/or significant value (schedule and budget related).
  • Productivity and efficiency gains.
  • Innovative ideas to the specific project and/or task being performed.
  • Cost, time, and manpower savings for the Department.

HUBZone Small Business of the Year*

Description: Recognizes the excellence of a small business, certified by the U.S. Small Business Administration as located and operating within a HUBZone, directly contributing to core DOE mission accomplishments.

Criteria: Recipient excels beyond expectations or contract requirements by providing:

  • Creative or unique solutions to DOE requirements.
  • Extraordinary customer service, and/or significant value (schedule and budget related).
  • Productivity and efficiency gains.
  • Innovative ideas to the specific project and/or task being performed.
  • Cost, time, and manpower savings for the Department.

Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year*

Description: Recognizes the exceptional performance of a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned small business directly facilitating the advancement of core DOE mission objectives and requirements.

Criteria: Recipient excels beyond expectations or contract requirements by providing:

  • Creative or unique solutions to DOE requirements.
  • Extraordinary customer service, and/or significant value (schedule and budget related).
  • Productivity and efficiency gains.
  • Innovative ideas to the specific project and/or task being performed.
  • Cost, time, and manpower savings for the Department.

SBIR/STTR Small Business of the Year*

Description: Recognizes a U.S. small business that exemplifies the spirit of DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs by strengthening and expanding its high-technology research and development (R&D) competitiveness at the Department and/or in the marketplace. SBIR/STTR small business nominations will be evaluated using demonstrated exceptional performance from time of SBIR/STTR award to the present.

Criteria: Recipient excels at one or more of the following:

  • Stimulating U.S. technological innovation and enhancing the nation’s return on its DOE SBIR/STTR investment.
  • Providing the DOE and/or its national laboratories, research facilities, or university research partners the benefits of commercial applications derived from DOE SBIR/STTR funded R&D.
  • Stimulating U.S. economic growth and/or increasing private-sector commercialization of innovations as a result or in part of DOE SBIR/STTR funded R&D.

Small Business of the Year*

Description: Recognizes the creative, unique, and extraordinary performance of a small business which has significantly and directly impacted core DOE mission objectives and requirements.

Criteria: Recipient excels beyond expectations or contract requirements by providing:

  • Creative or unique solutions to DOE requirements.
  • Extraordinary customer service, and/or significant value (schedule and budget related).
  • Productivity and efficiency gains.
  • Innovative ideas to the specific project and/or task being performed.
  • Cost, time, and manpower savings for the Department.

-----

*All small business entities must be in good standing with DOE and with all Federal procurement guidelines to include the Excluded Parties Listing System (EPLS). The nominator must verify and validate that the small business entity has an up-to-date or current reporting status in the Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS) that reflects a positive report that is currently noted as a small business for the category in which it is being nominated.

A nominee for any of the small business award categories must own or operate a business defined as “small” for its primary industry under the applicable SBA size standards. Nominees must also be residents of the United States or its territories. Small businesses that are nominated must comply with all applicable Federal laws.

The Annual Small Business Awards program is an excellent opportunity to recognize federal or contractor employees for their performance and dedication. The FY 2021 Annual Small Business Awards program will be facilitated electronically, and awards will be shipped to each award recipient. Nominations will be accepted from January 17, 2022 through February 18, 2022.

To obtain access to the awards submission’s portal, please contact Anita Anderson, Chairperson of DOE’s Annual Small Business Awards Program (anita.anderson@hq.doe.gov).