Staying on top of the latest news is key to succeeding in any industry. However, when it comes to GovCon, stories have a tendency to develop either incredibly rapidly or over a very long period of time. Both of these situations make it hard to say up to date on the latest GovCon news. That’s why we’ve compiled an overview of some of the top headlines you need to know about right now.

Small Businesses, DIU, and OTAs

Cutting edge technologies, namely through private sector innovations, are becoming more and more prevalent industry wide. There are several active initiatives, especially through Research and Development programs supported by multiple military divisions. The Department of Defense (DoD) has increasingly encouraged advancement through commercially developed technological breakthroughs that are designed to beef up our support of the warfighter and overall security.

The Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) has had a huge impact on recent technological advancements. The DIU is an organization developed by the DoD to assist a rapid response of emerging technologies specifically from the private sector. Although it launched in 2015 as the “Pentagon’s Innovation Experiment,” the DIU’s usefulness has only grown since then. Now, DIU assists real-time response with defense measure and solutions for the warfighter and national security.

The DIU is making a strategic effort to offer opportunities to smaller businesses and newer technologies rather than continuing to rely on old relationships and antiquated responses to today’s challenges. This, coupled with the use of Other Transaction Authorities (OTA), allows commercial businesses to see the true value in making the jump into the federal marketplace. What used to take years to build into a viable and valuable diversification for these businesses now takes a fraction of the time. The DIU’s focus and OTA impacts have sped up the pace of awards, and therefore return on time and talent investment.

Small businesses are much more capable of mobilizing and pivoting to address real-time need than many larger businesses. Larger companies may not be as quick to jump in or may lack technological advancement due to an aging system of doing business and producing new results.

Kudos to small businesses for trying something new and getting better and more agile results in return! You know the saying, “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got.”

WOSB Certifications

Certification processes are getting a lot of attention these days. We see this in several areas. Just look at the debacle with the 8(a) program, their stalling, and the changes made to their application process.

Similar issues have also arisen with WOSB certifications. Recently, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has gotten some negative feedback about how they handled the certification process for the WOSB program, namely through the use of third-party certifiers, which produced inconsistencies. Many argue that the SBA alone should be responsible for approving and certifying WOSBs, as it is with the other socioeconomic programs.

Programs like 8(a), HUBZone, and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSB), have standardized certification processes. We can look to the SBA to provide the same across the board, including with WOSB certifications. After all, WOSB includes a significant number of businesses, and these organizations will be allotted at least 5% of the opportunities in the federal marketplace (it’s second in award value to 8(a)). One streamlined process for application and approval can eliminate any superfluity in an increasingly important and impactful sector of the industry. No process is perfect, but to avoid unnecessary roadblocks, we need to find some consistency.


The Department of Education is rolling out a new opportunity: C.A.N.D.A.C.E. This multiple award, Women-Owned, Small Business set aside contract is for IT and support services. Championed by Calvin Mitchell, Director of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU), this opportunity will offer the department critical digital services in the areas of Cloud and Infrastructure, Application Development, Network Services, Data Analysis, Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, and Emerging Technology.

This opportunity was developed in memory of the late CEO and President of Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), Candance Waterman, who was a fierce advocate for women and a dynamic leader for WOSB initiatives. Awards are scheduled to be announced in Q4 of 2024.

There is much to be excited about in the federal contracting industry, and we are just getting started in FY ‘24! As this year ramps up and provides more and more access to growth, we encourage our community to look to us for the information and resources you need to make your contract goals a reality. Whether it’s through opening doors, connecting you with support services, introducing your team to organizations for access to more relationships, or just simply consulting on building a foundation and solid plan, we’re here to help with your GovCon needs. Reach out today to schedule a free consultation with one of our expert team members! After all, the sky is not your limit—your vision of the future is.