How to capture your share of 1 trillion dollars in public contracts
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How to Capture Your Share of $1 Trillion Dollars In Public Contracts. Know Your Rights and Your Opportunities. Sponsored by:. Raul Espinosa Chief Visionary Officer Managing Partner of Umbrella Initiative Founder, FPA and CEO of FitNet. “ To involve University Professors and Students

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How to Capture Your Share of $1 Trillion Dollars In Public Contracts

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How to Capture Your Share of

$1 Trillion Dollars

In Public Contracts

Know Your Rights and Your Opportunities

Sponsored by:

  • Raul Espinosa

  • Chief Visionary Officer

  • Managing Partner of Umbrella Initiative

  • Founder, FPA and CEO of FitNet

“To involve University Professors and Students

in Sustainable Commercial Projects

with Contracting Potential

to help Create Jobs

in Underserved Communities”


Any business, meeting a very complex 57 page methodology

NaFCAthrough their ‘Solution Summits’ has recommended simplification of methodology

  • Small Business

State and Local Governments

  • Businesses which self-register as having less than 100 employees

  • Some states stipulate that gross revenues can NOT exceed a certain amount (i.e., $7M, $25M)

  • Characterized by a wasteful archaic and duplicative registration and certification process

Federal Level

  • (According to SBA Size Standards)

  • Any Business meeting a very complex 57 page methodology

Federal Level

  • Notdominant in their own NAICS code(s)

  • Employsless than a defined percentage of dominant businesses in a NAICS code(s)

Federal Level

  • Grossesless than a percent of the dominant businesses in a NAICS code(s)

  • Simplification must incorporate revamping Size Protests, Penalties and Enforcement


Owned/controlled by a Member of a group Congress has determined is underserved


Race, ethnicity and gender are simply characteristicsof the groups

Current certification process causes wasteand abuse

Set Aside Contracts

Established to prevent monopolies, build capacity and level the playing field in contracting

Reserved for competition solely among small and disadvantaged businesses

Set Aside Contractsare supposed to:

  • Established by public agencies

  • Determined by market research

Set Aside Contracts

Regulations and Procurement Statutes are supposed toprovide guidance

Size Protests are supposed toprevent abuses and safeguard the participation

Set Aside Contracts

Penalties and their enforcement are supposed todeter abusive practices or barriers

Specialized Education on small business issues for contracting workforce is supposed to be available

Leveling the Playing Field

Eliminating the existing ‘barriers’ or ‘abusive procurement practices’

Enforcing the Existing Laws

OUR Constitutional Model

Transparency, Technology and Elimination of barriersare the tools of this Model

Relies on alignment with statutes(i.e., 23%), goals (i.e., 5%) and measurable results

  • Model supported by 276 specific procurement statutes

OUR Constitutional Model

Model supported by 276 specific procurement statutes

Previous efforts were poorly justified by bureaucrats pressured by lobbyists and their legal counsel

  • Focused on guaranteeing “Maximum Practicable Utilization” or MPU, for its target audience

OUR Constitutional Model

Focused on guaranteeing “Maximum Practicable Utilization” or MPU, for its target audience

Minimizes ‘race-neutral’ schemes because they do notprevent ‘disparities’ nor eliminate ‘barriers’

OUR Constitutional Model

Tracking both the businesses and contracts they receive is essential

Court challenges against ‘set-asides’ can be successfully defeated with this model

Federal Procurement Facts

CCR Data = Registered to Contract with the Government (as of 03-2011)

Share of Federal Contracts

  • 23%

Share of Federal Contracts

“Procurement data that is gathered by, reported, and entered by procurement agencies is often incomplete, inaccurate, and untimely.”

---Daniel Gordon, Administrator of Federal Procurement Policy OMB June 2011---

Florida Procurement Facts

The Florida Challenge

1,586 public entities, only 32 offer freepublic access

The 32 public entities have processed $9.4 Billion in contracts which still cannot be tracked

The Florida Challenge

System not designed for procurement

The state currently cannot confirm how much it can spend onpublic contracts

The Florida Challenge

An archaic and duplicative registration/certification process prevents progress

Lack of trackingresults prevents goals and objectives

The Florida Challenge

Nocentralized procurement training

Disparities abound which require costly studies to justify ‘set-asides’

The Florida Challenge

The racial-neutral One Florida Initiative must be either strengthened or replaced

The Florida Opportunity

A proposed new Florida Procurement Portal – with a proven platform  

The savings that it will create and the duplication that it will eliminate, alone, will cover its costs

The Florida Opportunity

  • Economic development, federal and private funding are availablefor such efforts

  • “The Portal” will create jobs, teaming arrangements and allow for replication in other states

The Florida Opportunity

  • The Delaware Governor just unveiled a similar portal with less than 2/3 of our features

  • Several Cities have announced plans for costly‘disparity studies’ in order to justify set-asides

The Florida Opportunity

  • The cooperation of ALL1,586 public entities in the State is badly needed for this undertaking

The Florida Opportunity

  • Our Lieutenant Governor, Jennifer Carroll, who is supporting our effort has said:

  • “The Umbrella Initiative offers actual solutions with measurable resultsto a State dilemma the Governor intends to solve.”


  • “To Double the Number of Small and Minority BusinessesContracting with the Federal, State and Local Governments by the Year 2020”

  • Ryan Reid

  • Chief Technical Officer

  • Founder of NetQuarry

The Umbrella Initiative Portal

The System Today

  • Data fragmented, varied, individual silos

  • Built for the contracting agency

  • Missing market research capability

  • No centralized registration

  • No communication conduit

  • No collaboration network

  • No empirical award data

Today – Individual Silos

  • Multiple websites for opportunities

  • Every website is different

  • Authentication isn’t shared and must be remembered

  • The small business contractor burden is high

Today – Agency Focused

  • Not designed with the contractors needs in mind.

  • No “best practice” guidelines for small business.

  • Proper response process is mysterious

  • Small Businesses are lost

Today – Market Research

  • No established process for procurement strategy (e.g. Set Asides)

  • Market research cannot be measured

  • Small business is unable to influence strategy

  • Burden on the contracting agency is overwhelming

Today – Registration

  • No central registration system

  • Makes empirical award data impossible

  • No way to communicate to the vendor community

  • Market research participation cannot be measured

Today - Communication

  • No direct conduit between contractor and contracting agency

  • Best case: summarized, advertised Q&A

  • Worst case: no Q&A

  • Result is mystery and poor results

Today – Award Data

  • No empirical award data

  • Requires:

    • Centralized Registration

    • Centralized Procurement Advertisement

  • Actual procurement costs are impossible to measure

Today – Collaboration

  • Larger opportunities require effective teams

  • Today - general purpose partnerships only – largely ineffective

  • No actionable opportunities to form meaningful teams around

  • No scalable, available, networking community

The UPS Solution

  • Centralized location for all solicitation data

  • Tools for BOTH contractor and contracting agency

  • Simple, transparent market research

  • Single central registration system

  • Direct communication

  • Empirical Award Data

UPS – Centralized Data

  • All data available in one location

  • Single authentication, single interface

  • NOT a wholesale replacement! Current systems remain the same.

  • Agencies without any system can participate

UPS – Small Business Design

  • Designed to help BOTH contractor and contracting agency

  • Establishes “best practices” around response

  • Allows small business to influence procurement strategy

  • Improves contracting agency’s ability to conduct market research

UPS – Market Research

  • Simple, transparent process to establish procurement strategy

  • Empirical measurement of the market research effort

  • Cost savings for both sides

  • Result: fair and transparent Set Asides percentages

UPS - Registration

  • Single registration requirement

  • Allows for measurement of available talent pool (aids market research)

  • Provides a means for the state to communicate to the vendor community

UPS - Communication

  • Direct conduit between contractor and agency

  • Effective Q&A

  • Transparency as requirements are shaped or changed

  • End results match real needs

  • Burden reduced for contracting agency

UPS - Collaboration

  • Online community built around actionable opportunities

  • Allows multiple businesses to form meaningful partnerships

  • Best-practice guidance at all levels – legal, performance, capture, delivery

UPS – Award Data

  • Empirical link between solicitation and awarded contractor

  • Dependable reporting

  • Real-time availability

  • True measurement

  • Jamall Little

  • Majoring in Business Management

  • SIFE Student

  • Jillian Shellard

  • Majoring in Elementary Education

  • SIFE Student

Limited Education

Natural Disasters

Domestic Disasters

Old Shipping Containers


  • Connect

  • Educate

  • Lead



  • Distance Learning classrooms for the Dominican Republic and Haiti

  • Global Disaster Emergency units for immediate deployment

Distance Learning Portable Classrooms

  • 12 computers

  • 12 Chairs

  • Inverter and Battery System

  • Solar Panel System

  • Security Cabinet

  • 1 Internet Satellite Dish

  • Network Connection Equipment

  • Cooking Fans

  • Desk

  • Insulation

  • Lights

Global Disaster Emergency Units

  • 1 propane gas kitchen

  • 1 counter

  • 1 dining table

  • 1 ventilation fan

  • 1 Security Cabinet with lock

  • 2 Windows

  • Solar Power System powering 2 light fixtures, 1 electric outlet

  • Twin bunk bed set

  • 1 Dresser

C.E.L. Benefits

  • 300 jobs in Jacksonville

  • 85 Jobs per month

  • 11 jobs per container

C.E.L. Benefits

  • $429,083.00 back into the local economy of Jacksonville

Jacksonville Youth Works

  • At risk youth ages 16 - 25

Current Progress


Container Shipped by Crowley


  • Rural school in the Dominican Republic

  • Named after Prominent Dominican designer, Oscar de la Renta, a founder along with Julio Iglesias and Frank Rainieri.

The Vision

  • 400 National Disaster Emergency units

  • 360 Distance Learning Portable Classrooms

Retrofitting Classrooms

  • 15 Days to retrofit one container

  • 50 containers can be retrofitted per month

Emergency Retrofitting

  • 11 days to retrofit one container

  • 60 containers can be converted in a month

Portable Classroom Costs

  • $85,500 per unit including labor

  • $30,780,000 to retrofit 360 containers

Emergency Unit Costs

  • Average Cost: $35,000 per unit including labor.

  • $15,000,000 to build and make available 400 retrofitted containers

Potential Uses

  • Portable shelters

  • Temporary housing

  • Public Sanitation Unit

  • Portable Electrical Power Generating Units

  • Dr. Carlton L. Robinson

  • Director of Research

  • President and CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce

The Online Learning Portal

Procurement System Weaknesses

  • Limit opportunities that may lead to business

Weakness Examples

  • Lack of information

  • Lack of standard procurement system training

  • Limited access to relevant/timely information

Weakness Examples

  • Limited availability (time of day) of training opportunities for small business owners

  • Modality of traditional procurement training limits opportunities and business outside of immediate region

Potential Benefits

  • Access

  • Connected to viable

  • and immediate

  • procurement opportunities

  • Increased dispersion

  • Timeliness


Dr. Henry B. ThomasRetired UNF ProfessorCo-founder of Umbrella Initiative

Small Business Legal Center Network

  • Gives small and minority business a ‘legal voice’ with which to defend their statutory rights

  • Helps solo and small-firm lawyers to provide quality legal services and handle ethical and practice dilemmas in the context of procurement justice law

  • Aids the large number of law school graduates who enter law schools aspiring to work for the public interest, but, upon graduation, find themselves debt-ridden or unable to obtain one of the scarce public service positions.

Law Schools

  • Facilitate communication between and among law school consortia members

  • Aggregate, analyze, and disseminate data regarding best practices in ensuring small business access to fairness and justice in procurement

Law Schools

  • Support community based legal clinics/seminars in small business procurement capacity-building efforts

  • Promote the Consortia's mission and identify and recruit new law schools for membership

  • Develop and share expertise regarding access to small business procurement justice’s best practices.

Legal Center Network

  • Addresses:

    • White Papers

    • Articles

    • Legislative Positions

    • Hearings

Legal Center Network

  • Creates additional ‘transparency’ over ‘abusive procurement practices’ through a ‘Contracting Abuse Database’

  • This database will be similar to the one POGO conceived which eventually became FAPIIS

Contracting Abuse Database

  • Allows Small and Disadvantaged businesses to report government units that are alleged to have engaged in abusive contracting parties

  • Brings both attention and pressure upon contracting units reported to have engaged in retaliation or have been alleged to have violated regulations

Size Protests

  • Must result in tangible benefits for the protestor if they succeed in the protestof a dispute against an ineligible business

Size Protests

  • A successful protestor must receive either the contract which they had claimed was awarded to an ineligible firm, or ‘future contracts’ for at least twice the amount of the lost contract for bona-fide needs of the Agency over a negotiated period of time as long as the price offered is fair and just.  

Size Protests

  • Have never worked as Congress intended because they only deliver ‘illusionary’ justice

  • Currently an inefficient use of tax payer dollars and a waste of government resources

Size Protests

The SBA needs to revamp their system as a result of their Size Standards

  • “Our mission is to double the number of small and minority businesses contracting with the federal, state, and local government by 2020.”

  • “To involve University Professors and Students

  • in Sustainable Commercial Projects

  • with Contracting Potential

  • to help Create Jobs

  • in Underserved Communities”

“Procurement data that is gathered by, reported, and entered by procurement agenciesis often incomplete, inaccurate, and untimely.”

---Daniel Gordon, Administrator of Federal Procurement Policy OMB June 2011---

  • For videos of the container, please go to:


  • For more information on the umbrella initiative, please go to:


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