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Frequently asked questions by businesses

These are questions that businesses frequently ask concerning how to do business with NOAA.  The questions and their answers are divided into two groups: Questions applicable to All Business Entities and Questions Specific to Small Businesses.

Questions Applicable to All Business Entities:

  1. Where can I find a list of Request for Proposals (RFP)/Request for Quotations (RFQ) to bid on?
  2. How can I get in touch with a NOAA Contracting Officer?
  3. How can I learn about new program initiatives and timing?
  4. Does NOAA make purchases through GSA Schedules?
  5. When should I discuss contracting vehicles (e.g., STARS II or MOBIS) with my prospective NOAA client?
  6. We are an IT firm not presently involved with NOAALink/NMITS. What can I do to get involved?
  7. What are the most often purchased/popular NAICS codes utilized by NOAA Program Offices?
  8. Where do I find information on the status of NOAALink/NMITS Programs?
  9. Where do I find information on the status of Pro-Tech Programs?
  10. We are an IT services firm. Whom should we present our capabilities to?
  11. Technical Managers are not answering my calls. What can I do to get their attention?
  12. I am interested in finding out who at the Department of Commerce has a purchase card and utilizes it to make micro-purchases.

Questions Specific to Small Business:

  1. We are a certified minority-owned, women-owned, HUBZone, or service disabled veteran-owned vendor. How can I do business with NOAA?
  2. How do I contact a NOAA Small Business representative?
  3. Does the NOAA Small Business Office review capability statements?
  4. I am interested in Simplified Acquisition Program work with NOAA.  How do I find out if you buy what I sell and the proper POC?
  5. What percentages of NOAA acquisitions are below the Simplified Acquisition Threshold (SAT)?
  6. How much of the procurement at NOAA is done through Small Business?

Responses to Questions for All Business Entities:

  1. Where can I find a list of Request for Proposals (RFP)/Request for Quotations (RFQ) to bid on?
    • All of NOAA’s requirements that are estimated to be above the Simplified Acquisition Threshold (SAT) can be found on our forecast site. RFP's /RFQ’s are posted to the Government Point of Entry (GPE) in accordance with FAR 5.101. Some of the GPEs that NOAA utilizes are Federal Business Opportunities, GSA E-Buy, NASA SEWP, etc.
  2. How can I get in touch with a NOAA Contracting Officer?
    • Please ask yourself "Why do you need to speak to a Contracting Officer?" Contracting personnel are not technical in nature. More likely you should be focusing your outreach attempts at the Program Office as they are the ones that have the specific requirements that you are looking to bid on and will better understand what you are trying to convey. NOAA’s Forecast is a great place to start your search.

      Contact our NOAA Acquisition Staff directly if you have a specific contract related questions. The NOAA Small Business Office would recommend that you contact their office prior to engaging a Contracting Officer. The Small Business Office can assist you with answers to most of your questions, and if not, can put you in contact with the proper individual.

  3. How can I learn about new program initiatives and timing?
    • Follow our forecast here. You can also review NOAA's website for the latest information relating to new program initiatives.
  4. Does NOAA make purchases through GSA Schedules?
    • Yes, NOAA has authority to utilize any GWAC that is available to the Government; some examples include GSA, SEWP, CIO-SP3, etc.
  5. When should I discuss contracting vehicles (e.g., STARS II or MOBIS) with my prospective NOAA client?
    • You should discuss vehicles that you have access to with clients whenever you are able to discuss your capabilities. The Program Offices within NOAA are responsible for preliminary market research and letting them know how to contract with your company is imperative for business decisions. Existing vehicles are always considered first for viability, so if you have an existing contract please feel free to share with potential clients.
  6. We are an IT firm not presently involved with NOAALink/NMITS. What can I do to get involved?
    • Your best option is to seek out subcontracting opportunities with one of the prime vendors currently performing work under these contracts. We utilize other vehicles for new or re-competed 8(a) awards like STARS II and CIO-SP3 8(a). Please review the NOAALink Program Office website for the most up to date information related to the vehicles.
  7. What are the most often purchased/popular NAICS codes utilized by NOAA Program Offices?
    • In FY19 the top 10 most popular NAICS codes were as follows:
      NAICS NAICS DESCRIPTION TOTAL DOLLARS % TOTAL DOLLARS
      541512 COMPUTER SYSTEMS DESIGN SERVICES $283,355,646.97 17.51%
      541511 CUSTOM COMPUTER PROGRAMMING SERVICES $107,257,310.40 6.63%
      541519 OTHER COMPUTER RELATED SERVICES $106,591,512.30 6.59%
      541712 RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT IN THE PHYSICAL, ENGINEERING, AND LIFE SCIENCES (EXCEPT BIOTECHNOLOGY) $102,198,511.72 6.32%
      541611 ADMINISTRATIVE MANAGEMENT AND GENERAL MANAGEMENT CONSULTING SERVICES $94,808,243.43 5.86%
      541330 ENGINEERING SERVICES $83,175,356.82 5.14%
      541620 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSULTING SERVICES $80,647,581.21 4.98%
      517919 ALL OTHER TELECOMMUNICATIONS $77,491,222.96 4.79%
      336411 AIRCRAFT MANUFACTURING $70,136,849.81 4.33%
      541990 ALL OTHER PROFESSIONAL, SCIENTIFIC, AND TECHNICAL SERVICES $64,595,572.78 3.99%
  8. Where do I find information on the status of the NOAALink/NMITS Programs?
    • Visit the NOAALink Website. at The NOAA Small Business Office will not be able to share any additional information than what has been released on this site. NOAA updates this site on a regular basis.
  9. Where do I find information on the status of ProTech Programs?
    • Visit the ProTech Website. The NOAA Small Business Office will not be able to share any additional information than what has been released on this site. NOAA updates this site on a regular basis.
  10. We are an IT services firm. Whom should we present our capabilities to?
    • The NOAALink/NMITS contract is our mandatory vehicle for IT Services. There is rarely any opportunity outside of this vehicle for new firms. The NOAALink Program Office will not be interested in speaking with you related to IT services unless you tailor your presentation to a specific need of the office. All requirements that NOAA has that are over SAT are posted to NOAA’s Forecast with a Program Office POC. You should feel free to reach out to the POC and tailor your presentation to how you could help solve the requirement at hand. You should not speak about how you would like to be a part of NOAALink/NMITS.
  11. Technical Managers are not answering my calls. What can I do to get their attention?
    • The question to answer is "How is your business able to assist them (the Technical Manager)?"
      • Are you focusing on a specific need of the agency that you found in NOAA’s Forecast, or are you randomly reaching out and hoping for a bite? Be specific in your requests.
      • Are your requests tailored to a specific requirement? The NOAA Forecast is your ‘GO TO’ tool!
      • Respond to Requests of Information/Source Sought notices that are posted to the GPE. Program personnel review every submission, so if you are having difficulty getting a meeting this is the next best thing to get your business noticed and recognized. Make sure you tailor your submission to the requirement at hand as general capability statements are not considered.
  12. I am interested in finding out who at the Department of Commerce has a purchase card and utilizes it to make micro-purchases.
    • The Department of Commerce is frequently asked for this information and has posted this information on their Freedom Of Information Act site. Click on the "Electronic FOIA Library" and follow the link to the "Frequently Requested Records", then to the "Department of Commerce Bank Card Listing".

Responses to Questions for Small Business:

  1. We are a certified minority-owned, women-owned, HUBZone, or service disabled veteran-owned vendor. How can I do business with NOAA?
    • All prospective suppliers, including certified minority-owned, woman-owned, or disabled veteran-owned businesses can register their company in the NOAA Small Business Vendor Profile database. Registration will capture your company’s diversity status. NOAA performs market research for every requirement. One significant tool NOAA uses in market research is the Request for Information/Sources Sought notice. In order to ensure firms in socioeconomic categories are given first consideration for set aside contracts in accordance with FAR 19.203(c), it is imperative that firms in these socioeconomic groups respond to these notices and tailor their capabilities to the specific requirement at hand. Generic capability statements will not suffice in responding to these notices.

      Your firm should also review NOAA’s Forecast and determine if any requirements match the capabilities of your firm. If so, you should contact the POC listed for the requirement as well as inform the NOAA Small Business Office of your capabilities.

      If you are a prospective supplier, register your company on the NOAA Small Business Vendor Profile databaseoffsite link. Prospective suppliers will only be contacted when additional information is required about their company, product, or service. Registration in the NOAA Small Business Vendor Profile database does not imply a contract, or intent to purchase by NOAA, it is simply used as an additional tool for market research purposes.

  2. How do I contact a NOAA Small Business representative?
    • The NOAA Small Business Office in Silver Spring MD is the main POC for inquiries from industry; however, you are welcome to reach out to any or all of our Acquisition offices. Contact is as follows:
    • Please note that all NOAA requirements that are not set aside for small businesses are routed through the Silver Spring MD office for review and further approvals. The Small Business Office requests that you work with them first and recommendations can be made for contact at the other AGO Divisions as necessary.
  3. Does the NOAA Small Business Office review capability statements?
  4. I am interested in Simplified Acquisition Program work with NOAA. How do I find out if you buy what I sell and the proper POC?
    • FPDS-NG is a great place to start your research. Go to the FPDS-NG website and utilize the EZ Search function at the top of the page. Simply type “NOAA” in the search box and select enter. Once on the next screen click on the “Advanced Search” tab on the top right. Select the “new search” box and click “add”. You want to search FPDS by NAICS so you will want to add 3 search parameters, “agency code = 1330”, “date signed (usually one year is sufficient but you can select longer)”, and “NAICS code”. This will pull up all the contracts in that NAICS series that NOAA has awarded for the period of time you entered. Each award can then be opened and you can find out more specific information related to what was bought and the contracting officer who bought it. You can add additional search parameters, like “action obligation”, to further refine the search to only actions under a certain dollar threshold.
  5. What percentages of NOAA acquisitions are below the Simplified Acquisition Threshold (SAT)?
    • Generally 90% of the transactions and 10% of the total dollar’s fall within the SAT category. NOAA spends, on average, $1.2B through 14,000 individual transactions.
  6. How much of the procurement at NOAA is done through Small Business?
    • SMALL BUSINESS TYPE 2016 % OF $ 2017 % OF $ 2018 % OF $ 2019 % OF $ 2020 % OF $
      Small Business 59.80% 54.90% 52.10% 47.10% 50.60%
      Small Disadvantaged Business 26.40% 26.20% 26.00% 21.3% 25.30%
      8(a) 11.00% 9.30% 9.20% 7.5% 8.70%
      Woman-Owned Small Business 17.20% 16.70% 15.40% 13.3% 15.40%
      HUBZone Small Business 3.10% 3.20% 4.20% 4.8% 4.60%
      Veteran-Owned Small Business 8.60% 7.60% 7.10% 6.9% 8.80%
      Service Disabled Veteran Owned SB 6.40% 5.70% 4.80% 4.7% 5.90%

      Please contact the NOAA Small Business Office for additional questions.

Contact Us

NOAA Small Business Program  

1325 East-West Highway Building 2 (SSMC2), 11th Floor
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Directions to Silver Spring
NOAASB@noaa.gov