Contracting rules apply equally to all

  • Published
  • By Linda Bryant
  • 452 AMW Contracting Office
Doing business with the government is great for the government, the small business and the taxpayer. However, all individuals wishing to sell their wares must adhere to specific rules on acquisitions. These rules apply to military reservists and retirees who own their own small business.

The base contracting office has noticed an increase in retired military members seeking to meet with contract specialists or wing personnel in prominent positions to find out about upcoming projects, or to discuss their company. Furthermore, they use their Department of Defense identification card to gain access to the base for the purpose of personal gain, which is prohibited.

Specifically, the use of a military or DOD identification card for solicitation is in violation of DOD Instruction 1344.7 Personal Commercial Solicitation on DOD Installations, dated March 30, 2006. DOD identification cards may be used to access a military installation only for authorized purposes. Those purposes include access to the commissary, Base Exchange and other military benefits.

However the DOD instruction explicitly prohibits the use of the military identification card "to gain access to DOD installations for the purpose of soliciting." The instruction also prohibits "making appointments with or soliciting military or DOD civilian personnel during their normally scheduled duty hours."

The contracting office has prominently placed a notice on the office door as well as "No Soliciting" sign on the front of the building. Some retirees have reacted to the sign by commenting that they have always done this; they do it at every base; they have never heard of this; and they have every right to come on the base.

The contracting office is very sensitive to any vendor dropping in or roaming the base to give their pitch. If a vendor who was prohibited from an appointment sees another vendor enter the contracting office, the prohibited vendor may file a protest, which can hold up the contract process.

In the past two years, the contracting office has also seen air reserve technicians and others in uniform come in to drop off information about their personal company, or a company they work for after duty hours, which is also prohibited. Retired military personnel and reservists acting in their civilian capacity who are bidding for contracts, or attempting to assist others in bidding for contracts, must follow proper federal government acquisition procedures regardless of whether or not they possess a military ID.

To assist private corporations, the federal government has created the Federal Business Opportunities website ( which is designed to inform the public on contracting procedures.

Unfortunately, information on contract procurement cannot be obtained from this office. If a contractor wants to mail information about their company or if they want to e-mail the contracting office, the information supplied will be placed in a vendor file. Due to insufficient time and resources. the contracting office does not meet with any vendor.

We want all contracts to be clean, without influence or protests. Our contracts are posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website.

How to get started doing business with the federal government

If you are a small business and want to do business with the federal government (including 452nd Air Mobility Wing squadrons and tenant organizations at March Air Reserve Base) you must follow the steps outlined below before contacting the base contracting office.

1. Register with the Central Contractor Registration website. (You will need a DUNS code and NAICS code. The CCR will instruct you on these codes.)

2. Contact the Small Business Administration in your area. (Review the requirements for an 8(a) small business.) 

3. Visit the Air Force Small Business Learning Center website.

4. Visit the Federal Business Opportunities website for notices for bids on federal contracts.