SBA Awards $5.5M Contract to Improve Response to Disasters

Mark Van Scyoc/

As the Small Business Administration responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s also implementing what it learned during its response to the 2017 hurricane season.

The Small Business Administration has a large role to play in disaster and emergency response—as seen during the current COVID-19 pandemic—and the agency wants to make sure it is continually improving in this area.

In February, the agency issued a solicitation for “Ongoing Process Improvement Validation and Implementation,” seeking a contractor to help follow through on lessons learned from the 2017 hurricane season, one of the worst years on record and the agency’s “second-largest disaster to date,” according to the solicitation.

After the devastation caused by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, SBA commissioned an after-action report on the agency’s response. Under a previous contract, the agency received a report detailing the administrative and human resources processes that went into the 2017 hurricane season response, to define “how work is done, promote process understanding, and identify problem areas such as inefficiencies, redundancies, and unnecessary steps, as well as opportunities for improvement,” the solicitation states.

This week, the agency awarded a $5.5 million contract to Consult DSA, LLC, a woman-owned small business based in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The company will work to validate the findings in previous reports “to ensure future disaster response efforts continue to be efficient and effective,” implement sound improvements from those reports and, eventually, validate and implement findings from future reports.

The Office of Disaster Assistance “anticipates completing similar after-action reports for future large-scale disasters that may occur, and ODA is seeking contractor assistance with other process improvements identified during these reviews,” the solicitation states. With SBA’s role in disbursing emergency aid in response to the coronavirus outbreak, the pandemic will likely be included in one of those future reports.

The contract with Consult DSA is set to run for a base of 12 months, with four one-year add-on options.