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August, 2012

2012 OCBO Supplier Diversity Conference and Workshop

by Calvin Osborne, Attorney Advisor
August 6, 2012

On Tuesday, July 10, 2012 the FCC’s Office of Communications Business Opportunities (“OCBO”) hosted its inaugural Supplier Diversity Conference and Workshop. The conference provided small, minority, and women-owned businesses access to information about the business opportunities available in the government and private sectors, and how to compete for those opportunities.

The Conference consisted of two separate panels.  The first panel featured procurement officers from the Department of Defense, the Department of Transportation, the Minority Business Development Agency, and the Federal Communications Commission.  Each representative spoke about areas where business is growing and gave in-depth examples of costly mistakes companies can make while bidding on a Government contract.  One officer detailed how a company held a contract with their organization for more than five years.  The contract ran its course and in the company’s new bid it did not talk about the services it offered, only that it held the contract previously.  Subsequently, the company lost the business.

The private sector panel included supply chain executives from AT&T, Microsoft, Verizon, Sprint, and Comcast. The representatives encouraged conference participants to focus on a select number of services they can offer when placing their bids.  The concensus among the private panel representatives was that companies purchasing products or services from potential suppliers must be wary of suppliers who signal that their companies are experts in a large number of areas because often times those companies are not particularly good at any area.   

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White House Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

by Karen Peltz Strauss, Deputy Bureau Chief, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau
August 2, 2012

Last week, I was honored to represent the Federal Communications Commission at the White House’s observation of the Americans with Disabilities Act’s (ADA) 22nd anniversary.  Kareem Dale, the Special Advisor to the President on Disabilities Issues, opened the event, and Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President, gave closing remarks.  

Joining a panel of 4 other administration officials, I had the opportunity to speak on the many ways in which the Commission has successfully implemented the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA), signed by President Obama in October 2010.  The CVAA requires access by people with disabilities to emerging Internet-based and digital communications and video programming technologies.  Like the ADA, it seeks to ensure that people with disabilities can be fully independent and productive members of our society.

My remarks at the event highlighted 4 areas of accomplishment by the Commission:

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