SBA and Defense Department link databases

The Small Business Administration and the Defense Department last week took the first step toward completing the Business Partner Network for government contractors. SBA integrated its small business database, PRO-Net, with DOD's Central Contractor Registration system.

PRO-Net serves as agencies' small-business procurement resource, and the CCR is the central repository of information about contractors doing business with Defense Department. Small businesses can now enter their information in both databases simultaneously. CCR will rely on PRO-Net as the authoritative source for vendors certified under SBA's small-business contracting programs, such as 8(a) and HUBZone for historically underutilized businesses.

Eventually the CCR will become the Business Partner Network, a key part of the Office of Management and Budget's Integrated Acquisition Environment, an e-government project. The network will then serve as the single point of registration and validation for vendors. Agencies also will have to register with the network to make interagency transactions.

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