Input: Set-aside awards will soar in 2006

Set-aside contracts to qualified technology companies are expected to total more than $20 billion in fiscal 2006, according to market research firm Input Inc.

About 70 percent, or $14 billion, in cumulative value of the set-aside awards will be made for professional services, Reston, Va.-based Input estimates.

"As government solidifies mechanisms for fulfilling set-aside category goals, competition for these prime reserve dollars is increasing," said Megan Gamse, Input's defense opportunities manager.

Input tracked more than $11.6 billion in federal technology set-aside opportunities last year, she said. With some key programs to help governmentwide set-aside goal achievement, total technology set-aside contractual value is anticipated to increase by more than 43 percent from last year.

The analysis examines the total contract value of awards expected in 2006. For governmentwide acquisition contracts and other indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts, Input used the ceiling value for the opportunity. The actual set-aside awards may not reach the contract ceiling.

Some of the largest professional services set-aside opportunities will come from the Army and Air Force, Input said. For example, the solicitation for the Army's $310 million small business set-aside for business process outsourcing of emerging program management and interpretation and translation services for Afghanistan is likely to be released in the second quarter of the fiscal year.

For its part, the Air Force will release set-asides for $960 million of professional acquisition and IT support services, and a $350 million advisory and assistance service requirement for Tinker Air Force Base.

Other major set-aside opportunities are available in fiscal 2006 through the GWAC Veteran Technology Services, which is limited to service disabled veteran owned businesses, and also with the Homeland Security Department. The latter will make substantial set-aside awards through First Source, a $3 billion small business set-aside procurement for commercial IT commodities.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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