Small Business in brief

Set-asides to soar in 2006

Qualified small technology companies should expect to see more than $20 billion in set-asides in 2006, according to market research firm, Input Inc., Reston, Va.

Roughly 70 percent ? $14 billion ? of the set-asides will be for professional
services, according to the recent Input report.

Some of the largest opportunities will come from the Army and Air Force.

An Army solicitation is expected in the second quarter for a $310 million small-business contract for program management and interpretation and translation services in Afghanistan.

The Air Force is set to release small-business contracts worth $960 million for professional acquisition and IT support services and $350 million for advisory and assistance services for Tinker Air Force Base.

The Homeland Security Department is expected early this year to award its small business only, $3 billion FirstSource contracting vehicle for commercial IT commodities.

Panel gives boost to small biz

Small companies working with the federal government soon may find the market growing more lucrative ? the Acquisition Advisory Panel has voted to adopt recommendations designed to help small companies win more government contracts.

The panel must forward its recommendations to the and Congress, and no timeframe has been set for the
transmission.

But the panel wants more multiple-award contracts for small businesses and a limit on some of the recurring work under contracts involving large and small companies so that recurring work goes only to small companies.

The panel recommended providing more training to improve government officials' understanding of small-business programs.

It also suggested prohibiting government's use of cascading procurements, which let the government determine, after the proposals are received, whether or not a contract will be reserved for a particular small-business preference.

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