VA promises big role for small biz under $12B procurement

VA Secretary Shinseki says 7 of 15 prime contracts will to businesses

At least seven of the 15 prime contracts to be awarded on the Veterans Affairs Department’s upcoming $12 billion “T4” procurement will be awarded to veteran-owned small businesses, Secretary Eric Shinseki announced.

Four of the Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology (T4) prime contracts will go to service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, while three will go to veteran-owned small businesses, a department news release said.


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 Shinseki estimated that the T4 strategy will enable veteran-owned small businesses to receive $800 million to $1 billion in contracts, the release said.

The VA is expected to release a request for proposals soon for the five-year acquisition program. A draft request for proposals was published in May. The program is being managed and administered by VA’s Technology Acquisition Center in Eatontown, N.J.

Shinseki outlined several other steps to improve small business participation in the T4 contract in a July 20 speech to the National Veterans Small Business Conference.

Large firms awarded prime contracts will have aggressive subcontracting goals for both small and Veteran-owned businesses. VA will have the right to reserve set-asides for those businesses at the task-order level.

VA also is conducting an “industry innovation competition” to make it easier for veteran business owners to enter the federal marketplace.

And VA has started a mentoring program to link large contractors with small veteran-owned businesses;

The agency also has established a committee to expedite suspension and debarment actions for contractors who fraudulently represent themselves as veteran-owned small businesses.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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