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SBA Creates Unit to Help Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses Gain Better Access to Federal Contracting Opportunities

WASHINGTON – An office created by the U.S. Small Business Administration will help service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses navigate the federal contracting marketplace and gain better access to federal contracting opportunities. “We are eager to accept the challenge that President Bush has issued to us to help ensure that service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses receive their fair share of contracting opportunities,” said SBA Administrator Hector V. Barreto. “Their contributions to our country and their courage are admirable and the SBA is ready to help these small businesses gain access to contracting opportunities in the federal marketplace and grow their usinesses.”

The Veterans Technology Services (VETS) Governmentwide Acquisition Contract (GWAC) is a proposed competitive multiple award, indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity contract designed to provide worldwide information technology solutions to federal agencies while strengthening opportunities in federal contracting for service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses.

The VETS GWAC is being procured through the GSA Small Business GWAC Center.

The Office of Federal Contract Assistance for Veteran Business Owners, established in accordance with a Presidential Executive Order, will provide service-disabled veteran business owners with a single point of contact to address their questions and concerns and receive clarification on procurement opportunities designated for them. It will also:

• offer guidance on sole-source and set-aside procurement opportunities, and protest and appeal procedures;
• help federal agencies meet their 3 percent prime and subcontracting goals; and
• provide guidance to federal contracting officers on the criteria used to verify servicedisabled-veteran status, and determine business wnership and control requirements.

The new office will be headed by Teresa Lewis, a 20-year veteran of the Air Force with more than 14 years of government contracting experience.

The Executive Order:

• directs heads of agencies to develop a strategic plan to provide more contracting and subcontracting opportunities to service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses;
• establishes a goal of not less than 3 percent for participation by service-disabled veteranowned businesses in federal contracting and gives agency contracting officers the authority to reserve certain procurements for service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses; and
• requires the administrator of the SBA to designate an appropriate entity within the SBA to work with the Veteran Affairs’ Center for Veterans Enterprise to provide information and assistance in federal contracting to service-disabled veteran-owned businesses.

To view the Executive Order in its entirety, visit
www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/10/print/20041021-5.html.

For more information about SBA’s Office of Federal Contract Assistance for Veteran Business Owners, visit www.sba.gov/gc/indexprograms-vets.html. For information about all of the SBA’s programs and services, visit www.sba.gov.







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