The Department provides maximum practicable opportunities in its contracting program to veteran owned small businesses and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses. In addition, DHS spent $1.4 billion with veteran-owned businesses in fiscal year 2011, meeting the Department's goal of doing a billion dollars of business with veteran owned businesses for the second year in a row.
Contract Opportunities for Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses
The Department works to ensure small companies have a fair opportunity to compete and be selected for Department contracts. The Department, along with the rest of the federal government, has the authority to set aside procurements for service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSB).
At this time, no such authority exists for non-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, with one exception at the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Department encourages veteran-owned small businesses to submit offers on all projects in which they have an interest.
The Department participates in about 75 outreach events each year for the small business community - 20% of those are targeted to VOSBs and SDVOSBs.
Vendor Outreach Session
The Department has a rigorous outreach program for communicating with these business communities. Monthly vendor outreach sessions for VOSBs and SDVOSBs feature pre-arranged appointments with Department small business specialists and Department large business prime contractors to gain insight into working with the Department.
The Department regularly publishes forecasts of contracting opportunities within the Department. This resource can help SDVOSBs and VOSBs to identify opportunities for submitting a proposal.
VOSBs and SDVOSBs are eligible to participate in the Department's Mentor/Protégé Program in which large businesses serve as mentors and engage in business developmental assistance to their protégés.
Real Results: Success Story in the Making
In an effort to increase Department contract awards to SDVOSB, the Department has devised a multiple award service disabled veteran owned small businesses set-aside contract for Department-wide use for Program Management, Administrative, Clerical and Technical Services referred to as PACTS.
The Department awarded 34 contracts to SDVOSBs in early August to participate in the PACTS program. Awardees competed among several hundred SDVOSBs and now have the opportunity to bid on task orders for the four types of services.
PACTS is a $1.5 billion program with a 5-year period of performance. The program is designed to streamline the task order solicitation, award process and establish a source for prescreened and preapproved SDVOSB companies that will provide critical support to the Department. The PACTS program represents one of the largest contract vehicles awarded in the 10-year history of the SDVOSB program.