Panetta urges more DoD small biz contracts

Friday - 9/2/2011, 5:34pm EDT

By Jared Serbu
Reporter
Federal News Radio

With less than a month left in fiscal year 2011, the Defense Department is poised to once again miss its target for contracting to small businesses, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned in a recent memorandum.

The memo, sent to the heads of the military branches, Defense agencies and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, urges all segments of DoD to find ways to step up their contracting to small businesses before the fiscal year ends.

"Dynamic small businesses play a central role in strengthening the Department of Defense industrial base and improving our acquisition outcomes," Panetta wrote.

"Small businesses not only lead the nation in innovation, they are also proven drivers of competition and incubators for business growth. Increasing small business contracting opportunities is a priority of mine, and also of President Obama."

DoD's goal for 2011 is to award 22.3 percent of its prime contracts to small businesses. That is the same benchmark it aimed for in 2010, when DoD awarded 20.94 percent of its contracts to small businesses according to department statistics.

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