DOD seeks small-business ideas to help fight a war on terrorism

DOD seeks small-business ideas to help fight a war on terrorism

The Defense Department is relying more on small contractors to make big contributions to its IT efforts, a lead procurement official for the department promised last month.

'We're looking for new approaches in innovative areas in which small businesses excel,' said Michael Wynne, principal deputy undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics.

Defense contracting with small and minority-owned businesses reached $48 billion in 2000 and will be even more this year, Wynne said in a recent address before technology vendors at the Northern Virginia Technology Council.

He added that 8(a) companies are increasingly winning DOD prime contracts. Last year, DOD awarded $26.9 billion in prime contracts to small and minority-owned businesses.

'We need the continued support of both large and small business to win this war,' Wynne said. 'We would like to see qualified small businesses be able to be both prime and subcontractors.'

Ideas

Defense relies on industry for IT innovations, Wynne said, and small businesses play a major role. He noted that DOD awarded $3 billion in contracts to 8(a) companies for research, development, testing and evaluation in 2000.

DOD's reliance on industry for IT goods and services is likely to grow as a result of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Wynne said.

'Success against terrorism is tied closely to the capabilities and innovations that the IT industry brings,' he said. 'DOD's success in our struggle to meet and defeat terrorism in the 21st century is critically dependent on how we understand and use IT.'

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