Small businesses in spotlight

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NNSA: Millions in contracts awarded

The National Nuclear Security Administration today announced that it distributed more than $362 million in small business obligations for federal prime contracts in fiscal year 2011. NNSA surpassed its departmental small business goal by 27 percent for the year.

To highlight the success of its small business program, NNSA today launched the third annual “NNSA Small Business Week.” NNSA will feature a different small business of the day throughout the week.

“We continue to develop strong partnerships with small businesses while being stewards of taxpayers’ money,” said NNSA Administrator Thomas D’Agostino.

“Through these partnerships, we’re able to focus on our core mission areas while helping support small businesses across the country. I want to thank the men and women throughout our enterprise who continue to look for ways to improve the way we do business while meeting extremely high safety and security standards.”

NNSA’s use of small business companies has led to reduced overhead and operating costs, and opportunities for small businesses to gain exposure within the nuclear security enterprise throughout the nation.

NNSA uses small businesses to fulfill the majority of its technical and administrative support services at its headquarters in Washington, D.C. These blanket purchase agreements (BPA) represent 11 teams with more than 80 small businesses and are open for use by any DOE departmental element. NNSA has access to a large number of firms with diverse skills and capabilities.

NNSA has also placed small businesses on center stage as part of its Supply Chain Management Center (SCMC) initiative. The SCMC team is comprised of representatives from each NNSA M&O (with federal involvement) that work together to acquire common goods and services by analyzing buying behavior and by leveraging combined purchasing power.

A main criterion for deciding who is finally awarded these multi-site purchasing agreements is small business status. In FY 2011, every new agreement was awarded to a small business providing $8.8 million in savings of taxpayer funds.

Small businesses even play a role in NNSA’s international missions. NNSA’s Second Line of Defense Program uses three small business-led teams to install nuclear detection portal monitors at border crossings and seaports around the world.

The $700 million, seven-year effort demonstrates the strength of small business capabilities on an international scale. NNSA conducted extensive market research to demonstrate that small businesses have the skills and performance characteristics necessary to work in a number of host countries while simultaneously respecting local cultures and customs, and getting the job done with a mix of American and local country labor.

In addition to the agency’s own small business work, NNSA’s Management & Operating (M&O) contractors’ small business programs obligated more than 50 percent of all subcontracted work to small businesses.