SET-ASIDES

SBA testing Internet service for contractors

The Small Business Administration is testing a new Internet-based service designed to make it easier for federal agencies and prime contractors to find small firms for contracts and subcontracts. Called the Procurement Marketing Access Network or Pro-Net the system will contain profiles of small businesses that register for the database.

Searching the information will be free and the system will include links to federal procurement opportunities. Companies also will be able to link their home pages to the site.

"As the federal government modernizes the way it does business Pro-Net will give small firms a new and efficient way to market their capabilities " SBA administrator Aida Alvarez said.

The Pro-Net pilot includes about 6 500 small businesses in Maryland including all SBA 8(a) firms and many women-owned firms. If after a few months SBA decides to continue the project any small firm will be able to participate. For more information see the Pro-Net World Wide Web site at pro-net.unh.edu.

Hearings set for first Y2K status report

A hearing to discuss the first quarterly status report on the federal government's Year 2000 problem will be held next month Rep. Constance Morella (R-Md.) chairwoman of the House Subcommittee on Technology announced last week.

In March the Office of Management and Budget required agencies to submit quarterly reports on their progress in fixing the Year 2000 problem and on how much those fixes will cost. At that time Sally Katzen administrator of OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs said the reports would compare agencies' progress in fixing the systems to milestones OMB has developed to ensure the government's systems are fixed before 2000.

Morella said the government has improved its Year 2000 readiness since last year but she added that it "has a long way to go."

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