Small biz to get slice of IRS Prime

IRS networking notice

The Internal Revenue Service is offering small businesses a chance to get a piece of the action on the IRS modernization contract.

The agency's small-business program office is hosting a networking session Feb. 7 and Feb. 8 to enable small businesses to meet the IRS Prime contractor and its alliance partners.

Among those who may attend the event are small information technology businesses with less than $18 million in revenue and fewer than 500 employees.

Representatives will include Computer Sciences Corp., the IRS Prime contractor on the project, along with their partners IBM Corp., Unisys Corp., Science Applications International Corp., Logicon Inc., Avaya Inc. and KPMG Consulting Inc.

A CSC briefing paper said the goal of the project is to subcontract 41 percent of the work to small business, 5 percent to women-owned and to small disadvantaged businesses, and 1 percent to HUBZone small business and to service-disabled veterans.

"CSC and its Prime Alliance partners are currently exceeding the goals for small business participation in IRS business systems modernization," a CSC spokesman said. "We look forward to hearing from additional small businesses which would like to participate in rebuilding America's tax system to bring top-quality service to America's taxpayers."

The 15-year project is estimated to be worth billions of dollars. Its goal is to modernize the IRS and retire an antiquated arrangement that still keeps taxpayer returns stored on a 1960s-era tape-based system.

The IRS said businesses would be limited to meeting with three of the seven Prime companies. Appointments will be 15 minutes each, and small businesses must pre-register by Feb. 4.

More than 200 people have registered for the sessions, according to Jodie Paustian, small business specialist for the IRS.

Paustian said the program is an effective way to bring small contractors together with the prime contractor. The Treasury Department hosts a similar outreach twice a year for all its prime contractors.

"The vendors like it. It's their opportunity to sit down and meet one-on-one," she said.

In May 2000, IRS held a similar briefing session for subcontractors, resulting in a number of contracts for small firms, she said. This time, contractors said they wanted a chance to meet individually with representatives of the Prime Alliance.

To register, e-mail Jodie.L.Paustian@irs.gov.

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