Army to put acquisition info online

Small businesses hoping to get military work may soon have a tool to aid their long-range planning.

Officials at the Army Contracting Agency are developing an Advance Acquisition Planning Database that will offer information on contracting opportunities as early as 18 months before the contracts are to be awarded. Suellen Jeffress, acting deputy director of the agency, discussed the plan this morning at a seminar hosted by National Business Promotions and Conferences Inc.

Small businesses need adequate time to determine what their role in a particular contract bid should be — prime contractor or subcontractor — and to discuss the opportunities with partners, she said. "What we should be able to do is tell the small-business community as far in advance as possible what's coming up," she said.

Officials estimate the database will be online by November, she said, although that date is not firm. Army personnel are developing the system themselves, she added.

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