VA leads in small-biz contracts

The Department of Veterans Affairs said it is the top-ranked federal agency when it comes to contracting percentages with businesses owned by service-disabled veterans, according to a Small Business Administration report on last year’s federal contracting program.

Of 18 federal agencies that spent at least $1 billion in contracts in fiscal 2005, the VA awarded more than $200 million to businesses run by veterans disabled during military service. The department led all other agencies with 2.15 percent of contracts going to small businesses, according to a VA statement. The goal is 3 percent.

The “VA is committed to helping veterans, not just with health care and other benefits, but in experiencing the opportunities of entrepreneurship,” Secretary Jim Nicholson said in a statement.

The VA’s $9.8 billion in total acquisitions last year made it the fourth largest federal purchaser of goods and services, behind the Defense Department, Energy Department and NASA, the SBA report states.

Across the federal government, the report states, contracts with service-disabled veterans rose to $1.9 billion last year, an increase of 58 percent since 2004.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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