Wednesday, October 25, 2017

INL exceeds small business procurement goal for fifth straight year

For the fifth consecutive year, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory has exceeded its small business procurement goal and the commitment it made to do business in the state of Idaho.

When fiscal year 2017 ended on Sept. 30, Battelle Energy Alliance, which has the INL management and operations contract with DOE, reported it had spent $194,555,080 with small business. That represents 58.1 percent of the business INL did overall and far surpasses the $150.7 million (51 percent) it agreed to at the beginning of the fiscal year.

INL spent 41.8 percent with small businesses in Idaho, far above the 30 percent attainment goal set for the year.

“We very much value our partnership with so many innovative Idaho businesses,” said Dennis Newby, INL chief financial officer. “We are fortunate to work with high-caliber businesses across Idaho that support our needs.”

In this last year, INL prioritized strengthening its partnership with small business, paying particular attention to businesses in Idaho. Small business goals are part of the DOE contract, and each year, new goals are negotiated to determine what percentage of procurement volume is to be set aside.

INL contracts with small businesses for materials and services that include consumables such as office supplies, fuels, and information technology equipment, as well as construction services and skilled expertise in key research areas.

INL has a long history of meeting DOE procurement goals, but this year it wanted to go beyond what was typical. The INL small business team travels throughout Idaho to share opportunities for contracting and partnering to do research, and shares information about proposal writing to increase a business’s chances of receiving an award. This effort paid off.

The national statutory requirement for small business procurement is 51 percent. In 2016 and 2015, INL hit 58.6 percent and 55.9 percent, respectively, so agreeing to the national requirement was a bar lab leadership felt it could clear easily. INL has worked hard to cultivate relationships with small businesses, especially ones in Idaho, said Stacey Francis, the lab’s Small Business Program manager.

“It is a win-win when we have local businesses able to supply us with what we need,” Francis said. “We recognize the benefit of partnering with small business for ease of use, the level of expertise available and exceptional customer service.”

Socioeconomic goals are also set for small, disadvantaged businesses, Historically Underutilized Business (HUBZone) businesses, firms owned by women and service-disabled veterans, and businesses in Idaho. In FY-17, INL also met its five socioeconomic procurement goals for the third straight year.

“I am proud of INL’s commitment to work with small business,” Francis said. “As the lab continues to grow, small business will continue to play a big part in our success.”

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