Tuesday, August 14, 2018

2019 NDAA - Funding for PTACs

The President signed the 2019 NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) named for Senator John McCain yesterday. So this week we will be covering just a few of the provisions included in the legislation - those that might be of interest to Government contractors (and prospective Government contractors). Yesterday we discussed the prohibition against contracting officers arbitrarily withholding consent to subcontract just because they didn't like the price or the estimated cost. Today we want to take a look at a provision that has potential benefit for small businesses - enhanced PTAC (Procurement Technical Assistance Centers).

The House version of the 2019 NDAA contained a provision that would authorize PTACs to form an association to pursue "matters of common concern" (whatever that entails) and would direct DoD to recognize a PTAC association with a membership of the majority of PTACs and to fund the program. The Senate version had no such provision. In compromise committee, the House version prevailed.

The idea of PTACs is to offer no-cost procurement advise to small businesses looking to enter the Government market. The 94 PTACs across the US operate mostly autonomously and the heavy handed administration by DLA (Defense Logistics Agency) as to how PTACs can spend their Government funds has discouraged the Centers from coming together to share best practices and to otherwise improve their operations.

That's about to change. Section 859 of the 2019 NDAA authorizes DoD to pay costs relating to meetings of PTACs to discuss best practices for the improvement of the operations and for membership dues for any association of such centers, training fees and associated travel for training.

How much will these PTACs be funded for such purposes? We don't know yet. The legislation authorizes an amount determined appropriate by the Director so we'll have to wait and see.

If you are a small business and haven't taken advantage of the services available through your local PTAC, find them here and make an appointment.

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