INL strengthens partnerships with small business and exceeds its annual procurement goals
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — The U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory continues to demonstrate its commitment to using small businesses by achieving all its small business goals for the sixth consecutive year.
When Fiscal Year 2018 ended on Sept. 30, Battelle Energy Alliance, which has the INL management and operations contract with DOE, reported it had spent nearly $235 million with small business. That represents 59.1 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.
In respect to small businesses in Idaho, INL spent 37.4 percent, 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 needed to achieve its diverse missions. Items 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, 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 2017 and 2016, INL hit 59.1 percent and 58.6 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 (HUB) Zone businesses, businesses owned by women and service disabled veterans, and businesses in Idaho. In FY-18, INL also met its five socioeconomic procurement goals for the fourth 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.”