JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (July 30, 2014) -- More than 20 Army small business specialists from throughout the country participated in a roundtable forum July 29-31 at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, to synchronize the service's contracting efforts in support of American small businesses.

The Mission and Installation Contracting Command Office of Small Business Programs consists of personnel around the country who function independently on a daily basis as the sole small-business expert at each of the command's contracting offices. In addition to providing advice to individual small businesses, the program also advocates within the command's 33 contracting offices to ensure small businesses have the maximum opportunity to compete for Army contracts awarded by supported activities.

"The purpose of the MICC Small Business Roundtable is to promote a cohesive implementation of the MICC Small Business Program throughout the geographically dispersed field contracting activities," said Lynette Ward, an assistant director for the MICC OSBP here. "The MICC currently has over 20 full-time small business specialists assigned to those contracting offices with annual obligations that exceed $100 million each."

Twenty-one small business specialists traveled here for the roundtable. Joining them is the MICC-Fort Sam Houston small business specialist as well as four assistant directors and the associate director assigned to the MICC headquarters.

Ward said this event also promotes unified action and ensures all members of the small business workforce are attuned to the command's priorities as they implement the MICC and Army Small Business Program mission.

"The roundtable is a mission-critical event that will focus on command priorities, key initiatives, policies, standardization, workforce and work place issues, internal challenges and strategic plan formulation," Ward said.

Among the topics and training this week are the fiscal 2015 goals, electronic market research techniques, electronic Subcontracting Reporting System, and initiatives for historically underutilized business zone small businesses. Each day also involves discussion with MICC contracting leaders as well as breakout sessions to discuss various case studies.

"The case studies will cover a wide range of actual procurement scenarios to stimulate discussion and identify potential policy or procedural changes," Ward said. "They also offer the opportunity to garner lessons learned and best practices as the more seasoned small-business experts share their experience and expertise with newer members in an open forum."

Ward believes the three days of face-to-face discussions coupled with headquarters guidance will achieve the roundtable's purpose and focus small business efforts.

"Small business specialists will be better equipped to handle challenges as they arise, and will leave the roundtable with an increased awareness of their responsibilities for effective implementation and execution of the small business program," she said.

The MICC is responsible for providing contracting support for the warfighter at Army commands, installations and activities located throughout the continental United States and Puerto Rico. Through the first three quarters of this fiscal year, MICC contracting officers have awarded more than $1.1 billion in contracts to small businesses.