JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO - Headquarters, Army Medical Command awarded approximately $917 million in contracts to small businesses in fiscal year 2018, meeting all five of the socioeconomic goals assigned by the Director of the Army's Small Business Program.

Leading that effort is a group of small business professionals who advocate on behalf of American small businesses.

"Meeting goals represents an annual challenge," said Pete Hunter, Associate Director, Office of Small Business Programs for the Headquarters, U.S. Army Medical Command. "In this command, we don't shy away from challenges. We could not have exceeded these goals without the can-do attitude and hard work of a tremendous group of professionals across a host of disciplines."

The achievements represent the highest service-disabled veteran-owned small business percentage and women-owned small business percentage ever achieved by Headquarters, Army Medical Command. The Small Business Office achieved 51.47 percent against a small business goal of 46 percent. That included 33.40 percent against a 20 percent goal for small disadvantaged businesses; 6.95 percent against a goal of 5 percent for service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses; 11.95 percent against an 11 percent goal for women-owned small businesses; and 2 percent against a goal of 2 percent for historically underutilized business zone small businesses.

Hunter said the command's success in reaching its small business goals is rooted in teamwork.

"The Army Medical Command Office of Small Business Programs has truly exceptional people; industrious, hard-working, and productive," he said. "But, we also have a wonderful opportunity to work with many other exceptional people in contracting, in the requiring offices, in the military treatment facilities, and of course, our leadership. We receive tremendous support from the Commanding General. She sets the tone and creates an environment of positivity, openness and inclusion, one where everyone has an opportunity to contribute something valuable to our vital command mission."

Hunter particularly cites the role of contracting. "The Head of the Contracting Activity, Monte Kapec, and his two principal assistants responsible for contracting, Brian Martin, U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity, and Col. Christopher Todd, U.S. Army Health Contracting Activity, provide the contracting leadership. They work diligently to support the success of Army Medicine."

Jerome Maultsby, Assistant Director, Headquarters, U.S. Army Medical Command Office of Small Business Programs, said, "effective advance acquisition planning strategies conducted by stakeholders throughout the fiscal year contributed to the command's success.

Maultsby explained that the success achieved during fiscal year 2018, is due to the synergistic team efforts of military and civilian contracting officials, acquisition workforce members, small Business professionals, commanders, directors, small business administration procurement center representatives, and requiring activities.

"Collectively, we appreciate having an opportunity to contribute to the overall success of the Army Small Business Program," said Maultsby.

In fiscal year 2018, an emphasis was placed on publicizing contracting actions pursuant to the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act and the Small Business Act. Contracting officers, subject to certain exceptions, are required to disseminate information on proposed contract actions exceeding $25,000 on the Government-wide point of entry at https://www.fbo.gov.

Publicizing [actions] is important, Hunter said. "The requirement for public notice is vital. That simple mechanism increases competition for contracts, broadens industry participation, and assists small business concerns in obtaining contracts and subcontracts. It also ensures all potential competitors for the contract have the same access to the same information at the same time and in the same place. That equal access to information not only helps safeguard the integrity of the acquisition process, but also ensures small businesses have an equal opportunity to review the requirement and make an informed business decision regarding whether or not to compete for that contract."