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The U.S. Air Force is planning to undertake a major overhaul of the way it contracts out for goods and services with the private sector. And if one local Air Force colonel has his way, that restructuring effort will provide his office in San Antonio an opportunity to play a critical role in the decisionmaking process.
Col. Eddie Mims is the director of the Air Force Outreach Program Office, a national Air Force small-business advocacy office located at Brooks Air Force Base.
The office is charged with making sure the Air Force awards its fair share of federal contracts to small businesses. In addition, the office- serves as a national clearinghouse of information for contracting officers and small-business offices at each Air Force installation.
As the Air Force works to find ways to do more with fewer dollars, Mims says the Air Force Outreach Program Office could also play a critical role in the way the Air Force procures essential services in the future.
Congressional and Air Force leaders launched the Air Force Outreach Program Office in 1998 to help small businesses adjust to the nationwide reduction of federal spending and, thus, fewer contracting opportunities. However, with a new president and a new tone in Washington, D.C., Mims says there are both new challenges and new opportunities for his office.
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