CIRAS PTAP—Iowa’s Local Link to a National Network of Contracting Expertise

Government contracting is a byzantine business—a long and plodding trek through a jungle filled with complicated regulation, documentation, and new marketing challenges.

Sound impossible? It’s not. But no smart explorer launches a trip through the jungle without finding a good guide. CIRAS exists to serve as that guide for Iowa businesses. Many Iowa businesses have known this for a long time.

What Iowans may not know, however, is how much knowledge and experience is available to back up the CIRAS government contracting team if the way proves complicated for your particular business.

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Written by Leah Barton
Director of CIRAS’ Procurement Technical Assistance Program

Since 2000, CIRAS has served as Iowa’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC)—the Iowa affiliate of a nationwide network funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. (CIRAS tends to refer to the Iowa entity as the Procurement Technical Assistance Program, or PTAP). The national PTAC network includes more than 600 government contracting specialists spread across 95 programs around the United States and its territories—all of them continually sharing best practices and ready to help each other at a moment’s notice.

In 2016, PTACs around the country served more than 41,350 clients, according to a December newsletter article written by Jane Dowgwillo, president of the national Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers. Those centers helped clients win more than 87,000 contracts and subcontracts worth roughly $16.5 billion.

“What makes this community special—and effective—is how we support each other in so many ways,” Dowgwillo wrote. “Knowing that we can reach out to our colleagues and someone will be there to answer a technical question or provide some advice is invaluable.”

Dowgwillo also quoted an old proverb stating that “if you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together.”

CIRAS PTAP specialists exist to be your companion as you explore the world of government contracting. But know that when you call us, you’re getting more than one guide—you’re getting the experience and expertise of more than 600 government contracting experts.

For more information, contact Leah Barton at bartonl@iastate.edu or 515-291-0733.

Or, request more information by visiting https://newswire.ciras.iastate.edu/ptap-request-for-counseling/.