NEWS | March 23, 2011

RCO bolsters local business opportunities

By Capt. Ian Newcomb Joint Task Force - Bravo Contracting office

The Soto Cano Regional Contracting Office here aided the local economy by offering business opportunities to local vendors March 9 -18.

The office, which includes two U.S. civilians, three U.S. Air Force military and six Honduran civilians, traveled to three cities in the area surrounding the base in an effort to enhance the availability of goods and services by local providers.

Contracting supports the Joint Task Force Bravo team by purchasing supplies and services essential to base operations. The office also supports the local economy by looking for businesses that can provide the required items locally.

"Anytime we can acquire supplies locally we are helping the local economy and as a bonus we are getting our supplies faster and cheaper by eliminating large logistic costs" said Mr. Rodney Prickett, Chief of Contracting. "We do our best to compete our requirements locally, and in order to do that it's best to have the largest number of contractors to go to."

The Federal Acquisition Regulation dictates that requirements for goods and services are competed in order to achieve the best possible price. The potential contractors were instructed on what items contracting typically looks for, how to do business with the United States Government, and how to sign up in Central Contractor Registration to establishing a DUNS number (a number assigned to each approved contractor). A representative from the Joint Task Force - Bravo Resource Management office was also there to brief on the process in to digitize vendor payments, something that has been mandated in stateside contracting for many years.

Over 150 vendors attended the March 9session in Tegucigalpa, 65 vendors San Pedro Sula attended on Thursday, March 15, and on Friday, March 18, the final event was held locally in downtown Comayagua and had nearly 55 attendees.

Along with the presentations at each location, contracting provided snacks and drinks in order to create a more casual business atmosphere to encourage a dialogue between contracting personnel and local business people. The dialogue gave local vendors an opportunity to ask additional questions and explain what they can provide Soto Cano if the need arises.

The U.S. presence in Honduras creates an increased demand for goods and services, leading to more job opportunities for Honduran nationals. Creating more jobs leads to better quality of life and more investment, which helps ensure better collective security.