If you're new to government contracting or have been struggling with the complexities of the bid process, help could be as close as your local PTAC office. PTACs (Procurement Technical Assistance Centers) are designed to provide companies — especially small businesses — with the know-how and resources they need to compete for the government contracts.

The PTAC program, established by Congress in 1985 and administered by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), is designed to boost the quality and value of the goods and services purchased by the military, government and educational establishments.

The program works with such institutions as state and local governments, colleges and universities, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Small Business Development Centers to fund a network of 94 PTACs staffed by more than 500 procurement counselors. These counselors are trained and experienced in the procurement process and provide assistance (most of it free of charge) to businesses both on an individual basis and in classes and seminars. Among their areas of expertise:

  • Determining Suitability for Contracting
  • Securing Necessary Registrations
  • Researching Procurement Histories
  • Proposal Preparation
  • Contract Performances Issues

To learn more about PTACs, visit, where you'll find a searchable database of PTAC offices as well as details on PTAC services and training events.