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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Ind. Gov't. - "Pence, state differ on vets' contracts"

Niki Kelly of the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette reported on Nov. 11th:

INDIANAPOLIS – Gov. Mike Pence is claiming he met – and exceeded – a goal to send state contracts to veteran-owned businesses even though statistics released to the Journal Gazette in May showed the state lagging far behind.

Lawmakers passed a bill in April 2013 setting a 3 percent contracting goal for Indiana Veterans Business Enterprises each fiscal year.

The law went into effect July 1, 2013, and the fiscal year ran through June 2014.

In May, the Indiana Department of Administration reported to The Journal Gazette that awards to fewer than a dozen veteran businesses totaled $811,000 – $251,000 as prime contractors and $559,000 as subcontractors. To reach the 3 percent goal, the veteran contracts would have to reach about $2.2 million.

“This program began in July 2013 and was available to bidders on new state contracts,” said Connie Smith, former communications director for the Department of Administration. “A (request for proposal) can take 6 months or longer so it will be some time before contracts to veteran-owned businesses reach 3 percent.”

But Pence announced Monday – the day before Veterans Day – that the state had awarded 6 percent of its state contracts to Veterans Business Enterprises.The awards totaled $16.7 million to 62 entities between July 2013 and September 2014.

The Pence administration did not respond to questions seeking clarification Monday afternoon.

It is also unclear why the state included July and August in the calculation because they are part of a new fiscal year.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on November 13, 2014 01:45 PM
Posted to Indiana Government