Feb. 19, 2005 -- News from the nation's capital proves that when it comes to winning government contracts, size does matter.

The General Services Administration announced yesterday that it would award one of two new 10-year, $65 billion IT contracts exclusively to small businesses. The other contract will be open to bids from companies of any size, including small ones.

The announcement comes on the heels of last month's contention from the Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy that small businesses have been shortchanged their fair share of government contracts. The government has set a goal of distributing 23% of its contracts to small businesses.

"This is an important win for small business that will help advance President Bush's small-business agenda as it relates to federal procurement, said Hector Barreto, the SBA's administrator, about the GSA's exclusive small business contract. The SBA just completed taking public comments to help federal agencies define what constitutes a small business.

The GSA is responsible for acquiring office space, equipment, telecommunications, information technology, supplies and services on behalf of federal agencies. The two GSA contracts, called Alliant and Alliant Small Business, are "Multiple Award/Indefinite Quantity, which means that the government engages contractors when it knows it will need a variety of services, but cannot immediately specify what or when it needs them.