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

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

By Leah Barton, Director of CIRAS’ Procurement Technical Assistance Program

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

Sound impossible? Not if you have help.

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.”

Last year, CIRAS PTAP worked with 863 unique Iowa businesses, helping them successfully identify, compete for, and win more than $163 million in government contracts.

Our team of six government contracting specialists exists to serve as companions for Iowa businesses as they explore the world of government contracting. We support local businesses by helping them understand the market potential of government procurement, providing assistance with the various registration processes, identifying contract opportunities, understanding requirements, and offering guidance on preparing and submitting bids. Once Iowa companies have successfully been awarded contracts, we work with them to make sure they understand all the expectations that are involved. We also assist existing government contractors with market expansion.

In short, we’re here to get your where you need to go. But know that when you call us, you’re getting more than one guide—you’re getting our six people, plus the experience and expertise of more than 600 government contracting experts standing behind us.

For more information, contact Leah Barton at [email protected] or 515-291-0733.

Or, request more information by visiting

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