GSA reaches all small-business contracting goals

GSA nearly tripled its 5 percent goal of contracting with small and disadvantaged businesses.

The General Services Administration was the only federal agency to meet all its small-business contracting goals last year, while eight agencies came close to that same mark, according to an annual contracting score card, released today.

According to the Small Business Administration’s third annual small business procurement score card, GSA nearly tripled its goal of sending 5 percent of the agency’s contracting dollars to small and disadvantaged businesses by reaching 14.48 percent. It also more than doubled its goals for contracting with small businesses in economically depressed areas, or historically underutilized business zones, by reaching 6.45 percent on its 3 percent goal.

“We’re proud of these accomplishments, as it is the first time GSA has exceeded all of the small-business goals,” Mary Parks, GSA's acting associate administrator of the Office of Small Business Utilization, said today. "Now our focus is on maintaining these great results and building on them for the future."

As a whole, the government missed its goal of awarding 23 percent of its contracting dollars to small businesses, reaching only 21.50 percent, according to SBA. Small businesses won a record $93.3 billion in federal prime contracts in fiscal 2008, an increase of nearly $10 billion from 2007, SBA said. Despite the $10 billion increase, the overall percentage slipped by a half a percentage point from 2007, according to the scorecard.

SBA rates 24 agencies with green, yellow or red scores based on how many of the five goals were met or surpassed. A green score means the agency met the goal, yellow means it came close, and red means the agency failed.

The annual scorecard looks at the overall small business goal, and the component contracting goals for:

  • Small, disadvantaged businesses.
  • Small businesses in HUBZones.
  • Woman-owned small businesses.
  • Service-disabled, veteran-owned small businesses.

On the score card, eight agencies, commissions and departments  met or surpassed four of their five goals: the Homeland Security, Energy, Interior, Labor, Transportation,  and Agriculture departments;  the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and SBA.

Two agencies — the Office of Personnel Management and the Agency for International Development — failed all their goals, SBA found.

“Especially during these tough economic times, federal contracts for small businesses can be just the opportunity they need to continue to grow and create jobs,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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