The government's in the red

The government often earns a failing grade for small-business contracting

When it comes to awarding contracts to small businesses, the government struggles to reach any of the annual goals it strives for. The Small Business Administration’s most recent small-business procurement score card for fiscal 2008 shows that the government achieved only one of its contracting goals last year: It spent 6.76 percent of its prime-contract dollars with small, disadvantaged businesses, topping the goal of 5 percent.

However, the government fell short of its goals in the other categories and the overall goal of 23 percent of total contract spending. Even though agencies spent $93.3 billion with small companies — an increase of nearly $10 billion since 2007 — that dollar amount represented only 21.5 percent of total contract spending. And that overall percentage was down by nearly a percentage point from the previous year.

Seven of the 24 agencies that SBA tracks failed to reach more than one goal, while two of them — the Office of Personnel Management and the U.S. Agency for International Development — missed all of the goals. The General Services Administration was the only agency to achieve all the goals.

SBA rates the agencies with a green, yellow or red score based on the contracts they awarded to small businesses overall and specifically to small, disadvantaged businesses; small businesses in Historically Underutilized Business Zones; woman-owned small businesses; and businesses owned by service-disabled veterans.

About the Author

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

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.

Featured

  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

Reader comments

Mon, Oct 12, 2009 Randy Drake New York

We are a samll minority business trying to survive in this ecomomy. How would we go about getting ivolved with SBA?Randy Drake DRAKE COMM PRODUCTS 33 Comac Loop Ronkonkoma, NY. 11779 Certified WBE

Tue, Sep 22, 2009 DOD

These "goals" are one of the main reasons the Government is so inefficient. As an engineer trying to get facilities built or repaired, when these goals are imposed on our Contracting group, we end up spending a lot more time and money to meet some goal with the end result often being an inferior product as well. Add to that all these other bureaucrats time (and money) spent on counting well the goals were met.

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group