Clinton order boosts women's businesses

President Clinton signed an executive order last week ordering agencies to meet specific goals in awarding contracts to small businesses owned by women, but the mandate alone may not encourage compliance, according to federal information technology experts.

President Clinton signed an executive order last week ordering agencies to meet specific goals in awarding contracts to small businesses owned by women, but the mandate alone may not encourage compliance, according to federal information technology experts.

Clinton's executive order reconfirms the governmentwide goals established last year by the Office of Management and Budget requiring agencies to award 5 percent of all their contracts to woman-owned small businesses. The order also calls for developing a new governmentwide World Wide Web site to provide procurement information about woman-owned small businesses and for developing an e-commerce database in which small businesses can register and list their capabilities as potential contractors.

The order requires agencies to develop plans for how they will meet the goal and to designate a senior acquisition official to promote awarding contracts to woman-owned businesses, among other requirements (see related story). "The executive order provides the federal agencies with a clear action plan for meeting and exceeding the statutory 5 percent goal," said Kay Koplovitz, chairwoman of the National Women's Business Council.

But the action plan does not provide incentives to meet the goal, and the order does not threaten agencies with penalties for not meeting the goal, said Valerie Perlowitz, president and CEO of Reliable Integration Services Inc. and chairwoman of the Industry Advisory Council's small-, minority- and woman-owned business committee.

"Outreach is fine and good, but there's still no teeth in it," Perlowitz said. "I applaud the effort, but in 1996 the goal was 5 percent, and we're lucky if we're at 2 percent four years later. Until there's a contracting vehicle for agencies to find woman-owned small businesses, it's just pushing more paper around."

"It should give agencies the extra push that's needed to assist us in meeting our goals," said James Ballentine, associate deputy administrator for government contracting and minority enterprise development at SBA. "And those that don't meet the 5 percent goal in a given year must have a plan in place, which they should have already, to help them forecast what they need to change and where they need to go to meet their goals."

The executive order also includes additional responsibilities for the Small Business Administration to ensure agencies meet the 5 percent goal. SBA will establish an office and Web site to promote procurement opportunities from woman- owned businesses, according to the order. SBA also will develop an interactive database containing information about procurement opportunities and woman-owned businesses.

"There has to be a pool of woman-owned small businesses that represent a low risk to the federal agencies," said Chip Mather, principal at Acquisition Solutions Inc., adding that the Commerce Department's Commerce Information Technology Solutions program is a good example of a project that has that pool.

Mather said federal agencies are driven by a company's proven track record and that the government must want to do business with a woman-owned business based on the company's merits, not because the agency has been forced to do so. "Agencies must want to use a company because they do good work, and isn't it fortuitous that they would also get credit if it's a woman-owned small business," he said. "It can't be the other way around or it won't work."

Meanwhile, the Senate passed a resolution, sponsored by Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond (R-Mo.), urging Clinton to adopt a policy encouraging agencies to meet the 5 percent goal the same day Clinton issued the executive order. "Basically, [the resolution and executive order] say the same thing because this is a directive that's already there in the law, and federal agencies have failed to follow the intent of Congress," said Craig Orfield, communications director for the Senate Small Business Committee, of which Bond is the chairman.

The number of woman-owned small businesses is expanding rapidly in the United States. The Senate Small Business Committee estimates that woman-owned businesses will make up 50 percent of all businesses by 2010.

MORE INFO

"Funneling federal business to women"[FCW.com, May 25, 2000]

"Clinton boosts women-owned biz" [FCW.com, May 25, 2000]

"OMB sets goals for small-business contracting" [Federal Computer Week, Oct. 8, 1999]

"Skepticism greets GSA small-biz plan" [Federal Computer Week, Jan. 11,1999]

"GSA looks to funnel IT work to small businesses" [FCW.com, Jan. 5, 1999]

The president's executive order

Small Business Administration

WomenBiz.gov

BY Dan Caterinicchia and Natasha Haubold
May 29, 2000

More Related Links

NEXT STORY: Clinton boosts women-owned biz

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.