OMB wants small purchases going to small firms

The Office of Management and Budget wants agencies to buy from small businesses when making purchases less than $3,000 and now track how much spending goes to them, according to a new memo released Dec. 19.

Agencies can identify spending with small businesses through the General Services Administration's SmartPay.

SmartPay can provide reports that include the company’s name, number of transactions and the amount of money.

Also, an agency’s policies may affect the degree of access granted to the data.

In fiscal year 2010 agencies used SmartPay purchase cards to buy approximately $6 billion with small businesses below the micro-purchase threshold of $3,000. It represents roughly 30 percent of the total annual spending through government purchase cards, according to the memo.

Agencies must adjust their cardholder training to get buyers to use small businesses when it's feasible. OMB said agencies should to consider using GSA Advantage! and the Defense Department’s e-Mall electronic shopping web sites. They should also tell their buyers about strategic sourcing blanket purchase agreements for office supplies.

The Small Business Jobs Act requires an analysis of small business participation in governmentwide commercial purchase card micro-purchases and guidelines on awarding more contracts to small businesses when using the purchase cards.

About the Author

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

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