Federal agencies set new records in fiscal year 2014, giving nearly 25% of awards to eligible small businesses, according to the Small Business Association. Learn more in our blog.
New Records in Small Business Contracting Goals
In FY2014, small businesses received 24.99% of federal contracting awards from agency buyers, said the SBA in an announcement made at the end of June. This beat the record set in the previous fiscal year of 23%. In total, small businesses were awarded $91.1 billion in federal contracts. This was an increase of $8 billion over FY2013. Federal agencies have a statutory goal of awarding 23% of contract dollars to small businesses.
20 agencies received A or A+ grades in an assessment that measures how good agencies are at awarding contract dollars to small businesses in 4 different categories. These categories are small businesses owned by women, small disadvantaged businesses, service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, and small businesses located in Historically Underutilized Business Zones. The 5 agencies that met the criteria in all 4 of these categories were the Homeland Security, Agriculture, Treasury, and Transportation Departments, according to Government Executive. As a whole, the government earned an A.
Contracts for disadvantaged businesses increased from 5% to 9.5%. Contracts for service-disabled veterans’ businesses increased from 3% to 3.7%. Contracts for women-owned small businesses increased from 4.3% to 4.7%.
The federal agency that awarded the largest share of contract dollars to small businesses was the Defense Department, which awarded $53.4 billion of of the $91.1 billion total. The Defense Department received an A grade. Frank Kendall, undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics, noted that the DoD will push for an A+ grade during this fiscal year.
“John Shoraka, SBA’s associate administrator for government contracting, explained the grades are based 80 percent on the number of prime contractor dollars recorded in the federal procurement database, 10 percent for subcontractors and 10 percent on subjective success factors such as leadership, and controls on data measurement quality,” said Government Executive. However, there has been some criticism of how these grades are determined, leading Shoraka to state that the SBA is working together with the Office of Federal Procurement Policy “to eliminate as many exclusions as possible,” which will make it more difficult for agencies to attain high grades.
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