Missed the Mark on 2012 Federal Small Business Goals

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Following the precedent of at least the last five years, the federal agencies have failed to reach their 2012 small business contracting goals according to the Small Business Administration (SBA) recent scorecard release.

Receiving an overall grade of a B (96.82 percent), this year’s SBA Procurement Scorecard showed that only two of the five socio-economic categories achieved or surpassed the 2012 goals in both Prime Contracting and Subcontracting components.

Small Business Contractors won 22.25 percent of prime federal government work in the 2012 fiscal year, or $89.9 billion dollars. Although they did not attain the goal of 23 percent, it shows an improvement over 2011’s 21.65 percent. While small disadvantaged businesses surpassed their goal by three percentage points and service disabled veteran owned small businesses barely achieved their goal of 3 percent, overall achievement was below the established goals in women owned small business, and HUBZone businesses.

In the subcontracting sector, small businesses achieved 33.60 percent of total subcontracts, falling short of their 36 percent goal. Women owned small businesses and small disadvantaged businesses exceeded their five percent marks, but both service disabled veteran owned small business and HUBZone businesses missed their attempts by larger margins (1.2 percent and 1.7 percent consecutively).

In general, marginal improvement over the last year has been made. There are, however, critics of the score card’s methodology that believe an inaccurate picture is presented due to miscoding of large contractors as small companies.

The annual Small Business Procurement Scorecards provide an assessment of federal achievement in prime contracting to small businesses by the 24 Chief Financial Officers Act agencies.  The prime and subcontracting component goals include goals for small businesses, small businesses owned by women, small disadvantaged businesses, service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, and small businesses located in Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZones). The SBA ensures that the sum total of all of the goals exceeds the 23 percent target established by law. This data is captured at the department level in the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS-NG) and was retrieved from FPDS-NG on 04/15/2013 for the date range 10/1/2011 through 9/30/2012 (FY2012).





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