In anticipation of the government’s annual small business procurement scorecard this summer, a group of small business advocates and watchdog groups has asked top federal procurement officials to stop practices that inaccurately reflect how close agencies have come to meeting their goals.
The scorecard measures the percent of federal prime and subcontract dollars awarded to small businesses, including women owned small businesses, small disadvantaged businesses, service disabled veteran-‐owned small businesses and small businesses operating in Historically Underutilized Business Zones. The federal government’s goal is to award 23 percent of its contract dollars to small businesses each year.
During fiscal 2010, the federal government spent more than $540 billion on goods and services, which means small businesses should have been awardedat least $124 billion worth of federal prime contracts, the group — which includes the Project on Government Oversight, Minority Business Round Table, Public Citizen and more than a dozen chambers of commerce — said in a June 7 letter to SBA Administrator Karen Mills, Office of Management and Budget Acting Director Jeffrey Zients and Office of Federal Procurement Policy Administrator Joseph Jordan.
Instead, SBA reported that the government narrowly missed its 23 percent goal with $98 billion in small business awards.
The American Small Business League, which led the effort, found instances where contracts awarded to large corporations, such as General Electric, Lockheed Martin and AT&T, and their subsidiaries have been incorrectly classified as small.
The group said it also considers past scorecards to be inaccurate because SBA does not include all federal contracting dollars when calculating the percentage. Instead, the agency uses an amount called “small business eligible,” which omits certain contracts, such as contracts for work performed overseas.
“During his campaign, President Obama promised to end the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants,” said Lloyd Chapman, president of the American Small Business League. “It is time for President Obama to force the SBA to stop fabricating these numbers. They need to tell the truth, which is that small businesses get a small fraction of what the SBA says they do.”