The Small Business Administration has announced a change to the format of its Small Business Scorecard as a "solution" to what the agency's Inspector General has acknowledged on its Report 5-15 as being “one of the two SBA biggest challenges.” I’m speaking about federal agencies' endemic practice of taking credit for small business contracts awarded to large businesses to appear as if the agencies are meeting their statutory and socio-economic goals.
To help level the playing field in government contracting, Congress requires that federal agencies spend 23 percent of their contracts on small businesses. To meet such a mandate, agencies – without fear of consequences - establish goals and report their alleged results, which are then published on the SBA Scorecard. As you might have guessed, agencies have NEVER met their goals since the SBA Scorecard program started in 2005.
Congressional transparency allowed the FPA Think Tank at UNF last year to identify 48 multinationals, in Fiscal Year 2008, which were illegally awarded $4.1B in small business contracts. Thanks to this transparency, advocates have charged that, in total, large businesses were awarded $31.1B which would have put the agencies' actual statutory total at less than 18 percent, as opposed to the 21.5 percent reported on the latest SBA Scorecard.
But that is not all. The General Services Administration (GSA) has now proposed to discontinue the current transparency in the government's central contracting database, called the Federal Procurement Data System, which would prevent advocates and the media to identify large businesses which misrepresent their size and are awarded small business contracts.
There is already an existing vehicle in place which can stop federal agencies from continuing to misrepresent their results in contracting with small and disadvantaged businesses and its name is the “Data Quality Act” or DQA.
DQA is an obscure section of the Paperwork Reduction Act, a 29-year-old law which the Obama Administration wants to revive, which would rely on OMB “to ensure that information disseminated by federal agencies is both accurate and reliable.”
Labels and Tags
Accountability (68) Adequate documentation (5) ADR in procurement (3) Allocation of risks (5) Best interest of government (11) Best practices (19) Best value (15) Bidder prejudice (11) Blanket purchase agreement (1) Bridge contract (2) Bundling (6) Cancellation and rejection (2) Centralized procurement structure (12) Changes during bid process (13) Clarifications vs Discussions (1) Competence (9) Competition vs Efficiency (28) Competitive position (2) Compliance (32) Conflict of interest (29) Contract administration (25) Contract disputes (1) Contract extension or modification (8) Contract terms (2) Contract types (6) Contract vs solicitation dispute (2) Contractor responsibility (19) Conviction (3) Cooperative purchasing (3) Cost and pricing (13) Debarment (4) Determinations (8) Determining responsibility (33) Disclosure requirements (7) Discussions during solicitation (9) Disposal of surplus property (3) Effective enforcement requirement (34) Effective procurement management (3) Effective specifications (36) Emergency procurement (14) eProcurement (5) Equitable tolling (2) Evaluation of submissions (22) Fair and equitable treatment (14) Fair and reasonable value (23) Fiscal effect of procurement (13) Frivolous protest (1) Good governance (8) Governmental functions (26) Guam (14) Guam procurement law (12) Improper influence (11) Incumbency (12) Integrity of system (29) Interested party (7) Jurisdiction (1) Justification (1) Life-cycle cost (1) Limits of government contracting (5) Lore vs Law (4) market research (7) Materiality (3) Methods of source selection (30) Mistakes (3) Models of Procurement (1) Needs assessment (11) No harm no foul? (8) Other procurement links (14) Outsourcing (33) Past performance (12) Planning policy (33) Politics of procurement (46) PPPs (6) Prequalification (1) Principle of competition (90) Principles of procurement (22) Private vs public contract (15) Procurement authority (5) Procurement controversies series (77) Procurement ethics (17) Procurement fraud (27) Procurement lifecycle (9) Procurement philosophy (15) Procurement procedures (29) Procurement reform (59) Procurement theory (11) Procurement workforce (2) Procurment philosophy (6) Professionalism (17) Protest - formality (1) Protest - timing (11) Protests - general (35) Purposes and policies of procurement (9) Recusal (1) Remedies (16) Requirement for new procurement (4) Resolution of protests (4) Responsiveness (12) Restrictive specifications (4) Review procedures (12) Scope of contract (16) Settlement (2) Social preference provisions (59) Sole source (47) Sovereign immunity (2) Staffing (7) Standard commercial products (1) Standards of review (2) Standing (6) Stays and injunctions (6) Structure of procurement (1) Substantiation (9) Surety (1) Suspension (6) The procurement record (1) The role of price (10) The subject matter of procurement (22) Trade agreements vs procurement (1) Training (32) Transparency (60) Uniformity (5) Unsolicited proposals (2)
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Size matters in set aside provision
Transparency missing, and badly needed, in Small Business contracting