Agencies Report Slight Progress in Meeting Small Business Contracting Goals

Ralf Kleemann/

In its annual scorecard on small business procurement, the Small Business Administration on Tuesday announced “real progress” toward delivering 23 percent of all federal contracting dollars to small businesses, with 22.25 percent going to small firms in fiscal 2012, compared with 21.65 percent in 2011.

“As a result of a governmentwide focus on increasing small business contracting opportunities, during the first term of the Obama administration, $376.2 billion in contracting dollars went to small businesses,” SBA Associate Administrator for Government Contracting and Business Development John Shoraka wrote in a blog post. “This is a $48.1 billion increase over the four preceding years even as we have reduced contracting spending overall.”

SBA is required to update Congress on progress on boosting small business as identified by chief financial officers of the 24 largest departments.

“Federal contracting with small businesses remains a win-win,” Shoraka said. “Small businesses get the revenue they need to grow their revenues and create jobs. Meanwhile, the federal government gets the chance to work with some of the most responsive, innovative and nimble companies in the U.S. -- often with a direct line to their CEO.”

House Small Business Committee Chairman Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo., was less enthusiastic. “The fact that the federal government hasn’t met this meager 23 percent small business contracting goal for seven years is simply unacceptable, and further proof that our government continues to give lip service to small companies,” he said.

A committee analysis shows that small businesses received only 19.38 percent of prime contract dollars, Graves said. “The administration shouldn’t be allowed to cook the books,” he said.

Another critic, the Petaluma, Calif.,-based American Small Business League, accused SBA of using “fabricated and fraudulent data” and releasing it near a holiday to “avoid media scrutiny.” The league said that many of the contracts agencies claim are going to small businesses are actually going to large companies. The group also said the agency understates the federal acquisition budget by more than half. “In reality, the nation’s 28 million legitimate small businesses are receiving no more than 5 percent of all federal contracts or at least $200 billion a year less than required by law,” the league said.

(Image via Ralf Kleemann/

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.