WIPP Applauds Increase in Women-Owned Contracting Yet Calls for Improvements to Women's Procurement
Monday, August 4, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WIPP APPLAUDS INCREASE IN WOMEN-OWNED CONTRACTING YET
CALLS FOR IMPROVEMENTS TO WOMEN’S PROCUREMENT PROGRAM
WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 1, 2014) — The Small Business Administration (SBA) has released the FY2013 Small Business Procurement Scorecard. The Scorecard is an assessment tool used by the federal government to measure how well federal agencies reach their small business goals.
The report shows that for the first time since 2005 the federal government has met the 23 percent small business procurement goal. In Fiscal Year 2013, 23.39 percent or $83.1 billion of all federal small business eligible contracting dollars were awarded to small businesses. SBA is also reporting that the goals for small disadvantaged businesses and service disabled veteran-owned businesses have been surpassed by a larger margin in FY2013, going up from 8.00% in FY2012 to 8.61% and 3.03% to 3.38%, respectively.
“This is a groundbreaking and proud achievement for the federal government and especially for our small businesses. When small businesses win federal contracts, it strengthens the American job market and boosts our nation’s economy,” said John Shoraka, Associate Administrator of Government Contracting and Business Development for the SBA. “When small businesses are able to play an integral role in the federal supply chain, it’s a win-win for America.”
While women-owned small businesses saw an increase of 0.32% in contracts awarded, from 4% in FY2012 to 4.32% in FY2013, the federal government was still unable to meet their 5% goal of contracting dollars going to women-owned small businesses.
“While the data shows that a number of agencies have met their women-owned small business goal of five (5) percent for prime contracts, the failure to meet the goal government-wide continues to show the need to provide contracting officers with both education on the WOSB Federal Contract Program and tools like sole source authority to ensure women business owners do not continue to fall behind in their ability to access the federal marketplace,” said Barbara Kasoff, President of WIPP.
WIPP is supporting two pieces of legislation in the Senate that would improve the Women Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program. The Women's Small Business Procurement Parity Act of 2014 (S.2481) introduced by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), provides contract officers with the ability to utilize sole source authority for qualifying WOSB program contracts. The legislation also expedites a disparity study by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), which identifies under-represented industries for participation in the WOSB procurement program. This bill is similar to changes that were passed in the House of Representatives as part of the FY15 National Defense Authorization Act, led by Rep. Jackie Speier.
The bill language of S. 2481 has also been included in legislation introduced by the Chair of the Senate Small Business Committee, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) – the Women’s Small Business Ownership Act of 2014, S. 2693.
To help educate women business owners on how to apply for and secure federal procurement opportunities, the U.S. Small Business Administration, WIPP, and American Express OPEN created ChallengeHER, a national program aimed at increasing the representation of women-owned businesses that win government contracts by providing resources and information. ChallengeHER joins the Give Me 5% Federal Procurement Education Program and the WIPP Procurement Committee in WIPP’s portfolio addressing the need of access to the federal marketplace for women business owners.
Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) is a national nonpartisan public policy organization advocating on behalf of its coalition of 4.7 million businesswomen including 75 business organizations. WIPP identifies important trends and opportunities and provides a collaborative model for the public and private sectors to increase the economic power of women-owned businesses. For more information, please visit www.WIPP.org.