Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Government Awarded Small Biz Contracts to Large Firms, Post Finds

The Washington Post reported today that U.S. government agencies, most noticeably the Defense and Homeland Security departments, made at least $5 billion worth of errors in recent reports of contracts they offered to small businesses. The Post analyzed a sample of the $89 billion in contracts the agencies classified as small-business awards in order to meet a congressional mandate to award 23 percent of all government work to small firms. The article mentions that large firms such as Lockheed Martin and Dell Computer were incorrectly counted as "small businesses" on contracts.

The Post notes that businesses contracting with the government are tracked in the Federal Procurement Data System database, which is maintained by the General Services Administration. The Small Business Administration (SBA) provides U.S. government contracting assistance and reports annually on agencies' performance. Calvin Jenkins, the SBA's deputy associate administrator for government contracting, is quoted in the article, and the SBA website features his October 5 commentary on SBA data improvement. The Post states that SBA plans to issue a report today, although the SBA website did not contain any such report as of this blog post.

Need more resources on government contracts and procurement? See our guide to Federal Business Opportunities.

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