Every year, when the SBA releases its annual Small Business Procurement Scorecard, I hear from a few folks who mistrust the data. “I think small business awards are being over-reported,” is a pretty common theme for Scorecard skeptics.
A new GSA Office of Inspector General report is a reminder that it’s not paranoia if people are really out to get you. According to the GSA OIG, the GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service over-reported small business contracts by a whopping $89 million in just two fiscal years.
The Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Department of Homeland Security, among other federal procuring agencies, awarded smaller percentages of contracts to small businesses in 2011 than in the previous year, according to the 2011 SBA Small Business Procurement Scorecard.
Fewer small business awards by major procuring agencies was an important contributing factor to the government’s overall drop in small business contracting, off more than $6 billion from last year. Although most of the news was grim, a handful of agencies continue to demonstrate a strong commitment to small business, while others improved their results from 2010–though still have a ways to go.
The SBA has released its 2011 Small Business Procurement Scorecard, and the news ain’t good. The scorecard indicates that government-wide, just 21.65% of prime contract dollars went to small businesses. The result falls well short of the government-wide 23% goal, and also represents a significant backslide from last year, in which small businesses were awarded 22.66% of contract dollars.
The SBA gives the government a “B” for its overall efforts, but I come from a family of educators, and know that a “B” is not deserved if a student is not making adequate progress. With government-wide small business prime contract spending dipping by more than a full percentage point in the last year, the government is in for some well-deserved criticism.