Grading the Government on Small Business Contracts – FY 2014 Scorecard

© kittitee550 - Fotolia.com

© kittitee550 – Fotolia.com

On June 26th, the SBA released their Small Business Scorecard, rating how well each federal agency met their small business goals. The team at Set-Aside Alert and Business Research Services compiled the data into a one-page report you can download from their website.

The first thing to notice is that the government gave themselves an overall rating of A for the year 2014. Similar to FY 2013, they fell below the 5% goal for woman-owned businesses and the 3% goal for HUBZone businesses (located in a traditionally underutilized business area), but they exceeded the small business goal (24.9% instead of 23%), which likely led to the overall high rating.

We notice again that the Department of Energy is the only agency with a grade of F – a failing grade. They only awarded 5.25% of contracts to small business. Partly this is an institutional issue because the Department of Energy is responsible for some very large business contracts. NASA has similar issues; space stations require huge gobs of money, making it difficult to achieve the 23% prime set-aside goal.

There are some other curious anomalies in the report, such as Commerce getting an A+ rating for their 41% awarded to small business, even though they still missed their HUBZone goal by doing 1.09% instead of the goal of 3%.

Agriculture got an A, not an A+, even though the awarded 53.8% of their contracts to small business, and made every single set-aside goal including HUBZone (one of only seven agencies to make the HUBZone goal).

As you run down the numbers, it looks like just about everybody is making their small disadvantaged business goals, but many agencies missed on woman-owned businesses. There are a few missing the service-disabled veteran-owned business goals, and quite a large number are missing the HUBZone goal (overall the agencies only did 1.82% against the HUBZone goal of 3%).

It must be said that this is considerably better than last year’s numbers, and clearly represents a focus on making the small business goals across all agencies and all contracting authorities.

One caveat and then we’ll close. All of these numbers are based on the federal procurement data system – contract data from Feb of 2015. Some corrections may occur and some individual numbers may adjust here and there. But by and large this represents a very strong performance in the overall small business arena.


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