Need To Increase Department of Energy's Efforts To Encourage Small Business Contracting

EMD-79-83: Published: Jun 26, 1979. Publicly Released: Jun 29, 1979.

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A review was conducted to determine the effectiveness of the Department of Energy's (DOE) efforts to encourage small business contracting in solar energy research and development.

A strong commitment to small business involvement is vital for DOE to foster greater small business participation in its procurement process. For fiscal year 1979, the overall goal for contract awards to small business is established at 15 percent of the total contract award dollars. Based on the percent of small business contract awards for fiscal year 1978, the small business procurement goal set for 1979 appears to be low. Goals are developed by a consensus of all office managers. The prime consideration of program managers in awarding contracts is technical competence of the contractor. Some program managers did not know the definition of small business and were unaware of present contractors which met the criteria. Moreover, most program managers are not using the available information system which lists and profiles small business contractors by their areas of expertise, and might help locate potential small business contractors.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: DOE does not believe that the specific recommended action is necessary to correct the identified deficiency. DOE believes the situation has improved.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Energy should improve procedures for setting goals for small business contract awards. These procedures should require program offices, field buying offices, and Department-owned, contractor-operated facility managers to furnish information on historical and projected future small business contract and subcontract awards.

    Agency Affected: Department of Energy

  2. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: DOE does not believe that the specific recommended action is necessary to correct the deficiency identified. DOE believes the situation has improved.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Energy should provide guidance through formalized procedures to those initiating procurement requests on identifying technically competent potential small business contractors and methods for increasing small business contract awards.

    Agency Affected: Department of Energy

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Energy should assign a small business technical advisor to the Small Business Administration as required by law.

    Agency Affected: Department of Energy

  4. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: DOE does not believe that the recommended action is necessary to correct the deficiencies identified. The reorganization has taken place.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Energy should, to provide the independence needed to ensure that small business participation is adequately considered, take immediate steps to fully comply with the legal requirements by reorganizing the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization so that the Director reports directly to the Secretary or his deputy and the small business specialists report to the Director. In the reorganization, the Secretary should ensure that the Office has the authority and responsibility for all small business procurement participation programs.

    Agency Affected: Department of Energy

  5. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: DOE does not believe that the specific recommended action is necessary to correct the identified deficiency. DOE believes the situation has improved.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Energy should direct program office, field buying office, and Department-owned, contractor-operated facility managers to report statistics on small business contracts and subcontracts until the Integrated Procurement Management Information System is fully operational.

    Agency Affected: Department of Energy

 

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