Business Regulation and Consumer Protection:

Women-Owned Businesses

RCED-93-159R: Published: Jun 7, 1993. Publicly Released: Jul 7, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on federal agencies' efforts to achieve contracting goals for women-owned businesses, focusing on: (1) how many of the 18 major federal procuring agencies have women-in-business specialists; (2) whether agencies with such specialists award a greater percentage of contract dollars to women-owned businesses; and (3) whether procurement procedures to solicit contract bids ensure that women business owners are aware that such contracts are available. GAO found that: (1) federal agencies are not required to have women-in-business specialists and the Office of Personnel Management has not established an occupation classification for the position; (2) nine agencies have women-in-business specialists, and the other nine have staff that assist all small businesses; (3) agencies with women-in-business specialists are not more successful in increasing their percentages of contract dollars awarded to women-owned businesses; (4) only Commerce attributed its increase in contract dollars awarded to women-owned business solely to its specialist's efforts; and (5) all agencies, except the Tennessee Valley Authority, generally follow the Federal Acquisition Regulation in soliciting bids, and do not provide services beyond the usual small business assistance to women-owned businesses.

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