Small Business:

Information on Eight Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization Offices

RCED-95-137: Published: Apr 14, 1995. Publicly Released: May 15, 1995.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) at eight federal agencies, focusing on: (1) whether OSDBU directors report to the required agency official and, if not, the rationale for the deviation; and (2) OSDBU activities to assist small and disadvantaged businesses (SDB) in obtaining federal contracts.

GAO found that: (1) except for at the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) and the Department of Energy (DOE), OSDBU directors report to the appropriate agency official as required; (2) DLA OSDBU director reports to the Deputy Director for Acquisition, since that official is responsible for all contracting matters; (3) DLA plans to have its OSDBU director report either to the DLA head or the DLA principal deputy under its reorganization plan; (4) DOE maintains that its authorizing legislation enables the Secretary of Energy to use discretion in determining the OSDBU director's reporting level; (5) DOE plans to comply with federal OSDBU reporting requirements; (6) OSDBU activities are consistent with legal requirements for assisting SDB in obtaining federal contracts; (7) these activities include developing contracting goals, sponsoring or participating in outreach efforts, being an interagency liaison for small business procurement activities, and supervising and training agency staff who work with small businesses; and (8) several agency OSDBU have undertaken additional initiatives to promote SDB participation in federal contracting.

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