Small Business:

Federal Agencies' Contracting Goals for Women-Owned Businesses

T-RCED-92-95: Published: Sep 17, 1992. Publicly Released: Sep 17, 1992.

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GAO discussed federal agencies' establishment and achievement of contracting goals for women-owned small businesses. GAO noted that: (1) for fiscal year (FY) 1992, the Small Business Administration (SBA) conducted negotiations on contracting goals for women-owned small businesses with 57 executive branch departments and agencies and established goals with 43 agencies; (2) contracting goals ranged from 0.3 percent to 35 percent, totalling about $2.4 billion, about 1.4 percent of the estimated total $172.6 billion in prime contract awards; (3) SBA can not legally require those agencies to meet the negotiated goals; (4) 14 of 17 major federal procurement agencies met or exceeded the contracting goals for FY 1990, awarding about 97 percent of all the federal contracts awarded to women-owned small businesses; and (5) federal agencies generally did not require independent verification that small businesses are actually owned by women for procurement qualification purposes. GAO also noted that, in FY 1991, among agencies with legislative requirements to set-aside contracting funds for disadvantaged businesses, the: (1) Department of Transportation awarded $646.3 million to women-owned small businesses; (2) Department of Energy awarded at least 10 percent of Superconducting Super Collider project funds to disadvantaged businesses, but it could not determine how much of those funds went to women-owned small businesses; (3) Agency for International Development awarded about $32 million to women-owned businesses; and (4) Environmental Protection Agency awarded about $14.3 million to women-owned businesses.

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