Friday, April 29, 2016

SBA Publishes 2015 Small Business Procurement Scorecard

The Small Business Administration released it annual Small Business Procurement Scorecards for fiscal year 2015 yesterday. These scorecards provide an assessment of each federal agency's annual small business contracting achievement against its goal using a grade of A+ down to F. Overall, the federal government received an A on the government-wide scorecard.

The federal government reached its small business federal contracting goal for the third consecutive year, awarding nearly 26 percent of all federal contract awards to small businesses. The goal was and still is 23 percent. The 26 percent equates to $91 billion in contracts. Also noteworthy from the Government's perspective is for the first time in history, the Government met its Congressionally-mandated goal of 5 percent of "eligible" awards to women-owned small businesses. The Government also achieved all-time highs in meeting its goals for service disabled veteran-owned and small disadvantaged businesses.

On an Agency level, no Agency received less than a B although three Agencies received lower scores than the previous year. Three Agency's were specifically called out for their "noteworthy" performance; GSA, Transportation, and SBA.

We can't help but think the Government is playing around with definitions - particularly with the term "eligible contracts". We couldn't find SBA's definition of eligible contracts but it is evidently a sub-set of total contracts. For example, DOD's fiscal year 2015 procurement budget was somewhere in the neighborhood of $500 billion. DOD reported that it had achieved nearly 25 percent of dollars awarded to small businesses. That should be about $125 billion ($500 billion times 25%). Yet the reported award dollars associated with that 25% was only d$52 billion.

Another example that suggests the SBA's scorecards are based on, perhaps, subjective elements, is their admission that the underlying data is subject to interpretation.
While each federal agency is responsible for ensuring the quality of its own contracting data, SBA conducts additional analyses to help agencies identify potential data anomalies. As part of its ongoing data quality efforts, the SBA is working with federal agency procurement staff to provide tools to facilitate review of data, implement improvements to procurement systems and conduct training to improve accuracy.
Nevertheless, even allowing for these anomalies, the overall trend in federal procurement awards to small businesses is upwards.

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