SBA has worked closely with the directors of the Offices of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) to increase the reliability of small business contracting data in the government-wide database, and to enhance the Small Business Procurement Scorecard, the tool by which agencies' performance against contracting goals is evaluated. This collaboration has revealed a number of best practices in making more opportunities available to small businesses—especially to women-owned small businesses, service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, and HUBZone-certified firms.
To encourage adoption of successful strategies, the SBA is now publicizing some of the best practices of federal agencies on this website and in its published newsletter. Here are some examples:
Department of Agriculture’s Women-Owned Small Business Program
The Department of Agriculture's efforts to promote opportunities for women-owned small businesses exemplifies best practices.
Through its OSDBU, the Department negotiates aggressive goals with its buying activities for award of contracts to such firms.
Trained small business specialists assist each of the Department's buying activities with procedures for identification of opportunities and referral to potential women owned small business vendors.
Agriculture’s liaisons work closely with women owned small business associations.
Further, senior managers are held accountable annually through their performance plans for efforts and achievements.
Finally, the Department uses internal scorecards to evaluate subcomponents’ success in increasing opportunities for women owned small businesses. As a result, the Department estimates that it in FY 2007, it awarded $304 million in contracts to women owned small businesses, representing or 7.1% of its total procurements.
In the initiative to increase government-contracting opportunities for small businesses - especially those that are women owned, service disabled veteran owned, and HUBZone-certified, we applaud the Department's strong efforts and accomplishments.
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Department of Homeland Security’s Efforts to Promote Opportunities for Underserved Markets
The Department of Homeland Security’s effort to promote opportunities for underserved markets (Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned small business and certified HUBZone small business) exemplifies a best practice. In December 2007, the DHS Acting Chief Procurement Officer and the OSDBU Director issued a joint memorandum to the Department’s Heads of Contracting Activities (HCA) in each of the DHS components that provided an assessment of the DHS small business accomplishments for FY 2007.
While maintaining their commitment to the 8(a) program with the DHS/SBA Partnership Agreement, DHS determined it was necessary to educate the DHS acquisition professionals on recent information regarding the SDVOSB and HUBZone programs. Each HCA was asked to provide a specific number of projects that would be set aside for SDVOSB and HUBZone firms in FY 2008. The number assigned to each component was based on the following:
If they exceeded the goal of 3 percent, they were asked to provide 2 projects;
If they came close to the goal, they were asked to provide 3 projects; and
If they failed to meet the goal, they were asked to provide 5 projects.
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Department of Veteran Affair’s Efforts to Promote Veterans in Business through Collaborative VA Partnerships
The principal mission of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is to support America’s veterans and their families. VA’s Strategic Plan (2006-2011) restores the capability of disabled veterans to the greatest extent possible and improves the quality of their lives and that of their families.
The plan ensures a smooth transition for veterans from active military service to civilian life. In support of these goals, VA’s Center for Veterans Enterprise (CVE) is dedicated to working exclusively with veterans who want to establish businesses. CVE partners with other Federal agencies through Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) and Small Disadvantaged Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) market research, outreach support, and conference participation. As a result, VA’s current achievements for VOSB and SDVOSB are 10.74% (approximately $2 billion) and 7.36% (approximately $750 million) respectively.
Federal agencies interested in promoting veterans can obtain additional information at www.VetBiz.gov.
To learn more about the initiatives above and to submit a best practice you would like to have considered for publication, contact email@example.com.
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