Agency contracting goals

Agency contracting goals instruct certain federal agencies in how much of their contracting dollars should be awarded to small businesses.

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The SBA is responsible for ensuring the government-wide goal for participation of small businesses is established annually at the statutory levels, and that the reporting agencies' achievements are relative to the goals.

Here's how the process works:

  1. The SBA negotiates with agencies to establish individual agency goals that, in the aggregate, constitute government-wide goals. In addition, the SBA negotiates a small business subcontracting goal based on recent achievement levels. The SBA establishes the government-wide and agency socio-economic category goals at their statutory levels.
  2. Before the beginning of the fiscal year, the SBA reviews agency year-to-date performance, and agencies submit their proposed goals to the SBA.
  3. The SBA's Office of Government Contracting determines if these individual agency goals, in the aggregate, meet or exceed the government-wide statutorily mandated goals in each small business category.
  4. The SBA notifies the agencies of their final agency goals.

There are 24 agencies that are subject to the Chief Financial Officers (CFO) Act. The 24 agencies are:

  • Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • Department of Commerce (DOC)
  • Department of Defense (DOD)
  • Department of Education (Education)
  • Department of Energy (DOE)
  • Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
  • Department of the Interior (DOI)
  • Department of Justice (DOJ)
  • Department of Labor (DOL)
  • Department of State (State)
  • Department of Transportation (DOT)
  • Department of the Treasury (Treasury)
  • Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • General Services Administration (GSA)
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  • National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)
  • Office of Personnel Management (OPM)
  • Small Business Administration (SBA)
  • Social Security Administration (SSA)



With limited exceptions, agencies receive goaling credit for the life of a contract, including task orders, and options, for contracts awarded to eligible concerns. (13 CFR 121.404 (g), 13 CFR 121.601(h) and Small Business Act -§8. (a) (1)(C)(ii))). The exemptions address long-term contracts and mergers and acquisitions. 

Certain contracting actions are excluded from the small business goaling base. Actions excluded from the goaling base include those excluded by statute, contracts funded predominately with agency generated sources (i.e., non-appropriated funds), acquisitions with a statutorily mandated source, such as Federal Prison Industries or Ability One, and acquisitions on behalf of foreign governments.

For more information on SBA’s regulations regarding a concern’s eligibility and recertification, or for a more detailed explanation of these exclusions please see SBA’s Goaling Guidelines.

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Related Programs: Related programs: Contracting

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Last updated January 22, 2024