Table: A Reluctant Helping Hand
You'd think President Clinton's recent order that federal agencies give at least 5% of their work to small and disadvantaged businesses would be good news for the small and disadvantaged. Well, the Departments of State and Labor already have 5% goals, and they do a lousy job meeting them. In 1999, the Small Business Administration contracted 7.5% of its work with qualifying companies. Too bad SBA's goal was 8%. Now that federal agencies have to contract 5% of their work to small disadvantaged businesses, who will make the grade? 1999 SHARE OF CONTRACTS Leaders AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT 10.6% TREASURY DEPT. 7.8 SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION 7.5 COMMERCE DEPT. 6.9 GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION 6.5 Laggards HOUSING & URBAN DEVELOPMENT 2.9% NASA 2.7 LABOR DEPT. 2.5 STATE DEPT. 2.1 OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT 0.6 DATA: FAILING TO MEET THE GRADE, OFFICE OF REPRESENTATIVE NYDIA VELAZQUEZ
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