Agencies increase contracts to small businesses, fall short of goal

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In all, the government sent $89.9 billion to small-business contractors last year. 


The SBA gave the government a B grade overall, as it has every year since 2009.

Performance varied across federal agencies, but only one, the Energy Department, received an F grade from the SBA for its use of small-business contracts. The department also received a F in 2011.

On the other end of the spectrum, 15 agencies were given an A, and two, the General Services Administration and the Treasury Department, were awarded an A+.

The government also failed to meet its prime contracting goal for women-owned small businesses and businesses in historically underutilized business zones, at 5 percent and 3 percent, respectively. It did, however, meet the goals for small disadvantaged businesses and those owned by disabled veterans.

Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), the chairman of the Small Business Committee, lambasted the government's performance.

“The fact that the federal government hasn’t met this meager 23 percent small business contracting goal for seven years is simply unacceptable, and further proof that our government continues to give lip service to small companies," he said in a statement on Tuesday.

The committee performed its own analysis of the contracting system, and came up with a different number. According to the panel, just 19.38 percent of federal contracts went to small businesses last year.

"The Administration shouldn’t be allowed to cook the books," Graves added. "If we can’t trust the Administration to be honest about results, how can we trust them to be honest when it comes to health care, taxes, and the budget.”