The Future of Small Businesses in the U.S. Federal Government Marketplace
The federal government purchased goods and services valued at approximately $100 billion from small businesses in FY 2003, which was up from previous years. Moreover, in FY 2003, the federal government exceeded its small business contracting goal of 23 percent. Despite such achievements, implementation of the acquisition reforms enacted in the 1990s has limited small businesses’ access to the federal procurement market. Federal agencies have, for instance, not met their goals for women, minorities, or veterans, and contract bundling and purchase cards may restrict small business opportunities. Meanwhile, both judicial actions and a reduction in the number of acquisition workers complicate matters. This paper discusses each of these issues and offers five recommendations that, if fully implemented, should ensure a brighter future for small businesses in the federal government marketplace.
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