Thursday, November 01, 2007

Cardin Chairs Small-Business Field Hearing on Improving Government Contracting

On Monday, Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin [D-Md.] chaired a field hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship to investigate federal government contracting problems and legislative remedies that will help small and minority-owned businesses compete for federal contracts.

“Small business is the engine that drives our economy and sustains our technological lead in the global marketplace,” said Cardin, a member of the committee. “The federal government has a responsibility and interest in fostering and promoting a business climate that supports small-business growth.”

For the past six years, the federal government has consistently failed to meet its small-business contracting goals. According to the Small Business Administration [SBA], in 2006, the federal government failed to meet any of its small-business contracting goals. The SBA report also showed that its goals for women and minorities fell below the 5% objective.

Another recurring theme of those testifying at the hearing was that many of the contracts that were intended for small businesses end up going to large corporations. In 2005, at least six of the top 30 small-business vendors doing business with the federal government were actually large corporations.

Representatives from the SBA, U.S. Department of Defense, General Services Administration, plus several small and minority business leaders in Maryland testified at the hearing. Sen. Cardin announced that he is working with members of the committee on legislation that will deal with barriers that make it difficult for small businesses competing for federal contracts.

“Small business plays a vital role in the federal contracting system,” Cardin noted. “It ensures competition and supplies the federal government with a constant supply of new entrants who bring new ideas and novel approaches for doing the job at hand and supplying services at a competitive rate.”

Source: U.S. Senate Committee for Small Business and Entrepreneurship

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