According to a recent Bloomberg Report, minority participation in government contracting is at the lowest level in 10 years in spite of the fact that government contracting, according to the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS), has reached an all time high at $534.6 billion in FY 2011.
With that said, the President is opposing the increase on the small business goal from 23 to 25 percent, on the 2013 Senate version of a Republican Bill which passed the Republican controlled House, with bi-partisan support, by a wide margin. The White House Statement, claimed that the House’s proposed goal increase to 25 percent was “laudable, but overly ambitious.” Is that a way to support small businesses?
Small Business Advocates, like me are as mad as hell at President Obama for his position and have promised to put pressure on the Senate Small Business Committee to support the 25 percent goal increase on the 2013 Senate version of the Bill.
The Democrat controlled Senate is expected to vote on the Bill before they Recess to campaign for the November elections. Many Senators are up for re-election and advocates like me are going to watch both the recommendations of the Senate Small Business Committee and the vote on the Floor. A vote against the increase in the goal to 25 percent—no matter what the excuse—will be a vote against small and disadvantaged businesses and we wont forget it!
The House Armed Services Committee’s Panel on Business Challenges Within the Defense Industry, speaking on the failure of DoD to set-aside more contracts confirmed that, “There is a fear that the decrease will be disproportionately borne by small businesses.”
Unfortunately, the Panel did not address our “barriers” and the dysfunctional procurement mentality which have both discouraged our participation. Instead, the Panel, on their Report, floated other bureaucratic inspired recommendations and regulations that do NOT address the elimination of our Barriers.
The National Federal Contractors Association (NaFCA), held advocacy forums to highlight how regulations were restricting small business access to federal contracts’ and its Chairman, Fernando Galaviz, said, “there is not a single piece of evidence on the ability of the regulations to be able to make any changes.” George Muñoz, former CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) added, “Most people will be shocked to learn the fact that the government does not make full use of small businesses and do not really favor small businesses the way policies seemed to say they should.”
The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has called for a review of Federal contracting practices claiming that, “President Obama’s minority business strategy has failed to achieve its goals.”
When Obama announced his outreach program in 2009, the Umbrella Initiative Think Tank offered 12 specific recommendations to eliminate our barriers and predicted that “leveling the playing field in contracting requires far more than outreach to encourage small businesses to contract with Uncle Sam.” Well, the results are in and, as expected, the President’s outreach strategy was a total fiasco.
But there is more. The President signed an executive order to promote diversity and inclusion in the Federal workplace, yet none of his key appointees who oversee contracting and Recovery spending at the Federal Agencies (i.e., Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) and The Recovery and Reinvestment Act are Hispanics.
Is this a way to promote “diversity and inclusion”? Ruben Smith, Managing Shareholder of Alvarado, put it all in perspective when he said, “We can either choose to continue to complain or we can join together and change our destiny.”
Let our voices be heard through our vote in November. We’ve had enough of Obama; his failed policies and his lack of support for Hispanics and small businesses. Let’s vote on his record and not on his promises. The Hispanic vote can and will make a difference on this election year. You can express your support for “inclusion and diversity” practices by voting on this POLL.