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6 July 2013 | Andrew Allen
NASA has achieved an 'A' ranking in the US Small Business Administration (SBA) Procurement Scorecard for its commitment to sourcing from small businesses, up from an 'F' six years ago.
Despite reduced spending by the agency due to budget constraints, the US space agency spent around $2.6 billion (£1.7 billion) with small businesses in 2012, around $100 million (£67 million) more than in 2011. Glenn Delgado, associate administrator for NASA's Office of Small Business Programs, hailed the wide range of small businesses working in fields from finance to high-tech manufacturing that support NASA's mission.
Overall, the US government’s SBA said 22.25 per cent of federal spending went to small businesses in 2012 - compared to 21.65 per cent in 2011. The amount fell just short of the US government’s target of 23 per cent of federal spend on small businesses.
The government also exceeded targets for delivering contracts to disabled war veterans and delivering the highest percentage of contracts to small disadvantaged businesses to date. “In addition, more agencies than ever before reached or surpassed all of their prime contracting goals,” said the SBA.
During the first term of the Obama administration, $376.2 billion (£252.5 billion) in contracting dollars went to small businesses, a $48.1 billion (£32.3 billion) increase over the four preceding years even though overall spending had fallen, the agency added.
“Federal contracting with small businesses remains a win-win,” it said. “Small businesses get the revenue they need to grow their revenues and create jobs. “Meanwhile, the federal government gets the chance to work with some of the most responsive, innovative and nimble companies in the US - often with a direct line to their CEO.”
The SBA is required by law to report on the extent of federal contracting to small businesses. The agency recently joined with Women Impacting Public Policy and American Express OPEN to launch ChallengeHER, an initiative that informs small businesses owned by women about the opportunities available within the federal supply chain.