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GSA Signs Memorandum of Understanding with Small Business Administration
MOU to Further Increase Government Contracts with Women-Owned Businesses

GSA #9569

March 25, 1999
Contact: April Kaufman (202) 501-1231


WASHINGTON, DC -- Joining forces with the Federal government's leading advocate for America's small businesses, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) is leveraging its role as the government's provider of office space, supplies, services, and telecommunications to increase federal contracts with women-owned businesses.

In a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), GSA and the Small Business Administration (SBA) agreed to work together "to support the requirements of FASA," the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994. This landmark legislation established President Clinto''s government-wide goal of awarding 5% of each agency's contract dollars to women entrepreneurs.

Dietra Ford, Associate Administrator for the Office of Enterprise Development, announced the MOU this morning at Access to Success in the 21st Century, a panel discussion GSA hosted about current initiatives to enhance federal procurement opportunities for women.

The Office of Enterprise Development, whose goal is to increase the participation of small, minority-, and women-owned businesses in Federal procurement, has implemented many policy and program initiatives to help GSA meet and exceed President Clinton's 5% goal.

"As a result of the innovative people and programs at GSA, we have made great progress toward the President's goal of awarding 5% of GSA's contract dollars to women-owned businesses," said Ford. "This Administration's commitment to small, minority- and women-owned businesses has led to many initiatives, like this Memorandum of Understanding between GSA and SBA, that really benefit America's 8 million women business owners."

GSA's procurements with women-owned businesses increased from $97 million in 1992 to $261 million in 1998. Over the past fiscal year alone, business with women-owned small businesses has more than doubled.

The MOU lays out and expands GSA's plans for further increasing contracts with women-owned businesses, for example:
* Appoint women's business advocates in GSA's Public Buildings Service, Federal Technology Service, and Federal Supply Service. Advocates will be a direct liaison between each service and the women-owned business community and work to ensure consideration of women-owned businesses for all procurement opportunities
* Insitute 25 "enterprise days," at least two in each of GSA's 11 regions, for women business owners to meet with agency representatives and discuss procurement opportunities and how to do business with GSA.
* Develop a mentor-prot�g� program to facilitate and enhance the viability of women-owned businesses in GSA's contracting process.

The MOU was signed by GSA Administrator David J. Barram, SBA Administrator Aida Alvarez, GSA Associate Administrator for Enterprise Development Dietra Ford, and SBA Associate Administrator for Government Contracting Judith Roussel.