Tag Archives: federal government

Federal Government Fails Small Businesses for 11th Straight Year, Washington Post Reports

The following was reported in the Washington Post:

The federal government has yet again fallen short of its stated small-business contracting goals, extending a streak of coming up just shy for an eleventh consecutive year.

Federal agencies awarded a total of $91.5 billion to small companies in fiscal 2011, down 7 percent from $97.9 billion the year prior, according data released Tuesday by the Small Business Administration. That amounts to 21.7 percent of all prime government contracts, down from 22.7 percent in fiscal 2010 and even further short of the stated annual goal of 23 percent.

The government also missed its procurement goals for women-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses, as well as those located in traditionally underserved and underemployed regions of the country.

“Releasing the numbers at this point really highlights where there are opportunities for improvement,” John Shokora, SBA associate administrator for government contracting, said in a media call. “This highlights the fact that we need to improve and highlights the agencies that need to focus on that improvement.”

The SBA also grades each agency on its success over the past year awarding contracts to small businesses. Notably, the Department of Energy, the second-largest government buyer, received a failing grade, signifying that it came up at least 30 percent short of meeting its procurement goals.

On the other hand, the Department of Health and Human Services, which spends the third most of any agency, received an ‘A’ for awarding 24 percent of its contracting dollars to small businesses.

Currently, there are no penalties in place for agencies that fall shy of their small business contracting goals. However, lawmakers in both chambers and on both sides of the aisle recently introduced bills that would either eliminate bonuses for department heads or reduce budgets for agencies that miss the mark.

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Filed under A Need to Know Basis

Supreme Court Decision on Health Care, Part I

The Supreme Court decision that is scheduled to come out on Thursday about the Health Care Bill will impact Americans immediately and will have a long term effect on how we get medicine and health care.

The decision will also impact certain areas of “commerce.”

A key question is whether the federal government can require most Americans to buy health insurance or pay a fine.

Critics argue that such a mandate is an unconstitutional intrusion on individual freedom.

Supporters of the individual mandate argue that it is the best way for healthcare reform to work.

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Filed under Consider the Law

Why Are Women Losing Jobs And Men Gaining Jobs?

Men are regaining jobs faster and women are losing them, according to the Pew Research Center. The study found that men are making inroads in industries long dominated by women, such as nursing and teaching. The percentage of male nurses climbed from 9.5% in 2003 to 12.2% this year.

Men gained jobs at a faster rate than women in education and health services, professional and business services, and leisure and hospitality. In other sectors, including retail, finance, and federal government, men gained jobs while women lost jobs.

In each of the recovery periods since 1970, women have regained jobs at a faster rate than men within the first two years of the recovery. Between the end of the recession in June 2009 through May 2011, men gained 768,000 jobs and women lost 218,000 jobs.

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Filed under A Need to Know Basis