Obama Outreach Strategy Has Failed Small Businesses by FPA

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									FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                        Contact: Advocacy Office : 904-347-4726
(HD video clip available at http://bit.ly/vZMTRe)




                      Obama Outreach Strategy has Failed Small Businesses
          New OFPP Administrator to be Challenged with the Reporting of Accurate Federal Contracting Results.
      Independent third-party validation of data and a public database on contracting abusive practices are solutions


SAINT AUGUSTINE, FL., MAY 23, 2012. - According to the May 2012 Bloomberg Report, minority participation in
government contracting is at the lowest level in ten years.1 Joseph Jordan, who was just confirmed by the U.S. Senate
as the new Administrator of the White House Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) is expected to be challenged
over the government interpretation of contracting data and the President’s opposition to the contracting provisions of
the 2013 Defense Bill, 2 which passed the House by a wide margin and calls for a goal of 25% of all contracts to be
reserved for small businesses.

“Advocates want Congress to demand that Mr. Jordan focus its attention on eliminating procurement barriers and not on
the President’s outreach strategy, which has failed to increase the participation of small and minority businesses in the
$700 Billion Federal marketplace,” said Raul Espinosa, Founder and President of The Fairness in Procurement Alliance
(FPA). Mr. Espinosa is the Managing Partner of The Umbrella Initiative3 whose mission is “to double the number of small
businesses contracting with the government by the year 2020.”

Small businesses are already expecting, later this summer, for the Administration to spin the Federal contracting data on
the SBA Report Card, which is expected, again, to be inaccurate and misleading. Espinosa added, “In a 2011 Report to
the Senate Small Business Committee, our Umbrella Initiative Think Tank confirmed that Federal Agencies have been
submitting unreliable data for the SBA Report Card ever since the Report Card was conceived.4 Scott Amey, General
Counsel at the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) said, “the transparency requirements of the Data Quality Act
(DQA)5 have not been implemented and, at this point, independent third party validation of government procurement
results along with the new public database of alleged procurement practices that FPA has proposed are viable options
that deserve consideration.” 6



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1
    Washington Post article on the Bloomberg Report. - http://wapo.st/MxZW5e
2
    NY Times article on WH opposition to contracting reform. - http://nyti.ms/JDaY8Z
3
    Umbrella Initiative website. - http://www.umbrellainitiative.org
4
    2011 Report to Congress. - http://bit.ly/phUhkN
5
    The Data Quality Act. - http://library.findlaw.com/2003/Jan/14/132464.html
6
    Private Sector Interpretation of Contracting Data. - http://bit.ly/p8DRAH
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                  Contact: Advocacy Office : 904-347-4726
(HD video clip available at http://bit.ly/vZMTRe)




In 2009, President Obama chose to focus on outreach to promote small business participation in government
contracting and his Administration has spent millions to promote contracting opportunities. In so doing, the President
ignored their barriers which have prevented Agencies from meeting the existing 23% goal and for small and minority
businesses from receiving maximum practicable utilization (MPU), as required by P.L. 95-507.7

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.” 8 When the President announced his
outreach program in 2009, FPA offered 12 specific recommendations that addressed their barriers9 and predicted that
“leveling the playing field in contracting requires far more than outreach to encourage small businesses to contract with
Uncle Sam.” Additionally, the President signed an executive order to promote diversity and inclusion in the Federal
workplace,10 yet none of his key appointees to oversee contracting (OSDBU) at the Federal Agencies are Hispanics.

The National Federal Contractors Association (NaFCA), has held advocacy forums11 to highlight ‘lack of access to federal
contracts’ and its Chairman, Fernando Galaviz, has 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.” Ruben Smith,
Managing Shareholder of Alvarado, Smith put it all on perspective when he said, “We can either choose to continue to
complain or we can join together and change our destiny.”

FPA recommends for small business owners to let their voices be heard through their vote in November. They can make
a difference on this election year.




The Fairness in Procurement Alliance (FPA) is a not-for-profit non-partisan coalition whose main goal is to bring
fairness to public procurements so that small and disadvantaged businesses can both compete and prosper at the
federal, state and local levels. FPA oversees an academic Think Tank and manages The Umbrella Initiative whose mission
is “to double the number of small businesses contracting with the government by the year 2020.” FPA can be contacted
at info@umbrellainitiative.org or through tweeter @umbrellaiorg




7
     Public Law 95-507. - http://bit.ly/Public_Law_95-507
8
     USHCC Calls for Review of Practices. - http://bit.ly/Jq9oYT
9
     Recommendations Ignored by President Obama in 2009. - http://bit.ly/4xMkvR
10
     President Obama Executive Order on Federal Inclusion. - http://1.usa.gov/K4PsY8
11
     High Definition Video Clip on the NaFCA public forums. - http://bit.ly/vZMTRe

								
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