SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza visits Reynolds Packaging in Green Bay, Wis., on July 31, 2020. The company pivoted to making masks in response to the pandemic. (SBA photo)

DHS Earns ‘A+’ from SBA for Exceeding Goals with $6.7 Billion in Contracts to Small Businesses

The Small Business Administration said the Department of Homeland Security exceeded its 2019 targets and 2018 levels for prime contracting to small businesses, women-owned small businesses, small disadvantaged businesses, service disabled veteran-owned small businesses, and HUBZone businesses.

That follows an overall trend across the federal government: SBA announced last week that 26.50 percent, or $132.9 billion, in federal contract dollars were awarded to small businesses, an increase over $12 billion from the previous fiscal year.

“There is good news for women-owned small businesses, too. For the second time in the history of the scorecard, the federal government has met the women’s contracting goal,” said SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza. “For the seventh year in a row, the federal government has also exceeded the contracting goal set for service-disabled veterans. The federal prime and subcontracts awarded to small businesses in FY19 equate to more than one million jobs created.”

“Every contract that gets in the hands of a small business is a win-win for our nation, entrepreneurs and their employees, and the communities they support,” she added. “This is especially important now, as our economy recovers from the pandemic-related setbacks.”

The federal government overall earned an “A” on this year’s scorecard, while DHS earned an “A+” for exceeding its goals across the board.

Across the entire federal government, 10.29 percent of contracts in fiscal year 2019 went to small disadvantaged businesses, 4.39 percent went to service disabled veteran-owned small businesses, 5.19 percent went to women-owned small businesses, and 2.28 percent went to HUBZone.

The federal government goals for the year were 5 percent of contracts going to small disadvantaged businesses, 3 percent to service disabled veteran-owned small businesses, 5 percent to women-owned small businesses, and 3 percent to HUBZone.

SBA said the federal government also exceeded its subcontract goals for awards to small businesses and women-owned small businesses and awarded more than $90 billion in subcontracts to all small businesses.

At DHS, 36.96 percent of prime contracts, or $6.7 billion, went to small businesses, exceeding the FY 2019 goal of 33 percent and the 2018 level of 35.53 percent.

In the contract breakdown, 17.69 percent of contracts in fiscal year 2019 went to small disadvantaged businesses, 6.12 percent went to service disabled veteran-owned small businesses, 8.41 percent went to women-owned small businesses, and 4.34 percent went to HUBZone.

DHS goals for the year were 33 percent of contracts going to small businesses, 5 percent of contracts going to small disadvantaged businesses, 3 percent to service disabled veteran-owned small businesses, 5 percent to women-owned small businesses, and 3 percent to HUBZone.

Fiscal year 2019 small business contracts at DHS also exceeded 2018 levels across the board. Back then, 15.87 percent of contracts went to small disadvantaged businesses, 5.65 percent went to service disabled veteran-owned small businesses, 7.69 percent went to women-owned small businesses, and 3.93 percent went to HUBZone.

On the subcontracting front, 45.40 percent of DHS awards went to small businesses, exceeding the FY 2019 goal of 42 percent but falling short of the 2018 level of 50 percent.

Yet exceeding both 2019 goals and 2018 levels, 9.9 percent of subcontracts went to small disadvantaged businesses, 4.4 percent went to service disabled veteran-owned small businesses, and 11 percent went to women-owned small businesses. HUBZone fell short of 2019 goals and the 2018 level at 2.1 percent of subcontracts.

DHS also dealt with more small businesses for prime contracts in 2018 than in 2019. The scorecard said 4,498 small businesses were awarded DHS contracts last year, compared to 5,252 the year before. Numbers decreased for all of the small-business breakdown categories.

“The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is honored to again receive high marks from the Small Business Administration (SBA) for the significant accomplishments made in our small business program,” DHS said in the scorecard comments. “Since SBA started the letter grade Scorecard format in FY 2009, DHS has received a grade of ‘A’ or ‘A+’ eleven years in a row, the largest federal agency to have such a track record. The department received consecutive grades of A+ for its last four years of accomplishments.”

“This recognition and superior achievement reflect the department’s strong commitment to providing opportunities for all types of small businesses to compete and win contracts in support of our vital mission to keep our nation safe,” DHS added. “In accordance with reporting and public notification requirements of the Small Business Act, the department awarded prime contracts to Puerto Rico businesses in the amount $83,525,722. For purposes of determining compliance with the goals for procurement contracts this amount has been doubled to $167,051,444 and is reflected in the Fiscal Year 2019 Scorecard. In virtually every segment of our homeland security community, there are small businesses working to support the DHS mission and playing a critical role in delivering efficient and innovative solutions to our acquisition needs.”

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Bridget Johnson is the Managing Editor for Homeland Security Today. A veteran journalist whose news articles and analyses have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe, Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor and a foreign policy writer at The Hill. Previously she was an editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and syndicated nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. Bridget is a senior fellow specializing in terrorism analysis at the Haym Salomon Center. She is a Senior Risk Analyst for Gate 15, a private investigator and a security consultant. She is an NPR on-air contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, New York Observer, National Review Online, Politico, New York Daily News, The Jerusalem Post, The Hill, Washington Times, RealClearWorld and more, and has myriad television and radio credits including Al-Jazeera, BBC and SiriusXM.

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