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GAO: Contracting with Small Disadvantaged Businesses and Those Owned by Minorities and Women Has Increased in Recent Years

Federal advertising contract obligations to small disadvantaged businesses (SDB) and businesses of all sizes owned by minorities and women (specified businesses) generally increased from fiscal years 2013 through 2017, and constituted 13 percent of all advertising obligations over this period, GAO found.

Three agencies—the departments of Defense (DOD), Health and Human Services, and Homeland Security—were responsible for nearly three-quarters of advertising contract obligations to the three categories of businesses from fiscal years 2013 through 2017. These agencies were associated with much of the increase in these obligations to specified businesses over the 5-year period.

Although some agencies obligated higher shares of their advertising contract obligations to these businesses, they generally obligated fewer dollars than DOD and the two other agencies. For example, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration directed 98 percent of its obligations to these businesses, but the agency’s total advertising contract obligations were $21 million over the 5-year period. DOD obligated $2.6 billion for these contracts over the same period.

The federal government spends close to $1 billion annually for advertising activities that, among other things, inform the public about programs and services. The government seeks to provide procurement opportunities for these services to businesses such as SDBs and those owned by minorities and women. SDBs are those primarily owned by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.

GAO was asked to analyze federal advertising obligations to these types of businesses.

Read the GAO report

Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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