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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release May 23, 2000


                      WOMEN-OWNED SMALL BUSINESSES

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Small Business Act, 15 U.S.C. 631, et seq., section 7106 of the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994 (Public Law 103-355), and the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, 41 U.S.C. 403, et seq., and in order to strengthen the executive branch's commitment to increased opportunities for women-owned small businesses, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Executive Branch Policy. In order to reaffirm and strengthen the statutory policy contained in the Small Business Act, 15 U.S.C. 644(g)(1), it shall be the policy of the executive branch to take the steps necessary to meet or exceed the 5 percent Government-wide goal for participation in procurement by women-owned small businesses (WOSBs). Further, the executive branch shall implement this policy by establishing a participation goal for WOSBs of not less than 5 percent of the total value of all prime contract awards for each fiscal year and of not less than 5 percent of the total value of all subcontract awards for each fiscal year.

Sec. 2. Responsibilities of Federal Departments and Agencies. Each department and agency (hereafter referred to collectively as "agency") that has procurement authority shall develop a long-term comprehensive strategy to expand opportunities for WOSBs. Where feasible and consistent with the effective and efficient performance of its mission, each agency shall establish a goal of achieving a participation rate for WOSBs of not less than 5 percent of the total value of all prime contract awards for each fiscal year and of not less than 5 percent of the total value of all subcontract awards for each fiscal year. The agency's plans shall include, where appro-priate, methods and programs as set forth in section 4 of this order.

Sec. 3. Responsibilities of the Small Business Administration. The Small Business Administration (SBA) shall establish an Assistant Administrator for Women's Procurement within the SBA's Office of Government Contracting. This officer shall be responsible for:

     (a) working with each agency to develop and implement policies to
          achieve the participation goals for WOSBs for the executive
          branch and individual agencies;

     (b) advising agencies on how to implement strategies that will
          increase the participation of WOSBs in Federal procurement;

     (c) evaluating, on a semiannual basis, using the Federal
         Procurement Data System (FPDS), the achievement of prime 
         and subcontract goals and actual prime and subcontract 
         awards to WOSBs for each agency;

     (d) preparing a report, which shall be submitted by the
         Administrator of the SBA to the President, through the
         Interagency Committee on Women's Business Enterprise and 
         the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP), on findings 
         based on the FPDS, regarding prime contracts and subcontracts
         awarded to WOSBs;

     (e) making recommendations and working with Federal agencies to
         expand participation rates for WOSBs, with a particular
         emphasis on agencies in which the participation rate for these
         businesses is less than 5 percent;

     (f) providing a program of training and development seminars and
         conferences to instruct women on how to participate in the
         SBA's 8(a) program, the Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) 
         program, the HUBZone program, and other small business contracting programs
         for which they may be eligible;

     (g) developing and implementing a single uniform Federal
         Government-wide website, which provides links to other
         websites within the Federal system concerning acquisition, 
         small businesses, and women-owned businesses, and which
         provides current procurement information for WOSBs and other
         small businesses;

     (h) developing an interactive electronic commerce database that
         allows small businesses to register their businesses and
         capabilities as potential contractors for Federal agencies,
         and enables contracting officers to identify and locate 
         potential  contractors; and

     (i) working with existing women-owned business organizations, State
         and local governments, and others in order to promote the
         sharing of information and the development of more uniform 
         State and local standards for WOSBs that reduce the burden  
         on these firms in competing for procurement opportunities.

     Sec. 4.  Other Responsibilities of Federal Agencies.  To the extent

permitted by law, each Federal agency shall work with the SBA to ensure maximum participation of WOSBs in the procurement process by taking the following steps:

     (a) designating a senior acquisition official who will work with
         the SBA to identify and promote contracting opportunities for 

     (b) requiring contracting officers, to the maximum extent
         practicable, to include WOSBs in competitive acquisitions;

     (c) prescribing procedures to ensure that acquisition planners, to
         the maximum extent practicable, structure acquisitions to
         facilitate competition by and among small businesses, HUBZone
         small businesses, SDBs, and WOSBs, and providing guidance on
         structuring acquisitions, including, but not limited to, those expected to
         result in multiple award contracts, in order to facilitate
         competition by and among these groups;

     (d) implementing mentor-protege programs, which include women-owned
         small business firms; and

     (e) offering industry-wide as well as industry-specific outreach,
         training, and technical assistance programs for WOSBs
         including, where appropriate, the use of Government 
         acquisitions forecasts, in order to assist WOSBs in
         developing their products, skills,  business planning 
         practices, and marketing techniques.

     Sec. 5.  Subcontracting Plans.  The head of each Federal agency, or

designated representative, shall work closely with the SBA, OFPP, and others to develop procedures to increase compliance by prime contractors with subcontracting plans pro-posed under section 8(d) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 637(d)) or section 834 of Public Law 101-189, as amended (15 U.S.C. 637 note), including subcontracting plans involving WOSBs.

Sec. 6. Action Plans. If a Federal agency fails to meet its annual goals in expanding contract opportunities for WOSBs, it shall work with the SBA to develop an action plan to increase the likelihood that participation goals will be met or exceeded in future years.

Sec. 7. Compliance. Independent agencies are requested to comply with the provisions of this order.

Sec. 8. Consultation and Advice. In developing the long-term comprehensive strategies required by section 2 of this order, Federal agencies shall consult with, and seek information and advice from, State and local governments, WOSBs, other private-sector partners, and other experts.

Sec. 9. Judicial Review. This order is for internal management purposes for the Federal Government. It does not create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or equity by a party against the United States, its agencies, its officers, its employees, or any other person.


                                   THE WHITE HOUSE,
                                   May 23, 2000.

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