The EPA’s Small Business Subcontracting Goals



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The United States Environmental Protection Agency strives to accomplish its mission of protecting the health of humans and the environment while advancing the concerns of small businesses. It does this by setting engagement goals each fiscal year. The EPA sets percentage goals for direct engagement with small businesses and for subcontracting opportunities. The percentage rose by 2.4 percentage points from the 2007/2008 fiscal year to the 2012/2013 fiscal year.

Direct Contract Goals

The EPA has increased its small business direct engagement percentage target from 39.6 percent in 2007/2008 to 42.0 percent in 2012/2013. Because the EPA intends to spend $2.1 billion in the 2012/2013 fiscal year, that percentage translates into $882 million in contracts. Included in these percentages is a five percent target for businesses designated as either a small disadvantaged business or a woman-owned business. The percentage also includes a three percent direct contract goal for businesses located in HUBZones and those businesses classified as service disabled veteran owned, or SDVOB.

Subcontracting Goals

Since the 2007/2008 fiscal year, the EPA has increased its small business subcontracting goals by five percentage points, from 50 percent to 55 percent for the 2012/2013 fiscal year. With a total contracting dollar value target of $400 million for 2012/2013, this percentage goal translates into small business subcontracts totaling $220 million. The EPA has the same percentages for subcontracts for the small business sub-groups as with the direct contracts. This translates into a target of $20 million each in subcontracts for women-owned and small disadvantaged businesses and $12 million each for HUBZone-located and SDVOB firms.

Office of Small Business Programs

The EPA’s Office of Small Business Programs works to foster partnerships — both direct and indirect, contracts and subcontracts between the EPA and small businesses and between large corporations and small businesses. With regards to small businesses, the EPA generally follows the “Rule of Two,” a Federal Acquisition Regulation 19-502. FAR governs all federal government contracting and procurement. The “Rule of Two” essentially states that a contracting officer will designate an acquisition as a small business set aside when he reasonably believes that at least two viable small businesses will submit competitive, worthwhile bids.

Types of Contracts

The EPA typically enters into contracts or subcontracts for the following goods and services: environmental remediation and cleanup services, environmental consulting services, laboratory testing and research and development in engineering, physical and life sciences. As with many government agencies, the EPA spends millions on computer related services, custom programming and software development and data hosting and processing services. The EPA also often contracts with small businesses for management and administrative consulting services and facility management.