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Business Women's Network Cites GSA for Increasing Contracts to Women-Owned Businesses

GSA #9524

October 14, 1998
Contact: April Kaufman
202/501-1231


WASHINGTON, DC -- The Business Women's Network (BWN), an international coalition of 2,300 women's organizations, today awarded a Procurement Achievement Award to the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). The award is the first of its kind to be presented by BWN.

Dietra Ford, Associate Administrator for Enterprise Development, accepted the award at BWN's annual symposium. It was presented to Ford and GSA Administrator David J. Barram for their leadership at GSA.

"It's the strong commitment from GSA's leadership and employees that have made our nationwide initiatives successful," Ford said at the symposium, where 600 women leaders from the United States, Canada, and Mexico met to discuss issues and initiatives for working women.

The Office of Enterprise Development, whose goal is to increase the participation of small, minority-, and women-owned businesses in Federal procurement, has implemented many policy and program initiatives to help GSA meet and exceed President Clinton's mandate to award 5% of the government's contract dollars to women entrepreneurs.

GSA's procurements with women-owned businesses increased from $97 million in 1992 to $352 million as of August 1998. Over the past fiscal year alone, the amount of contract dollars GSA awarded to women-owned companies doubled.

Additionally, the money spent with women-owned businesses that hold GSA Federal Supply Service (FSS) Schedules contracts has steadily increased over the past 5 years. Eight percent of the current 7,000 FSS Schedules contracts are held by women-owned businesses.

Ford credits the agency's success to an extensive use of small business programs combined with an intensive internal communications effort. In a message to employees, Administrator Barram and Ford enlisted the support of all GSA employees in meeting the President's 5% governmentwide goal. To reach GSA's contracting officers, Barram initiated the cascading video technique, recording a short video that explained the 5% goal, suggested ways to reach that goal, and urged contracting officers to invite at least one woman-owned business to bid on each contract.

GSA is one of two Federal agencies to receive the award for increasing procurement contracts to women-owned businesses. The other award went to the U.S. Department of Transportation.