Clinton's Executive Order for More Racial Discrimination
THE WHITE HOUSE Office of the
For Immediate Release October 6, 2000
STATEMENT BY PRESIDENT BILL
"I am pleased today to sign an Executive Order strengthening our efforts to increase
contracting opportunities between the federal government and disadvantaged businesses --
in particular, Small Disadvantaged Businesses, 8(a) Businesses, and Minority Business
Enterprises. These businesses play a vital role in our nation's economy, but historically
have been underutilized and at times shut out of Federal procurement opportunities.
"Accordingly, this Executive Order directs Federal departments and agencies with
procurement authority to take aggressive and specific affirmative actions to ensure
inclusion of disadvantaged businesses in federal contracting.
"I want to thank Representatives Kilpatrick, Menendez, Velazquez and Wynn, and the
many others who have worked with us to ensure that the private sector recognizes the
importance and utility of contracting with disadvantaged businesses. I particularly
commend those members of the advertising community who are working to increase the
representation of minorities within advertising -- both on the creative end and in
transmission to the public. It is critical that the private sector help lead this effort
and take advantage of the diverse and creative views that underrepresented groups will
bring to the advertising process. I want to commend the American Advertising Federation
(AAF) for responding to the Vice President's challenge and working with interested parties
to develop the Principles for Effective Advertising in the American Multicultural
Marketplace, a strategic plan for boosting minority representation in the advertising
industry. Certainly, the federal government must play a leading role as well. Advertising
and the broader information technology industries play an increasingly expansive role in
"Therefore, in this Executive Order, I am directing each federal department and
agency to ensure that all creation, placement, and transmission of federal advertising is
fully reflective of the nation's diversity.
"Further, this Executive Order directs each federal department and agency to take
clearly defined and aggressive steps to ensure small and disadvantaged business
participation in procurement of information technology and telecommunications contracts.
"This Executive Order will ensure that Federal departments and agencies are held
accountable on these issues. It does so by clearly listing the responsibilities and
obligations of each agency to expand opportunities for disadvantaged businesses and
requires the agencies to report to me within 90 days of the issuance of this order the
steps they plan to take to increase contracting with disadvantaged businesses.
Subsequently, the agencies will be required to submit annual reports on their ongoing
efforts in this area to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to ensure at
the highest levels the Executive Branch will sustain on unflagging and aggressive efforts
to achieve this important goal."
[The above is the entire, unedited text of the official
White House Press Release 10/06/00]
Acts to Promote Bite-Sized Contracts (07/27/00)
Aida Alvarez, director of the SBA, has proudly announced new regulations which make it
even more difficult for government agencies to issue large contracts without regard
to skin color or gender.
That's right. SBA's Alvarez and her quota industry lobbyists have unilaterally ruled
that large "bundled" government contracts have a "disparate impact" on
preferred racial and gender groups.
Therefore federal agencies who need to hire contractors must now submit extraordinary new
paperwork justifying the necessity of large "bundled" contract awards lest such
awards "adversely impact" those racial and gender groups who have previously
enjoyed SBA's protection from odious and burdensome competitive bidding requirements.
The SBA's language is as conflicted as it is transparent: half the time they refer
to the adverse impact on "small businesses" and the other half of the time they
refer to the adverse impact on "minority and women-owned businesses". To
which category do you think SBA is really referring?
As you read the news coverage (below) of this newest, pro-quota initiative by the SBA,
note that virtually all of the voices raised in protest against so-called
"bundled" government contracts are the voices of the pro-quota, pro-minority
[Washington Post 07/26/00] "The Small Business Administration yesterday issued a
long-awaited regulation designed to restrain a trend toward the bundling of federal
contracts into huge packages that are too large or complex for many [racially-preferred]
small businesses to seek.
"Before smaller contracts can
be combined into a large procurement bid, the bundling must be shown to be "necessary
and justified" because it creates substantial cost savings, quality improvement or
other benefits, the regulation provides.
The Washington Post quotes SBA
administrator Aida Alvarez as saying: "The change 'forces a lot of scrutiny' of
agency contracting. We think it will really provide the oversight [and gifts to
minority firms] that is needed."
In this article, the Washington
Post soft-pedals the new, stricter SBA quota requirements. Reporter Peter Behr
writes: "But the SBA initiative drew a mixed reaction from [minority-owned]
small business advocates. "We in the community are skeptical that this will
work," said Fernando V. Galaviz, president and chief executive of Centech Group Inc.,
an Arlington-based information technology and engineering contractor. Galaviz heads
the National Federation of 8(a) Companies, minority-owned firms that compete for federal
contracts reserved for them by agencies. "Every time an agency can show a cost
benefit, they can bundle," Galaviz said. "It's difficult to argue against
"Other 8(a) program
participants said they are concerned about an exemption in the regulation that permits
agencies to bundle contracts without meeting other requirements if high-level officials
say the large contract offering is "critical" to the agency's performance."
Set-aside advocate Representative
Nydia M. Velazquez is quoted by the Post as follows: "It doesn't take a
military genius to realize that is a loophole you can drive a tank through."
Ms. Valazquez is New York's ranking minority advocate Democrat on the House Small Business
Committee. The House Small Business Committee today is scheduled to take up a
Velazquez amendment that would direct the SBA to block a bundling decision whenever an
agency has failed to meet its goals for awarding contracts to small businesses, including
minority and women-owned firms."
"[SBA director] Alvarez said
that last year, the [SBA] persuaded agencies to "unbundle" about $1 billion in
proposed contracts, breaking them into smaller pieces [in order to favor preferred
minorities]. So far this year, the figure is $1.8 billion, Alvarez said."
The Post continues: "Contract
bundling has been a growing obstacle for small [minority] businesses over the past five
years, critics of the practice say. SBA officials identified at least $6 billion in
bundled [large] purchases last year; so far this year the total stands at $17.5 billion,
although [minority] small business advocates say the figure is considerably larger."
(issuing larger, more efficient government contracts) is a product of the Clinton
administration's campaign to streamline government purchases. An unintended
consequence has been that weak, inexperienced, racially-preferred firms have been unable
to meet the technical requirements of these larger contracts.
The Washington Post story
continues: "These changes are blamed for reducing contracting opportunities for
all small businesses and, particularly, minority-owned and women-owned firms.
Last year, minority-owned firms participating in the SBA's 8(a) contracting
preference program received 81,399 contracts totaling of $6.2 billion. Five years
before, the totals were 98,694 contracts for $7.7 billion."
Analysis: In 1999 $6.2 billion ($6,200 million) spread over 81,399 contracts
equals $76,168 per set-aside contract. In 1994, $7.7 billion ($7,700 million) spread
over 98,694 contracts equals $78,018 per set-aside contract.
That hardly seems like gloom-and-doom, especially when one considers the greatly reduced
requirements such firms must meet. Most such SBA set-aside contracts are outright
"gifts" without any competition whatsoever.
(Based on the Washington Post July 27, 2000, page
A21, by Peter Behr)
Minority Partnership Agreements (08/19/99) --
Sorry, this story has moved to Older SBA News
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