Memorandum for the Heads of Departments and Agencies
When I announced my Urban Policy in March 1978, I set certain goals for the federal procurement system. Specifically, I pledged to triple the amount of business the Federal Government does with minority businesses, increasing those contracts from the $1.1 billion level of 1977 to $3.3 billion by the end of FY 1979. I also signed an Executive Order to increase substantially the amount of federal procurement in areas of high unemployment (labor surplus areas).
In both instances, although the government's performance improved significantly over previous years, the goals I set were not 'achieved. We are in the process of establishing higher goals in minority and LSA procurement for 1980, which I am confident we can achieve. I would like each of you to take the following specific actions to ensure that your agency is doing its best to meet those goals:
• Familiarize yourself with your agency goals and ensure that adequate plans have been developed to reach these goals.
• Instruct each of your procurement officials that these goals are a high priority with me and that I expect each of them to take every necessary and appropriate step to reach these goals.
• P.L. 95-507 requires that each agency establish an Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) with a full-time director who reports to the agency head or deputy. It also requires subcontracting plans for utilization of small and minority firms for most federal contracts over $500,000. Please take the following actions regarding P.L. 95-507: (1) review your OSDBU to see that it has the necessary resources and full-time staff to carry out the responsibilities mandated by this law; and (2) review the performance of your agency with regard to the subcontracting provision of the law, and take every action required to ensure that, henceforth, no contract covered by the provisions of this law is let by your agency which does not have a subcontracting plan.
• You should already have established with the Department of Commerce your annual minority contracting goals and with SBA your subcontracting goals under P.L. 95-507; if not, do so immediately.
• Cooperate fully with GSA in establishing LSA goals.
• Personally review the 1979 performance of your agency in the minority and LSA procurement areas, and if you did not meet your goals, develop a plan by January 30 to meet 1980 goals.
• Both the Senior Executive Service System and the Merit Pay System require goals and objectives for evaluating employee performance. Where it is feasible and appropriate I want the achievement of procurement goals in these two areas to be included as a performance objective. This objective should be a critical element in the evaluation of procurement officials and related program personnel.
I have asked Jack Watson to work closely with Deputy Secretary of Commerce Luther Hodges, Administrator Vernon Weaver of SBA, and with OMB in monitoring our performance in these two areas. Please report to me through Jack by January 30 on specific steps you have taken, and are taking, in accordance with this memorandum, including the specific goals set for your department or agency in these areas. I would like each of you to devote sufficient, continuing, and personal attention to these procurement matters to ensure achievement of our goals.