Arlington, Va. (July 7, 2021
|PSC Comments on OMB Equity RFI
) The Professional Services Council (PSC) urged the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to establish clear procurement and contracting goals and baseline measurements in submitted comments on OMB’s recent Request for Information (RFI) entitled “Methods and Leading Practices for Advancing Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through Government.”
In its comments on RFI Area 3, “Procurement and Contracting,”
PSC expressed strong support for the U.S. Government’s efforts to leverage acquisition as a catalyst for effectively implementing the Biden-Harris Administration’s priorities, such as advancing equity and support for underserved communities through government. PSC’s comments highlighted the critical need for clear definitions and goals, as the acquisition community incorporates any necessary modifications to or prioritizations among preference programs. This effort should include a review of the effectiveness of meeting such goals by measuring predominantly prime contract dollars versus alternative methods such as the number of businesses participating in the federal marketplace, job opportunities that result from small business and set-aside programs, and/or additional subcontracting requirements.
Additionally, PSC recommended that federal agencies begin identifying and maintaining aggregate data about who is performing the work so that the U.S. Government can better understand the full scope and impact of contracts on underserved communities. PSC encouraged the government to do so by leveraging existing government data collection methods where possible and to avoid any unnecessary or overly burdensome reporting requirements on contractors.
“PSC fully supports the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to use government procurement and contracting to advance the goals of increased diversity, equity and inclusion. Tracking information and data about who is performing work under contracts can serve as a method of accountability, which is needed for successful outcomes,” said Stephanie Kostro, PSC’s Executive Vice President for Policy. “In addition to increasing access to contract dollars, it is important to assess the types of work flowing to small and disadvantaged businesses so that the emphasis is on promoting equity through high value work that can lead to upward mobility. PSC hopes that OMB will consider our recommendations as the government takes steps to advance equity for underserved communities. We look forward to supporting the ongoing constructive collaboration between government and the federal contracting community for this important policy priority.”
A PDF of the release can be found here.