HUD No. 04-084
SECRETARY JACKSON RECOGNIZED FOR PROMOTING SMALL AND MINORITY BUSINESSES
WASHINGTON - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson today received the Minority Business Development Agency's prestigious Ronald H. Brown Leadership Award at a ceremony in the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington D.C. The award recognizes exceptional leaders who are willing to take risks to enhance the development of diversity in the domestic and worldwide economies.
Jackson earned the distinction by literally opening HUD's doors to small and minority businesses. Since Jackson has been at HUD, African American-owned businesses have received 15 percent or $455 million of the Department's contract dollars. Hispanic-owned businesses have received four percent of HUD's contract dollars, or $131 million. Together, 26 percent of HUD contract dollars, or $800 million, have been awarded to firms owned by minorities.
"Secretary Jackson's leadership is driving the Administration's goal
of increasing procurement opportunities for small, women-owned and minority
businesses," says MBDA National Director, Ronald N. Langston. "I admire
his courage and focus in getting that task accomplished. He is a great example
of how Cabinet heads can really make a difference and I hope other federal agencies
make minority businesses a national priority, too."
Since President Bush nominated Jackson in 2001, HUD has undertaken an aggressive campaign to improve access to qualified small businesses. This nationwide outreach effort included increasing small business staff and instituting a strict monitoring and reporting system. Under Jackson's leadership, HUD's procurement doors have opened to provide equal access to small businesses with $800 million of the agency's contracting dollars, or 26 percent, awarded to firms owned by minorities. HUD's small and minority business procurement success rate has helped move the department from the worst to the first among all other federal agencies.
"I am honored to receive this award, but this tribute really belongs to the people throughout the agency in recognition of their commitment to small and minority businesses," said Jackson.
HUD's small and minority business efforts have outpaced every other federal agency. Last fiscal year, 54 percent of the agency's contracting dollars were awarded to small businesses and 33 percent were awarded to small businesses owned by women. Nearly 1,500 small businesses received $549 million of the nearly $1 billion in contracts HUD awarded in FY2003. In FY2004, HUD has already awarded 66% of its contracts to small businesses.
"Secretary Jackson is a passionate executive with an unwavering commitment, that tends to be infectious," said A. Jo Baylor, HUD's contracting officer. "He set a lofty goal of awarding 50 percent of HUD's prime contracts to deserving small businesses, and he personally reviewed the results to ensure we would meet and surpass that goal."
Jackson implemented a number of changes to improve access for small and minority-owned businesses. The changes that helped his department move from worst to first among federal agencies included:
- Increasing the number of outreach activities across the country so that
every small business has the same opportunity to take advantage of HUD's procurement
opportunities. Last year alone, HUD participated in nearly 100 small business
conferences and training sessions nationwide.
- Ensuring that all bid solicitation documents contain the required federal
acquisition language for subcontracting requirements, along with HUD's increased
- Increasing HUD's small business contracting staff by 140 percent. This
size increase was designed to deal with the increasing participation of small
business in HUD contracting opportunities, to monitor subcontracting compliance,
and to provide greater oversight towards mitigating the impact of contract
- Implementing "Small Business Review Procedures" for all contract
requests over $25,000 in order to ensure that small and small disadvantaged
businesses are provided with maximum practical opportunities to participate.
- Instituting a contract bundling review requirement for all task and delivery orders under multiple award contract vehicles.
"President Bush, continually reinforces that providing equal access to small and minority businesses is good for the country," said Jackson. "We have taken that to heart at HUD and we know that a good bottom line with small and minority businesses, helps to build a stronger America."
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov.