WASHINGTON -- Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), Ranking Member of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, today called on the Bush administration and the head of the Small Business Administration (SBA) to start ensuring small businesses receive their fair share of federal contracts.

“The deck has been stacked against small businesses so large corporations have an unfair advantage when it comes to competing for federal contracts, and the administration must start ensuring small businesses have a chance at their fair share of the $300 billion federal pie,” said Kerry.

In December 2004, the SBA Office of Advocacy released a report finding that 39 large corporations in 2002 received over $2 billion in contracts that the Administration mistakenly counted as small business contracts. Although the problems that caused $2 billion in false reporting still exist today, Administrator Barreto refuses to audit the problem -- preventing small businesses from getting their share of contracts as required by law.

“Administrator Barreto boasts that the Administration surpassed its small-business contracting goal for the very first time in 2003. That would be something to applaud, if accurate. There is compelling evidence that those claims are wrong. If so, small businesses may have lost out on billions in contracts,” Kerry added.

Recently, the Administration also ignored requests by small-business leaders and Kerry to remove an anti-small business provision slipped into the emergency supplemental appropriations for Iraq and Afghanistan. The provision gives special treatment to the Department of Energy to count subcontracts toward their small-business prime contracting goals yet doesn’t increase the agency’s total small-business contracting goals.

“It is disappointing that the White House chose to ignore numerous requests from small businesses to weigh in on this harmful provision and protect our nation’s small contractors,” Kerry said.

To address the concerns of the small-business community and to continue his efforts to support the nation’s entrepreneurs, Sen. Kerry has reintroduced his Small Business Federal Contractor Safeguard Act, S.137, to expand protections for small businesses with federal contracts. In addition, Sen. Kerry has repeatedly called on the administration to implement the women’s procurement program that became law in December of 2000. Currently, women-owned small businesses make up 30 percent of all business, yet receive just 3 percent of all federal contract dollars.