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Fact Sheet

Memorandum of Understanding Between the U.S. Small Business Administration
the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is to outline strategies for increasing the participation of Woman-Owned Small Businesses (WOSB) in Federal procurement. The HHS and SBA support the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994 (P.L. 103-355)(FASA) which established the Government-wide goal for participation by small business concerns owned and controlled by women at not less than 5 percent of the total value of all prime contract and subcontract awards for each fiscal year.

The HHS has achieved or exceeded the five-percent level of support for the past three years (FY'1996 - 5.0; FY 1997 - 5.1; FY 1998 - 5.2 est.), the overall government percentage has been only two percent.

In an attempt to come up to the FASA five-percent goal, the SBA has launched a government-wide initiative using MOU's as instruments of commitment, to "formalize" and bolster activities that would increase contracting activities with woman-owned businesses.While embracing this initiative, the HHS has appointed a Woman's Business Advocate, who serves as the direct liaison to the WOSB community and aggressively encourages the expanded participation of WOSB throughout all procurement opportunities. The advocate's goal is to raise the visibility of woman-owned business in day-to-day procurement activities and to closely monitor the achievement of the five percent goals.

The SBA will report regularly to the President and to the Cabinet about the progress of Federal agencies in fostering women's business enterprise in the Federal marketplace and meeting the five percent goals required by FASA.

The MOU is in effect for two years from the date of execution, and may be renewed by a written agreement between the SBA and HHS.

For additional information regarding SBA, HHS and NIH's responsibilities in support of the MOU you may contact Ms. Annette Owens-Scarboro, Small Business Specialist and the appointed NIH WOSB advocate or visit the following recommended WOSB Web sites: