Eric H. Holder, Jr.
Deputy Attorney General
Remarks to the Awards Ceremony
Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization
Department of Justice, Room 4111

June 2, 1999

Good morning. I am more than pleased to be participating in today's ceremonies which honor the outstanding jobs that your bureaus have been doing to implement and enforce the Procurement Preference Programs within the Department.

Both the President and the Attorney General have come out very strongly in favor of maintaining our support of small businesses, small women-owned businesses and small minority-owned businesses , as contractors and subcontractors of the Department. In every instance over the last few years, the President has shown his support - from his approval of the streamlining of the 8(a) Program, to the implementation of Memoranda-of-Understanding (which we initiated last year); to the recent Small Disadvantaged Business Certification Program which permitted price preferences of up to ten (10) percent for Small Disadvantaged Businesses. In these ways and in many others, the President has taken steps to ensure that small firms receive a fair proportion of the Federal Government's contracts and subcontracts. And the Justice Department has certainly been doing its part:

-- In FY 1997, the Department spent over $707 million dollars with small firms. In FY 1998, we spent more than $953 million with small businesses, one of our highest totals.

-- In FY 1998, the Department also had a good year, as far as meeting our procurement goals is concerned, and we made some significant progress -

In five of the seven categories in which we established goals, we met or exceeded those goals;

And in the remaining two (2) categories ( i.e. 8(a) Awards and other awards to Small Disadvantaged Businesses) we spent nearly $261 million dollars, accounting for nine (9) percent of our total procurement budget. That made FY 1998 one of our best years.

. . . and we expect FY 1999 to be even better!

We realize, of course, that these results have come about only because of your very hard and dedicated work, and , therefore, as I said before, I am more than happy to participate in this awards ceremony. I congratulate each and every one of you for a job well done.