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Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole Speaks at the
Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization Small Business Procurement Conference


Washington, DC
United States

Good morning, and thank you, Glenn, for that introduction. I am pleased to join you today along with our partner agencies and departments at this important conference.

All of you know better than most that small businesses play an extremely vital role in our national economy, because each small business contract helps create and sustain job growth. According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses like those you represent employ about half of all private sector workers, and have generated around 65 percent of new jobs created during the last seventeen years. In times like these, we need small businesses to thrive in order to assist our great nation in its economic recovery.

At the Department of Justice, we know that small businesses are adaptable and innovative. We have come to rely on them to support many of our most important missions, from ensuring the national security to combating violent crime, fighting financial fraud, and protecting those most in need of our help – our children; the elderly; and victims of hate crimes, human trafficking and exploitation.

Most importantly in these tough economic times, we know that small businesses often provide the best value to the Department and to the American taxpayer.

I’d like to give you a look at DOJ by the numbers, and then I’ll share with some of the things we are doing to support you in our contracting efforts.

First, preliminary data for FY 2011 show that DOJ has obligated 1.7 billion dollars to small businesses. This represents more than twenty-six percent of our total dollars, and it exceeds the 23 percent small business goal established by congress. We are proud of the fact that we routinely exceed the government-wide small business goal.

We’ve contracted to small businesses for: over $530 million for information technology equipment, services, and support; almost $120 million in subsistence items to feed those in our prison facilities; over $50 million for building repairs, maintenance, and general construction; and over $30 million for legal services to support the litigation efforts of the United States Attorneys and our litigating divisions.

These statistics show the vital importance of small businesses to our Department. These products and services are delivered by a variety of small businesses in various locations throughout the United States, and we are grateful for the support we receive from our small business suppliers.

We are constantly seeking new ways to increase the percentage of our procurement dollars that go to small businesses. We face challenges in that the nature and complexity of many of our service contracts present limited opportunities for small businesses as prime contractors. Wherever possible, however, we seek to break large contracts into smaller ones, to increase small business contracting opportunities.

Where our market research shows that we cannot contract with small businesses as prime contractors for certain services, we ensure small businesses have a role as subcontractors. Historically, over 40% of the dollars our large prime contractors subcontract are awarded to small businesses.

At the Department of Justice we are actively seeking new ways to partner with small businesses to successfully accomplish DOJ’s mission while supporting all of the small business programs.

The Department of Justice is here in force today. As you are taking advantage of all of the great educational and networking opportunities that are a part of this conference, please speak with our staff in spaces 668 through 672 in the exhibit hall. Thank you for allowing me the chance to participate in this conference and to speak with you today.

Updated September 17, 2014