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Hurricane Katrina: Agency Contracting Data Should Be More Complete Regarding Subcontracting Opportunities for Small Businesses
In response to Hurricane Katrina, the Departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and Defense (DOD), the General Services Administration (GSA), and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) were responsible for over 90 percent of the federal funds awarded for relief efforts via contracting as of March 2007. GAO initiated work and completed a report under the Comptroller Generals authority last month describing the extent to which small businesses participated in these contracting opportunities. This testimony, which summarizes information from that report, discusses (1) the amounts that small and local businesses received directly from contracts with DHS, GSA, DOD, and the Corps for relief and recovery efforts related to Hurricane Katrina and (2) the extent to which small businesses received subcontracts for relief and recovery efforts. GAO recommended in its March 2007 report that DHS, GSA, and DOD take steps designed to ensure compliance with federal contracting regulations and more transparently disclose the extent to which subcontracting opportunities are available to small businesses. These agencies generally agreed with GAOs recommendations.
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