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About the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization

The Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) was created as part of the Small Business Act, as amended by Public Laws 95-507 and 100-507. Every Federal agency is required to have an OSDBU, which, by statute, reports directly to the head of the agency. The primary responsibility of the OSDBU is to ensure that small businesses, small disadvantaged businesses and women-owned businesses are treated fairly and that they have an opportunity to compete and be selected for a fair amount of the agency's contract dollars. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is committed to ensuring that small businesses, small disadvantaged businesses and women-owned businesses participate fully in HUD direct and indirect contract dollars.

The Federal government has a federal agency-wide mandatory goal of contracting 23% of its prime contracts with small businesses. Within this goal, there is a goal of 5% for contracting with small disadvantaged businesses and Women-Owned Small Businesses; and a 3% goal for contracting with HUBZones and Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses. For a status report of HUD small business contracting over the past few years, refer to the section on Small Business Contracting Goals and Accomplishments.

The role of the OSDBU as ombudsman for small business is spelled out in a letter to the heads of all Federal agencies, from the Director of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP). Contents of this OFPP letter as well as a synopsis of all legislation and Executive Orders governing the operation of the OSDBU are included in OSDBU Legislative Mandates.

Check the HUD Contracting Home Page to review a contacting guide for small businesses. The guide discusses what HUD does and buys, Procurement Opportunity Programs, marketing tips and other information of value to our the business community. The HUD Contracting home page provides direct links to the Small Business Administration and the OSDBUs and contracting pages of other Federal agencies.

Small businesses can also access the subcontracting opportunities page to view subcontracting opportunities.

A major OSDBU initiative is outreach to small, small disadvantaged and women-owned businesses. The OSDBU staff responds to letters, phone inquiries and e-mail messages answering basic questions and providing information on HUD contracting opportunities. Also, the staff attends and exhibits at small business conferences, makes presentations on small business contracting opportunities and provides one-on-one guidance to conference participants. While the majority of contracting information is included on the HUD website, the OSDBU staff also attempts to maintain a dialogue with trade associations, small business associations and small business, women-owned and minority chambers of commerce through periodic mailings which inform them of upcoming procurement opportunities and events which impact on small business.

OSDBU also lists conferences and workshops it plans to attend on its OSDBU Events Section so that interested parties have a chance to discuss HUD contracting opportunities.

The OSDBU also serves as the Department's central referral point for small business regulatory compliance information and as required by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA). The SBREFA requires Federal agencies to make available to small businesses compliance guides which, "in plain English", explain government regulations which impact small businesses and to provide assistance on the implementation of regulations and directives the Department administers. HUD's SBREFA program includes a discussion as to how HUD will comply with the law and explains how it will use the Internet as a means of assisting small businesses who require assistance. For information on the Small Business Administration's implementation of the program nationally, check the SBA Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman Home Page.

In addition to ensuring that small businesses have an opportunity to compete for a fair share of HUD contracts, the OSDBU wants to ensure that small businesses, minority businesses and women-owned businesses are aware of the contracting opportunities available as a result of the funds the Department grants to state and local government agencies and public housing authorities. These agencies receive up to $10 billion in funds annually which may be subsequently contracted out. The OSDBU staff can provide information on these funds and how to market to these agencies. For a list of local governments, which receive Community Development Block Grants, check Formula Allocations. For a list of Public Housing Agencies, which receive operating and construction grants, check Public Housing Agencies. To learn more about HUD programs, check HUD Programs.

Check the staff list for names, address, phone numbers and email address if you wish to contact the HUD OSDBU staff.

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