Statement by the President: Executive Order strengthening our efforts to increase contracting opportunities between the Federal Government and disadvantaged businesses (10/6/00)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release                                               October
6, 2000

                        STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

   I am pleased today to sign an Executive Order strengthening our efforts
to increase contracting opportunities between the federal government and
disadvantaged businesses -- in particular, Small Disadvantaged Businesses,
8(a) Businesses, and Minority Business Enterprises.   These businesses play
a vital role in our nation's economy, but historically have been
underutilized and at times shut out of Federal procurement opportunities.
Accordingly, this Executive Order directs Federal departments and agencies
with procurement authority to take aggressive and specific affirmative
actions to ensure inclusion of disadvantaged businesses in federal

   I want to thank Representatives Kilpatrick, Menendez, Velazquez and
Wynn, and the many others who have worked with us to ensure that the
private sector recognizes the importance and utility of contracting with
disadvantaged businesses.  I particularly commend those members of the
advertising community who are working to increase the representation of
minorities within advertising -- both on the creative end and in
transmission to the public.  It is critical that the private sector help
lead this effort and take advantage of the diverse and creative views that
underrepresented groups will bring to the advertising process.  I want to
commend the American Advertising Federation (AAF) for responding to the
Vice President's challenge and working with interested parties to develop
the Principles for Effective Advertising in the American Multicultural
Marketplace, a strategic plan for boosting minority representation in the
advertising industry.

   Certainly, the federal government must play a leading role as well.
Advertising and the broader information technology industries play an
increasingly expansive role in our society.  Therefore, in this Executive
Order, I am directing each federal department and agency to ensure that all
creation, placement, and transmission of federal advertising is fully
reflective of the nation?s diversity.  Further, this Executive Order
directs each federal department and agency to take clearly defined and
aggressive steps to ensure small and disadvantaged business participation
in procurement of information technology and telecommunications contracts.

   This Executive Order will ensure that Federal departments and agencies
are held accountable on these issues.  It does so by clearly listing the
responsibilities and obligations of each agency to expand opportunities for
disadvantaged businesses and requires the agencies to report to me within
90 days of the issuance of this order the steps they plan to take to
increase contracting with disadvantaged businesses.  Subsequently, the
agencies will be required to submit annual reports on their ongoing efforts
in this area to the Director of the Office of  Management and Budget to
ensure at the highest levels the Executive Branch will sustain on
unflagging and aggressive efforts to achieve this important goal.


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