ED views communications as the most critical goal for any organization and has successfully established open lines of communications both internal and external to DOE. Ongoing
meetings are held with DOE programs and contracting staff, and Congressional staff to discuss the Department's programs and achievements.
The Director, Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU), was selected to serve as the official representative from DOE to the newly organized Federal Acquisition
Council established by the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as well as to the U.S. Small Business Procurement Advisory Council.
This year ED initiated a national marketing campaign for the Department's small business program highlighted by a very successful 4th Annual Small Business Conference in Albuquerque,
New Mexico. The conference brought together more than 1,500 small businesses, government, and private sector representatives and featured partnerships with 14 executive departments and federal agencies.
The marketing campaign included advertising in national publications, several articles in major national magazines and the development of new marketing materials including a CD on "How to do Business
The establishment of partnerships with several small business trade associations has resulted in the signing of Memoranda of Understanding, (MOU) that commit those signatories to
promote contracting opportunities available at DOE to their memberships. Additionally, those signatories have become the Advisory Team for the OSDBU. The initial meeting of this team was held during
Minority Economic Development Week in September 2003 in Washington, DC. A listing of the partners can be found in Appendix A.
Both the Office of Civil Rights and the Office of Employee Concerns improved their processing time and the closure of cases. The number of complaints overall dropped. The Office of
Employee Concerns achieved a number of successes in 2003. Employee Concerns Managers reported they closed out 83% of the year's caseload of 652 concerns filed complex-wide while, at the same
time,processing concerns faster. It should be noted that 60% of the concerns subject to review were either fully or partially substantiated last year. This would indicate that Department of Energy
employees are bringing substantive concerns to the ECP offices throughout the Country, providing the opportunity for the Department, in turn, to respond and address these issues promptly.
ED expanded the Bank Deposit Financial Assistance Program deposit base and enhanced its viability by providing capital to minority communities in 28 states, Puerto Rico and the
District of Columbia. The level of funding for participating minority financial institutions increased from $222.5 million at the beginning of Fiscal Year 2002 to $256.5 million during Fiscal Year 2003.
This represents a $34 million increase to minority and women-owned financial institutions.
Small Business Achievements
The Department not only achieved its FY 2003 goal of 3.7 percent, but exceeded it (achieving 4.1 percent). The total dollar achievement was $783.4 million, over $200 million more
than in FY 2002.