113 STAT. 1800 PUBLIC LAW 106-165—DEC. 9, 1999 (B) the number of women-owned small businesses increased in every State; (C) total sales by women-owned small businesses in the United States increased by 236 percent; (D) employment provided by women-owned small businesses in the United States increased by 183 percent; and (E) the rates of growth for women-owned small businesses in the United States for the fastest growing industries were— (i) 171 percent in construction; (ii) 157 percent in wholesale trade; (iii) 140 percent in transportation and communications; (iv) 130 percent in agriculture; and (v) 112 percent in manufacturing; (3) approximately 8,000,000 women-owned small businesses in the United States provide jobs for 15,500,000 individuals and generate almost $1,400,000,000,000 in sales each year; (4) the participation of women-owned small businesses in the United States in the procurement market of the Federal Government is limited; (5) the Federal Government is the largest purchaser of foods and services in the United States, spending more than 200,000,000,000 each year; (6) the majority of Federal Government purchases are for items that cost $25,000 or less; and (7) the rate of Federal procurement for women-owned small businesses is 2.2 percent. (b) SENSE OF THE SENATE.— It is the sense of the Senate that, not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States should— (1) conduct an audit of the Federal procurement system regarding Federal contracting involving women-owned small businesses for the 3 preceding fiscal years; (2) solicit from Federal employees involved in the Federal procurement system any suggestions regarding how to increase" the number of Federal contracts awarded to women-owned small businesses; and (3) submit to Congress a report on the results of that audit, which report shall include— (A) an analysis of any identified trends in Federal contracting with respect to women-owned small businesses; (B) any recommended means to increase the number of Federal contracts awarded to women-owned small businesses that the Comptroller General considers to be appropriate, after taking into consideration any suggestions received pursuant to a solicitation described in paragraph (2), including any such means that incorporate the concepts of teaming or partnering; and (C) a discussion of any barriers to the receipt of Federal contracts by women-owned small businesses and other small businesses that are created by legal or regulatory procurement requirements or practices.
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