Bill would let some growing companies keep small business contracts

Small businesses that have outgrown that status because of a government contract may have some cushioning when the contract is competed again

Small businesses that have outgrown that status because of a government contract could have some cushioning when the contract is competed again under new legislation in the House.

Agencies could still consider the incumbent contractor to be a small business if the company was a small business at the time of a initial contract award, but is no longer small at the time the recompete rolls around and is in danger of reverting to a small business again if it is not awarded the contract, according to the Small Business Fair Competition Act (H.R. 3558).

However, the recompeted contract would have to be for essentially the same goods or services provided under the current contract.

Agencies can get credit toward their various small-business contracting goals for awarding contracts to companies defined as small. Overall, the government as whole often misses its goals.

Rep. Parker Griffith (D-Ala.) introduced the bill Sept. 14. His district in northern Alabama includes the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command and the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. He’s a small-business owner and a member of the House Small Business Committee.

Guy Timberlake, CEO and chief visionary officer of the American Small Business Coalition, said the legislation is troublesome because small businesses would have to compete with incumbents who are no longer small and would have more resources to leverage than the true small businesses.

The bill could create another obstacle for small businesses, he said.

The bill was sent to the House Small Business and the Oversight and Government Reform committees.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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