5 ways Congress could change small-biz contracting

The House Small Business Committee has approved five bills aimed at reforming aspects of the small business contracting. They are:

The Building Better Business Partnerships Act (H.R. 3985). The bill would allow the Small Business Administration to oversee civilian agency mentor-protégé programs to promote flexibility of agreements between the agencies, guarantee that the programs benefit the small businesses, and ensure that the mentor-protégé agreement doesn’t inadvertently harm the protégé’s small business status.

The Small Business Protection Act (H.R. 3987). The bill would allow SBA to establish a single standard for a grouping of four-digit North American Industrial Classification codes. Officials would have to justify that such standard is appropriate for each individual industry classification in the grouping

The Contractor Opportunity Protection Act (H.R. 4081). The COP Act would provide a stronger process to appeal unjustified contract bundling through clarification of the statutory limits on bundling, the creation of a third party arbiter, and more transparency in the contracting process.

The Contracting Oversight for Small Business Jobs Act (H.R. 4206). The bill would address contracting fraud by helping small businesses comply with complicated contracting and size rules, and it would provide a safe harbor for small businesses making a good faith effort to comply with those rules.

In addition, the bill would ensure that potential cases of fraud are properly and transparently dealt with through the suspension and debarment process, and would provide a statutory framework for the Office of Hearings and Appeals—the office that decides who is truly a small business.

The Women’s Procurement Program Improvement Act (H.R. 4203). The bill would allow contracting officers to award sole source contracts to woman-owned companies that are economically disadvantaged or in substantially underrepresented industries. However, two or more companies could not be able to do the work, the price would have to be fair, and the contract could not exceed $4 million.

“The bills marked up today will ensure that first and foremost, taxpayer dollars are used wisely and are protected from fraud. They will also make sure programs intended to help small businesses deliver results and don’t inadvertently harm the very business they are supposed to help,” said Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), committee chairman.

About the Author

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

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.

Featured

  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

Reader comments

Tue, Mar 27, 2012

It means that if only one contractor is found that is capable of doing the work that it can be sole sourced.

Mon, Mar 26, 2012 Eric

This is in reference to sole source contracts to women-owned companies. I would think can't be split.

Mon, Mar 26, 2012 Dave

I do not understand this sentance: "However, two or more companies could not be able to do the work, the price would have to be fair, and the contract could not exceed $4 million." Do you mean that out of all the companies in the USA, if only two of them can't do the work? Or do you mean two potential companies identified during market research prove to be unable to do the work? Or do you mean that the contract can't be split between two companies? Or none of the above?

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group