Introduced during the last week in the House, three bills aim to increase and strengthen small business participation in government contracting – a goal CompTIA has always supported
. We have reviewed this legislation and believe that a number of provisions would help to direct more government contracting dollars to small businesses.
However, we need your input concerning this legislation. Our goal is determine whether these provisions make sense for your business. We are especially interested in receiving comments from small businesses that currently participate in government contracting or subcontracting, but all comments are certainly appreciated.
Here is a brief outline of each bill:
- H.R. 3850, “Government Efficiency through Small Business Contracting Act of 2012”, introduced on January 31 by Rep. Sam Graves, chairman, House Small Business Committee, aims to address government procurement contracting goals for small businesses. Currently, the federal government spends more than $500 billion each year, with a goal of awarding 23 percent of prime contract dollars to small businesses:
H.R. 3851, “Small Business Advocate Act of 2012”, introduced on January 31 by Rep. Graves, aims to improve the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) within each agency:
- Increase the small business contracting goal from 23 percent to 25 percent;
- Encourage agencies to achieve their contracting goal by withholding certain benefits, including bonuses, from senior officials of those agencies that fail to achieve stated small business contracting goals; and
- Increase the subcontracting opportunities for small businesses by establishing a goal to award 40 percent of all subcontracted dollars to small businesses.
H.R. 3893, “Subcontracting Transparency and Reliability Act of 2012”, introduced on February 2 by Rep. Mick Mulvaney, chair, House Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce, aims to increase the real participation of small businesses in government subcontracting:
- Elevate the director of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) within an agency to a senior level position, having the power to challenge decisions made by the chief acquisition officer or senior procurement executive; and
- Require each OSDBU agency director to:
- Review and advise on any agency decision to convert an activity performed by a small business concern to an activity performed by a federal employee;
- Provide government purchasing official with acquisition strategies, market research and justifications related to handicap access expenditures qualifying for a tax credit by small business;
- Provide training to small business concerns and contract specialists (provided this does not interfere with other duties);
- Devote all time as director of the OSDBU (i.e., not a part-time or shared position); and
- Report annually to the House and Senate Small Business Committees concerning training activities, as well as costs for training and travel.
- Limit the percentage of allowable subcontracting that a small business awarded a government contract can pass on to non-small businesses, providing a penalty to encourage enforcement;
- Impose additional reporting requirements on contractors to detail subcontracting information in order to identify subcontracting abuses; and
- Require agencies to give notice and allow comment on any function being performed by a small business concern that it seeks to transfer to a government worker.
Please post your comments as to whether these provisions would make sense for your business.