Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Members of the house have introduced a number (we've seen 8 so far) of bills designed to reform small business contracting.  The proposed legislation covers a broad range of changes including raising the small business contracting goals to reformation of the size standard rules. 

The Government Efficiency Through Small Business Contracting Act (H.R. 3850) seeks to boost the annual government small business contracting goal from 23 to 25 percent, enlarge government wide subcontracting goals and withhold bonuses of top level agency officials if the goals are not met.  Since the present goals are not being met, we wonder whether this will go any good.  The Small Business Advocate Act (H.R. 3851) would require that the director of each agency's OSDBU be elevated to s senior executive position.  The Small Business Growth and Federal Accountability Act (H.R. 3779) seeks to cut an agency's procurement budget by 10 percent for missing its small business contracting goal.  We really don't seek how more budget cutting helps small businesses.

The Subcontracting Transparency and Reliability Act (H.R. 3893) would add visibility to insourcing  and ensure that small businesses are receiving federal contracting opportunities even through subcontracting.  We've said over and over again that insourcing is often bad business, bait and switch is just plain illegal, and we need better rules on when it is appropriate to "insource".  The Small Business Opportunity Act (H.R. 3980) really looks great to us.  Small Business advocates in all agencies would have stronger roles in the procurement planning process and always have access to plans before RFP's are released.

The Small Business Protection Act of 2012 (H.R. 3997) seeks to prevent SBA from tying NAICS codes together under common size standards where the data do not support the creation of a common size standards.  The Building Better Business Partnership Act (H.R. 3985 would combine small businesses with civilian agency mentor programs so as to help small businesses win contracts and subcontracts.  Finally, the Contractor Opportunity Protection Act of 2012 (H.R. 4081) would redefine various contract bundling terms in order to broaden the coverage of those procurement actions requiring scrutiny as improper bundling.

Missing again is reformation of the Equal Access to Justice Act.  See our blog "The Almost Equal Access to Justice Act" at  Reformation of the small business procurement process will never be complete until we afford small businesses equal access to the judicial system.

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