“Making it easier for small firms to get their fair share of contracting opportunities will spark job growth in our communities and ensure that taxpayer dollars are used as efficiently as possible.”
SUMTER, S.C.— Contracting and Workforce Subcommittee Chairman Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) today held a field hearing in Sumter, S.C., to examine barriers for small business contractors with the Department of Defense. The hearing focused on a contract given by the Navy to a firm based in Montgomery, Ala., to build the Army Headquarters building at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter. Specifically, the Subcommittee looked at the factors that led to the Army’s decisions and whether potential improvements in bids from local companies could increase their success in the federal contracting arena.
“With national unemployment stalled at nine percent and unemployment right here in South Carolina at 11 percent, we should be removing the barriers and complexity from the procurement system so that small businesses in our communities have the opportunity to compete and win federal contracts. Making it easier for small firms to get their fair share of contracting opportunities will spark job growth in our communities and ensure that taxpayer dollars are used as efficiently as possible.
“Small business contracting is good for taxpayers, good for the economy and good for the government— which is why the Small Business Administration has a statutory goal of awarding 23 percent of prime contracts to small companies. Small businesses are our nation’s best job creators and the catalyst to lead us out of recession. Enabling wider participation in the contracting system will get us there faster.
“Today’s field hearing provided much insight and clarity on the actions small businesses can take to be more competitive in the federal arena. It was also helpful to hear directly from small business owners on the roadblocks they face when trying to compete for federal contracts and how we can better address those barriers. As Chairman of the Contracting and Workforce Subcommittee, I will continue to follow this issue closely and seek more ways to facilitate greater participation by small businesses in the contracting arena.”
For related hearing documents, click here.
Notable Witness Quotes:
William “Billy” Aycock, President of Aycock Construction LLC in Sumter, SC, said, “Why aren't small businesses receiving at a minimum the percentage of business as described by this government? Let me say that it is not because of lack of local labor force but the lack of the opportunity.”
Bill Lynam, Owner of Lynam Construction in Sumter, SC, said, “Our experience, and others, has been that the SBA 8(a) contractors ignore the payment regulation of the federal government. Contracting officers do not seem to be motivated to insure that these regulations are followed. Most local small business cannot survive with the payment practices that are commonplace to these contractors.”