Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves and Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY), Chairman of the Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce, hailed Senate passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2014 (H.R. 3304), including two small business contracting provisions that originated in the House Small Business Committee.
“Given the opportunity, small businesses can often do excellent work for less money. Our priority is to ensure the door is open so that small firms can participate,” said Chairman Graves. “Clarifying complex subcontracting rules will help small companies navigate the procurement process. In turn, helping small businesses compete strengthens the industrial base, keeps costs down and creates jobs.”
"We all benefit from the innovation and savings that small businesses can bring into federal contracts,” said Chairman Hanna. “Small firms want to compete, taxpayers want efficiency and the federal government needs the work done well. This legislation is a win for all three and will lead to opportunities for small businesses to create more jobs in the United States.”
The House of Representatives passed the final version of the NDAA on December 12, and the Graves and Hanna amendments were included by voice vote when the NDAA was first considered by the House on June 14.
Section 1615, added as an amendment offered by Graves, helps make sure that when the government restricts competition to small businesses that the work is actually performed by small businesses and not subcontracted to large firms. The Small Business Act has long contained these provisions, which Chairman Graves simplified last year. Last year, the Department of Defense adopted similar limits on how much work any Defense prime contractor can subcontract, but this change meant that small business Defense contractors were given two contradictory sets of rules. Section 1615 resolves that confusion by clarifying that small businesses should always follow the Small Business Act rules regardless of which agency awards the prime contracts. This will save small businesses time and ease compliance burdens.
Section 1614, added as an amendment offered by Hanna, is based on the “Make Every Small Business Count Act” (HR 2232), introduced on June 4 by Chairman Graves. This provision will enhance opportunities for small businesses by adding an incentive for prime federal contractors to consider small firms for more subcontracts. The amendment incentivizes large prime contractors to make sure that there are opportunities for small businesses working as lower tier subcontractors. Hanna held a hearing on this issue on May 23.