Each year, the government dedicates nearly half a trillion dollars to the purchase of goods through federal contracts. Because this is a significant amount of federal dollars, we owe it to the taxpayers to make sure that we are using them wisely and efficiently.
Government contracting offers a unique opportunity to invest in small businesses while also stimulating our economy. While several important provisions have been built into the federal procurement system in an effort to ensure small businesses receive a fair share of government contracting opportunities, these provisions are not being properly enforced. We must make it a top priority to fix these problems, not only to make sure taxpayer dollars have maximum impact, but also for the sake of our economy.
During the 115th Congress, the House Small Business Committee has set out to pass legislation that builds on the Committee's 114th reforms to create more opportunities for small businesses through the federal government marketplace.
On July 14th, 2017, the House passed a small business contracting package in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2018. The Senate has yet to act on this legislation.
The Clarity for America’s Small Contractors Act of 2017 (HR 1773):
Sponsor: Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH)
Introduction: March 29, 2017
House Passage: July 14, 2017
• Clarifies and enumerates duties for small business advocates (such as Commercial Market Representatives) within the Small Business Administration
• Increases transparency in the Small Business Administration’s small business goals by requiring the SBA report two new pieces of information – the value of contracts credited to each goal if the contract is performed by a company that is no longer small or no longer qualified for that procurement program, and secondly, the SBA must report the value of contracts credited to each small business goal if a set aside or sole source program for a different program is used for the award
• Harmonizes language used by the Small Business Administration and the Federal Acquisition Regulations within the Small Business Act
The HUBZone Unification and Business Stability Act of 2017 (HR 3294):
Sponsor: Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), Co-Sponsored by Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH)
Introduction: July 19, 2017
• Promotes stability for participating small businesses in the Small Business Administration’s HUBZone Program by modifying the length of time an area is HUBZone-qualified
• Increases the number of HUBZone-qualified rural areas
• Establishes a number of measures to protect against fraud and abuse, including requiring the collection and reporting of performance metrics to Congress
Small Business Payment for Performance Act of 2017 (HR 2594)
Sponsor: Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Co-Sponsored by Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Steve Knight (R-CA)
Introduction: May 23, 2017
• Ensures small business federal contractors are paid timely for change order work requested by the federal agency
• Requires payments provided by the government to flow down to lower-tier subcontractors and suppliers
• Deters actions by agencies which would otherwise unfairly delay processing and payment of change orders
Hearings and Roundtables:
Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act: State of Small Business Contracting
July 13, 2017, House Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce and Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access
Roundtable: Helping Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business and Veteran-Owned Small Business Contractors Succeed in a Post-Kingdomware World
June 28, 2017 - House Small Business Subcommittee
All Work and No Pay: Change Orders Delayed for Small Construction Contractors
May 25, 2017 - House Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce and the Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight, and Regulations
Learning from History: Ideas to Strengthen and Modernize the HUBZone Program
March 2, 2017 - House Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce