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House-Passed NDAA Legislation Showcases Bipartisan Small Business Reforms

Washington, July 21, 2020

Washington, D.C.— Under the FY 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed by the House this evening, small businesses will be granted greater opportunities to participate in the federal procurement marketplace. Several bipartisan measures authored by Committee members were included in the final bill.
 
Preserving Small Business Contracting Opportunities (Led by Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) and Rep. John Joyce (R-PA))
       This measure would exempt contracts given to 8(a), HUBZones, WOSBs and SDVOSBs from category management, an initiative that has led to consolidating requirements, limiting contracting opportunities and ultimately, shrinking the small business base.
 
Accelerating Payments to Small Contractors (Led by Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO) and Rep. Troy Balderson (R-OH))
       In the past, Congress has acted to accelerate payments to small and large prime contractors with small business subcontractors, with the goal of paying them within 15 days after the receipt of a proper invoice. This provision requires agencies to report when they started implementing the accelerated payments statutes and seeks to provide Congress a sense as to how much progress agencies have made in formally implementing these statutes.
 
Change Order Protections (Led by Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME) and Rep. Pete Stauber (R-MN))
            In the event of a change order in a construction contract, this provision requires agencies to provide an interim partial payment in an amount that is at least 50 percent of the costs identified in the request for equitable adjustment.
 
Extends the 8(a) Program to Help Struggling Small Firms in Wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic (Led by Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA) and Rep. Ross Spano (R-FL))
            This provision allows for the extension of the 8(a) program for an additional year to meet the needs of small businesses struggling to secure opportunities during the COVID-19 crisis.
 
Codifies Boots to Business Program (Led by Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) and Rep. Ross Spano (R-FL))
       This measure codifies into law the existing and successful Boots to Business program for five years. The program provides entrepreneurial training for servicemembers transitioning to civilian life.
 
Removing Barriers to Entering the Federal Marketplace (Led by Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R-MN) and Rep. Evans)
            This provision requires contracting officers to consider the past performance of a joint venture when evaluating the past performance of a small business joint venture member, opening more doors for small firms to perform as prime federal contractors.
 
Expanding Training Within the Federal Government (Led by Rep. John Joyce (R-PA) and Rep. Houlahan)
            This measure requires SBA (along with OMB and any other federal agency SBA decides to include) to put together a training curriculum for all procurement/acquisition staff across the federal government. The purpose of the training is to teach procurement and acquisition staff how to manage the competing goals of category management and requirements of the Small Business Act. 
 

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