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House Small Business Committee Approves Bill to increase Agencies Small Business Contracting Goals

The House Small Business Committee has marked up and approved a six-pack of contracting reform bills, including legislation that would raise the current agency goals for steering work to small businesses.

The package approved Wednesday would particularly affect the construction industry, women, and disabled veterans. It includes a plan to raise agencies’ small-business prime contracting goal from 23 percent to 25 percent and establish a 40 percent goal for small-business subcontractors.

“Greater small business involvement in federal contracting benefits companies and taxpayers alike,” said panel Chairman Sam Graves, R-Mo., who sponsored the bill outlining the new contracting goals. “Small firms are innovative, and increased competition often leads to savings for the taxpayers.”

A second Grave bill would “improve transparency and accountability” by discouraging bundling of contracts to give an advantage to large companies over small businesses. Bills sponsored by Rep. Richard Hanna, R-N.Y., would restrict the government’s use of reverse auctions in awarding construction contracts and increase construction companies’ access to surety bonds for use in federal procurement work.

A bill sponsored by Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., would transfer responsibility for verifying the status of disabled veteran-owned small businesses from the Veterans Affairs Department to the Small Business Administration. And two bills sponsored by Ranking Member Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-N.Y., would boost the training and education services delivered by Small Business Development Centers and promote parity for women-owned small businesses by standardizing sole-source authorities in SBA’s procurement operations.

Article from Government Executive - March 2014