Panel backs measure to curb contract bundling

In a show of strong bipartisan support, the House Small Business Committee on Tuesday quickly pushed through a bill that would make tougher the practice of "contract bundling."

The bill (H.R. 1873) reauthorizes the Small Business Administration's procurement programs under the Small Business Fairness in Contracting Act. It scales back "contract bundling" - the practice of grouping small government contracts together and awarding them as one large contract.

House Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia Velazquez, D-N.Y., said the bill was needed to help small businesses gain more opportunities, because the federal government has been "bundling" individual contracts into mega-contracts out of the price range for small businesses to place bids.

"While this may be more convenient for the contracting officer, barring small businesses from the marketplace reduces competition," Velazquez said.

Bill sponsor Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, said over the last five years the federal government has increased its use of contract bundling, causing small business contracts to decline by 55 percent - even as overall government contracting has risen by 60 percent.

The bill seeks to increase small business contracts to 30 percent of federal contract dollars, up from the previous goal of 23 percent. The SBA would be required to negotiate contracting goals with government agencies each year, with the 30 percent goal being the minimum.

"Small businesses are the number one job creators in this country, and we must ensure that this engine not only remains healthy, but also has the support it needs to grow," Braley said.

The measure also enhances the appeals process for small businesses. The Office of Federal Procurement Policy within the Office of Management and Budget would arbitrate disputes between the SBA and the purchasing government agency. Businesses and trade organizations negatively impacted by government agency contracting decisions will also be allowed to appeal on behalf of small businesses.

The markup hearing began with a tribute to the late Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald, D-Calif., a committee member who passed away April 24. "So many times we forget the great people we work with day in and day out," Velazquez said.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.