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.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

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

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

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