Federal Contracting and Subcontracting with Small Businesses – Issues in the 112th Congress

Tonya Speed of the Mid-Tier Advocacy recently forwarded “Federal Contracting and Subcontracting with Small Businesses: Issues in the 112th Congress,” a useful report prepared by the Congressional Research Service. She writes:

This report describes and evaluates certain measures proposed or enacted by the 112th Congress to promote government contracting with small businesses. The report also discusses changes to existing laws that may be required when these provisions are implemented as well as certain potential legal and/or constitutional issues. 

The key topics addressed in this report include:

  • Size standards, including new standards for early stage small businesses and mid-sized firms;
  • Increase to government-wide and agency-specific goals for small business contracting and incentives to meet the goals;
  • Set-aside eligibility, especially with respect to Alaskan Native Corporations. There is some concern expressed that if goals became mandatory, then they could be construed as quotas which could unfairly benefit one class of small businesses over others.
  • Limitations on the amount of work that can be subcontracted under SBA programs
  • Bundling and consolidation of requirements into contracts that would be inappropriate for small businesses to bid on;
  • Expedited payments to small businesses;
  • Agency insourcing practices;
  • Responsibilities of Agency OSBDU’s and SBA Procurement Center Representatives;
  • Mentor-Protegee programs;
  • Waste, fraud and abuse within small business programs–detection and penalties;
  • Subcontracting plans within prime contracts–reporting requirements and financial penalties for failure to meet commitments.

You can click here to view the report as posted on the Women Construction Owners & Executives website.


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