Attention: small businesses – very small small businesses. H.R. 4118, the Small Business Procurement Improvement Act, is a particular piece of legislation that really addresses your specific concerns, because it is designed to address the most voluminous but the least-sized segment of the market, which is actions for $200,000 and under.
These are the small jobs, like cans of paint, or re-carpeting a building, or hiring an electrician for a single repair. It’s a drop in the bucket in the grand scheme of what the government spends, maybe 10% of all spending, but to a very small business these small actions are a big deal.
Sponsored by Rep. Mark Critz, what this bill does is to funnel all of those small actions into the small business lane, so that none of them go to big business; all of them go to small business.
According to numbers gathered by Ronald Howell of Operational Research Consultants, Inc. and posted on LinkedIn, “There were more than three million contract actions issues in 2011 valued up to $200,000. According to FPDS-NG these contract actions amounted to a total of $23,050,739,473 in agency spending. Also according to FPDS-NG, of that total, $16.4 billion was awarded to small business in FY11. This equates to an additional $6.5 billion for small businesses last fiscal year.”
And that is a good thing for small business.
Wonderful news, but the problem that doesn’t seem to be addressed is the “requirements” placed upon small businesses by bureaucrats who make it impossible for new, small and or micro businesses to qualify to bid on contracts. The bureaucrats do this by making the “experience required” so specific and onerous, that only their favored vendors qualify. There needs to be a “must wave,” provision in the legislation that requires bureaucrats to wave (you can’t make it an option) those experience requirements for small and micro businesses. Frankly, too many efforts by Congress to address the problem are simply ignored by bureaucrats who always seem to find a way around laws and regulations that they don’t agree with.
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