House Introduces Federal Contracting Bills

February 1, 2012

Yesterday, House Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves introduced two pieces of legislation that will help to bolster federal contracting opportunities and advocacy efforts for small businesses within the federal agencies.

On the subject of federal contracting, Chairman Graves introduced the Government Efficiency through Small Business Contracting Act of 2012 (GET Act). This bill would raise the government-wide small-business contracting goal from 23 percent to 25 percent (an increase of approximately $11 billion of additional federal contracting dollars), and the small business subcontracting goal from 35.9 percent to 40 percent of the total value of all subcontracting awards for each fiscal year.

The GET Act also would prevent senior officials from receiving bonuses in subsequent years where their respective agencies failed to meet the established small-business contracting goals.

Rep. Bill Owens (D-NY) introduced similar legislation on Jan. 18, 2012 that would allow the head of a federal agency to give preference to small-business concerns when procuring goods or services for the government. His bill also would hold these same federal agencies accountable for their failure to meet established small business contracting goals.  Under Owens’ bill, if a federal agency fails to meet its small-business contracting goal for any given fiscal year, their total budget would be slashed by 10 percent for the subsequent fiscal year.

The second bill introduced by Graves yesterday is the Small Business Advocate Act of 2012 (SPAA). This bill would enhance the role of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) by elevating the OSDBU Director to a Senior Executive Service position and would prohibit them from holding another position at the same time.  Raising the stature of the OSDBU Director will increase agency awareness and support of small-business contracting.