Rep. Mulvaney Bill to Improve Small Biz. Contracting

February 9, 2012

On Feb. 2, 2012, Representative Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), Chairman of the House Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce, introduced the Subcontracting Transparency and Reliability (STAR) Act of 2012 (H.R. 3893). The STAR Act will increase transparency, improve accountability, and enhance small-business contracting policies by, among other things, ensuring that small businesses are the ones actually benefiting from the contracts set aside on their behalf.

Upon announcement of the bill, Rep. Mulvaney stated, “Small business contracting and subcontracting is a great way to support local businesses who are more capable of providing a great product or service for the federal government in an efficient manner… But there are many unfair roadblocks that exist for small businesses who perform federal contracting work. When contracts are set aside for small businesses in order to foster job creation, competition, innovation and a healthy industrial base, the government has a vested interest in ensuring that the small business performs a significant portion of the work, otherwise, the small business could deceitfully pass through the work to a large contractor.”

According to a Feb. 2 press release from Rep. Mulvaney’s office, the STAR Act would

  • Crack down on small businesses that front for large businesses and simultaneously makes it easier for legitimate small businesses to comply with limitations by tracking price rather than cost;
  • Allow for more small business teaming to compete for federal contracts;
  • Make it easier to catch bad actors by easing the detection and punishment of large businesses that fail to file the mandatory reports on the use of small business subcontractors;
  • Require agencies to publish their insourcing processes; and
  • Give small business contractors standing to challenge insourcing decisions in court.

This bill is one of a series of bills (H.R. 3850, H.R. 3851, and H.R. 3779) introduced as part of a broader initiative by members of the House Small Business Committee to address small-business contracting and subcontracting issues. All four of these bills have been referred to both the House Small Business Committee and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.