Small Business Contracting Reforms Included in NDAA

May 13, 2015

pic-contractingToday, the House will begin debate on the National Defense Authorization Act for 2016 (NDAA) (H.R. 1735) that sets the Department of Defense policy and funding levels for the coming year, and includes a number of small-business contracting provisions. In advance of the floor debate, the bill attracted hundreds of proposals—more than 336 amendments had been filed—ranging from small business contracting to budgeting and immigration.

The House Armed Services Committee, which passed H.R. 1735 by a vote of 60-2, folded in a number of NSBA-supported small-business contracting reforms, and others are being considered as amendments in the floor debate. Those provisions include:

H.R. 1481 (Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio): The Small Contractors Improve Competition Act of 2015 (SCICA) aims to address problems small businesses face accessing the federal market.  This bill amends the Small Business Act to require the government to ensure small business participation in procurement contracts from a wide variety of industries and from a broad spectrum of small businesses within each industry.

H.R. 1444 (Rep. Richard Hanna, R-N.Y.): The Commonsense Contracting Act of 2015, expresses that, when used appropriately, with respect to federal agency procurement, an auction between a group of offerors who compete against each other by submitting offers for a contract or task or delivery order with the ability to submit revised offers with lower prices throughout the course of the auction (reverse auction) may improve the federal government’s procurement of commercially available commodities by increasing competition, reducing prices, and improving opportunities for small businesses.

H.R. 1390 (Rep. Steve Knight, R-Calif.): The Small Business Joint Venturing Act of 2015 amends the Small Business Act to revise requirements with respect to solicitation of offers for bundled contracts issued by the head of a federal agency that allows a small business to submit an offer (bid) that provides for the use of a particular team of subcontractors for the performance of the contract. The small business is also permitted to bid on a bundled or consolidated contract that provides for the use of a joint venture of small businesses.

H.R. 1386 (Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fl.): The Small Entrepreneur Subcontracting Opportunities Act of 2015 (SESO Act) requires that federal agency heads ensure that senior executive personnel responsible for acquisition assume responsibility for that agency’s success in achieving small business contracting goals and percentages. Such personnel are also responsible for the agency’s success in achieving small business prime contracting and subcontracting goals and percentages.

H.R. 1583 (Rep. Cresent Hardy, R-Nev.): The Small Business Contractor’s Clarification Act of 2015 amends the Small Business Act to revise the federal procurement requirements of the Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA) with respect to small business contracts for articles, equipment, supplies, services or materials, or to perform construction work for the government. The permission to submit an offer for a procurement contract, even though the offeror is not the actual manufacturer or processor of the product in question, is extended to additional kinds of small businesses, including: women-owned small businesses; HUBZone small businesses, and small businesses owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans.

H.R. 1410 (Del. Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen, R-AS): This bill amends the Small Business Act with respect to the plan developed by the Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA) to improve the quality of data reported on bundled and consolidated contracts in the federal procurement data system.

H.R. 1429 (Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill.): The Stronger Voice for Small Business Act of 2015 permits job creators to directly appeal to the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Hearings and Appeals when challenging an inappropriate SBA size standard, a change that would save small businesses from a costly and time consuming litigation process.

“NSBA strongly supports efforts to level the playing field for small firms that still face significant competitive disadvantages when it comes to the federal marketplace. Legislation to enhance fairness, improve transparency and ensure small businesses voices are heard, such as the federal contracting improvement measures being considered in conjunction with the NDAA, ought to garner broad support from lawmakers,” stated NSBA President and CEO Todd McCracken.