As described in detail below by John Tolle, legislation has been proposed that would significantly increase the percentage of business to be awarded to small businesses in all the social-economic categories.
There is proposed legislation to increase small business contracting goals could redirect up to $10 billion in federal awards to small firms, according to the bill’s sponsors. The Assuring Contracting Equity Act (H.R. 3175, S. 1859), introduced July 23 and sponsored by Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.) and Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), would increase the governmentwide small business contracting goal from 23 to 25 percent.
The goal for small businesses owned by veterans, women and the economically disadvantaged would double from five to 10 percent. The bill also would require procurement officials to consider compliance with small business subcontracting goals when awarding contracts. Besides increasing the goals, the bill would limit the number of categories for which a business may qualify as small. The restriction is meant to prohibit reporting practices that artificially inflate the appearance of contracting to minority-owned businesses.
Under the bill, agencies wouldn’t be able claim credit towards the governmentwide goal for small business contracts in more than two specified categories: small businesses, small businesses owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans, qualified Historically Underutilized Business Zone small businesses, small businesses owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, and small businesses owned and controlled by women.
John R. Tolle
Barton Baker Thomas& Tolle LLP