Small Business panel advances six pro-contractor bills

March 8, 2012

A package of six bills designed to steer more federal contract opportunities toward small businesses cleared the House Small Business Committee on Wednesday, amid bipartisan frustration at the Obama administration's approach to helping what all parties see as a key sector for creating jobs.

The marked-up bills would raise the percentage of federal contracts that should go to small businesses, elevate agency Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization offices, crack down on large firms hiding behind small business fronts to win contracts, and require agencies that insource previously contracted work to publish their rationale online and give contractors more of an opportunity to protest.

Other bills would clarify the eligibility of small businesses for multiple award contracts, bring in small businesses at an earlier stage of the bidding process, give priority to small firms in areas with high unemployment, open up more General Services Administration contracts for commercial purchases to small businesses, and provide more training for Small Business Administration-based procurement center representatives. 

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