Critics target Federal Prison Industries’ Contracting Preferences

June 29, 2012

Some small businesses and lawmakers are pushing to curtail contracting preferences given to Federal Prison Industries.

Agencies must procure products and services from Federal Prison Industries (FPI), which uses the brand name commonly known as UNICOR, in cases where it holds a small share of the federal market. A bill introduced by Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., would eliminate UNICOR's mandatory source preference and require UNICOR to compete for all federal contracts except in limited circumstances. UNICOR has taken business away from small businesses all over the country, Huizenga told the House Small Business contracting and workforce subcommittee Thursday.

"UNICOR has been argued as not really being a significant operation," he said. "That is not the case." 

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