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The NDAA & its Package of Small Business Procurement Reforms Passes in the House

Friday, May 18, 2012  
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Small business procurement reform took a step forward to becoming reality today with the passage of H.R. 4310, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by a vote of 299 yeas to 120 nays. Included in the NDAA is a package of small business procurement reforms that aims to greatly improve the ability of small businesses to win government contracts.

Among the changes included in the bill are reforms to raise the Government-wide goal of awarding contracts to small businesses from 23% to 25%, authorize the SBA to establish a mentor-protégé program, increase both enforcement efforts and the penalties for fraud, improve and increase small business representation and advocacy throughout the procurement process, and clarify and expand bundled contract procedure. Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) strongly supports these much needed changes and has forcefully advocated for them.

However, WIPP was disappointed that H.R. 4203, the Women’s Procurement Program Improvement Act, was not included in the NDAA. The improvements to the WOSB program included in H.R. 4203 are vitally needed and would help the government finally reach its 5% goal of awarding contracts to women-owned businesses.

To read the bill, click here (the small business procurement reforms begin at Title XXVI).  Alternatively, in list form, the bill's reforms would:

  • establish a Government-wide goal for participation by small business concerns at not less than 25 percent of the total value of all prime contracts for each fiscal year, and 40 percent of the total value of all subcontract awards for each fiscal year. This section would also require that agency goals related to small businesses concerns cannot be less than Government-wide goals authorize the Administrator of the Small Business Administration to establish a mentor-protege program for small business concerns

  • increase both the enforcement of rules and the penalties for fraud

  • clarify and expand the reporting requirements related to procurement contracts awarded to small businesses

  • require the establishment of a pilot program within the Department of Defense to assist in the growth and development of advanced small business concerns. Under the pilot program, competition for contract awards may be restricted to advanced small business concerns under certain conditions

  • change the limitations on subcontracting by small business concerns from cost to price and by allowing, in case of a contract that combines services, construction or supplies, the limitation on subcontracting to be determined by the category that is the greatest percentage of the contract amount

  • require the Secretary of Defense to designate an official in each defense audit agency to: advise the director of the respective agency on all issues related to small business concerns; serve as the agency's primary point of contact and source of information for small business concerns; collect relevant data and monitor the agency's conduct of audits of small businesses; and develop and implement processes and procedures to improve the performance of the agency related to the timeliness of audits of small businesses

  • require the Secretary of Defense to enter into a contract with a Federally Funded Research and Development Center to conduct an independent assessment of the Department of Defense’s Federal procurement performance related to small business concerns

  • strengthen and clarify the role and responsibilities of Procurement Center Representatives (PCRs)

  • require the Defense Acquisition University and the Federal Acquisition University to establish a course on contracting requirements

  • require that each Federal department or agency enumerate opportunities for the participation of small business concerns during all acquisition planning processes, and invite the participation of the appropriate Procurement Center Representatives and appropriate Directors of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization in all acquisition processes

  • requiring notices of small business contracting opportunities to be posted on an appropriate Federal website as determined by the Administrator of the Small Business Administration

  • expand and clarify the definition of a bundled contract and eliminating procedures related to contract consolidation. This section would exclude contracts under $2.0 million dollars generally, or contracts under $5.0 million for construction, from the definition of a bundled contract


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