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New House Small Business Committee Chair Examines Contracting Practices

Tuesday, February 17, 2015  
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Policy Briefing - Week of February 17, 2015


New House Small Business Committee Chair Examines Contracting Practices

Chairing his first hearing as Chair of the House Small Business Committee, Chair Steve Chabot (R-OH) picked up, in many ways, where his predecessor left off: small business contracting issues. The hearing, “Contracting and the Industrial Base,” focused on five contracting-related themes primarily affecting small businesses engaged in the architectural and engineering (A&E) sector. Chair Chabot noted that while A&E contracts account for about 8% of total dollar value of small business contracts, they represent nearly a fifth of all federal government awards to small businesses. The hearing covered surety bonds, the use of reverse auctions, the two-step procurement process for design build contracts, joint ventures and teaming, and the non-manufacturer rule. Witnesses included representatives from the Associated General Contractors of America, American Council of Engineering Companies, Mechanical Contractors Association of America who spoke to the need for improvements to ensure small businesses have an equal seat at the table when it comes to A&E opportunities.


Chair Chabot pledged to continue focusing on small business contracting, using a series of upcoming hearings to identify specific recommendations to improve the competitive viability of small businesses. The hearings are expected to produce legislation with proposed fixes.



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