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News & Press: WIPP Legislative Updates

Good and Bad In Annual Defense Bill

Tuesday, May 31, 2016  
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Good and Bad In Annual Defense Bill


Seeking to get a jump on the compressed Congressional schedule this year, the House passed the annual defense policy bill, or “NDAA,” on May 18th, and the Senate is poised to consider the bill over the next several weeks. The House bill contains important contracting reforms such as strengthening small business advocates, promoting subcontracting opportunities, and improving coordination between SBA and DOD on small business programs.


In addition, the bill re-authorizes the Women’s Business Center program – giving WBCs a sizable jump in funding – and adds WBCs to the list of possible providers of business assistance for the DOD Mentor Protégé Program


The Senate version of the NDAA, however, has some not-so-good news.  The bill proposes to allow the Department of Defense to count small business subcontractors toward their small business goals.  Currently, the government only counts prime contractors for their small business goals, including the WOSB 5% goal. Since the Department of Defense is the largest government buyer, this change as written could thwart efforts by organizations like WIPP to increase buying from women-owned companies. Importantly, subcontractors currently have no standing with the government, and under this arrangement the government would be relying on prime contractors to report their utilization of subcontractors.  WIPP believes that if the DOD is permitted to count subcontracts toward its woman-owned goal, it would necessarily be required to give subcontractors the same standing and protections prime contractors receive. 


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