On Feb. 9, 2012, the House Small Business Subcommittee on Subcontracting and Workforce held a hearing on the barriers small businesses face in federal contracting. AGC’s FAR Committee Chair Dirk Haire testified on behalf of AGC, along with witnesses from the National Association of Surety Bond Producers, Women Construction Owners and Executives, and Yerba Buena Engineering & Construction. The Small Business Administration, Army Corps of Engineers and General Services Administration also testified on a second panel during the hearing.
The hearing specifically addressed the following areas that often limit small businesses’ ability to effectively compete for federal government construction projects, including: 1) the exclusion of construction from the contract bundling definition; 2) the manner in which SBA calculates the prime contractors credit for subcontracting goals; 3) the desirability of a locality preference for construction contracts, and 4) the effectiveness of SBA’s surety bond program.
AGC strongly recommended that Congress reform the federal procurement process to: (1) create safe harbor standards that do not penalize contractors for making good faith efforts to abide by SBA rules and regulations, (2) limit overreliance on construction to achieve overall agency small business contracting goals, (3) ensure that small business goals take into consideration actual small business capacity in relevant specialty markets, (4) count all small business participation at all contracting tiers, and (5) revise the bundling definition to clarify that contract bundling rules apply to construction procurements. AGC believes these reforms will encourage the development of successful and enduring small construction businesses and will continue working with Congressional Small Business leaders to ensure enactment of these recommendations.
For more information, please contact Marco Giamberardino at (703) 837-5325 or firstname.lastname@example.org.