Reverse auctions would be prohibited for many small business procurements under a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015, which has been passed by the House of Representatives.
Under the bill, reverse auctions would be disallowed when the government seeks to award a “covered contract,” so long as the contract is suitable for small businesses or is set-aside under one of many small business preference programs.
Small businesses were awarded 23.39% of prime contracting dollars in Fiscal Year 2013, a jump of more than a percentage point from FY 2012 levels–and above the 23% government-wide goal for the first time in several years.
According to the recently-released SBA Procurement Scorecard, the government exceeded its goals for SDVOSBs and SDBs, but failed to hit its targets for HUBZones and WOSBs. Despite these shortfalls, the SBA gave the government an overall “A” rating for its FY 2013 performance.
The Office of Management and Budget has extended a policy aimed at providing accelerated payments to small business subcontractors. Without an extension, the policy would have expired last week.
According to an OMB memorandum announcing the extension, the policy will remain in effect until December 31, 2016. In the meantime, the memo states, the FAR Council is “considering strategies that might be used over the longer term to help maintain effective cash flow and prompt payment to small business subcontractors.”
Small Business Development Centers and Procurement Technical Assistance Centers would be permitted to issue advisory small business size status opinions under a proposed rule published last week by the SBA.
The proposed rule, which implements a section of the 2013 National Defense Advisory Act, establishes a “safe harbor” from fraudulent misrepresentation penalties for a small business that obtains an advisory size opinion from a SBDC or PTAC. But the proposed rule acknowledges that SBDCs and PTACs are not required to provide such advisory opinions–and that new funding will not be awarded for this purpose.
Women-owned small businesses could receive sole source contracts under the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015, which was passed by the House of Representatives last week.
The House-passed 2015 NDAA includes an amendment authorizing economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses to receive sole source contracts of up to $6.5 million for manufacturing, and up to $4 million for other industries. For WOSBs that are not economically disadvantaged, sole source contracts would be available, with the same thresholds, in industries where WOSBs are considered substantially underrepresented.
Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the 2015 defense authorization bill. The House-passed version of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act would transfer VetBiz SDVOSB verification from the VA to the SBA.
If the Senate agrees, and the President signs the bill into law, the process of transferring SDVOSB verification from the VA CVE to the SBA could begin later this year.
The definition of a “service-disabled veteran-owned small business” would be standardized under a new bill introduced by Senators Angus King and Richard Burr.
The King-Burr bill, S.2334, could resolve a serious problem: under current law, the requirements to qualify as a SDVOSB vary (in some cases, significantly) depending on whether an acquisition falls under the VA’s SDVOSB rules or the SBA’s SDVOSB rules.
The King-Burr bill also directs the GAO to study whether it is practical to implement a Government-wide SDVOSB verification system.