A new bill introduced in the House of Representatives would require the SBA to count contracts performed overseas when calculating the government’s achievement of its small business goals.
The bill would codify a policy that the SBA already says it is in the process of adopting–and one that will likely lead to a perceived drop in the government’s small business goaling achievement in Fiscal Year 2016.
Although the government has crowed about exceeding its 23% small business goal in the last two fiscal years, that achievement has come with a rather important asterisk. Unbeknownst to many small businesses, the SBA historically has excluded contracts performed overseas from its goaling calculations. Excluding these contracts likely has inflated the government’s overall goaling achievement numbers.
Last year, the SBA announced that it would begin to include overseas contracts as part of the baseline used to evaluate small business goaling achievement. In announcing the change, the SBA predicted that perceived goaling achievement could drop by as much as two points as a result.
Now, a bipartisan House bill would codify the requirement that the SBA include overseas contracts in its goaling numbers. Representatives Judy Chu (D-CA) and Trent Kelly (R-MS) have introduced H.R. 4329, the “Transparency in Small Business Goaling Act of 2016.” The bill would amend the Small Business Act to prevent the SBA from calculating goaling achievement in a manner that excludes the value of a contract based on where it was awarded or where it was performed, as well as certain other reasons.
The Transparency in Small Business Goaling Act is the sort of simple but effective legislation that could find its way into the next National Defense Authorization Act. In the meantime, it is good news that the SBA intends to discontinue the overseas exclusion on its own initiative. After all, if the government is going to brag about meeting its small business goals, it ought to do so based on the full picture.