At the start of National Small Business Week,U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), a member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, has introduced new bill that would that would help more small businesses compete for federal contracts by raising the government-wide small business prime goal from 23 percent to 25 percent. Government-wide subcontracting goals would be increased from 35.9 percent to 40 percent.
“Across the United States, small businesses are responsible for creating two out of every three new jobs. These 27 million American small businesses nationwide provide the services and products that Americans need every day. With millions of small businesses out there in every conceivable industry, it makes sense to ensure that we are using and employing their proven expertise in making the federal government more efficient,”said Senator Cardin. “Maryland has over 500,000 small businesses that employ more than a million people. Continuing to invest in these small businesses is the smart thing to do for our state and for our nation.”
In FY10, the most recent data available, total Federal contracting spending was $538.4 billion. During that same year,the Federal government achieved 22.7% or $97.947 billion in small business prime contracting and 35.4% in small business subcontracting. Increasing the contracting goal by just 2% would add approximately $11 billion in new opportunities for small business contractors. Original small business contracting goals were first established in the Small Business Act in 1953. The prime percentages were last increased from 19% to 23% in 1997.
SMALL BUSINESS GOALING ACT OF 2012
Section 1. Title - The Small Business Goaling Act of 2012
Section 2. Government-wide Prime and Subcontracting Goals
This bill raises the current government-wide prime and subcontracting goals from 23% and 35.9%, to 25% and 40%, respectively.
The bill defines the goaling base for small business contracting to ensure these entities get their fair share of the work. These entities include service-disabled veterans, qualified HUBZone small business concerns, small business concerns owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, and women-owned businesses.
The bill requires that small business procurement goals established by the head of each federal agency participating in federal procurement contracts to: (1) be in the same format as the goals established by the President; (2) address both prime contract and subcontract awards; and (3)establish a plan for achieving each goal with responsibilities apportioned among employees of the agency having procurement powers. Requires each agency head to: (1) consult with the Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA) in establishing agency goals, and requires the Administrator to ensure that federal agencies’ goals collectively meet or exceed the government-wide prime and subcontracting goals. Disagreements between agencies and the Administrator will be submitted to the Administrator for the Office of Federal Procurement Policy for a final determination. In addition, the bill requires that agency heads: (1) make a consistent effort annually to expand participation of all small business categories in procurement contracts to that agency; and (2) communicate importance of achieving goals to key procurement employees and program managers.
Section 3. Reporting on Small Business Goals
The bill also revises requirements for information that is to be included in annual reports from: (1) agency heads to the Administrator concerning the extent of small business participation in that agency's procurement contracts (including the number and dollar amounts of the contracts, whether the agency achieved its goal and whether, and justifications for any failed goals); and (2) the Administrator to the President and Congress on whether the government-wide goal and individual agency goals were achieved, as well as reasons for any failure to achieve such goals.
Section 4. Senior Executives
Also, the bill requires training programs established for the development of federal senior executives to include training with respect to federal procurement requirements, including those under the Small Business Act. In addition, the bill requires that small business participation and assessment be included as a critical element in all federal senior executive’s annual performance plan.