Schneider, Blum Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Hold Federal Contractors Accountable
Today, U.S. Representatives Brad Schneider (D-IL) and Rod Blum (R-IA) introduced bipartisan legislation to help ensure federal contractors are meeting plans to subcontract with small businesses.
H.R. 5144, the Contracting Compliance Act, would require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to report to Congress on federal contracting compliance with small business subcontracting goals, how agencies handle cases of noncompliance, and recommendations to strengthen oversight.
“Small businesses are the engine of our economy, and they deserve their fair shot at federal contracts,” said Schneider. “Our bill helps ensure that federal contractors are following through on their subcontracting goals to enable small businesses the opportunity to grow and thrive.”
In order to be eligible for many federal contracts, the recipient is required to prepare a subcontracting plan, which must be approved prior to award. Generally, this plan must contain goals for subcontracting with specific groups, including veteran-owned small businesses, service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, those located in Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUB Zones), women-owned small businesses, or those participating in the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) program for socially or economically disadvantaged business owners. Failure for a business to comply with its subcontracting plan represents a breach of contract. H.R. 5144 requires a GAO report to determine if this compliance is taking place and to explore ways to strengthen the oversight and compliance process.
Schneider and Blum are both members of the House Committee on Small Business. Blum is Chairman of the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy, and Trade, and Schneider serves as Ranking Member.