September 27, 2018

U.S. Rep. Lawson Helps Small Firms Win Federal Work

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Al Lawson’s (FL-05) H.R. 6367,“Incentivizing Fairness in Subcontracting Act,” which aims to expand small firms’ involvement in the federal marketplace, passed the House. The bill would allow federal agencies in certain instances to count dollars spent by prime contractors on subcontractors toward agencies’ statutory small business contracting goals. The bill further includes provisions to ensure prompt payment to subcontractors when work is completed. 

“Small businesses put in a tremendous amount of effort to receive federal contracting jobs, and in doing so, they continue to be the backbone of our country’s economy,” Rep. Lawson said. “This bill will help our small business contractors receive the credit they need to satisfy federal requirements.”

This legislation tackles an issue that is a cause of great concern for small subcontractors. Large prime contractors have a statutory obligation to develop and submit a subcontracting plan as part of their bid and proposal package. In this plan, prime contractors are required to outline their intention to award a certain percentage of subcontracting dollars to small businesses. Unfortunately, it's been a challenge to ensure that prime contractors are held accountable to these plans.

The “Incentivizing Fairness in Subcontracting Act” protects our small contractors by updating the subcontracting goal regime through increased flexibility and accountability.

“Small businesses are increasingly involved in the federal marketplace as subcontractors, rather than as vendors dealing directly with a federal agency,” Velázquez noted. “Mr. Lawson’s legislation takes this change into account and would create incentives for larger companies to employ small firms as they deliver goods and services to the federal government. Moreover, this bill will help ensure small companies are paid on time, helping address a recurring and widespread problem we hear about frequently from entrepreneurs operating in the federal sector.”