House Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce Chairman Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) today introduced legislation that will help protect small business contractors and bring more transparency and accountability to federal procurement. The Subcontracting Transparency And Reliability (STAR) Act of 2012 will ensure that federal contracting opportunities actually help legitimate small businesses and gives small contractors a voice when their work is being unfairly insourced. Today's legislation is part of a comprehensive initiative from the House Small Business Committee aimed at reforming small business contracting policies.
"Small business contracting and subcontracting is a great way to support local businesses who are more than capable of providing a great product or service for the federal government in an efficient manner," said Chairman Mulvaney. "But there are many unfair roadblocks that exist for small businesses who perform federal contracting work. When contracts are set aside for small businesses in order to foster job creation, competition, innovation and a healthy industrial base, the government has a vested interest in ensuring that the small business performs a significant portion of the work, otherwise, the small business could deceitfully pass through the work to a large contractor. The STAR Act will help provide an even playing field for many small contractors who otherwise would not have the resources to fight deceitful subcontracting and unjustified insourcing within the federal procurement system."
Details of the legislation:
Subcontracting Transparency And Reliability (STAR) Act of 2012:
Through changes to the limitation on subcontracting provisions designed to ensure that small businesses who get contracts are doing the bulk of the work, this legislation makes it easier to crack down on deceptive large businesses hiding behind small businesses, and simultaneously makes it easier for legitimate small businesses to comply with limitations by tracking price rather than cost.
Allows for more small businesses to team with other small businesses to compete for federal contracts.
Makes it easier to catch bad actors and ensures real subcontracting opportunities for small businesses by easing the detection and punishment of large businesses that fail to file the mandatory reports on the use of small business subcontractors.
Adds transparency to insourcing (the process by which the government takes work currently awarded through private sector competition and converts it to work performed by federal employees) by requiring agencies to publish their insourcing processes and gives small business contractors standing to challenge insourcing decisions in court.