Lawmakers pushed for small business contracting reforms this week in order to improve smaller firms’ ability to compete for Defense Department contracts, Washington Technology reports.
House Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-Mo.) proposed reforms to the defense authorization bill during the House Armed Services Committee hearing Tuesday, including raising the annual small business contracting goal.
Lawmakers are set to begin reviewing the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2013 later this month.
Graves said small businesses winning more contracts would create more jobs and a competitive market that would lead to more innovative, cost-efficient solutions.
Grant said his committee, which approved eight bills in March for small business opportunities, is very similar to the Armed Services Committee’s panel on small business challenges, noting that both committees’ proposals complement each other.
According to the panel, the Pentagon’s contracting culture does not encourage small business participation.
Small businesses face challenges in that environment because of the department’s constantly changing and confusing acquisition rule book, the panel noted.
Legislation for small business reform includes measures to raise the small business contracting goal from 23 to 25 percent.
Another bill would increase the responsibility level for small business advocated within agencies to improve mentor-protege programs and contract service bundling.