House Advances Bill to Curb Contract ‘Bundling’ that Favors Large Companies

Citing a shortage of accurate data on small business contracting, a House panel last week approved an umbrella bill (H.R. 1481) aimed at forcing agencies to curb practices seen as freezing out smaller bidders and requested a new Government Accountability Office study on small business goals.

“We know that when small businesses compete for federal work, it creates jobs, improves the quality of work, and saves taxpayers’ money,” said House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot, R-Ohio. “This bill is a commonsense approach to make sure that Washington is working with Main Street – not locking it out of the procurement process altogether.”

Combining six separate bills, the package would restrict “bundling” of services or goods previously provided under separate contracts to the detriment of small business and curb use of so-called reverse auctions, in which contractors bid electronically for contracts at progressively lower prices.

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