More Business For the Small Guys?
The Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship voted unanimously for legislation that lawmakers said would make it easier for small businesses to win federal contracts.
In a press release, the committee majority said the Small Business Contracting Revitalization Act would expand opportunities for small businesses owned by minorities, women and service disabled veterans. It also would improve oversight and it would extend the 8(a) program to 2012.
It's far from clear whether the law has a chance getting through a very divided, very poky Senate. If it is enacted, the law would help small businesses get a larger piece of the government's very large procurement pie. Said Sen. Olympia Snowe, (R-Maine), the ranking member of the committee and a bill sponsor: "Currently, small businesses are eligible for $340 billion in federal contracting dollars, yet they receive only $77 billion."
The committee's chairman, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.). said this: "This legislation will help ensure that the Bush administration identifies opportunities for small businesses to compete for contracts, and gives small businesses that subcontract with a large firm more recourse if they are mistreated. Small businesses are the lifeblood of America, and we need to eliminate all barriers that stand in the way of their success in order to keep the American economy healthy."
Last week, the House passed the Small Business Contracting Program Improvements Act with strong support, according to States News Service. Among other things that law would give stronger preference to service-disabled veterans, the news service reported.
By the way, Government Executive's Tech Insider blog has an interesting story about the Defense Intelligence Agency. It seems the secretive spy arm of the Defense Department is going public in a quest for new IT ideas.
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