April 25, 2007 -- The House Small Business Committee this week approved legislation that would boost federal contracting goals for small businesses, among other initiatives.

The Small Business Fairness in Contracting Act, a bipartisan bill introduced last week by Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) and passed unanimously on Tuesday, raises the government-wide small-business contracting goal to 30 percent, from the current 23 percent. It also enforces stricter oversight to ensure federal agencies are meeting their targets.

To improve access to prime contracting and subcontracting opportunities, the bill also contains measures to prevent agencies from bundling smaller contracts together into giant high-priced ones, a practice that tends to exclude smaller firms from the bidding process.

"Access to the federal marketplace has proven to be an important catalyst for growth for many small businesses," Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.), the committee's chairwoman, said in a statement.

Braley said the bill helps to level the playing field between small businesses and large corporations in the federal marketplace.

The bill is expected to be considered by the full House in coming months.

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Published on: Apr 25, 2007