The Bush administration is opposing legislation aimed at boosting federal contracting goals for small businesses while preventing agencies from bundling smaller contracts together.

The Small Business Fairness in Contracting Act, approved last month by the House Small Business Committee, would impose burdensome restrictions on federal agencies and sets "unrealistic small-business procurement goals," according to a statement issued by the Office of Management and Budget on Tuesday.

Among other provisions, the bill would raise the annual share of federal contracts going to small businesses from the current government-wide target of 23 percent to 30 percent. According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses received 25 percent of all federal contracts last year. House Democrats and other critics say the amount was closer to 21 percent.

It also seeks to limit contract bundling, in which several contracts are combined into a mega-contract beyond the reach of smaller firms.

The measure, according to the administration, creates an "overly expansive definition of contract bundling" that will result in costly and time-consuming requirements in the procurement process.

The legislation is expected to be debated on the House floor later this week.

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Published on: May 9, 2007