Small businesses contractors testified before Congress July 16, asking lawmakers to improve the Small Business Act, remove barriers to federal procurement marketplace entry and increase the use of subcontractors.
Witnesses told the House Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting and Infrastructure of challenges they faced, as well as opportunities for improvement. One major point was that subcontractors should be explicitly named in prime contractor’s subcontracting plans, to ensure that commitments and payments to small businesses are met. Without proper identification in contracts, subcontractors often lose the opportunity to work on projects, even after helping the prime contractor win a bid.
“We’ve all been to large contractor’s meetings, we’ve been invited on projects, and then all the sudden [another subcontractor] comes in and says, ‘I can do this,’” said Thomas J. Depace — CTS, C.O.O. and senior engineering manager of Advance Sound Company, testifying on behalf of the National Electrical Contractors Association.
“It really limits our ability to support local labor … to continue to grow in the marketplace — somebody just taking the scope and the specification documents that we’ve pined over for a long period of time and just putting a number to it,” Depace said. “Being named as a subcontractor from the start would be an advantage that would give us an opportunity to … make sure commitments are met.”
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