Bipartisan legislation aimed at improving Federal contracting opportunities for small businesses heads to President Biden’s desk after winning final approval in the House on Feb. 7.

Federal contracts can provide significant opportunities for small businesses, but some agencies have been reluctant to utilize the Small Business Administration’s contracting programs. The Promoting Rigorous and Innovative Cost Efficiencies for Federal Procurement and Acquisitions Act of 2021 (PRICE Act) – once it is signed into law by the President – would tackle this issue.

The bill will direct the Office of Management and Budget to work with Federal acquisition administrators to share innovative best practices to help modernize contracting procedures, realize cost savings for taxpayers, and ensure small businesses have a seat at the table in Federal contracting.

“Small businesses make up the foundation of our economy, and additional hurdles during the federal contracting process can hinder their growth,” said Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., in a press release. Sen. Peters co-sponsored the legislation in the Senate with Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa.

“I’m proud this bipartisan legislation has passed the House and urge President Biden to sign it into law as soon as possible so that small business owners in Michigan and across the nation can have a chance to provide innovative solutions to problems facing the federal government and the American people and compete on a level playing field to win federal contracts,” said Sen. Peters.

The PRICE Act also directs the Management Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to compile and publish an annual report on successful projects that have used innovative procurement techniques to accomplish specified goals. Including:

  • improving or encouraging better competition;
  • reducing time to award;
  • achieving cost savings;
  • achieving better mission outcomes; or
  • meeting the goals for contracts awarded to small business concerns.

The DHS report will be made public through multiple Federal websites. The Management Directorate will also “develop and disseminate guidance and offer training for specified personnel concerning when and how to use such techniques, and share best practices across DHS and make available to other Federal agencies information to improve procurement methods and training.”

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.