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Devon Hewitt, partner in Protorae Law’s Government Contracts Practice, was quoted by Bloomberg BNA in a March 25th article about the House Small Business Committee’s recent approval of the Small Contractors Improve Competition Act of 2015 (H.R. 1481) (SCICA) which strives to increase competition for small businesses seeking federal contracts.

The new legislation addresses obstacles for small business contractors such as contract bundling, joint ventures and teaming agreements, and the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) non-manufacturer rule.

Hewitt told BNA’s Federal Contracts Report that the bill’s joint venture and teaming provisions were the most impactful and would require agencies to credit newly organized joint ventures with the past performance of its members.  “Joint ventures are being used more and more by small businesses because procurements are getting bigger and including more complicated requirements.  The requirements in these solicitations often cannot be met by one small business, and joint ventures are an excellent option in these circumstances,” said Hewitt.

Additionally, the legislation redefines the SBA’s non-manufacturer rule stating that it would not apply to contracts for services.  “Service contracts are a small business’s bread and butter, and application of the non-manufacturer rule to that type of contract will greatly reduce the number of small businesses eligible to compete for small business set-aside services contracts,” said Hewitt.

Currently the bill has been endorsed by organizations such as The Associated General Contractors, The National Defense Industrial Association, Women Impacting Public Policy, National Electrical Contractors Association, American Institute of Architects, National Small Business Association, and Mid-Tier Advocacy.