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Advocacy Accomplishments

 

Legislative Accomplishments

  • Two Council policy priorities were introduced as legislation in the House:
      • H.R. 5450 - Enhancing Competition in Contracting Orders Act: Clarifies that the HUBZone price evaluation preference applies to task orders. Michelle Burnett, the Executive Director of the Council, is quoted in Congresswoman Scholten's press release.
      • H.R. 5454Fairness in Shaping Small Business Contracting Policies Act of 2023Adds the Administrator of the SBA to the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council and requires the SBA to submit a report to Congress with recommendations on reducing lag time between SBA and FAR Council rulemaking.
    • Senator Joni Ernst introduced S. 2720ACCESS for Small Businesses Act, legislation that contains Council-supported changes for small business contractors, including:
        • Limits “double counting” by federal agencies to increase transparency of contract data on the governmentwide Small Business Scorecard.
        • Makes subcontracting plan performance for prime contractors a more important factor in winning future work.
        • Applies the Rule of Two to all federal acquisitions, including multiple-award-contracts.
    • Council spearheaded bill, the PRICE Act, was signed into law. It encourages interagency collaboration to utilize small business contractors. Council advocacy team testified in the Senate on this topic.
    • House passed H.R. 7694, the Strengthening Subcontracting for Small Businesses Act of 2022, which expands the importance of subcontracting plan performance in agency evaluation of offerors and makes subcontracting plan performance a more important factor in winning future work.
    • Senate Committee passed the Council-supported S. 4623AGILE Procurement Act of 2022, which will increase opportunities for innovative small businesses that want to contract with the federal government.
    • Senate Committee passed the Council-supported H.R.3875, Interagency Committee on Women's Business Enterprise Act of 2021, which reauthorizes the Interagency Committee for Women's Business Enterprise to help coordinate federal resources to encourage the formation, growth, and success of women-owned businesses.

    Senate-Passed FY2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) - Passed on July 27, 2023, the Council advocated for amendments incorporated into the Senate version of the FY2024 NDAA:

    • Raises the sole source thresholds from $4.5/$7 million to $8/$10 million over the life of the contract for HUBZone, SDVOSB, WOSB and individually-owned 8(a) contractors. 

    • Adds the Administrator of the SBA to the FAR Council.

    • Requires prime contractors to pay subcontractors within 30 days (instead of 90 days) after a federal agency has paid the prime contractor. It also allows for modification of past performance information for the prime contractor if there is an unjustified failure to make a full or timely payment to a subcontractor. 

    FY2024 Appropriations 

    • The Senate Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Subcommittee Appropriations bill included $4 million for the HUBZone program. 

    • The Senate FSGG report contains a directive to SBA to update and implement HUBZone guidance and implement a plan to mitigate IT issues affecting the HUBZone certification process. 

    • Appropriations requests were sent to lawmakers in the Maryland delegation, Representatives on the House FSGG Appropriations Subcommittee, and all Senators on the Senate Appropriations Committee. 

    • Final program funding to be determined 

    House-Passed FY2023 NDAA – Passed on July 14, 2022, the Council advocated for amendments incorporated into the House version of the FY2023 NDAA:
    • H.R. 5879, the HUBZone Price Evaluation Preference Clarification Act of 2021, clarifies that the HUBZone price evaluation preference applies to task orders. Also passed as a standalone bill by the House in June 2022.
    • Raising sole source thresholds for 8(a), HUBZone, SDVOSB, and WOSBs to $10 million for manufacturing contracts and $8 million for other types.
    • Requiring additional information on the SBA Procurement Scorecards to provide more transparency regarding the contracting programs in light of “double-counting” awards towards multiple socioeconomic goals.
    • Raising sole source thresholds for all socioeconomic programs to $8/$10 million (over the life of the contract).

    FY2023 Appropriations  

    • The Council secured $4 million in funding for the HUBZone Program at the SBA in the final FY2023 Appropriations bill. This is an increase of $1 million from the FY2022 level of $3 million. 

    • Appropriations requests were sent to lawmakers in the Maryland delegation, Representatives on the House Financial Services and General Services Appropriations Subcommittee and all Senators on the Senate Appropriations Committee.

    FY2022 NDAA – Passed on December 15, 2021, the Council secured the following amendments in the final bill:

    • H.R. 3845, the Parity for HUBZone Appeals Act of 2021, which was subsequently included as an amendment and gives authority to the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals to decide appeals relating to qualified HUBZone small businesses.
    • Report on Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) effects on small business that requires DoD to submit a report on the impact of the CMMC on small businesses within 120 days. Many changes made in CMMC 2.0 for small businesses are a result of the Council’s advocacy through its support of the Secure Supply Chain Consortium.
    • The Council also advocated for amendments passed in the House version of the FY2022 NDAA: 
    • Clarifying that the HUBZone price preference applies to task orders.
    • Raising sole source thresholds for all socioeconomic programs from $4/$7 to $8/$10 million (over the life of the contract).
    • Creating category management exemptions or successor strategies for contract consolidation for tier 0 contracts awarded to small businesses.

    Testimony Before Congress

    • Council Board Chair Shirley Bailey and Board Member Matthew Schoonover testified before the House Small Business Committee to review and assess the HUBZone Program. Council helped put together this hearing on the program.
    • Board Member Matthew Schoonover and Council Member Josh Duvall testified before the House Natural Resources Committee on the Native Pacific Islanders of America Equity Act.
    • Council Vice Chair Victor Holt testified before the House Small Business Committee on Growing the Small Business Supplier Base in Government Contracting.
    • Council Member Michael Dunbar testified before the House Small Business Committee on the CMMC program and its effects on small businesses.

    Support Letters

    • Letter to Senate Small Business Committee in support for the Strengthening Subcontracting for Small Businesses Act of 2022.
    • FY2023 HUBZone Council appropriations requests to lawmakers in the Maryland delegation, Representatives on the House Financial Services and General Services Appropriations Subcommittee and all Senators on the Senate Appropriations Committee.
    • Letter to SBA HUBZone Director Lori Gillen addressing concerns from Council members on SBA HUBZone Program guidance that impacted companies undergoing the recertification process. Letter explains how Council members found the new guidance contradictory and made suggestions regarding flexibility on annual recertification.
    • Council signed onto a letter of support for the reintroduction of S. 2042, the Interagency Committee on Women’s Business Enterprise Act, which was subsequently introduced by Senator Cardin and other members of Senate Small Business Committee.
    • Letter to Senator Cardin asking for his support in a motion to the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) to expand the perimeters of their diversity spend goals to include companies participating in the HUBZone Empowerment Contracting program.


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