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Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, U.S Sens. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) introduced (S. 2729) the Small Business Contracting Accountability Act, bipartisan legislation to ensure Federal agencies meet small business contracting requirements. This legislation was drafted after the Government Accountability Office uncovered multiple Federal agencies’ failure to fully empower their Offices of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU). These offices were created by Congress to ensure each federal agency with procurement power maximizes small business contract opportunities.  

The Small Business Contracting Accountability Act would require non-compliant agencies to submit a report detailing why the agency is not compliant, as well as the specific actions that the agency will take to correct its failures. Risch is the former chairman and a current member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship.

“Many Federal agencies are required by law to maximize opportunities to contract with America’s small businesses. When agency officials fail to comply with the law, they should have to answer to the authorizing committees,”  said Risch. “I am proud to introduce the Small Business Contracting Accountability Act of 2019, a bipartisan, common-sense approach that will level the playing field for small businesses and hold Washington bureaucrats accountable for failing to meet reasonable standards.”

“Small business are our nation’s job creators and primary investors in our local economies, which is why it’s critical they have a strong voice within our federal agencies,” Duckworth said. “I’m glad to be working with Senator Risch on this bipartisan bill that would help enforce existing law designed to enable small businesses across the country better access contracting opportunities with the federal government.” 

Background: Under the Small Business Contracting Accountability Act, any non-compliant agency would have 120 days upon the enactment of this legislation to submit their report, or 120 days after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) submits their report to the Committees, whichever is later. If GAO issues another report on agency compliance with OSDBU requirements, this legislation will also apply should the GAO find agencies non-compliant. GAO is an independent, nonpartisan agency that provides Congress and federal agencies with objective, reliable information.

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