Hanna leads subcommittee probe into alleged DoD failure to meet small business subcontracting plan mandates

U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY) led a subcommittee probe on Thursday into reports that the Department of Defense (DoD) failed to meet small business subcontracting plan mandates.

Hanna, the chairman of the House Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting and the Workforce, called the hearing in response to an audit that found two Marine Corps commands failed to meet small business subcontracting plan requirements.

“The Small Business Act contains important protections for small companies that provide services to our men and women in uniform,” Hanna said. “Existing law ensures that we have a vibrant community of small contractors ready to provide innovative and cost effective solutions. However, if the statutory provisions of the Small Business Act are not observed, those benefits are lost.” 

Michael Roark, the assistant inspector general for contract management and payments at the DoD, said audits were conducted based on complaints that the Marine Corps Regional Contracting Office-National Capital Region and the Marine Corps System Command failed to ensure sufficient small businesses contracts were awarded.

“The Marine Corps’ documented failure to comply with statutory requirements concerning the approval and oversight of small business subcontracting plans has resulted in significant harm to the small business community,” Hanna said. “Continued failure to provide mandatory oversight of small business subcontracting plans has real consequences.”

Chuck Spence, the president of the Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, said he wasn’t surprised with the audit’s findings.

“On the contrary, we suspect that the problems identified – lack of adequate policies for requiring subcontracting plan submissions and reports, insufficient training for contracting officials regarding their responsibilities for evaluating and administering subcontracting plans, and failure to monitor compliance with subcontracting plans – are common across all federal agencies, because the root causes are not unique,” Spence said.

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