House approves Curbelo bill to bring clarity to small business subcontracting requirement

The House of Representatives unanimously approved a bill on Tuesday that was introduced by U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) to clarify large contractors’ subcontracting requirements.

The Small Business Act has, since 1978, required large prime contractors that are awarded contracts totaling more than $700,000 to negotiate subcontracting plans that allow small businesses to participate.

Although the law outlines possible damages being assessed when large contractors fail to make good faith efforts to comply with a subcontracting plan, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has never defined “good faith effort.”

Under Curbelo’s Service Provider Opportunity Clarification (SPOC) Act, H.R. 4284, the SBA would be directed to define “good faith effort” to clarify the Small Business Act’s subcontracting requirements.

“We must ensure that our local businesses have access to federal contracts and subcontracts,” Curbelo said. “It’s not just about helping the entrepreneurs; it’s also about helping the workers they employ and keeping our communities strong and prosperous. We should never forget the vital role that our local businesses and their workers play in our neighborhoods.”

Curbelo introduced the Small Entrepreneur Subcontracting Opportunities (SESO) Act, H.R. 1386, last year to hold agency officials accountable for small business subcontracting requirements in annual performance evaluations. Language from the bill was included in the larger Defense Authorization Act.

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