H.R. 3985 (112th): Building Better Business Partnerships Act of 2012

112th Congress, 2011–2013. Text as of Feb 08, 2012 (Reported by House Committee).

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IB

Union Calendar No. 526

112th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 3985

[Report No. 112–723]

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

February 8, 2012

(for himself and Ms. Chu) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Small Business

December 21, 2012

Additional sponsors: Mr. Chabot, Mr. Graves of Missouri, Mr. Mulvaney, Mr. Walsh of Illinois, Mr. Hanna, Mr. West, Mrs. Ellmers, and Mr. Cicilline

December 21, 2012

Reported with amendments, committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, and ordered to be printed

Omit the part struck through and insert the part printed in italic


A BILL

To amend the Small Business Act with respect to mentor-protege programs, and for other purposes.


1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Building Better Business Partnerships Act of 2012.

2.

Mentor-Protege programs

The Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 631 et seq.) is amended—

(1)

by redesignating section 45 as section 46; and

(2)

by inserting after section 44 the following:

45.

Mentor-Protege programs

(a)

Administration program

(1)

Authority

The Administrator is authorized to establish a mentor-protege program for all small business concerns.

(2)

Model for program

The mentor-protege program established under paragraph (1) shall be identical to the mentor-protege program of the Administration for small business concerns that participate in the program under section 8(a) of this Act (as in effect on the date of enactment of the Building Better Business Partnerships Act of 2012), except that the Administrator may modify the program to the extent necessary given the types of small business concerns included as proteges.

(b)

Programs of other agencies

(1)

Approval required

Except as provided in this subsection, a Federal department or agency may not carry out a mentor-protege program for small business concerns unless—

(A)

the head of the department or agency submits a plan to the Administrator for the program; and

(B)

the Administrator approves such plan.

(2)

Basis for approval

The Administrator shall approve or disapprove a plan submitted under paragraph (1) based on whether the program proposed—

(A)

will assist proteges to compete for Federal prime contracts and subcontracts; and

(B)

complies with the regulations issued under paragraph (3).

(3)

Regulations

Not later than 270 days after the date of enactment of the Building Better Business Partnerships Act of 2012, the Administrator shall issue, subject to notice and comment, regulations with respect to mentor-protege programs, which shall ensure that such programs improve the ability of proteges to compete for Federal prime contracts and subcontracts and which shall address, at a minimum, the following:

(A)

Eligibility criteria for program participants, including any restrictions on the number of mentor-protege relationships permitted for each participant.

(B)

The types of developmental assistance to be provided by mentors, including how the assistance provided shall improve the competitive viability of the proteges.

(C)

Whether any developmental assistance provided by a mentor may affect the status of a program participant as a small business concern due to affiliation.

(D)

The length of mentor-protege relationships.

(E)

The effect of mentor-protege relationships on contracting.

(F)

Benefits that may accrue to a mentor as a result of program participation.

(G)

Reporting requirements during program participation.

(H)

Postparticipation reporting requirements.

(I)

The need for a mentor-protege pair, if accepted to participate as a pair in a mentor-protege program of any Federal department or agency, to be accepted to participate as a pair in all Federal mentor-protege programs.

(J)

Actions to be taken to ensure benefits for proteges., and to protect proteges against actions by the mentor that—

(i)

may adversely affect the proteges status as a small business; or

(ii)

provide disproportionate economic benefits to the mentor relative to those provided the protege.

(4)

Limitation on applicability

Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b)(1), the provisions of subsection (b)(1) shall apply to the following:

(A)

Any mentor-protege program of the Department of Defense in effect on the date of enactment of the Building Better Business Partnerships Act of 2012.

(B)

Any mentoring assistance provided under a Small Business Innovation Research Program or a Small Business Technology Transfer Program.

(C)

Until the date that is 1 year after the date on which the Administrator issues regulations under paragraph (3), any Federal department or agency operating a mentor-protege program in effect on the date of enactment of the Building Better Business Partnerships Act of 2012.

(c)

Reporting

(1)

In general

Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of the Building Better Business Partnerships Act of 2012, and annually thereafter, the Administrator shall submit to the Committee on Small Business of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship of the Senate a report that—

(A)

identifies each Federal mentor-protege program;

(B)

specifies the number of participants in each such program, including the number of participants that are—

(i)

small business concerns;

(ii)

small business concerns owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans;

(iii)

qualified HUBZone small business concerns;

(iv)

small business concerns owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals; or

(v)

small business concerns owned and controlled by women;

(C)

describes the type of assistance provided to proteges under each such program;

(D)

describes the benefits provided to mentors under each such program; and

(E)

describes the progress of proteges under each such program with respect to competing for Federal prime contracts and subcontracts.

(2)

Provision of information

The head of each Federal department or agency carrying out a mentor-protege program shall provide to the Administrator, upon request, the information necessary for the Administrator to submit a report required under paragraph (1).

(d)

Definitions

In this section, the following definitions apply:

(1)

Mentor

The term mentor means a for-profit business concern, of any size, that—

(A)

has the ability to assist and commits to assisting a protege to compete for Federal prime contracts and subcontracts; and

(B)

satisfies any other requirements imposed by the Administrator.

(2)

Mentor-protege program

The term mentor-protege program means a program that pairs a mentor with a protege for the purpose of assisting the protege to compete for Federal prime contracts and subcontracts.

(3)

Protege

The term protege means a small business concern that—

(A)

is eligible to enter into Federal prime contracts and subcontracts; and

(B)

satisfies any other requirements imposed by the Administrator.

(e)

Current Mentor Protege Agreements

Mentors and proteges with approved agreement in a program operating pursuant to subsection (b)(4)(C) shall be permitted to continue their relationship according to the terms specified in their agreement until the expiration date specified in the agreement.

(f)

Submission of Agency Plans

Agencies operating mentor protege programs pursuant to subsection (b)(4)(C) must submit the plans specified in subsection (b)(1)(A) to the Administrator within 6 months of the promulgation of rules required by subsection (b)(3). The Administrator shall provide initial comments on each plan within 60 days of receipt, and final approval or denial of each plan with 180 days of receipt.

.

3.

Government Accountability Office Report

Not later than the date that is 2 years after the agencies operating subject to section 45(b)(4)(C) of the Small Business Act have their plans approved or denied by the Administrator, the Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct a study to—

(1)

update the study required by section 1345 of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 (Pub. Law 111-240);

(2)

examine whether potential affiliation issues between mentors and proteges under the prior programs have been resolved by enactment of this Act; and

(3)

examine whether the regulations issued pursuant to section 45(b)(3)(I) of the Small Business Act have increased opportunities for mentor-protege pairs, and if they have decreased the paperwork required for such pairs participating in programs at multiple agencies.

December 21, 2012

Reported with amendments, committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, and ordered to be printed