H.R. 6369 raises the dollar amount of certain small business sole-source contract awards in statute for inflation and removes the limitation of option years from the maximum dollar values permitted to be awarded through sole-source contracts. This results in contracting officers being able to award larger sole-source contracts. To mitigate the risk of fraud and abuse, the bill strengthens oversight by instituting an eligibility determination check requiring the Small Business Administration to verify that a sole-source contract intended to be awarded to a women-owned (WOSB) or service-disabled veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) is an eligible WOSB or SDVOSB. The bill also requires the Government Accountability Office to assess whether federal sole-source award data is accurate and identify awards made to ineligible entities.
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jul 13, 2018.
Expanding Contracting Opportunities for Small Businesses Act of 2018
This bill amends the Small Business Act to revise requirements for the award of sole source contracts (contracts awarded without a competitive process) to (1) qualified Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) small businesses, (2) small businesses owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans, (3) economically disadvantaged small businesses owned and controlled by women, and (4) small business concerns owned and controlled by women in substantially underrepresented industries.
The Government Accountability Office must evaluate the policies and practices used by the Small Business Administration and other federal agencies to ensure that contracting officers are properly classifying sole-source contracts under procurement programs for businesses owned by women and disabled veterans in the Federal Procurement Data System.