Text: S.3101 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (03/10/2010)


111th CONGRESS
2d Session
S. 3101


To reduce barriers to entry in Federal contracting, and for other purposes.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

March 10, 2010

Mr. Tester introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs


A BILL

To reduce barriers to entry in Federal contracting, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Level Playing Field Contracting Act of 2010”.

SEC. 2. Definitions.

In this Act:

(1) The term “executive agency” has the meaning given the term in section 4 of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act (41 U.S.C. 403).

(2) The term “small business concern” has the meaning given the term in section 3 of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 632).

SEC. 3. Reduced bundling of Federal contracts.

(a) Definitions.—In this section:

(1) COVERED CONSOLIDATED CIVILIAN CONTRACT.—The term “covered consolidated civilian contract”—

(A) means—

(i) a multiple award contract valued in excess of $2,000,000; or

(ii) a contract of an executive agency for property or services valued in excess of $2,000,000 that—

(I) combines discrete procurement requirements from 2 or more existing contracts;

(II) adds new, discrete procurement requirements to an existing contract; or

(III) includes 2 or more discrete procurement or acquisition requirements; and

(B) does not include any consolidated acquisition, procurement, or contracting plan of the Department of Defense.

(2) COVERED CONSOLIDATED DEFENSE CONTRACT.—The term “covered consolidated Defense contract” means—

(A) a multiple award contract of the Department of Defense valued in excess of $7,500,000; or

(B) a contract of the Department of Defense for property or services valued in excess of $7,500,000 that—

(i) combines discrete procurement requirements from 2 or more existing contracts;

(ii) adds new, discrete procurement requirements to an existing contract; or

(iii) includes 2 or more discrete procurement or acquisition requirements.

(b) Restriction on civilian contract bundling.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council shall amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation to require that the head of an executive agency may not enter into a covered consolidated civilian contract unless the senior procurement official for the agency determines that the consolidation of such contract is necessary and justified.

(2) NECESSARY AND JUSTIFIED DETERMINATIONS.—

(A) REQUIRED CRITERIA.—In making a determination that a contract is necessary and justified pursuant to paragraph (1), the head of an executive agency shall—

(i) identify the benefits anticipated from the consolidation;

(ii) identify any alternative contracting approaches that would involve a lesser degree of contract consolidation; and

(iii) justify how the consolidation substantially exceeds the benefits of any alternative contracting approaches.

(B) RESTRICTIONS ON BASIS OF DETERMINATION.—The head of an executive agency may not base a determination that a contract is necessary and justified solely on savings in agency administrative or personnel costs or lack of a sufficient procurement workforce.

(c) Restriction on Defense contract bundling.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense shall modify the Department of Defense Supplement to the Federal Acquisition Regulation to require that the head of an agency may not enter into a covered consolidated Defense contract unless the senior procurement official for the agency determines that the consolidation of such contract is necessary and justified or that such consolidation is appropriate in the face of exigent circumstances and national security.

(2) NECESSARY AND JUSTIFIED DETERMINATIONS.—

(A) REQUIRED CRITERIA.—In making a determination that a contract is necessary and justified pursuant to paragraph (1), the head of an agency shall—

(i) identify the benefits anticipated from the consolidation;

(ii) identify any alternative contracting approaches that would involve a lesser degree of contract consolidation; and

(iii) justify how the consolidation substantially exceeds the benefits of any alternative contracting approaches.

(B) RESTRICTIONS ON BASIS OF DETERMINATION.—The head of an agency may not base a determination that a contract is necessary and justified solely on savings in agency administrative or personnel costs or lack of a sufficient procurement workforce.

SEC. 4. Quantitative methodology for evaluation of contract bids.

Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council shall amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation to require the head of an executive agency—

(1) to use a numeric grading or other quantitative methodology to evaluate bid proposals for each contract of such agency that is awarded through full and open competitive procedures; and

(2) to disclose the methodology in the bid solicitation documents for the contract.

SEC. 5. Enforcement of local workforce requirements.

(a) GSA report.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter, the Administrator of General Services shall submit to Congress a report describing efforts to enforce the local workforce subcontracting requirements included in contracts entered into by the General Services Administration. The report shall include an assessment of the effectiveness of enforcement efforts related to such requirements and proposals to better enforce the requirements.

(2) EFFORTS TO REMEDY NONCOMPLIANCE WITH REQUIREMENTS.—If local workforce subcontracting requirements have not been met in any contract entered into by the General Services Administration, the report required under this subsection shall include a description of efforts made by the General Services Administration to meet the requirements in such contract.

(b) GAO report.—Not later than 180 days after submission of the first report required under subsection (a), the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit to Congress a report commenting on the findings described in such report and including recommendations for further actions to ensure compliance with local workforce subcontracting requirements.

SEC. 6. Acquisition workforce improvements.

(a) Evaluation and report.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the head of each executive agency shall submit to Congress a report evaluating the strength and sufficiency of its acquisition workforce.

(b) Content.—The report required under subsection (a) shall include—

(1) a 30-year history of the size of the acquisition agency's workforce; and

(2) a description of measures the agency is implementing to address any shortage of acquisition workforce personnel.

(c) Public comment.—In preparing the report required under subsection (a), the head of each executive agency shall solicit feedback regarding the agency's acquisition workforce, including through a public comment process.

SEC. 7. Use of procurement assistance resources.

Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council shall amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation to require executive agencies to take actions to encourage prospective contractors to utilize contracting assistance resources that are offered in their communities. The Federal Acquisition Regulation, as so amended, shall include a requirement that the bid solicitation documents for a contract include language encouraging the use of such resources.

SEC. 8. Improving outreach to small business concerns.

Section 15 of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 644) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(q) Small business outreach program.—

“(1) PROGRAM ESTABLISHED.—The Administrator and the Administrator of General Services shall jointly establish an outreach program—

“(A) to communicate with small business concerns regarding specific contracting opportunities with the Federal Government; and

“(B) to inform small business concerns about opportunities to learn about the process of contracting with the Federal Government.

“(2) ANNUAL REPORT TO CONGRESS.—Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this subsection, and annually thereafter, the Administrator and the Administrator of General Services shall jointly submit to Congress a report on the program under this subsection that includes the number of small business concerns that entered into a contract with the Federal Government for the first time during the applicable year as a result of the program.”.

SEC. 9. GAO report on Federal contracts for small business concerns.

(a) Study.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct a study of changes in the definition of the term “small business concern” and the size standards established under section 3(a)(2) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 632(a)(2)) during the 10-year period ending on the date of the enactment of this Act.

(2) CONTENTS.—The study conducted under paragraph (1) shall, for each change in the definition of the term “small business concern” or the size standards established under section 3(a)(2) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 632(a)(2))—

(A) analyze the size and number of small business concerns that—

(i) did not qualify as a small business concern before the change; and

(ii) entered into a contract with the Federal Government for the first time after the effective date of the change; and

(B) assess whether the ability of small business concerns that qualified as a small business concern before the change to compete for contracts with the Federal Government was inhibited by the change.

(b) Report.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit to Congress a report detailing the results of the study conducted under subsection (a).

SEC. 10. GAO report on potential barriers to entry in Federal contracting.

(a) Covered agency.—In this section, the term “covered agency” means—

(1) the General Services Administration;

(2) the Army Corps of Engineers; and

(3) the Department of Homeland Security.

(b) Study.—The Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct a study examining the degree to which covered agencies have entered into contracts since January 1, 2004, with contractors that have previous experience performing Federal contracts.

(c) Report.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General shall submit to Congress a report on the study conducted under subsection (b).

(2) CONTENT.—The report required under paragraph (1) shall include the following:

(A) A description of the frequency with which covered agencies enter into contracts with contractors that have previous experience performing Federal contracts.

(B) An assessment, by year, from 2004 through 2009, of whether the number of repeat contractors has increased or decreased in proportion to the number of contractors awarded Federal contracts.

(3) CONTRACTS COVERED.—The report required under paragraph (1) shall include information on the awarding of contracts using full and open competition procedures and the awarding of sole source contracts.

SEC. 11. GAO report on awarding of Federal contracts.

(a) Study.—The Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct a study on the size and experience of contractors awarded contracts by the General Services Administration, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Department of Homeland Security.

(b) Report.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General shall submit to Congress a report on the study conducted under subsection (a).

(2) CONTENT.—The report required under paragraph (1) shall include, with respect to contracts entered into by the General Services Administration, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Department of Homeland Security on or after January 1, 2000, the following information:

(A) The number of contractors with fewer than 50 employees.

(B) The number of contractors with fewer than 10 employees.