H. Rept. 112-722 - 112th Congress (2011-2012)

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House Report 112-722 - SMALL BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY ACT OF 2012

[House Report 112-722]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]


112th Congress }                                              {  Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session    }                                              { 112-722

======================================================================



 
                 SMALL BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY ACT OF 2012

                                _______
                                

 December 21, 2012.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Graves of Missouri, from the Committee on Small Business, submitted 
                             the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 3980]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Small Business, to whom was referred the 
bill (H.R. 3980) to amend the Small Business Act with respect 
to procurement center representatives and acquisition planning, 
and for other purposes, having considered the same, report 
favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend that the bill 
as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
  I. Amendment........................................................1
 II. Purpose and Bill Summary.........................................4
III. Need for Legislation.............................................5
 IV. Hearings.........................................................7
  V. Committee Consideration..........................................7
 VI. Committee Votes..................................................8
VII. Section-by-Section Analysis of H.R. 3980.........................9
VIII.Unfunded Mandates...............................................14

 IX. New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditure14
  X. Oversight Findings..............................................15
 XI. Statement of Constitutional Authority...........................15
XII. Federal Advisory Committee Act Statement........................15
XIII.Statement of No Earmarks........................................15

XIV. Performance Goals and Objectives................................15
 XV. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported...........15

                              I. Amendment

    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

  (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Small Business 
Opportunity Act of 2012''.
  (b) Table of Contents.--

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

              TITLE I--PROCUREMENT CENTER REPRESENTATIVES

Sec. 101. Procurement center representatives.
Sec. 102. Small Business Act contracting requirements training.

                     TITLE II--ACQUISITION PLANNING

Sec. 201. Acquisition planning.

              TITLE I--PROCUREMENT CENTER REPRESENTATIVES

SEC. 101. PROCUREMENT CENTER REPRESENTATIVES.

  (a) In General.--Section 15(l) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 
644(l)) is amended by striking the subsection enumerator and inserting 
the following:
  ``(l) Procurement Center Representatives.--''.
  (b) Assignment and Role.--Paragraph (1) of section 15(l) of such Act 
(15 U.S.C. 644(l)) is amended to read as follows:
          ``(1) Assignment and role.--The Administrator shall assign to 
        each major procurement center a procurement center 
        representative with such assistance as may be appropriate.''.
  (c) Activities.--Section 15(l)(2) of such Act (15 U.S.C. 644(l)(2)) 
is amended--
          (1) in the matter preceding subparagraph (A) by striking 
        ``(2) In addition to carrying out the responsibilities assigned 
        by the Administration, a breakout'' and inserting the 
        following:
          ``(2) Activities.--A'';
          (2) by striking subparagraph (A) and inserting the following:
                  ``(A) attend any provisioning conference or similar 
                evaluation session during which a determination may be 
                made with respect to the procurement method to be used 
                to satisfy a requirement, review any acquisition plan 
                with respect to a requirement, and make recommendations 
                regarding procurement method determinations and 
                acquisition plans;'';
          (3) in subparagraph (B)--
                  (A) by striking ``(B) review, at any time, 
                restrictions on competition'' and inserting the 
                following:
                  ``(B) review, at any time, barriers to small business 
                participation in Federal contracting'';
                  (B) by striking ``items'' and inserting ``goods and 
                services''; and
                  (C) by striking ``limitations'' and inserting 
                ``barriers'';
          (4) in subparagraph (C) by striking ``(C) review restrictions 
        on competition'' and inserting the following:
                  ``(C) review barriers to small business participation 
                in Federal contracting'';
          (5) by striking subparagraph (D) and inserting the following:
                  ``(D) review any bundled or consolidated solicitation 
                or contract in accordance with this Act;'';
          (6) in subparagraph (E) by striking ``(E) have access to'' 
        and inserting the following:
                  ``(E) have access to''; and
          (7) by striking subparagraphs (F) and (G) and inserting the 
        following:
                  ``(F) receive, from personnel responsible for 
                reviewing unsolicited proposals, copies of unsolicited 
                proposals from small business concerns and any 
                information on outcomes relating to such proposals;
                  ``(G) participate in any session or planning process 
                and review any documents with respect to a decision to 
                convert an activity performed by a small business 
                concern to an activity performed by a Federal employee;
                  ``(H) have electronic access to any acquisition plan 
                developed or in development with respect to a 
                procurement activity;
                  ``(I) be an advocate for the maximum practicable 
                utilization of small business concerns in Federal 
                contracting, including by advocating against the 
                bundling of contract requirements when not justified; 
                and
                  ``(J) carry out any other responsibility assigned by 
                the Administrator.''.
  (d) Appeals.--Section 15(l)(3) of such Act (15 U.S.C. 644(l)(3)) is 
amended by striking ``(3) A breakout procurement center 
representative'' and inserting the following:
          ``(3) Appeals.--A procurement center representative''.
  (e) Notification and Inclusion.--Paragraph (4) of section 15(l) of 
such Act (15 U.S.C. 644(l)) is amended to read as follows:
          ``(4) Notification and inclusion.--A procurement center 
        representative shall be notified of and included in all 
        applicable acquisition planning processes.''.
  (f) Position Requirements.--Section 15(l)(5) of such Act (15 U.S.C. 
644(l)(5)) is amended--
          (1) by striking the paragraph enumerator and inserting the 
        following:
          ``(5) Position requirements.--'';
          (2) by striking subparagraphs (A) and (B) and inserting the 
        following:
                  ``(A) In general.--A procurement center 
                representative assigned under this subsection shall--
                          ``(i) be a full-time employee of the 
                        Administration;
                          ``(ii) be fully qualified, technically 
                        trained, and familiar with the goods and 
                        services procured by the major procurement 
                        center to which that representative is 
                        assigned; and
                          ``(iii) have a Level III Federal Acquisition 
                        Certification in Contracting (or any successor 
                        certification) or the equivalent Department of 
                        Defense certification, except that any person 
                        serving in such a position on the date of 
                        enactment of this clause may continue to serve 
                        in that position for a period of 5 years 
                        without the required certification.''; and
          (3) in subparagraph (C) by striking ``(C) The Administration 
        shall establish personnel positions for breakout procurement 
        representatives and advisers assigned pursuant to'' and 
        inserting the following:
                  ``(B) Compensation.--The Administrator shall 
                establish personnel positions for procurement center 
                representatives assigned under''.
  (g) Major Procurement Center Defined.--Section 15(l)(6) of such Act 
(15 U.S.C. 644(l)(6)) is amended--
          (1) by striking ``(6) For purposes'' and inserting the 
        following:
          ``(6) Major procurement center defined.--For purposes''; and
          (2) by striking ``other than commercial items and which has 
        the potential to incur significant savings as the result of the 
        placement of a breakout procurement center representative'' and 
        inserting ``goods or services, including goods or services that 
        are commercially available''.
  (h) Training.--Section 15(l)(7) of such Act (15 U.S.C. 644(l)(7)) is 
amended--
          (1) by striking the paragraph enumerator and inserting the 
        following:
          ``(7) Training.--'';
          (2) by striking subparagraph (A) and inserting the following:
                  ``(A) Authorization.--At such times as the 
                Administrator deems appropriate, a procurement center 
                representative shall provide training for contracting 
                officers, other appropriate personnel of the 
                procurement center to which such representative is 
                assigned, and small businesses groups seeking to do 
                business with such procurement center. Such training 
                shall acquaint the participants with the provisions of 
                this subsection and shall instruct the participants in 
                methods designed to further the purposes of this 
                subsection.
                  ``(B) Limitation.--A procurement center 
                representative may provide training under subparagraph 
                (A) only to the extent that the training does not 
                interfere with the representative carrying out other 
                activities under this subsection.''; and
          (3) in subparagraph (B)--
                  (A) by striking ``(B) The breakout procurement center 
                representative'' and inserting the following:
          ``(8) Annual briefing and report.--A procurement center 
        representative''; and
                  (B) by striking ``sixty'' and inserting ``60''.

SEC. 102. SMALL BUSINESS ACT CONTRACTING REQUIREMENTS TRAINING.

  (a) Establishment.--Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment 
of this Act, the Defense Acquisition University and the Federal 
Acquisition Institute shall each provide a course on contracting 
requirements under the Small Business Act, including the requirements 
for small business concerns owned and controlled by service-disabled 
veterans, qualified HUBZone small business concerns, small business 
concerns owned and controlled by socially and economically 
disadvantaged individuals, and small business concerns owned and 
controlled by women.
  (b) Course Required.--To have a Federal Acquisition Certification in 
Contracting (or any successor certification) or the equivalent 
Department of Defense certification an individual shall be required to 
complete the course established under subsection (a).
  (c) Requirement That Business Opportunity Specialists Be Certified.--
Section 7(j)(10)(D)(i) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 
636(j)(10)(D)(i)) is amended by inserting after ``to assist such 
Program Participant.'' the following: ``The Business Opportunity 
Specialist shall have a Level I Federal Acquisition Certification in 
Contracting (or any successor certification) or the equivalent 
Department of Defense certification, except that a Business Opportunity 
Specialist serving at the time of the date of enactment of the Small 
Business Opportunity Act of 2012 may continue to serve as a Business 
Opportunity Specialist for a period of 5 years beginning on that date 
of enactment without such a certification.''.
  (d) GAO Report.--Not later than 365 days after the date of enactment 
of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct 
a study and submit a report to the Committee on Small Business of the 
House of Representatives and the Committee on Small Business and 
Entrepreneurship of the Senate on the relationship between the size and 
quality of the acquisition workforce and the Federal government's 
ability to maximize the utilization of small businesses in Federal 
procurement. The report shall specifcally address the following:
          (1) The extent to which training on small business 
        contracting laws affects a contracting officer's determination 
        to use one of the contracting authorities provided in the Small 
        Business Act.
          (2) The relationship between a robust Federal acquisition 
        workforce and small business success in obtaining Federal 
        contracting opportunities.
          (3) The effect on economic growth if small businesses 
        experienced a significant reduction in small business 
        procurement activities.
          (4) The effect of the anticipated acceleration of retirements 
        by the acquisition workforce on small business procurement 
        opportunities.

                     TITLE II--ACQUISITION PLANNING

SEC. 201. ACQUISITION PLANNING.

  Section 15(e)(1) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 644(e)(1)) is 
amended--
          (1) by striking ``the various agencies'' and inserting ``a 
        Federal department or agency''; and
          (2) by striking the period and inserting ``and each such 
        Federal department or agency shall--
                  ``(A) enumerate opportunities for the participation 
                of small business concerns during all acquisition 
                planning processes and in all acquisition plans;
                  ``(B) invite the participation of the appropriate 
                Director of Small and Disadvantaged Business 
                Utilization in all acquisition planning processes and 
                provide that Director access to all acquisition plans 
                in development; and
                  ``(C) invite the participation of the appropriate 
                procurement center representative in all acquisition 
                planning processes and provide that representative 
                access to all acquisition plans in development.''.

                      II. Purpose and Bill Summary

    The purpose of H.R. 3980, the ``Small Business Opportunity 
Act of 2012,'' is to amend the Small Business Act (the Act)\1\ 
to improve the ability of the Small Business Administration's 
(SBA's) Procurement Center Representatives (PCRs) to provide 
input into the acquisition strategy. The PCRs act as small 
business contracting advocates at major federal contracting 
activities, so their earlier involvement in the procurement 
process should lead to greater contracting opportunities for 
small business. The bill also requires improved training on 
small business contracting for federal procurement officials.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Originally, title II of the Act of July 30, 1953, c. 282, 67 
Stat. 232, was designated as the Small Business Act of 1953. A plethora 
of amendments in subsequent Congresses led to a rewrite in 1958. Pub. 
L. No. 85-536, Sec. 1, 72m Stat, 384 (1958). The Act is codified at 15 
U.S.C. Sec. Sec. 631-657q.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                       III. Need for Legislation

    The Small Business Act finds that awarding prime contracts 
to small businesses serves the nation in three ways. First, 
small business contracting is in ``the interest of maintaining 
or mobilizing the Nation's full productive capacity.''\2\ 
Second, small business contracting is ``in the interest of war 
or national defense programs.''\3\ Third, it serves ``the 
interest of assuring that a fair proportion of the total 
purchases and contracts for property and services for the 
government in each industry.''\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\Small Business Act, Sec. 15(a), 15 U.S.C. Sec. 644(a).
    \3\Id.
    \4\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To ensure the best processes and procedures for small 
businesses in contracting, the law must continue to evolve as 
contracting does in practice. H.R. 3980 addresses several 
outdated and outmoded provisions to reflect advances in 
procurement policies, essentially bringing these policies into 
compliance with current procurement practices as well as 
helping to ensure compliance with small business contracting 
laws.
    For example, paragraph (l) of Section 15(l) of the Act 
describes the role of breakout procurement representatives 
(BPCRs). BPCRs are SBA employees who are assigned to major 
procurement centers to act as advocates for small business 
contracting opportunities. Generally, the BPCR is responsible 
for breaking out items from large procurements so that the item 
may be awarded to a small business.
    Over time, the distinction between BCPRs and PCRs has 
diminished, since most procurements do not have single items 
broken out for individual contracts, but instead are more 
integrated. At the same time, contracting opportunities for 
small businesses have expanded. As a result, H.R. 3980 helps to 
update the Act by removing the distinction between BPCRs and 
PCRs, eliminating BPCRs, and revises the job description for 
PCRs to reflect today's procurement practices. Because there 
are fewer than 60 PCRs to review over half a trillion dollars 
in federal contracts, it makes sense to focus on the activities 
on which PCRs may produce the best results for small business 
contractors. For many years, PCRs have attended provisioning 
conferences or guidance meetings to assist them in identifying 
opportunities for small businesses. While these conferences may 
be helpful, they are no longer essential, as detailed 
purchasing procedures are provided by the Federal Acquisition 
Regulation (FAR). Therefore, the bill permits PCRs to attend 
provisioning conferences, but does not require them to do so.
    As the primary federal government advocate for small 
business, the Small Business Administration (SBA) should help 
to ensure that advocates for small businesses are involved in 
the procurement process at critical junctures. According to a 
recent report by the SBA Inspector General, agencies are not 
always diligent about application of small business contracting 
laws.\5\ The report recommended that contracting personnel ``be 
adequately trained on small business procurement'' and ensure 
that personnel ``are reviewing [the government certification] 
database prior to awarding contracts.''\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\Office of Inspector General, SBA, Report on the Most Serious 
Management and Performance Challenges Facing the Small Business 
Administration in Fiscal Year 2013 1 (2012), available at http://
www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/
FY%202013%20Management%20Challenges%20OIG%20Report%2013-02%20.pdf.
    \6\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Currently, the Offices of Small and Disadvantaged Business 
Utilization (OSDBUs) and PCRs, which are advocates for small 
business contractors, are not included in the federal 
procurement process until just before a Request for Proposal or 
Quotation is released--very late in the process. In addition, 
federal acquisition plans do not address how small businesses 
will be utilized. Therefore, the bill allows PCRs to review and 
make recommendations on procurements. Involving OSDBUs and PCRs 
in acquisition plans at the beginning of the procurement 
process should yield additional contracting opportunities for 
small businesses and operating efficiencies should increase. 
The legislation also allows PCRs to review barriers to small 
business contracting, and updates the law to recognize that 
services are as likely to be procured as goods.
    Additionally, the provisions relating to technical data in 
current law do not reflect the current practice in 
procurements. Restrictions on technical data have been 
addressed in numerous laws, standardized within agencies, and 
should similarly be addressed in the Act. For example, today 
PCRs have little or no influence over technical restrictions or 
the evaluation of technical proposals, and no ability to 
evaluate unsolicited proposals generally or unsolicited 
engineering proposals in particular. The Act encourages small 
businesses to provide this information to PCRs, which may give 
the businesses a misunderstanding of PCRs' role or the 
misplaced hope of their influence.
    In aiming to focus PCRs where their procurement activities 
may have the most impact for small businesses, the legislation 
directs PCRs to review acquisition plans at the beginning of--
and throughout--the acquisition process. It also directs PCRs 
to make recommendations regarding procurement methods and 
acquisition plans and review barriers to small business 
contracting. Finally, the PCRs are instructed to review bundled 
or consolidated contracts and advocate against bundling where 
it is unjustified.
    By eliminating BPCRs and aptly defining PCRs, the bill 
helps to address concerns of the SBA Inspector General that 
agencies are not always diligent about the application of small 
business contracting law. Involving PCRs early in the 
contracting process may help to avoid agencies misreporting 
large company contracts as those performed by small ones.
    The Act currently requires BPCRs to be full-time employees 
who are familiar with supplies and services purchased by the 
major procurement center where they are employed, and some need 
to be accredited engineers. The bill drops the engineering 
requirement, and requires PCRs to be certified as contract 
specialists at the highest level offered by the federal 
government. This ensures that PCRs will have the technical 
expertise to serve as an advocate for small businesses when 
negotiating with an agency's contracting personnel.
    Current law defines a major procurement center as one the 
Administrator designates as purchasing a substantial dollar 
value of other than commercial items. Because commercial item 
acquisition offers great opportunities for small business 
contracting, the bill allows the Administrator to consider the 
purchase of commercially available goods and services when 
designating major purchase centers.
    BPCRs must currently brief the head of contracting annually 
and provide training to contracting personnel on the Act's 
requirements. This provision duplicates the training that is 
offered by other sources, such as the Defense Acquisition 
University (DAU) and the Federal Acquisition Institute (FAI) 
and others. The bill retains the briefing requirement but 
stipulates that training is permissible so long as it does not 
interfere with the primary goal of providing procurement 
assistance to small businesses. In addition, the bill requires 
that a course on small business contracting be established by 
DAU and FAI, which are charged with, and funded to, provide 
training for federal contracting personnel. Small business 
training is currently available only to senior contracting 
personnel. It is junior personnel who may better assist small 
firms because these contracting officers are assigned 
responsibility for smaller dollar contracts.
    Section 15(e)(1) of the Act directs agencies to use 
procurement strategies to maximize small business procurement 
opportunities. Opportunities that benefit small businesses, the 
government and taxpayers are well-planned, budgeted and have 
greater lead time. However, in many cases, PCRs are given a 
solicitation very late in the acquisition process, making it 
difficult to ensure opportunities are available for small 
businesses. Therefore, the bill requires agencies to define 
these opportunities at each stage of the acquisition process, 
to maximize opportunity for small businesses and create a more 
efficient and effective procurement.

                              IV. Hearings

    During the 112th Congress, the Subcommittee on Contracting 
and Workforce held two hearings related to matters raised in 
H.R. 3980. The first hearing was entitled ``Insourcing Gone 
Awry: Outsourcing Small Business Jobs'' on June 23, 2011. This 
hearing discussed the Executive Branch's use of insourcing and 
the effects it has on small firms. The second hearing was 
entitled ``Helping Small Businesses Compete: Challenges within 
Programs Designed to Assist Small Contractors'' and held on 
September 15, 2011. This hearing discussed the challenges 
currently facing the SBA's Procurement Center Representatives 
(PCR) and examined a recent report by the GAO regarding ways to 
improve the program.

                       V. Committee Consideration

    The Committee on Small Business met in open session, with a 
quorum being present, on March 7, 2012 and ordered H.R. 3980 
reported, as amended, to the House by a voice vote at 3:40 p.m. 
During the markup, three amendments were offered. All three 
amendments were adopted. Disposition of the amendments is 
addressed below and is based on the order amendments were filed 
with the Clerk of the Committee and not necessarily in the 
order they were considered at the markup.
    Amendment Number One filed by Mr. Schilling (R-IL) allows 
procurement center representatives who are otherwise qualified 
under the Act and serving at the bill's date of enactment to 
continue to serve in that position for a period of five years 
without the required certification. The amendment was adopted 
by voice vote at 3:35 p.m.
    Amendment Number Two filed by Ms. Chu (D-CA) clarifies that 
a PCR may provide training so long as it does not interfere 
with the representative carrying out other activities, 
including the requirements for small business concerns owned 
and controlled by service-disabled veterans, qualified HUBZone 
small business concerns, small business concerns owned and 
controlled by economically-disadvantaged individuals, and small 
business concerns owned and controlled by women. The amendment 
also requires that Business Opportunity Specialists (BOS) at 
the SBA have at least a Level I Federal Acquisition 
Certification in contracting, or the equivalent Department of 
Defense certification, except a BOS serving at the date of 
enactment may continue to serve as a Business Opportunity 
Specialist for a period of five years without that 
certification. The amendment was adopted by voice vote at 3:37 
p.m.
    Amendment Number Three filed by Mr. Richmond (D-LA) 
requires that the Government Accountability Office prepare a 
study for the Committee on the relationship between the size 
and quality of the acquisition workforce and the federal 
government's ability to maximize the utility of small 
businesses in federal procurement. The amendment was adopted by 
voice vote at 3:39 p.m.

                          VI. Committee Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the House of Representatives 
requires the Committee to list the recorded votes on the motion 
to report the legislation and amendments thereto. No recorded 
votes were taken in the consideration of the bill or 
amendments.

                         Amendment to H.R. 3980


                  Offered by Mr. Schilling of Illinois


    Page 6, line 14, insert after ``certification'' the 
following: ``, except that any person serving in such a 
position on the date of enactment of this clause may continue 
to serve in that position for a period of 5 years without the 
required certification''.
                              ----------                              


                         Amendment to H.R. 3980


                    Offered by Ms. Chu of California

    Page 8, line 24, insert ``, including the requirements for 
small business concerns owned and controlled by service-
disabled veterans, qualified HUBZone small business concerns, 
small business concerns owned and controlled by socially and 
economically disadvantaged individuals, small business concerns 
owned and controlled by women,'' before the period at the end.

    Page 9, insert after line 5 the following:

    (c) Requirement That Business Opportunity Specialists Be 
Certified.--Section 7(j)(10)(D)(i) of the Small Business Act 
(15 U.S.C. 636(j)(10)(D)(i)) is amended by inserting after ``to 
assist such Program Participant.'' the following: ``The 
Business Opportunity Specialist shall have a Level I Federal 
Acquisition Certification in Contracting (or any successor 
certification) or the equivalent Department of Defense 
certification, except that a Business Opportunity Specialist 
serving at the time of the date of enactment of the Small 
Business Opportunity Act of 2012 may continue to serve as a 
Business Opportunity Specialist for a period of 5 years 
beginning on that date of enactment without such a 
certification.''.
                              ----------                              


                         Amendment to H.R. 3980


                  Offered by Mr. Richmond of Louisiana


    Page 9, insert after line 5 the following:

    (c) GAO Report.--Not later than 365 days after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United 
States shall conduct a study and submit a report to the 
Committee on Small Business of the House of Representatives and 
the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship of the 
Senate on the relationship between the size and quality of the 
acquisition workforce and the Federal government's ability to 
maximize the utilization of small businesses in Federal 
procurement. The report shall specifcally address the 
following:
            (1) The extent to which training on small business 
        contracting laws affects a contracting officer's 
        determination to use one of the contracting authorities 
        provided in the Small Business Act.
            (2) The relationship between a robust Federal 
        acquisition workforce and small business success in 
        obtaining Federal contracting opportunities.
            (3) The effect on economic growth if small 
        businesses experienced a significant reduction in small 
        business procurement activities.
            (4) The effect of the anticipated acceleration of 
        retirements by the acquisition workforce on small 
        business procurement opportunities.

             VII. Section-by-Section Analysis of H.R. 3980


          SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS OF H.R. 3980 AS AMENDED

Section 1--Short Title; Table of Contents

    This section provides that the bill may be cited as the 
``Small Business Opportunity Act of 2012'' and includes a table 
of contents for the bill.

              Title I--Procurement Center Representatives


Section 101. Procurement Center Representatives

            Subsection (a)--In General
    Section 15(1) of the Small Business Act (the Act), 15 
U.S.C. Sec. 644(1), is titled ``Procurement Center 
Representatives.''
            Subsection (b)--Assignment and Role
    Paragraph (1) of Section 15(l) currently addresses the role 
of BPCRs. BPCRs are employees of the SBA who are assigned to 
major procurement centers in order to advocate for small 
business contracting opportunities. Currently, Paragraph (1) 
requires the Administrator to assign a BPCR to each major 
procurement center, and to provide the BPCR with any required 
assistance. The BPCR is responsible for the activities 
delineated later, but has a primary responsibility of being the 
advocate for breaking out items from larger procurements so 
that the item could be awarded to a small business. The BPCR is 
distinct from the PCR referenced in Section 15(k) of the Act, 
although they have similar goals regarding small business 
contracting.
    Under current law, BPCRs are required to be engineers. SBA 
only has one PCR who is an engineer, meaning that only one BPCR 
is fulfilling the requirement currently in the Act. However, 
much of this is due to the fact that the job has evolved over 
time, and the distinction between PCR and BPCR is no longer 
necessary. Procurements are no longer run so that one widget 
can be broken out of a major weapon system--instead, weapons 
systems are procured using system integrators. The 
opportunities for small businesses have also evolved, and 
expanded. Consequently, the bill inserts a new Paragraph (1) 
that removes the distinction between BPCRs and PCRs.
            Subsection (c)--Activities
    Paragraph (2) of Section 15(l) currently requires the BPCR 
to attend provisioning conferences, review acquisition method 
coding, review restrictions on competition arising out of 
restrictions on the rights of the United States in technical 
data, make technical data available to agency personnel and to 
offerors, access procurement records and data commensurate with 
their security clearance, and receive and conduct cost and 
technical analyses of unsoliticed proposals.
    Given that there are fewer than 60 PCRs responsible for 
reviewing over half a trillion dollars in federal contracts, it 
is important to focus the PCRs on areas where they can deliver 
the greatest return for small businesses. To provide this 
focus, this subsection updates the job description for the PCRs 
to reflect current procurement practices. While attending 
provisioning conferences may assist PCRs as they seek 
opportunities for small businesses, the majority of purchases 
made by the federal government are no longer commodities but 
instead commercial items, goods and services. Contracting 
decisions no longer stem from the conferences, but from a 
detailed and regulated method of acquisition planning governed 
by the FAR. Thus, the bill in new Section 15(l)(2)(A) allows 
PCRs to attend provisioning conferences, but also provides that 
they can review and make recommendations regarding acquisition 
plans and procurement methods. If a procurement is structured 
with small business participation in mind from the initial 
requirement, this should create new opportunities for small 
businesses and increase operating efficiencies in the federal 
agencies. Likewise, rather than reviewing coding methods, the 
bill modifies subparagraph (B) to permit the review of barriers 
to the small business participation in federal contracting, and 
recognizes that services are as likely to be procured as items.
    Similarly, the provisions in current law relating to 
technical data do not reflect current practice. Restrictions on 
technical data have now been addressed through numerous 
statutory reforms and are standardized within agencies. The 
PCRs have little opportunity to influence these restrictions. 
Technical data packages are now routinely provided to offerors 
through a government-wide portal, www.fbo.gov. PCRs also lack 
the ability to evaluate unsolicited proposals or unsolicited 
engineering proposals. Therefore, encouraging small businesses 
to provide these documents to PCRs gives the small firm false 
hope and the PCR's work is unlikely to yield results for small 
businesses. Instead, small businesses should be encouraged to 
submit unsolicited proposals following the process in the FAR.
    Therefore, the legislation directs the PCRs to focus their 
efforts on creating the maximum practicable opportunity for 
small business utilization. As delineated in the new 
subparagraphs (C) through (I), this includes reviewing 
acquisition plans at the forefront and throughout the planning 
process; making recommendations regarding procurement method 
determinations and acquisition plans; reviewing barriers to 
small business concerns participating in federal contracting; 
reviewing any bundled or consolidated solicitation or contract; 
and being an advocate against the bundling of contract 
requirements when not justified. It directs them to work with 
agencies on pursuing unsolicited proposals they received from 
small business concerns; participating in any planning session 
or process; and reviewing any documents with respect to a 
decision to bring an activity in-house to be performed by 
federal employees that is currently being performed by a small 
business concern. It provides PCRs with access to any 
acquisition plan developed or in development, and allows them 
to take on other responsibilities as assigned to promote the 
maximum practicable utilization of small businesses.
            Subsection (d)--Appeals
    Under current law, BPCRs have the ability to appeal the 
decision to not set aside a requirement for small businesses. 
The bill preserves the authority for appeals, but assigns it to 
PCRs since there will no longer be BPCRs.
            Subsection (e)--Notification and Inclusion
    Section 15(l)(4) currently requires that the Administrator 
assign and collocate at least two small business technical 
advisors with the BPCR in order to assist the BPCR. The 
Committee is unaware of any such individuals ever existing, and 
given the fiscal realities it is unlikely that these employees 
will ever appear. Therefore, paragraph (4) is replaced with a 
requirement that the PCR be notified of and included in all 
applicable acquisition planning processes. This early 
involvement will help to reduce the need for the PCRs to 
exercise their appeal authority.
            Subsection (f)--Position Requirements
    The Act currently requires that BPCRs be full time 
employees familiar with the supplies and services purchased by 
the major procurement center where they work, and that some 
BPCRs be accredited engineers. While the bill retains the first 
requirement, it replaces the engineering requirement with a 
requirement that the PCR be certified at the highest level of 
certification for contract specialists offered by the 
government. This will ensure that the PCR has the technical 
contracting expertise to negotiate with agency contracting 
personnel on behalf of small businesses. If SBA's PCRs do not 
currently meet this requirement, the Committee expects that SBA 
would avail itself of the free training available through the 
FAI and DAU to bring those PCRs into compliance. Maintaining 
this certification also will require SBA to ensure the PCRs 
receive ongoing continuing education. Again, the Committee 
expects that SBA would use the free resources currently 
available to meet these requirements. The compensation 
requirements in subparagraph (C) are retained, but amended to 
replace BPCR with PCR. Additionally, this subsection allows 
PCRs who are otherwise qualified under the Act and serving at 
the bill's date of enactment to continue to serve in that 
position for a period of five years without the required 
certification.
            Subsection (g)--Major Procurement Center Defined
    Paragraph (6) of section 15(l) currently defines a major 
procurement center as one the Administrator deems purchases a 
substantial dollar value of other than commercial items. 
However, commercial item acquisitions offer great opportunities 
for small business participation, especially since many 
services are considered commercial items. Hence, something like 
computer programming could be deemed a commercial item. 
Therefore, the bill changes the definition to allow the 
Administrator to consider purchases of commercially available 
goods and services when defining major procurement centers.
            Subsection (h)--Training
    Paragraph (7) of Section 15(l) currently directs the BPCRs 
to annually brief the head of contracting activity, and to 
provide training to these contracting personnel on the 
requirements of the Act. While such training is laudable, it is 
duplicative of the education provided by FAI and DAU--training 
contracting personnel can access for free. Likewise, the 
training conducted by the PCRs for small business groups 
duplicates of the training currently provided by the 
Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, Offices of Small and 
Disadvantaged Business Utilization, and Small Business 
Development Centers--all of which are available at no cost to 
the small businesses.
    This legislation retains the briefing requirement but 
modifies the training authorization. Since only PCRs have the 
ability to protest a procurement and the number of PCRs is 
limited, the legislation wishes to prioritize providing 
procurement assistance to small businesses over functions that 
other entities are funded and authorized to provide. Thus, the 
bill clarifies that training only should occur to the extent 
that it does not interfere with the PCRs carrying out their 
other statutory responsibilities.
    Finally, subsection (h) makes a number of technical 
corrections. They are: inserting a title of ``Training'' for 
the Paragraph (7) enumerator; replacing the term BPCR with PCR; 
and making additional technical corrections.

Section 102. Small Business Act Contracting Requirements Training

            Subsection (a)--Establishment
    Subsection (a) adds the requirement that DAU and FAI, each 
of which is funded to provide training for federal contracting 
personnel, develop a course on the contracting requirements of 
the Act.
            Subsection (b)--Course Required
    Subsection (b) requires that the course established in the 
prior subsection become a prerequisite to certification as a 
contracting officer. Currently, the small business training is 
an elective available to only the most senior contracting 
personnel. Given that more junior personnel have limited 
authorities that cap the size of the contracts they can award, 
they are most often in a position to create opportunities for 
small businesses. Making this course mandatory should relieve 
the burden on PCRs, allowing them to focus on procurement 
assistance, and educate contracting officers on how to ensure 
small businesses can compete.
            Subsection (c)--Requirement that Business Opportunity 
                    Specialists Be Certified
    BOSs are employees of the SBA who assist small businesses 
participating in the certain government contracting programs 
established in the Act. Given this, it makes abundant sense 
that Subsection (c) requires that Business Opportunity 
Specialists have at least a Level I Federal Acquisition 
Certification in contracting, or the equivalent Department of 
Defense certification. A BOS serving at the date of enactment 
may continue to serve as a Business Opportunity Specialist for 
a period of five years without that certification.
            Subsection (d)--GAO Report
    Subsection (d) requires that the Comptroller General 
prepare a study for the Committee on the relationship between 
the size and quality of the acquisition workforce and the 
federal government's ability to maximize the utility of small 
businesses in federal procurement. As the acquisition workforce 
is responsible for implementing the contracting programs of the 
Act, the Committee has a strong interest in the health of the 
acquisition workforce and is concerned with reports that the 
Executive Branch is not prepared to adapt to members of this 
corps retiring in the next five years.

                     Title II--Acquisition Planning


Section 201. Acquisition Planning

    Section 15(e)(1) of the Act addresses procurement 
strategies. It directs agencies to use procurement strategies 
that facilitate the maximum practicable utilization of small 
business concerns as prime and subcontractors. Successful 
procurements that protect the taxpayer's interests have long 
lead times and require the development of comprehensive 
acquisition plans\7\ that address issues such as the statement 
of need and background, potential sources, competition plan, 
budgeting, timeline, and source selection plan.\8\ All of these 
have a direct bearing on a small business's opportunity to 
compete--for example, the manner in which the requirement is 
defined has a significant bearing on whether it is too large 
for a small business to compete. Agencies that successfully 
meet and exceed their small business goals incorporate small 
business considerations into this process.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \7\See, e.g., GAO, Acquisition Planning: Opportunities to Build 
Strong Foundations for Better Services Contracts (2011) (GAO-11-672).
    \8\48 CFR pt. 7 (2012).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Unfortunately, not all agencies operate in this manner. In 
these cases, the PCR does not see the solicitation until it is 
ready to be released, and is presented with a work product that 
may have taken months or years to produce. The PCR must then 
unwind the process to try to insert opportunities for small 
business. This leads to a confrontational approach to small 
business contracting, and adds time to the already lengthy 
procurement process.
    Therefore, the bill amends Section 15(e)(1) to add 
requirements that each agency enumerate opportunities for small 
business concerns at each stage of the acquisition planning 
process, include the PCR and the Office of Small and 
Disadvantaged Business Utilization in the acquisition planning 
process, and provide these small business advocates with access 
to the relevant documents. These changes should lead to a more 
collaborative approach to small business contracting rather 
than a confrontational approach, produce better acquisition 
plans, save agency time and taxpayer money, and create 
additional opportunities for small businesses.

                        VIII. Unfunded Mandates

    H.R. 3980 contains no intergovernmental of private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act, Pub. 
L. No. 104-1, and would impose no costs on state, local or 
tribal governments.

  IX. New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority and Tax Expenditures

    The Committee does not provide an opinion or estimate with 
respect to new budget authority, entitlement authority and tax 
expenditures, as required by clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the 
House, as the Director of the Congressional Budget Office has 
not provided a cost estimate pursuant to Sec. 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974.

                         X. Oversight Findings

    In accordance with clause 2(b)(1) of rule X of the House, 
the oversight findings and recommendations of the Committee on 
Small Business with respect to the subject matter contained in 
H.R. 3980 are incorporated into the descriptive portions of 
this report.

               XI. Statement of Constitutional Authority

    Pursuant to clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee finds that authority 
for this legislation in Art. I, Sec. 8, cls. 1, 3, and 18, and 
Art. IV, Sec. 3, cl. 2 of the Constitution of the United 
States.

             XII. Federal Advisory Committee Act Statement

    H.R. 3980 does not establish or authorize the establishment 
of any new advisory committees as that term is defined in the 
Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. App. 2.

                     XIII. Statement of No Earmarks

    Pursuant to cl. 9 of rule XXI of the House, H.R. 3980 does 
not contain any congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits or 
limited tariff benefits as defined in subsections (d), (e) or 
(f) of cl. 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the House.

                 XIV. Performance Goals and Objectives

    Pursuant to cl. 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House, the Committee establishes the following performance-
related goals and objectives for this legislation:
    H.R. 3980 includes a number of provisions designed to 
improve the competitive viability of small businesses as 
federal and prime contractors by allowing input from 
Procurement Center Representatives at the beginning of 
acquisition, improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the 
federal contracting process, and agency compliance with the 
Small Business Act through enhancement training on small 
business contracting.

       XVI. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

                           SMALL BUSINESS ACT




           *       *       *       *       *       *       *
  Sec. 7. (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (j)(1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (10) There is established with the Administration a small 
business and capital ownership development program (hereinafter 
referred to as the ``Program'') which shall provide assistance 
exclusively for small business concerns eligible to receive 
contracts pursuant to section 8(a) of this Act. The program, 
and all other services and activities authorized under section 
7(j) and 8(a) of this Act, shall be managed by the Associate 
Administrator for Minority Small Business and Capital Ownership 
Development under the supervision of, and responsible to, the 
Administrator.
          (A) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (D)(i) Promptly after certification under paragraph 
        (11) a Program Participant shall submit a business plan 
        (hereinafter referred to as the plan'') as described in 
        clause (ii) of this subparagraph for review by the 
        Business Opportunity Specialist assigned to assist such 
        Program Participant. The Business Opportunity 
        Specialist shall have a Level I Federal Acquisition 
        Certification in Contracting (or any successor 
        certification) or the equivalent Department of Defense 
        certification, except that a Business Opportunity 
        Specialist serving at the time of the date of enactment 
        of the Small Business Opportunity Act of 2012 may 
        continue to serve as a Business Opportunity Specialist 
        for a period of 5 years beginning on that date of 
        enactment without such a certification. The plan may be 
        a revision of a preliminary business plan submitted by 
        the Program Participant or required by the 
        Administration as a part of the application for 
        certification under this section and shall be designed 
        to result in the Program Participant eliminating the 
        conditions or circumstances upon which the 
        Administration determined eligibility pursuant to 
        section 8(a)(6). Such plan, and subsequent 
        modifications submitted under clause (iii) of this 
        subparagraph, shall be approved by the business 
        opportunity specialist prior to the Program Participant 
        being eligible for award of a contract pursuant to 
        section 8(a).

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  Sec. 15. (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (e) Procurement Strategies; Contract Bundling.--
          (1) In general.--To the maximum extent practicable, 
        procurement strategies used by [the various agencies] a 
        Federal department or agency having contracting 
        authority shall facilitate the maximum participation of 
        small business concerns as prime contractors, 
        subcontractors, and suppliers[.] and each such Federal 
        department or agency shall--
                  (A) enumerate opportunities for the 
                participation of small business concerns during 
                all acquisition planning processes and in all 
                acquisition plans;
                  (B) invite the participation of the 
                appropriate Director of Small and Disadvantaged 
                Business Utilization in all acquisition 
                planning processes and provide that Director 
                access to all acquisition plans in development; 
                and
                  (C) invite the participation of the 
                appropriate procurement center representative 
                in all acquisition planning processes and 
                provide that representative access to all 
                acquisition plans in development.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  [(l)(1) The Administration shall assign to each major 
procurement center a breakout procurement center representative 
with such assistance as may be appropriate. The breakout 
procurement center representative shall carry out the 
activities described in paragraph (2), and shall be an advocate 
for the breakout of items for procurement through full and open 
competition, whenever appropriate, while maintaining the 
integrity of the system in which such items are used, and an 
advocate for the use of full and open competition, whenever 
appropriate, for the procurement of supplies and services by 
such center. Any breakout procurement center representative 
assigned under this subsection shall be in addition to the 
representative referred to in subsection (k)(6).]
  (l) Procurement Center Representatives.--
          (1) Assignment and role.--The Administrator shall 
        assign to each major procurement center a procurement 
        center representative with such assistance as may be 
        appropriate.
  [(2) In addition to carrying out the responsibilities 
assigned by the Administration, a breakout]
          (2) Activities.--A procurement center representative 
        is authorized to--
          [(A) attend any provisioning conference or similar 
        evaluation session during which determinations are made 
        as to whether requirements are to be procured through 
        other than full and open competition and make 
        recommendations with respect to such requirements to 
        the members of such conference or session;]
                  (A) attend any provisioning conference or 
                similar evaluation session during which a 
                determination may be made with respect to the 
                procurement method to be used to satisfy a 
                requirement, review any acquisition plan with 
                respect to a requirement, and make 
                recommendations regarding procurement method 
                determinations and acquisition plans;
          [(B) review, at any time, restrictions on 
        competition]
                  (B) review, at any time, barriers to small 
                business participation in Federal contracting 
                previously imposed on [items] goods and 
                services through acquisition method coding or 
                similar procedures, and recommend to personnel 
                of the appropriate activity the prompt 
                reevaluation of such [limitations] barriers;
          [(C) review restrictions on competition]
                  (C) review barriers to small business 
                participation in Federal contracting arising 
                out of restrictions on the rights of the United 
                States in technical data, and, when 
                appropriate, recommend that personnel of the 
                appropriate activity initiate a review of the 
                validity of such an asserted restriction;
          [(D) obtain from any governmental source, and make 
        available to personnel of the appropriate activity, 
        technical data necessary for the preparation of a 
        competitive solicitation package for any item of supply 
        or service previously procured noncompetitively due to 
        the unavailability of such technical data;]
                  (D) review any bundled or consolidated 
                solicitation or contract in accordance with 
                this Act;
          [(E) have access to]
                  (E) have access to procurement records and 
                other data of the procurement center 
                commensurate with the level of such 
                representative's approved security clearance 
                classification;
          [(F) receive unsolicited engineering proposals and, 
        when appropriate (i) conduct a value analysis of such 
        proposal to determine whether such proposal, if 
        adopted, will result in lower costs to the United 
        States without substantially impeding legitimate 
        acquisition objectives and forward to personnel of the 
        appropriate activity recommendations with respect to 
        such proposal, or (ii) forward such proposals without 
        analysis to personnel of the activity responsible for 
        reviewing such proposals and who shall furnish the 
        breakout procurement center representative with 
        information regarding the disposition of any such 
        proposal; and
          [(G) review the systems that account for the 
        acquisition and management of technical data within the 
        procurement center to assure that such systems provide 
        the maximum availability and access to data needed for 
        the preparation of offers to sell to the United States 
        those supplies to which such data pertain which 
        potential offerors are entitled to receive.]
                  (F) receive, from personnel responsible for 
                reviewing unsolicited proposals, copies of 
                unsolicited proposals from small business 
                concerns and any information on outcomes 
                relating to such proposals;
                  (G) participate in any session or planning 
                process and review any documents with respect 
                to a decision to convert an activity performed 
                by a small business concern to an activity 
                performed by a Federal employee;
                  (H) have electronic access to any acquisition 
                plan developed or in development with respect 
                to a procurement activity;
                  (I) be an advocate for the maximum 
                practicable utilization of small business 
                concerns in Federal contracting, including by 
                advocating against the bundling of contract 
                requirements when not justified; and
                  (J) carry out any other responsibility 
                assigned by the Administrator.
  [(3) A breakout procurement center representative]
          (3) Appeals.--A procurement center representative is 
        authorized to appeal the failure to act favorably on 
        any recommendation made pursuant to paragraph (2). Such 
        appeal shall be filed and processed in the same manner 
        and subject to the same conditions and limitations as 
        an appeal filed by the Administrator pursuant to 
        subsection (a).
  [(4) The Administration shall assign and co-locate at least 
two small business technical advisers to each major procurement 
center in addition to such other advisers as may be authorized 
from time to time. The sole duties of such advisers shall be to 
assist the breakout procurement center representative for the 
center to which such advisers are assigned in carrying out the 
functions described in paragraph (2) and the representatives 
referred to in subsection (k)(6).]
          (4) Notification and inclusion.--A procurement center 
        representative shall be notified of and included in all 
        applicable acquisition planning processes.
  [(5)(A) The breakout procurement center representatives and 
technical advisers assigned pursuant to this subsection shall 
be--
          [(i) full-time employees of the Administration; and
          [(ii) fully qualified, technically trained, and 
        familiar with the supplies and services procured by the 
        major procurement center to which they are assigned.
  [(B) In addition to the requirements of subparagraph (A), 
each breakout procurement center representative, and at least 
one technical adviser assigned to such representative, shall be 
an accredited engineer.]
          (5) Position requirements.--
                  (A) In general.--A procurement center 
                representative assigned under this subsection 
                shall--
                          (i) be a full-time employee of the 
                        Administration;
                          (ii) be fully qualified, technically 
                        trained, and familiar with the goods 
                        and services procured by the major 
                        procurement center to which that 
                        representative is assigned; and
                          (iii) have a Level III Federal 
                        Acquisition Certification in 
                        Contracting (or any successor 
                        certification) or the equivalent 
                        Department of Defense certification, 
                        except that any person serving in such 
                        a position on the date of enactment of 
                        this clause may continue to serve in 
                        that position for a period of 5 years 
                        without the required certification.
  [(C) The Administration shall establish personnel positions 
for breakout procurement representatives and advisers assigned 
pursuant to]
                  (B) Compensation.--The Administrator shall 
                establish personnel positions for procurement 
                center representatives assigned under this 
                subsection, which are classified at a grade 
                level of the General Schedule sufficient to 
                attract and retain highly qualified personnel.
  [(6) For purposes]
          (6) Major procurement center defined.--For purposes 
        of this subsection, the term ``major procurement 
        center'' means a procurement center that, in the 
        opinion of the Administrator, purchases substantial 
        dollar amounts of [other than commercial items and 
        which has the potential to incur significant savings as 
        the result of the placement of a breakout procurement 
        center representative] goods or services, including 
        goods or services that are commercially available.
  [(7)(A) At such times as the Administrator deems appropriate. 
the breakout procurement center representative shall conduct 
familiarization sessions for contracting officers and other 
appropriate personnel of the procurement center to which such 
representative is assigned. Such sessions shall acquaint the 
participants with the provisions of this subsection and shall 
instruct them in methods designed to further the purposes of 
such subsection.]
          (7) Training.--
                  (A) Authorization.--At such times as the 
                Administrator deems appropriate, a procurement 
                center representative shall provide training 
                for contracting officers, other appropriate 
                personnel of the procurement center to which 
                such representative is assigned, and small 
                businesses groups seeking to do business with 
                such procurement center. Such training shall 
                acquaint the participants with the provisions 
                of this subsection and shall instruct the 
                participants in methods designed to further the 
                purposes of this subsection.
                  (B) Limitation.--A procurement center 
                representative may provide training under 
                subparagraph (A) only to the extent that the 
                training does not interfere with the 
                representative carrying out other activities 
                under this subsection.
  [(B) The breakout procurement center representative]
          (8) Annual briefing and report.--A procurement center 
        representative shall prepare and personally deliver an 
        annual briefing and report to the head of the 
        procurement center to which such representative is 
        assigned. Such briefing and report shall detail the 
        past and planned activities of the representative and 
        shall contain such recommendations for improvement in 
        the operation of the center as may be appropriate. The 
        head of such center shall personally receive such 
        briefing and report and shall, within [sixty] 60 
        calendar days after receipt, respond, in writing, to 
        each recommendation made by such representative.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *