Kerry Proposal Eases Access to Federal Contracts

Senator's bill would prevent contract bundling and aid small businesses in securing the contracts that typically go to big business.

WASHINGTON, March 18 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Seeking to make iteasier for small businesses to compete for and secure federalcontracts, Sen. John F. Kerry re-introduced the Small BusinessFederal Contractors Safeguard Act, legislation designed to preventfederal agencies from bundling federal contracts, which deniesbillions of dollars to small businesses every year. "As theresult of a system that circumvents the most important and dynamicsegment of our economy, thousands of small businesses are havingdifficulties securing contracts with the federal government,"said Kerry, ranking member of the Committee on Small Business andEntrepreneurship.

Bundling occurs when several contracts are combined and expandedto form a larger contract. These larger contracts are subsequentlyawarded to just one business, resulting in minimal or nosmall-business participation. "Contract bundling hurts smallbusinesses. And it will continue to take place unless we change theattitude at federal agencies and close the loopholes they use toshut small businesses out of the procurement process," saidKerry.

The Small Business Federal Contractors Safeguard Act willstrengthen and improve current laws protecting small businessesfrom unnecessary and unjustified contract bundling. Kerry'slegislation would prevent federal agencies from circumventingstatutory safeguards intended to guarantee small businesses aretreated fairly. The bill would permit separate contracts to beconsolidated for solely economic reasons, not for administrativeexpediency, as is the current practice.

Kerry originally introduced the Small Business FederalContractors Safeguard Act in the last Congress. Today's hearingwill examine the severe problem of contract bundling and proposeways, like Kerry's bill, to correct the problem.

To view Senator Kerry's remarks at the hearing, visit theWeb site at

Copyright 2003, U.S. Newswire

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