WASHINGTON, DC— The U.S. Senate today passed by an amendment to the Small Business Innovation Research reauthorization bill introduced by U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) to help small businesses. The amendment, which passed by a vote of 99-0, will prevent contractors from adding subcontractors to bids without the intention of following through to deliver work to listed sub-contractors.
“Supporting small businesses is vital to creating jobs and continuing our economic recovery,” said Senator Casey. “This amendment will help businesses by protecting them from fraud and providing support for them to grow and create jobs.”
This amendment is in direct response to concerns Senator Casey has heard from small businesses in Pennsylvania, in particular women business enterprises (WBEs) and minority business enterprises (MBEs). Currently, prime contractors frequently list MBEs or WBEs as sub-contractors on their bids in order to strengthen their applications, at times without the knowledge of the MBE or WBE. When a contract is awarded, the MBE or WBE are then unaware of their inclusion in the contract and do not receive the business. This amendment will:
• Require subcontractors identified on a solicitation for a competitive proposal made by an executive agency be notified by the prime contractor before the application is submitted.
• Establish a reporting mechanism that allows a subcontractor to report fraudulent activity by a contractor.