The Contractor Opportunity Protection (COP) Act, introduced to the House Friday, will battle government contract bundling in order to protect small businesses. Sponsored by Republican lawmakers Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-Mo) and Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), the COP will require government agencies to justify and defend when contracts are bundled and awarded to large companies.
When government contracts are bundled, they contain requirements that were originally spread across several contracts and require the need for multiple unrelated goods or services that have been lumped together to form a single contract. Contract bundling creates a disadvantage for small businesses that may have otherwise been able to carry out the contract, but are unable with the multitude of required services.
The COP will allow the Small Business Administration the ability to formally appeal bundled contracts to the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals, which will then determine whether contracts should be unbundled in order to take bids from small businesses. If the SBA declines to appeal a bundling decision, the COP will allow third parties such as small businesses or small business advocacy groups to bring complaints before the General Accounting Office.
House representative Allen West was quoted in an article by the Washington Post saying, “Thousands of small businesses around the country seek federal contracts every year and often have a difficult time navigating the process.”
The quickest, easiest and cheapest way for small businesses to find out what government contracts they qualify for is by requesting a free Government Contracting Profitability Assessment. This gives businesses a quick snapshot of how much money the federal government spends in certain industries. Businesses can also perform some additional research on FBO.gov and the Federal Procurement Data System in order to check out their competitors and see what services are in…