In the excerpt below from the Washington Business Journal article “Are Federal Agencies on the Attack Against Small Business Contractors?”, PilieroMazza’s Isaias “Cy” Alba, a partner in the Firm’s Government Contracts Group, explores the challenges facing small business government contractors when working with federal agencies. For the full article, please visit this link.
For years, the United States’ official policy on small businesses, deriving from the Small Business Act, has been to assist and protect them in order to preserve free and open competition. In fulfilling this, the government ensures a certain amount of contracts (23% to be exact) are set aside annually for small businesses. Agencies meet this goal, in part, through the “Rule of Two,” which was created to ensure that this policy was not just mere sophistry, but a true and practical commitment to small businesses. The “Rule of Two” mandates that agencies set aside procurements where it is determined that a reasonable expectation exists that two responsible, small business concerns can submit offers. Alas, agencies across the federal government, joined by the Department of Justice (DOJ), are attacking that commitment and attempting to replace congressional intent with their own.
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The Biden administration is keen on bolstering small business contracting opportunities throughout the federal government. Only time will tell if agencies in the administration will continue to fight against small businesses and act in breach of the “Rule of Two.”