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What's New: Government Affairs

Surety Provisions Included in the House Version of the NDAA

Friday, May 23, 2014  
H.R. 4435, the House version of the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), contains surety provisions supported by SFAA and recently was sent to the House floor for debate and a vote on passage. The NDAA is the annual bill that sets defense policy for the next fiscal year. Congress has consistently passed this bill for nearly 40 years, so, in the last several sessions of Congress, the NDAA has become a target for including provisions on other related issues that Congress wants to move.

The House Small Business Committee has been successful again this year in including some small business contracting issues in the House version of the NDAA. The Committee marked up a provision from H.R. 776 that would increase the SBA’s maximum bond guarantee to the sureties in the Preferred Surety program of its Bond Guarantee Program from 70% to 90%. Also included in the NDAA is a prohibition on the use of reverse auctions for construction projects and requirements for consistent definitions and reporting of contract bundling among the agencies. These come from two other bills that the House Small Business Committee marked up.

As expected, individual surety provisions from H.R. 776, which have been marked up in the Judiciary Committee were cleared by the House Rules Committee as in order for a floor amendment. The individual surety provisions were adopted by a voice vote in a bloc of amendments including the provisions on design-build from the Construction Coalition legislation, and another bill from the House Small Business Committee marked up that increases the federal agency goal for small business participation as prime contractors from 23% to 25% and sets a goal of not less than 40% participation as subcontractors.

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