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What's New: Government Affairs

U.S. House Small Business Subcommittee to Hold Hearing on Contracting Issues

Thursday, February 12, 2015  
A subcommittee of the U.S. House Small Business Committee will conduct a hearing tomorrow
on the contracting issues that it expects to consider and move in 2015. The purpose of this
hearing is to educate new committee members on the issues on the Committee’s agenda. The
Committee will consider a number of issues from the Federal Construction Coalition’s
procurement reform legislation. Among the issues that will be the subject of testimony
tomorrow are the individual surety issue and the increase in the SBA’s bond guarantee to sureties
from 70% and 90%.

Representative Bill Hanna introduced H.R. 838 yesterday. The text of the bill is not yet
available, but we have been assured it is the same bill that he introduced for us in the last
Congress. The bill would increase the SBA bond guarantee and require all persons and entities
that pledge collateral to the federal government to play by the same rules. Individual sureties
that pledge their assets on behalf of contractors in lieu of a surety bond would have to post
“eligible obligations,” which are US debt instruments, and surrender them to the federal
contracting officer to hold in the Federal Reserve System for the duration of the construction
project. Currently, the FAR permits individual sureties to pledge assets, such as stocks and real
estate, which fluctuate in value and other types of assets that are difficult to value. Individual
sureties also only have to list the assets pledged, rather than put them in the hands of federal
contracting officers.

The contractors will provide the testimony at tomorrow’s hearing on all the contracting issues,
including the two surety issues. One of the benefits of SFAA’s work with the Federal
Construction Coalition is that the contractors have actively supported for the surety issues in the
Coalition legislation. SFAA will attend tomorrow’s hearing and provide a further report for its
members. Attached is the statement that SFAA and NASBP submitted on the surety issues for
the record.

View Complete PDF version or view more information at Government Relations - General Information (Public)  


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