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Support H.R. 3184, the Fairness and Transparency in Contracting Act of 2011

Reach out to your representatives and let them know you support H.R. 3184 and oppose the diversion of small business contracts to large corporations

October 18, 2011

Click here to view a copy of H.R. 3184, the Fairness and Transparency in Contracting Act: http://www.asbl.com/documents/hr3184.pdf

Below you will find:
1. How Can You Help?:  Details about getting involved with the process of lobbying for the passage of H.R. 3184
2. Letter template: A letter template that will help you to quickly and efficiently reach out to your congressional representatives.
3. Background: Information on the diversion of federal small business contracts to large corporations. 
4. Breakdown of H.R. 3184, the Fairness and Transparency in Contracting Act of 2011:  What will the bill do? And how will it affect you?


1.  How Can You Help?

As a small business owner, employee or just a concerned citizen, you can support the small business community by reaching out to your congressional representatives and letting them know that you support H.R. 3184, the Fairness and Transparency in Contracting Act of 2011. 

Our lawmakers’ votes are influenced by their party’s positions, the advice of staff and friends, and lobbyists. But the single most important influence is constituent opinion. Members of Congress rely on letters, and phone calls to let them know what their constituents are thinking. As one former Representative once said, “It’s a basic political rule: no Congressperson wants to write back thousands of constituents saying that he doesn’t agree with them.”

It is our goal to flood congress with support for this legislation in the form of letters and phone calls.  Please reach out to your congressional representatives, by looking them up in the congressional contact portal below, and please reach out directly to the following influential congressional offices:

Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez (D – NY) – (202) 225-4038
Chair, House Committee on Small Business

Congressman Sam Graves (R – MO) – (202) 225-7041
Ranking member, House Committee on Small Business

Senator Mary L. Landrieu (D – LA) – (202) 224-5824
Chair, Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship

Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R – ME) – (202) 224-7884
Ranking member, Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship

2.  Letter template:

For your convenience, please use the following letter and congressional contact portals to write to your representative --

Please note: Specific and personal correspondence from constituents makes a difference. It always helps to state your own views in your own words. Form letters, which appear generated by a mail campaign, receive less attention than a personal note.

Congressional Contact Portal:
https://forms.house.gov/wyr/welcome.shtml

Senate Contact Portal:
http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm


Dear _______,

I would like to express my support for H.R. 3184, the Fairness and Transparency in Contracting Act of 2011

Since 2003, more than 15 federal investigations have found that every year billions of dollars in federal small business contracts are diverted to Fortune 1000 corporations and even many of the largest firms in Europe. (http://www.asbl.com/documentlibrary.html)

Report 5-15, from the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Inspector General stated, “One of the most important challenges facing the Small Business Administration and the entire Federal government today is that large businesses are receiving small business procurement awards and agencies are receiving credit for these awards.” (http://www.sba.gov/IG/05-15.pdf)

It is not reasonable for small businesses to have to compete with the likes of Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Microsoft, Xerox, Dell Computer, John Deere, British Aerospace (BAE) and Rolls-Royce for small business contracts.  Additionally, I strongly believe this legislation could have a significant impact on our nation’s economy by providing our nation’s small businesses with billions of dollars in contracting opportunities every year.

I strongly urge you to support H.R. 3184, the Fairness and Transparency in Contracting Act of 2011. 

Thank you,

Name
Date

3.  Background:

Since 2003, more than 15 federal investigations found that every year billions of dollars in federal small business contracts are diverted to Fortune 1000 corporations and even many of the largest firms in Europe. (http://www.asbl.com/documentlibrary.html)

Report 5-15, from the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Inspector General stated, “One of the most important challenges facing the Small Business Administration and the entire Federal government today is that large businesses are receiving small business procurement awards and agencies are receiving credit for these awards.” (http://www.sba.gov/IG/05-15.pdf)

The American Small Business League (ASBL) has estimated that every year more than $100 billion in federal small business contracts are diverted to firms such as Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Microsoft, Xerox, Dell Computer, John Deere, British Aerospace (BAE), Rolls-Royce and Dutch giant Buhrmann N.V.
 
Passage of H.R. 3184 could redirect the flow of more than $100 billion a year in small business contracts back into the hands of middle class firms.  The ASBL has predicted that the total impact of H.R. 3184 could exceed even the American Reinvestment and Recovery act.

Small Businesses are the backbone of our nation’s economy.  As President Barack Obama said in February of 2008, “It is time to end the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants.” (http://www.barackobama.com/2008/02/26/the_american_small_business_le.php)


4.  Breakdown of H.R. 3184, the Fairness and Transparency in Contracting Act of 2011:

The purpose of H.R. 3184 is to modify the definition of a small business as stated in the Small Business Act by including the additional requirement that no publicly traded business concern be qualified as a small business. This means that any publicly traded business concern, subsidiary of a publicly traded business concern, foreign owned business concern, or subsidiary of a foreign owned business concern can no longer be counted as a small business for the purpose of government contracting and subcontracting, including for procurement goals.

The bill also strengthens enforcement - requiring timely action on complaints and at least a five-year debarment for any firm that falsely claims to be a small business.  It also allows any person to file a complaint with the SBA and the affected Federal agency if the person feels a small business contract was improperly awarded and have that complaint acted upon in a timely manner. The bill requires the SBA to submit to Congress an annual report detailing the nature of the complaints and their resolution.
 
Notification and reporting requirements included in the legislation:
· Notification for government agencies and contractors of the changes in this bill
· Requires the SBA to make public which companies are receiving small business contracts
· Requires each Federal agency to report on their website a list of the companies receiving small business contracts from that agency; and
· Requires that the agency responsible for maintaining the database of all Federal contractors provide an adequate warning about the penalties for misrepresenting the status of a business concern or person in order to obtain certain contracts with the Federal government.



 
 

 
 

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