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SBA Contracting Rules Draw Fire

By Keith Girard
December 12, 2006

In the month since the Small Business Administration published new contracting rules, a growing number of critics are taking the agency to task over a loophole in size standards for small companies.

At issue is a provision that requires companies to recertify their size after five years instead of yearly as recommended by the SBA's Inspector General.

Charles Tiefer, a professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law, examined the law on behalf of the American Small Business League and said it would do little to resolve the problem of large companies receiving contracts earmarked for smaller firms.

At a trade association seminar for government service providers in Arlington, Virginia, Tom Peltier, a mergers-and-acquisitions expert, noted that the new rules do not apply to "task orders" (contracts limited to a specific task within the framework of a larger contract), which can still count toward small business goals regardless of company size.



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