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ASA Calls for ’Targeted Congressional Intervention’ to Improve Federal Contracting Proce

ASA wants to change the game for federal subcontractor bidding.

Mon June 10, 2013 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

On May 30, ASA told the Committee on Small Business of the U.S. House of Representatives that construction specialty trade contractors continue to face obstacles to participation on federal construction projects.

“Contractors at all tiers need to be assured that the bidding and contract award process is clear and efficient, or the most qualified contractors will avoid federal projects,” ASA Chief Advocacy Officer E. Colette Nelson told the Committee.

Specifically, ASA called on Congress to:

  • Stop government bid shopping by prohibiting the use of online reverse auctions on federal construction projects.

  • Stop post-award bid shopping at the subcontract level by requiring subcontractor bid listing on federal construction projects.

  • Reduce the cost of competing for federal design-build projects by requiring a two-step process on projects over $750,000. “Once awarded a contract, subcontractors need assurance that they will be paid promptly for work promptly performed,” Nelson added.

  • Protect subcontractor payment by requiring an individual surety to pledge only assets that can be easily liquidated to fund claims and to place such assets in the care and custody of the federal government.

  • Protect subcontractor payment by excluding Miller Act bonds from automatic cost-of-living increases.

  • Protect subcontractor payment by extending Miller Act bonding requirements to construction programs and projects financed through public-private partnerships that include federal resources.

    In her testimony, Nelson pointed out that each of these proposals calls for “targeted Congressional intervention” that the Small Business Committee, other committees of jurisdiction, and ultimately the full Congress should approve expeditiously.

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