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Biden Signs the PRICE Act to Improve Federal Contracting Opportunities for Small Businesses Blog Feature
Stephanie Hagan

By: Stephanie Hagan on March 21st, 2022

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Biden Signs the PRICE Act to Improve Federal Contracting Opportunities for Small Businesses

Government Business Development | Government | 4 Min Read

Small businesses play an integral role in federal procurement, and in 2022, there has been a strong push to focus on small business prioritization. One of the recent initiatives to improve the procurement process for small businesses is the PRICE Act. President Biden recently signed the Promoting Rigorous and Innovative Cost Efficiencies for Federal Procurement and Acquisitions Act (PRICE) Act, which would expand opportunities for small businesses to work with the federal government.

While the PRICE Act was created to increase government contracting opportunities for small businesses specifically, it could have a huge impact on governmentwide procurement, especially within the Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) program. The PRICE Act is still in its early stages, but this is something for prospective and current GSA Schedule contractors to watch. Here’s what we know about the act so far and what it could mean for the government contracting landscape.

What is the PRICE Act?

The Promoting Rigorous and Innovative Cost Efficiencies for Federal Procurement and Acquisitions Act (PRICE) Act sets to strengthen and expand the role of small businesses in federal procurement by encouraging the adoption of innovative procurement processes. Under this bipartisan legislation, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will create and publish an annual report on successful projects that have used innovative procurement techniques.

The PRICE Act has 5 main goals to help make government contracting more accessible for small businesses:

  1. Improving and encouraging competition
  2. Reducing time to award
  3. Achieving cost savings
  4. Achieving better mission outcomes
  5. Meeting goals for contracts awarded to small business concerns

The PRICE Act also direct the DHS to compile and distribute guidance and offer training for acquisition specialists, and to share their best practices with other federal agencies. This guidance will be shared through a governmentwide council made up of leading procurement officials. Led by the federal procurement policy administrator, the council would include the DHS Chief Procurement Officer and members of the following agencies:

  • General Serviced Administration (GSA)
  • Department of Defense (DoD)
  • Department of Treasury
  • Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
  • Department of Health and Human Services (HSS)
  • The Small Business Administration (SBA)

How Does the PRICE Act Aim to Help Small Businesses?

Several small businesses have innovative solutions to offer to the federal government, but often face hurdles along the way that large or Other than Small (OTSB) businesses don’t have to worry about. The federal government wants to work to remove these barriers by modernizing the federal acquisition system and putting more emphasis on small business contracting goals.

As mentioned above, the PRICE Act sets out to create a governmentwide council to share advice and best practices with other agencies. This council will help the DHS complete its mission to expand contracting opportunities for small businesses. Once created, the council will convene quarterly and deliver a report to Congress on innovative acquisition practices and technologies that have worked well in achieving better procurement outcomes. This includes increased efficiency, improved program outcomes, better customer experience, and meeting or exceeding small business goals.

This report will also give steps to identify and adopt transformational commercial business practices, modernized data analytics, and advanced technologies allowing for an improved customer experience. Once published, the report will eventually appear on multiple federal websites to be used as guidance.

What the PRICE Act Means for the Future of Government Procurement

Since the PRICE Act was just recently signed, there is some speculation of what the act will evolve into, but there are not a lot of concrete specifics beyond the 5 overarching goals and the establishment of the governmentwide council.

However, there is talk that in their report to Congress, the council could recommend a greater use of commercial purchasing and expanded use of GSA Schedules. The GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) program is often preferred by government customers because it offers the best value, pre-vetted contractors, and streamlined ordering processes, all from commercial companies. So, the hope would be that more government agencies will be encouraged to purchase off GSA Schedules. As GSA consultants and a small business GSA Schedule contract holder ourselves, we know how useful a GSA contract can be for small businesses looking to expand their market.

Although it’s not clear the exact direction of the PRICE Act, it has received support from several industry groups including, the Small Business Majority, the Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, the HUBZone Contractors National Council, and the Women Veterans Business Coalition.

Do You Have a GSA Schedule Contract?

It’s clear the PRICE Act could have a huge impact on government procurement, especially for small businesses. If you are looking to get involved in government sales but don’t currently have a contract, now is the time to start looking at the GSA Schedules program and other contract vehicles. If you need help acquiring a GSA Schedule or have questions about the GSA Schedules program, one of our experienced consultants can help guide you through the process. If you already have a GSA Schedule and you need help managing it or preparing for future contracting opportunities arising from the PRICE Act or other initiatives, we are here to help.

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About Stephanie Hagan

Stephanie Hagan is the Training and Communications Manager for Winvale. Stephanie grew up in Sarasota, Florida, and earned her Bachelor's of Arts in Journalism and Rhetoric/Communications from the University of Richmond.