McEachin applauds passage of bill to grow partnerships between small business, DHS
The House of Representatives passed H.R. 4727, the Department of Homeland Security Mentor-Protégé Program Act of 2019, introduced by Virginia Congressman Donald McEachin, on Monday.
H.R. 4727 seeks to encourage large prime contractors to partner with and enhance the capabilities of small businesses, and thus increase their ability to compete for future Department of Homeland Security (DHS) contracts. The mentor-protégé program has been in existence at DHS since 2003 but has yet to be codified.
“In Congress, I have vowed to fight for small businesses, including woman-, veteran-, and minority-owned firms, and work to enhance America’s security. Today, I am proud to deliver on that promise,” said Congressman McEachin. “My bipartisan legislation is a win for Virginians and all Americans – building the capacity of small businesses and growing a broader, more diverse pool of contractors will create good-paying jobs, foster innovation, and ultimately, ensure a safer America. I urge my Senate colleagues to swiftly pass this legislation to give small businesses a fairer shot at contracts with the Department of Homeland Security.”
The Department of Homeland Security Mentor-Protégé Program Act of 2019 will:
- Motivate large businesses to provide developmental assistance and subcontracting opportunities to small businesses;
- Strengthen subcontracting opportunities and accomplishments for small businesses;
- Foster the establishment of long-term business relationships between large business prime contractors and small business subcontractors; and
- Diversify the contractor base supporting DHS, while improving the performance of DHS contracts and subcontracts.
Under the bill, mentor firms can provide technical, managerial, and financial, as well as subcontracting opportunities to protégé firms. For its part, DHS may provide incentives to mentor firms such as additional credit when being evaluated for the award of future DHS contracts. To ensure that Congress monitors the effectiveness of the program, the bill requires DHS to report annually to Congress on program participation, including the benefits provided to small business participants.