Bacon’s Third Bill Passes the House
WASHINGTON, D.C.- Today, Congressman Don Bacon’s (NE-02) third bill, H.R. 4754, the bipartisan Change Order Transparency for Federal Contractors Act, passed by voice vote.
Time is money for all businesses, but even more so for small businesses. Requests for equitable adjustments to a contract, more commonly known as change orders, are abundant on federal construction projects. Contractors and subcontractors currently lack visibility into agencies’ change order processes prior to submitting a bid. This lack of transparency makes it difficult for federal contractors to prepare for the inevitable burden of change orders during the life cycle of the construction project. Federal construction contractors are increasingly frustrated by the slow approval and lack of payment for change orders. While change orders wait to be made definite, contractors and subcontractors must pay their own bills—payroll, material costs, and even taxes—while payments from the federal government are delayed.
“Last week, we celebrated entrepreneurs, small business owners, and employees during Small Business Week,” said Rep. Bacon. “I am happy to see the House pass my bill to continue our ongoing commitment and support for our nation’s small businesses. We must ensure the federal government pays its bills on time and is accountable for its actions. H.R. 4754 does this by promoting greater transparency for small businesses. Many small businesses in Nebraska and throughout the country waste time and money waiting for approval of their change order requests while performing construction contracts for the federal government. Our small businesses deserve to have the opportunity to compete on a level playing field and continue growing their businesses.”
“I applaud Congressman Bacon’s work on ensuring that small business contractors fully know what they’re getting into before they bid on a project. Often times, these small business contractors are already cash strapped and significant changes to a construction plan resulting in delayed payments can put them out of business,” said Chairman Chabot. “H.R. 4754 safeguards these contractors and requires agencies to publish their change order process up front, in their solicitations, so they have all of the information they need that can affect their bottom line.”
H.R. 4754 provides prospective federal construction contractors and subcontractors with the information needed to plan their operations prior to submitting a bid on a contract. This legislation would require the contracting agency to provide details on their change order procedures and their historical performance data with solicitations. H.R. 4754 passed with four bipartisan cosponsors: Rep. Steve Knight (R-CA-25), Rep. Al Lawson (D-FL-05), Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL-07), and Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO-06).