Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association

SMACNA Urges House to Stop Unfair Bid Shopping - H.R. 5544

In a recent letter to the U.S. House of Representatives, SMACNA endorsed H.R. 5544, The Stop Unfair Bid Shopping Act of 2019 (the “SUBS Act"), introduced by Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA-52).  This very important construction industry federal contracting initiative is a good-government, small business contracting reform which is long overdue.

If enacted, the SUBS Act would provide federal construction subcontractors with confidence that when post-award subcontractor changes are made and cost-savings occur,  the benefit accrues to the federal government and not exclusively to the prime contractor.   This is a safeguard that has been sorely missing in the direct-bid federal contracting construction process for far too long. Bid shopping reform has been a priority of the small business federal contracting community for decades and is a critically important federal policy oversight matter.

For specialty contractors and subcontractors who invest considerable resources to develop contract drawings and proposals in order to produce their bids for federal construction projects, the bill adds a major degree of ethics and fairness to the bidding process.  When post-award bid shopping and unwarranted contractor substitutions occur, quality subcontractors who produced their bid in good faith suffer significant financial harm.  When unjustified bid shopping  occurs the federal government often loses a quality subcontractor as well as the expected value in both craftsmanship and material. Currently, the benefit of this manipulation of the bidding process goes only to the unscrupulous general or prime contractors. 

SMACNA members are responsible for effectively delivering first quality commercial office buildings, homes, hospitals and many of the attractive stadiums and industrial facilities across the nation. Again, I strongly encourage you and your colleagues in the House to support and cosponsor H.R. 5544, the "SUBS Act."  Quick passage of this crucial legislation will bring greater fairness, quality and credibility to the federal government construction market bid process. 

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