Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association

Issue Briefs

H.R. 5544 - Stop Unfair Bid Shopping (SUBS) Act

SMACNA Advocates: Supports reform of the federal government construction market bid process to deter post-award bid shopping and unwarranted subcontractor substitutions.

SMACNA Policy References:  Contract Agreement on Federal Projects

Description: 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.

The full bill text is here.  A bill summary is pending.

Current Status:  Forwarded by the Subcommittee to Full Committee.