Busting Up "Bundles"

By Dec. 27, the Small Business Administration should finish up new rules to limit "contract bundling," the growing practice of combining many small federal contracts into one large order.

For years, small companies have complained that such "bundles" squash competition and unfairly limit the access of small businesses to the $180 billion federal contracts market. The new rules spell out conditions when bundling is inappropriate (agencies must show at least a 10% savings), and they let small firms form bidding cooperatives to compete in certain specified situations. For details, visit www.sba.gov/gcmed/regulatory.htm.

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