On June 29, the House Appropriations Committee approved the Fiscal Year 2022 Financial Services and General Funding Bill, which includes IIBEC-backed language upholding the Brooks Act. Specifically, the language states:
SEC. 529. None of the funds made available in this Act may be used by the General Services Administration to award or facilitate the award of any contract for the provision of architectural, engineering, and related services in a manner inconsistent with the procedures in the Brooks Act (40 U.S.C. 1101 et. seq.) and part 36.6 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation.
Brian Pallasch, IIBEC CEO/EVP, said “IIBEC appreciates the efforts of Congressman David Price (D-NC) who requested the language be inserted into the spending bill. We are hopeful that this year, due to Rep. Price’s efforts, GSA will take firm steps to ensure compliance with the Brooks Act.”
The language mirrors IIBEC-backed language included last year in the committee report that accompanied the FY ‘21 spending bill. Unfortunately, GSA made no progress on resolving the problem where companies use GSA schedules to advertise architectural, engineering, or design services in violation of the Brooks Act, which requires the federal government to use qualifications-based selection (QBS) criteria to award such contracts. Given the lack of progress, IIBEC requested the provision be inserted into the bill itself, which makes it much tougher for GSA to ignore.
The spending bill is expected to be joined with one or more spending bills and voted on by the full House in July. Later, it will be merged with the similarly named Senate version of the funding bill before being wrapped into a larger end-of-year spending package that is expected to be voted on this fall.