The memo is entitled "Providing Prompt Payment to Small Business Subcontractors" and it appears to be the continuation of a "good gesture" started by the Administration last September, but still very short of the type of action needed to make a real difference.
My previous entry on this topic (in September 2011) is called "Accelerated Payments Are Nice Mr. President, But..." and my sentiment today is the same as it was then. This is nothing more than a gesture because while it will be helpful to be paid promptly, it only helps if small contractors/subcontractors actually have work.
But that's a blog for another day, maybe tomorrow.
The OMB memo issued today states:
"The acceleration of payments to all prime contractors is a one year, temporary, transitional policy that provides for immediate assistance to small businesses, while affording agencies and prime contractors time to insert contract clauses as described above, or take other appropriate steps, to ensure that prime contractors provide prompt payment to their small business subcontractors."
Wait a minute! Read that last line again.
" ...or take other appropriate steps, to ensure that prime contractors provide prompt payment to their small business subcontractors."
Sounds to me like someone has not put thought into how this will be monitored and this will be figured out as "it" goes along. How do other taxpayers feel about this "blank check" approach?
It also seems similar to the re-election tactics undertaken by many of the elected officials in Congress who wait until "prime time" to act like they actually care about helping the small business segment of their constituency.
Let me make sure I understand. For the next year, prime contractors will be given the benefit of being paid more quickly for the work they and their subcontractors do with no apparent oversight to ensure the small subs doing the work also benefit from the program.
So, who's guarding the hen house?