The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee issued a report to the full chamber recommending further consideration of a bill (S. 1526) sponsored by Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) that would modify criteria for the use of design-build selection procedures for civilian and defense contracts for the design and construction of a public building. Specifically, it would require the use of two-phase selection procedures (i.e., submission of qualifications and then the submission of price and technical proposals in response to an RFP) when a contracting officer determines that a contract has a value of at least $750,000.

The bill also directs the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation to prohibit the use of reverse auctions for awarding contracts for construction and design services; provides for the acceptance of a bond from an individual surety that is not subject to existing requirements governing corporate sureties; and increases from 70 percent to 90 percent the amount of loss resulting from a breach of the terms of a bid, payment or performance bond that is covered by a Small Business Administration guarantee.