Small businesses might soon see added opportunities when trying to obtain federal cleaning contracts. The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed the Federal Prison Industries Competition in Contracting Act, which will allow small private-sector manufacturers to vie for formally non-competitive government contracts, according to reports on

Under current law, federal agencies are required to utilize prison workers for specific services, a regulation that private-sector business, trade groups, and labor unions say is unfair and bad for business.

A similar House bill failed to pass the Senate in 2003, but another that was introduced in the Senate in 2005 is currently in the committee stage.

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