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Barbara Kinosky Featured in Upcoming Speaking Engagements

NCMA NOVA Chapter Event on January 27 On January 27, Barbara Kinosky, Esq. will be a featured speaker at the NCMA NOVA chapter’s first monthly meeting of the new year for “Trends 2017 – the Ultimate Ins and Outs of Government Contracting”. Attendees will come up-to-date on all the latest hot topics in the federal contracting industry including: What will a Trump presidency look like? Will there be more emphasis on defense spending? How will federal regulations be impacted? Executive order

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

Awardee’s Below Market Employee Compensation Not a Win for Protester

Warning! This post contains explicit (and depressing) news about low bidders using below market salaries and benefits to win contracts. The Air Force issued a solicitation for information technology services at Joint Base San Antonio. The RFP provided for award to the offeror that submitted a technically-acceptable proposal with the lowest price and a realistic employee compensation plan (ECP). For the ECP evaluation, the solicitation stated that the plans “will be evaluated for realism” and dir

Award Terms Now an Option at NASA

On August 24, 2017, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) final rule amending the NASA Federal Acquisition Supplement by adding a policy on the use of “award terms” will take effect. Award terms are an incentive for contractors to go above and beyond a satisfactory performance to obtain an additional period of performance. Each award term cannot exceed one year in length, but is in addition to the base and option years. The difference between exercising an option and an awa

As One Protest Door Closes, Another One Opens

By Heather Mims The protest saga of the Department of Education’s contracts for collection services for defaulted student loans has now been going on for over a year – and the contracts are worth fighting for as it is for a roughly $2.8 billion debt collection procurement. As a refresher, forty-seven companies originally submitted bids in response to the Department of Education’s RFP but only seven companies originally received contract awards back in December 2016. The unsuccessful offerors s

Are You A Federal Acquisition Service GSA MAS Contract Holder?

The General Services Administration (GSA) Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) is planning to refresh all GSA Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) to incorporate provision and clause updates in April 2017. This update will align MAS solicitations and contracts with recent policy changes, including small business subcontracting improvements and updates to Non-Federal Entity access to Schedules, including under the Disaster Purchasing Program. These regulatory changes further codify the Non-Federal entity

Are VA FSS Contracts Still a Viable Option for Contractors in the VA Marketplace?

By Wayne Simpson, CFCM, CSCM, Centre Consultant Some U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Federal Supply Schedule Contractors, and prospective contractors are questioning the value of the VA FSS Program.  Changes to VA’s Acquisition Regulations (VAAR) since the unanimous U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decision in the matter of Kingdomware Technologies, Inc. vs. the United States (Kingdomware) and the VA Strategic Acquisition Center’s (SAC) use of open market procurement strategies in its faile

Are Federal Contractors Liable for Complying With the Drug-Free Work Place Act?

By Tyler Freiberger, While attitudes about Marijuana and state laws controlling the drug continue to shift toward recreational use, the common advice has been that most employers may still terminate employees for even medical use of the drug unless restricted in particular states. In fact, typically the rule has been that if you are a government contractor, you are required to prohibit its use by your employees. While many states have moved toward protecting medical, or even recreational use of

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

Annual Review Speaker Lineup

ANNUAL REVIEW 2018: Hot Issues in Federal Contracting | Speaker Lineup   Threase Baker – Panel Discussion: Types of Contract Vehicles Ms. Threase Baker is the President at ABBTECH Professional Resources, Inc. She joined ABBTECH in 2001 and has more than twenty-five years’ of experience in all areas of the staffing industry with particular emphasis on corporate recruiting, executive placement and staff augmentation. Her customer focus includes both the government and private sector. Prior t

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

AND THE WINNER (SO FAR) IS VETERAN-OWNED SMALL BUSINESS!

By Jack Delman We promised to keep you updated on the Federal Circuit’s disposition of a case addressing the collide between the Veterans Benefits, Health Care and Information Technology Act of 2006 (VBA) and the Javits-Wagner-O’Day Act (JWOD) in procurements at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Each statute provides valuable award preferences to different disadvantaged small businesses, but which statute has priority? In Kingdomware Technologies., Inc. v. United States, 136 S. Ct. 1969

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

An Agency Taking Corrective Action Does Not Necessarily Mean You Will Receive Your Protests Costs

In a GAO decision released September 13, 2017, the GAO denied Walker Development & Trading Group, Inc.’s (“Walker”) request for reconsideration of the denial of its costs. On January 2, 2017, Walker filed a protest arguing that the Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) did not properly set a requirement aside for small businesses. In the VA’s report, the contracting officer stated that, after performing market research, she did not have a reasonable expectation that two or more capable smal

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

America’s Continuing Independent Contractor Conundrum

Employees are expensive. It’s little surprise market forces incentivize companies to search for a way to get the same work out of people without paying for holidays, accommodating disabilities, and paying overtime, among countless other requirements. Imagine if you could save all this money within the law and avoid the risk of employment discrimination lawsuits. With all these savings your company could lower the price of your services/goods and edge out the competition. Figure out how to replac

Amazon.gov?

NDAA Provision Requires Federal Procurement Through ‘Online Marketplaces’ A provision contained in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 (NDAA), H.R. 2810, covers “Procurement Through Online Marketplaces.”  Section 801 of Act requires the Administrator of the General Services Administration (GSA) to establish for government-wide use a program to procure products through online marketplaces for the purposes of expediting procurements while ensuring reasonable pricing of com

All about GSA

By Barbara S. Kinosky, Esq. The big news from MAS PMO Director Stephanie Shutt is that the Consolidated Schedule will be out October 1, 2019. She is very definite on that date. What does that mean for existing GSA Schedule holders? We understand modifications to add the new consolidated SINs will not be accepted after September 30 until sometime in mid-January 2020 after contractors have accepted the mass modification incorporating the new consolidated Schedule terms and conditions. New offers

ALERT: Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) moving to beta.SAM.gov

By Maureen Jamieson, Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) is moving to beta.SAM.gov starting on November 8, 2019. What is FBO? FBO (commonly known as FedBizOpps) is how contracting organizations across the federal government post notices on proposed contract actions (valued at more than $25,000). These notices, or “procurement opportunities,” include solicitations, pre-solicitations, sole source justifications, and other notices. Anyone interested in doing business with the government can use

Agency Found to Have Reasonably Canceled Solicitation Due to Protest

In a decision on July 10, 2017, the GAO found that an agency reasonably canceled its solicitation after a protest where the agency’s requirements were time dependent. Tien Walker, a small business, protested the cancelation of the solicitation issued by the Department of State for public opinion polling surveys to be conducted in South Asia. Specifically, the selected contractor was to conduct two public opinion surveys in Afghanistan, with the first survey to be completed before the start of t

Actual False Claim Not Needed For Viable FCA Retaliation Claim?

By David Warner Last month, a divided U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled that a plaintiff adequately alleges “protected activity” under the False Claims Act’s whistleblower protection provision. This provision is where individuals report concerns related to conduct, that could reasonably lead to a viable FCA action. The First Circuit reversed the lower court’s prior dismissal of the action, which was based in part on the absence of any allegations of a false claim. The plaintiff

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

A Reminder From the GAO That Corrective Action Is Not The End Of The Road

By Edward W. Bailey, A recent decision from the GAO serves as an important reminder to contractors that, while agencies typically have broad discretion in determining the scope of any corrective actions they take, contractors may nonetheless challenge an agency’s corrective action if its scope is unreasonably narrow. In Matter of: Peraton Inc., B-416916.8, Peraton challenged the State Department’s award of a task order to a competitor on a number of grounds including that the letters of commit

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

A Reminder From the GAO That Corrective Action Is Not The End Of The Road

By Edward W. Bailey, A recent decision from the GAO serves as an important reminder to contractors that, while agencies typically have broad discretion in determining the scope of any corrective actions they take, contractors may nonetheless challenge an agency’s corrective action if its scope is unreasonably narrow. In Matter of: Peraton Inc., B-416916.8, Peraton challenged the State Department’s award of a task order to a competitor on a number of grounds including that the letters of commit

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

A Potential End to the Hate-Hate Relationship with LPTA

By Stephanie Fine, Esq. Good news for Federal contractors.  The recently enacted National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) will expand limitations on the use of the much-criticized Lowest Price Technically Acceptable (LPTA) source selection that was previously imposed on the Department of Defense to now include civilian agencies. The LPTA procurement process requires source selection officials to choose the lowest price proposal that satisfies the minimum technical requirements without regard

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

A Newer Source Selection Procedure You May Not Know

In April 2016, the Department of Defense (DoD) published a memorandum expanding DoD Source Selection Procedures beyond Tradeoff and Lowest Price Technically Acceptable (LPTA) to include Value Adjusted Total Evaluated Price (VATEP) Tradeoff. This newer procedure’s intent is to help define how the government evaluates contractor capabilities that go beyond minimum requirements and reach the government’s objective. Although it’s been an option since April, we’re finding that many people still are

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

A Lesson from the CBCA on Recovering COVID-19 Related Costs on Your Government Contract

By Edward W. Bailey, A recent decision from the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (“CBCA”) serves as a warning to government contractors as they incur increased expenses stemming from the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. However, it also reveals what contractors can do to protect themselves. In Pernix Serka Joint Venture, CBCA 5683 (Apr. 22, 2020), a government contractor, Pernix Serka Joint Venture (“Pernix”), had a firm fixed price contract with the State Department to construct a rainwater capture

2019 Trend Predictions for the Government Contracting Industry

By Angel N. Davis, Happy New Year and Happy Contracting! As we enter 2019, we have the opportunity to make and commit to several resolutions with the hope of remaining steadfast and following through with at least a few. As an industry, a company and an individual now is the time to set goals for the new year. What can we expect in 2019? 2019 will undoubtedly continue being a year of technological disruption. Due to that, this year our government will place a high value on: Acquisition ref

2019 Trend Predictions for the Government Contracting Industry

By Angel N. Davis, Happy New Year and Happy Contracting! As we enter 2019, we have the opportunity to make and commit to several resolutions with the hope of remaining steadfast and following through with at least a few. As an industry, a company and an individual now is the time to set goals for the new year. What can we expect in 2019? 2019 will undoubtedly continue being a year of technological disruption. Due to that, this year our government will place a high value on: Acquisition ref

2019 Trend Predictions for the Government Contracting Industry

By Angel Davis Happy New Year and Happy Contracting! As we enter 2019, we have the opportunity to make and commit to several resolutions with the hope of remaining steadfast and following through with at least a few. As an industry, a company and an individual now is the time to set goals for the new year. What can we expect in 2019? 2019 will undoubtedly continue being a year of technological disruption. Due to that, this year our government will place a high value on: Acquisition reform

2 New Funding Thresholds

Effective 8/31/20 there are two new funding thresholds for federal contractors to be aware of. 1) The micro-purchase threshold (MPT) is raised from $3,500 to $10,000. 2) The increase of the Simplified Acquisition Threshold (SAT) from $150,000 to $250,000. The proposed rule effecting this change, published October 2, 2019, permitted agencies to issue deviations to the MPT and SAT to increase the thresholds. This final rule changes the FAR definitions for these terms found at FAR 2.101. The po
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