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Entries in this blog

 

“Cold Take” Alert: There’s A Reason It’s Called “Working At Risk”

By David Warner, Last month, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims issued a decision underscoring the substantial risk contractors incur if they perform work not properly authorized by the appropriate government authority. The decision in Panther Brands, LLC v. United States, No. 16-1157C (Dec. 17, 2019) serves as a stark reminder that, even in the face of contrary past customer practice and verbal assurances by seemingly appropriate personnel, typically only Contracting Officers have the authority
 

GSA Multiple Award Schedule Mass Modification Impacting Pending and Current Schedule Holders – January 2020

By JW Butler On October 1, 2019 The General Services Administration (GSA) released the new Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) 47QSMD20R0001. GSA has tentatively scheduled the first mass modification refresh for the MAS Solicitation 47QSMD20R0001 for January 2020. The MAS will be updated to incorporate the below changes in Refresh #1: Implement the 2nd Interim Rule 2018-017 Prohibition on Contracting for Certain Telecommunications and Video Surveillance Services or Equipment The FAR 51 Deviation
 

FAR “Fake” News! FAR Amended to Require Reporting of Counterfeit Items

By Hon. Jack Delman Background On November 22, 2019, the DOD, GSA and NASA jointly issued a final FAR rule, effective December 23, 2019, amending the FAR to require contractors and subcontractors to report to the “Government – Industry Data Exchange Program” (GIDEP) certain counterfeit or suspected counterfeit parts as well as certain major or critical nonconformances. This final rule implemented–and broadened — the requirements of sections 818(c)4 and (c)5 of the FY 2012 NDAA that required D

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

New DOJ Strike Force Aimed at Contractors is Likely Overhyped

By Tyler Freiberger, Esq.,   The Department of Justice recently announced the new Procurement Collusion Strike Force (“PCSF”), an inter-agency partnership that includes prosecutors from DOJ’s Antitrust Division and 13 U.S. attorneys’ offices, FBI investigators, and several agency Inspectors General offices. The stated goal of this partnership is “deterring, detecting, investigating and prosecuting antitrust crimes” in the government contracting world. The new PCSF website also streamlines and

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

Phase 2 – Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) Consolidation

By Julia Coon, The General Services Administration (GSA) completed Phase 1 of the Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) consolidation on October 1, 2019 when the new MAS solicitation consolidating the twenty-four legacy Schedules into one single solicitation was published. Phase 2 of the MAS consolidation will begin in January 2020 when GSA issues a mass modification to all existing contract holders. The mass modification will update all terms and conditions to match the new MAS solicitation. Once the

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

Debriefings: A Modest Proposal

By William Weisberg, Esq., So, I was asking myself, what about government contracts drives me up a wall?  More particularly, what is most frustrating to me, as a practicing procurement lawyer?  Easy: debriefings.  We (at least contractor “we”) have participated in debriefings where the government “script” was some variation on: “Your proposal was terrible.  Here is [insert the absolute minimum to fill up a page or five minutes of phone time, no matter the size or complexity of the procurement].

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

The DOD Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification: Is Your Organization Prepared?

By Angel N. Davis, With Cybersecurity awareness a keen focal point, regardless of business size, Government Contractors now have an overwhelming responsibility to ensure the safeguarding of sensitive customer data. The latest Department of Defense (DOD) regulation being developed to support the growing number of cybersecurity concerns , is the DOD Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification. The DOD issued a new draft of the CMMC Model, version, 0.6 on November 7, 2019. According to DOD, the CM

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

President Trump Revokes Executive Order Providing for Nondisplacement of Qualified Workers

By Heather Mims, Esq. Under Executive Order 13495, the policy of the Federal Government was that all Service Contract Act covered contracts over the simplified acquisition threshold were to include a contract clause requiring contractors to make good-faith offers of employment to predecessor SCA-covered employees.  However, on October 31, 2019, President Trump issued an “Executive Order on Improving Federal Contractor Operations by Revoking Executive Order 13495” which requires the “Secretary o

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

Forty Million More Reasons To Care About Workplace Equity

By David Warner,   Actually “40,569,816 reasons,” to be exact. Last week the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued a press release lauding its performance in fiscal year 2019 in which it obtained a record-setting $40,569,816 in monetary settlements from federal contractors. The results reflect a more than sixty-five percent (65%) increase over the agency’s prior record that was set in FY 2017. Indeed, the agency’s three-year total recovery between FY 2017-2019 is great

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

Staying Vigilant – Why the Task of Ethical Compliance Under the FAR is Never Complete

By Edward W. Bailey,   All too often, federal contractors let their guard down when it comes to their ethical duties under the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR). This is largely because the FAR’s provisions concerning ethical conduct do not provide much specific guidance. For example, FAR § 52.203-13 requires contractors to have a “written code of ethics”, exercise “due diligence to prevent and detect criminal conduct”, and otherwise “promote and encourage” ethical conduct and compliance

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

Congratulations GSA! As Promised, the Consolidated Schedule was Released on October 1

By Maureen Jamieson   Call me a skeptic. I had my bets along with others that the Consolidated Schedule would not be released on October 1, 2019. I’ve lived through many disappointments over my years working on Multiple Award Schedules (MAS). I remember the promises of no more Schedules Input Program (SIP) and the advent of the Formatted Price List.  Then a few years ago the release of the Formatted Product Tool (FPT) only to be told that tool was being discontinued by the General Services Ad

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

GAO Report: Offshoring/Foreign Direct Investment – Risks to the Defense Supplier Base?

By Hon. Jack Delman   Under the FY 2018 NDAA, House and Senate Committee Reports called for GAO to examine the effects of Offshoring (OS) and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) on the Defense Supplier Base. GAO reviewed the available public data and convened a panel of experts from academia, industry, and government to address the issues.  It submitted a lengthy report to Congress on September 5, 2019, and we provide a brief summary below. There was no consensus on the definition of OS. Broadly

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

#Metoo’s First Victory Over Senate-Confirmed Official and Overtime Coverage Expands

By Tyler Freiberger, Esq., More than one year ago the Federal Housing Finance Agency Special Adviser Simone Grimes testified before Congress describing a former North Carolina representative, and then FHFA Director, Mel Watt’s repeated sexual advances toward Ms. Grimes. As Grimes testified to, and the FHFA Office of Inspector General confirmed, each time Grimes expressed that she was being paid less than her male predecessor, Watt steered the conversation toward his attraction to her. In respon
 

Don’t be Left Holding the Bag – Why It’s More Important than Ever to Thoroughly Review Your Government Contract Before Signing

By Edward W. Bailey, Boeing just challenged a recent ruling by the Court of Federal Claims which has wide-reaching implications for government contractors. In a May decision, the Court held that, by executing a contract with the government, Boeing had waived its right to challenge the government’s inclusion in the contract of certain mandatory FAR provisions. If the decision were to stand, it would seemingly mean that a contractor’s only recourse in such a situation would be to file a pre-award

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

Service Contract Labor Standards (AKA SCA): Top 10 Things to Consider

By William Weisberg, Esq., The Service Contract Labor Standards (“SCLS”) governs how, and how much, government contractors must pay “covered” employees on “covered” contracts.  Here are the Top 10 things to keep in mind regarding Service Contract Labor Standards: It used to be called the “Service Contract Act,” and many people still call it that, or SCA. It is now, however, Service Contract Labor Standards.  In real life, either name will do. The contracting agency, and the Department of Lab

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

Just Announced: Your Questions Answered About the New Unique Entity Identifier (UEI)

BREAKING NEWS FROM GSA In late July, GSA hosted a live event about upcoming changes to the new Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) requirements (used to identify companies and individuals within the federal award process).  More than 770 people participated in the event. The presentation provided detailed information about how IAE is moving away from using the D-U-N-S® number to a new, non-proprietary identifier.  During the program, we received numerous questions from participants.  As promised,

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

Consolidation, Consolidation, Consolidation: It’s Coming, Are You Ready?!

By Angel N. Davis, There is an on-going buzz surrounding the upcoming GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Consolidation. If you haven’t heard (I am not sure where you’ve been), GSA is consolidating 24 schedules for products, services, and solutions, into one single platform. This initiative will have an impact on all schedule holders. This is what you need to do to be prepared for this upcoming implementation: All twenty-four individual schedules, including service and product schedules, are b

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

The GAO Weighs in on SBA’s New Five Year Annual Receipts Average

By Heather Mims, Esq. Contractors (and officials) across the country have experienced some confusion about the implementation of the recently enacted Small Business Runway Extension Act of 2018. If you’re unfamiliar with the Act, Congress has amended the Small Business Act to modify the method for prescribing size standards for business concerns – what used to be a three-year standard has now become a five-year standard. Thus, the implementation of this Act would extend the measurement period o

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

EEO, “Do’h!!”-Deadline for Contractors’ Submission of EEO-1 Wage and Hour Data on the Horizon

By David Warner Gone are the Halcyon days, when it looked like the Trump Administration might overturn EEO-1 wage and hour reporting requirements adopted during the prior administration, as the first batch of reports is due to be submitted by contractors on or before September 30, 2019. To make matters more confusing, technically the Trump Administration is still trying to overturn the wage reporting requirements but, unless something unexpected happens, September 30 is still the applicable dea
 

Just Announced: GSA on Track to Debut Consolidated Schedule Solicitation October 1, 2019

BREAKING NEWS FROM GSA if you have questions or need guidance, please reach out to Maureen Jamieson at mjamieson@centrelawgroup.com. This Interact post is the advance notice announcement of GSA’s intention to consolidate the current 24 Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) and release a new single Schedule for product, services, and solutions on October 1, 2019. A revised draft of the MAS solicitation is attached with applicable attachments. The solicitation has been updated based on more than 1,000
 

Transactional Data Reporting (TDR) Pilot Extended

With GSA focused on consolidating 24 Schedules into one single Schedule, the Transactional Data Reporting (TDR) pilot has been extended through FY2020, allowing both contractors and the GSA acquisition workforce to spend their resources understanding and participating in the consolidated Schedule — the most immediate priority. TDR, a GSA Acquisition Regulation (GSAR) rule published in 2016, reduces the burden and increases transparency by requiring monthly reporting of transactional sales data
 

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
 

“AWARD LIMIT CLAUSE” VIOLATES FULL & OPEN COMPETITION; PROTEST SUSTAINED.

By Hon. Jack Delman In National Government Services, Inc.  v. United States,  923 F.3d 977 (Fed. Cir. 2019) the Federal Circuit sustained a pre-award protest, holding that an agency solicitation containing an “Award Limit clause” (ALC) violated full and open competition under the Competition in Contracting Act (CICA), and the agency failed to follow the appropriate procedures that would support an exception. Background Facts The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency of H
 

Small Business and Working With Similarly Situated Entities

If you are like me and work for a small business, you have been patiently waiting for the FAR Council to implement the Small Business Administration’s final rule from June 2016 that made major changes to the way performance requirements apply to small business in set-aide contracts. For those who don’t know, this change allows for a prime small business, WOSB, SDVOSB, EDWOSB, 8A, or a HUBZone company to subcontract in service contracts to similarly situated firms and not count towards the 50% s
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