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Trending Federal Contracting Issues You Should Know

How is your relationship with the government going? Have you heard about the “transformational changes” that are being made to the GSA’s Federal Supply Schedules Program? And do you really know how many moons the Earth has? Below is a round up of recently trending Federal Contracting issues you should know about. Overly Restrictive Solicitations. Nexagen Networks of Aberdeen, Maryland, challenged the terms of a task order request issued by the Army for information technology services. Nexag
 

Traveling this Summer? Watch Out for TSA Backlogs

By Heather Mims, Esq. As we get into the summer months, people are gearing up for summer vacation traveling – but be prepared to spend extra time waiting in line for security screening from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Oh No! Why? In a statement issued earlier this Spring, TSA predicted that this year will be the busiest summer travel season it has experienced, with a more than 4% volume increase. Specifically, TSA is planning for approximately 263 million passengers and
 

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
 

Top Five Reasons To Have an Approved Contractor Purchasing System

Let’s face it. We’d all rather be out selling and growing our businesses than having to deal with paperwork and audits, right? So when you hear that you have a Contractor Purchasing System Review (CPSR) coming up, it may cause a little anxiety and leave you wondering if it is really time well spent. Now the government will tell you that the purpose of a CPSR is to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the way a contractor spends federal funds and complies with federal policy. It provides

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

Too Small For Contractor Purchasing System Review? You’re Still at Risk!

You are still at risk of Government oversight/review even if you fall below the threshold for the Contractor Purchasing System Review (CPSR).1 While, CPSR is a total business system review, there is a series of other Government activities that will look into your procurement business processes. Some of these other activities include; proposal analysis, interim payment reviews, incurred cost submissions, and compliance reviews with DFARS business system clauses. Proposal analysis by the Governme
 

Too Big to Be Small, Too Small to Be Big

Many “small” businesses listed in Federal Procurement Data Systems find themselves in a paradox—they’re at once too small to compete with large contractors, but also too large to benefit from small business set-asides. These growing firms have achieved what every small business owner hopes for—start small, gain market traction, and grow. But when a firm graduates from the benefits of small business set-asides, they enter the “mid-tier” — a murky limbo that can leave them vulnerable and, potentia
 

Timeliness of Bid Protests

By Tyler Freiberger  Untimeliness is one of the most common reasons protests of government solicitations and awards before the Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) and The Court of Federal Claims are dismissed. The accompanying chart describes the somewhat harsh and complex rules required for filing before each body. For protests on how a solicitation is written, a contractor must protest simply before the bids are made. But other protests have strict timing demands measured from when the b

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

This Blog Is Subject to Change in a Twitter Moment

How many of you now go to bed wondering, “What presidential tweet am I going to wake up to next?” The federal contracting space has been shaken, not stirred. In the old news department, President Trump instituted an immediate hiring freeze this Monday, signing a presidential memorandum that would affect a large swath of the executive branch. There are exemptions, of course, for those working in the military, national security, and public safety. In my discussions with officials at several f

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

Third Time’s the Charm? Not so Much for this Protester

In its July 28, 2017 decision, the GAO denied a protest and found an agency’s decision to negotiate a sole-source contract with a Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) to be reasonable based on the agency’s lack of progress in meeting its HUBZone goals. JRS Staffing Services, B-414630, B414630.2 (July 28, 2017). The original solicitation process from the Department of Justice, Bureau of Prisons (BOP), underwent several rounds. The BOP originally issued a solicitation without any re
 

The Strange Case of Daniel Horowitz and His Three Years of Paid Leave

By Barbara Kinosky, For exactly three years Daniel Horowitz was paid his full GS-15 salary of $161,000 to do – well – exactly nothing. That delicious gravy train finally ended. We can now say that Dr. Horowitz was employed (past tense) by the Chemical Safety Board (CSB), a small independent agency that I never heard of. He had been charged with misconduct over a kerfuffle on how he handled certain leadership roles but his case went into limbo. One day Dr. Horowitz was busy doing whatever PhD GS
 

The Salary History Problem

By Tyler Freiberger, Esq., An interesting mix of states now ban or otherwise restrict employers from requesting applicants’ prior compensation. Now, don’t run off and start rewriting your application forms just yet, the restrictions are mostly for government jobs, but there are a handful of cities and states that outright ban asking for compensation history.  But this does beg the question; why is there a non-partisan move to restrict an employment question? Some employers may choose to impleme
 

The Promoting Value Based Procurement Act of 2017 Approved by House Oversight Committee

Last week the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved the Promoting Value Based Procurement Act of 2017 on a voice vote without any dissent, meaning the bill now proceeds to the House floor. The Act, which was initially introduced in June, substantially limits the number of federal contracts that may use the lowest-priced bid as the major deciding factor – this means a severe limit on lowest price technically acceptable, or LPTA, contracts. In fact, the current text of the bil

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

The Procurement Puzzle: Putting the Pieces Together to Boost Federal Sales

The Federal Marketplace can be challenging and risky for the uninitiated, and even for seasoned contractors. The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) alone contains 53 parts over 1,903 pages, including nearly 590 provisions and clauses (some with alternates), and many of which will ultimately find their way into your contracts. And this doesn’t even include Agency-specific acquisition regulations which supplement and implement the FAR. As if securing and administering government contracts were
 

The President’s New(est) Buy American Act Executive Order (Not as Big a Deal as It Seems)

By William Weisberg, Esq., You may have seen reports about the President’s July 15, 2019, Executive Order on the Buy American Act (“BAA”).  The first two BAA Executive Orders were basically “study the BAA and maybe try not to invoke exceptions as often as you do now.”  This third Order supposedly has teeth.  But here is my contrarian view: this one is not that big a deal.  Let’s look at what the Order does, and what it doesn’t do. In the newest Order, the President directs the FAR Council (the
 

The Overhaul of the U.S. Export Controls Will Benefit Small Businesses

Currently, the U.S. Government is revising the U.S. export control and enforcement framework.  The new system is designed to facilitate efficiencies and coordination within the U.S. Government, protect national security and critical technologies, and cut costs to U.S. exporters.  However, compliance will remain paramount because the U.S. Government is also consolidating its enforcement mechanisms. Background: In August 2009, President Obama directed a broad-based inter-agency review of the U.S
 

The Monkey’s Paw of Forced Arbitration

By Tyler Freiberger, After a hard fight battle over arbitration agreements, many employers are learning to be careful what they wish for. In the past decade, the U.S. Supreme Court has slowly and consistently empowered forced arbitration clauses. As of last year’s decisions in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, NLRB v. Murphy Oil USA Inc. and Ernst & Young LLP v. Morris, the court has made clear that employers could not put strict arbitration agreements in their employment agreements but, if writ
 

The Monkey’s Paw of Forced Arbitration

By Tyler Freiberger, Esq., After a hard fight battle over arbitration agreements, many employers are learning to be careful what they wish for. In the past decade, the U.S. Supreme Court has slowly and consistently empowered forced arbitration clauses. As of last year’s decisions in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, NLRB v. Murphy Oil USA Inc. and Ernst & Young LLP v. Morris, the court has made clear that employers could not put strict arbitration agreements in their employment agreements but, i
 

The Misplaced Rage Regarding Equifax’s Post Data Breach “Contract Award”

Much has been said on the security breach that exposed up to 145 million Americans’ most sensitive information. Not only had Equifax,  some say negligently, exposed half of America’s social security numbers, credit card information, and just about anything else needed to steal an identity, but the company thoroughly botched the cleanup by directing customers to a dubiously credentialed website and made a not-so-subtle attempt to induce its customers to waive any right to sue. The remarkable natu

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

The Great Migration: GSA Sales Reporting and IFF Transition – 72A to FAS SRP

By Julia Coon, Clause 552.238-74 Industrial Funding Fee and Sales Reporting requires all General Services Administration (GSA) Schedule contractors to report sales within 30 calendar days following the completion of the reporting period and remit the Industrial Funding Fee (IFF) within 30 calendar days following the end of each reporting quarter. Over the next twelve months, GSA will be transitioning all GSA Schedule contracts from the legacy 72A Reporting System to the new Federal Acquisition
 

The Great Migration: GSA Sales Reporting and IFF Transition – 72A to FAS SRP

By Julia Coon, Clause 552.238-74 Industrial Funding Fee and Sales Reporting requires all General Services Administration (GSA) Schedule contractors to report sales within 30 calendar days following the completion of the reporting period and remit the Industrial Funding Fee (IFF) within 30 calendar days following the end of each reporting quarter. Over the next twelve months, GSA will be transitioning all GSA Schedule contracts from the legacy 72A Reporting System to the new Federal Acquisition
 

The Great Migration: GSA Sales Reporting and IFF Transition – 72A to FAS SRP

By Julia Coon, Clause 552.238-74 Industrial Funding Fee and Sales Reporting requires all General Services Administration (GSA) Schedule contractors to report sales within 30 calendar days following the completion of the reporting period and remit the Industrial Funding Fee (IFF) within 30 calendar days following the end of each reporting quarter. Over the next twelve months, GSA will be transitioning all GSA Schedule contracts from the legacy 72A Reporting System to the new Federal Acquisition
 

The Ghosts of Performances Past (Or Lack Of)

By Stephanie Fine, Esq. With the holidays upon us and the new year just around the corner, it is time to start thinking about new solicitations in the pipeline for the next calendar year and your record of past performance. Almost every government proposal requires information on past performance, and it’s inarguably one of the most critical parts. Why does past performance matter? Past performance shows the government that your company is capable of performing the work it says it can. It’

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

The Ghosts of Performances Past (Or Lack Of)

By Stephanie Fine, Esq. With the holidays upon us and the new year just around the corner, it is time to start thinking about new solicitations in the pipeline for the next calendar year and your record of past performance. Almost every government proposal requires information on past performance, and it’s inarguably one of the most critical parts. Why does past performance matter? Past performance shows the government that your company is capable of performing the work it says it can. It’

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

The Ghosts of Performances Past (Or Lack Of)

By Stephanie Fine, Esq. With the holidays upon us and the new year just around the corner, it is time to start thinking about new solicitations in the pipeline for the next calendar year and your record of past performance. Almost every government proposal requires information on past performance, and it’s inarguably one of the most critical parts. Why does past performance matter? Past performance shows the government that your company is capable of performing the work it says it can. It’

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
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