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No April Fools Joke: GSA Refresh/Mass Mods Are Coming!

The General Services Administration (GSA) Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) is planning to refresh ALL Multiple Award Schedules (MAS). The purpose of the refresh is to incorporate provision and clause changes into MAS solicitations and contracts. Be on the lookout for updates tentatively planned for April 2017. Major changes to the Small Business Subcontracting Plan will be included in these Refreshes/Mass Mods that will impact both large and small businesses. Look for changes in the Model Subc
 

Federal Contractor Survival Guide (2016 Mid-Year Update)

This guide pinpoints some of the major government contracts-related developments that occurred over the last six months. These developments create new opportunities and compliance requirements that people who conduct business with the Federal Government need to know about. Major Regulatory Developments Compliance: False Claims Act Penalties Almost Double The U.S. Department of Justice issued an interim rule increasing monetary penalties for contractors. Civil monetary penalties under certain
 

Wojciech Kornacki Writes Article on Pricing Compliance Programs for Bloomberg BNA

Reproduced with permission from Federal Contracts Report, 105 FCR (June 21, 2016). Copyright 2016 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033) http://www.bna.com Effective Trade Agreements Act and Pricing Compliance Programs for Federal Supply Schedules Recent scrutiny by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and a $75.5 million settlement stemming from allegations of overcharging the U.S. government send a clear message: Vendors must be compliant with their Trade Agreements Act (TAA) and pr
 

Barbara Kinosky Quoted in Bloomberg BNA Article on Proposed FAR Rule

Reproduced with permission from Federal Contracts Report, 105 FCR (Dec. 6, 2016). Copyright 2016 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033) http://www.bna.com Talk More, Fret Less, Proposed Rule Urges Feds, Contractors Federal acquisition officials are encouraging increased communication between industry and government, in the hope of ensuring a more efficient process for both parties. An updated regulation would make it clear that it’s in the government’s best interests to talk t

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

GSA Ushers in New Era with Release of Cybersecurity SINs for IT 70

Have you been hacked yet? Has your personal information been exposed by foreign hackers? Worried this year’s election results might be tampered with foreign cyber attacks? Well, you are not the only one worried about future cyber attacks. The U.S. Government is worried too, and to combat that, the General Services Administration (GSA) will release four Cybersecurity Special Item Numbers (SINs) for its GSA Schedule 70 for Information Technology procurement. A refresh of the Schedule 70 solicitat

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

Fifteen New Cybersecurity Safeguarding Requirements and Procedures Take Effect

The Federal Government continues to issue more and more cybersecurity rules, Executive Orders and guidance for federal contractors, and the latest addition is the Federal Acquisition Regulation Part 52.204-21 – Basic Safeguarding of Covered Contractor Information Systems, published in June 2016. This new rule establishes new definitions of “Covered Contractor Information System”, “Federal Contract Information”, and outlines 15 new safeguarding requirements and procedures for federal contractors.
 

Lowest-Price, Technically Acceptable (LPTA) Reform Legislation Introduced

Bill Seeks to Limit Improper LPTA Use Although Lowest-Price, Technically Acceptable (LPTA) procurements are conducted as part of the “best value” continuum, nothing seems to get the ire of industry up more than LPTA procurements, and the government’s seemingly ever-increasing use of the LPTA method.  Help may be on the way to curb the use of improper LPTA procurements in civilian departments.  The National Defense Authorization Act of 2017 already placed restrictions on use of LPTA procurements
 

What Government Contractors Need to Know About the 2019 NDAA

By Heather Mims, On August 13, 2018, President Trump signed the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (2019 NDAA), which sets funding levels and outlines policy priorities for the Department of Defense (DoD). The 2019 NDAA allocated $616.9 billion for the DoD’s base budget, $69 billion for overseas contingency operations funding, $8.9 billion for mandatory defense spending, and $21.9 billion for nuclear weapons programs under the Department of Energy. The funding levels are inter
 

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
 

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
 

Spring Cleaning for Your GSA Schedule

As spring approaches, it’s the time of year when we are all busy dusting off and cleaning up around the house, but do not forget to spruce up your General Services Administration (GSA) Schedule contract as well. Below are key items to consider when spring cleaning your GSA Schedule: Authorized Negotiators/Digital Certificates: Have you reviewed the authorized negotiators on your GSA Schedule recently? If any authorized negotiators need to be removed or added, this can be completed via an admin
 

GSA Schedule Update: Breaking News on Service Contract Act (SCLS) – What To Do Now

Alleluia! Inconsistence SCA implementation from GSA be gone! GSA has finally issued guidance on the implementation of the Service Contract Labor Standards (formerly called the Service Contract Act). It seems like dog years ago and certainly several changes of leadership at GSA when I first met with them about issuing uniform SCLS guidance. How Do We Know This? GSA published a draft refresh of Schedule 23V (firetrucks, auto, and auto parts and accessories) which contains the draft guidance alo
 

Quick Guide to the Bid Protest Process

If you’ve ever encountered the need to file a bid protest, you may remember feeling lost or overwhelmed the first time through the process. Maybe you were just confused and unsure of what would happen as you progressed from one step to the next. If you’re in the middle of a bid protest or foresee the need to enter into one in the future, the quick guide below walks you through a potential scenario of what can be expected. SITUATION Your company just received a non-award letter or have been exc

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

 

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
 

Wishing You a Happy Thanksgiving

As we lead up to Thanksgiving later this week, many of us are in final preparations for the holiday. Some are making last minute trips to the grocery store while others are looking for pants with elastic waistbands. However you’re celebrating this year, we at Centre Law & Consulting hope you enjoy a feast filled with friends and family. We hope you have many things to be thankful for this holiday season.   About the Author Barbara Kinosky, Esq. Managing Partner Barbara Kinosky

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

GAO Sustains Protest on Four Billion Dollar Solicitation Evaluation

In its September 18, 2017 decision, the GAO sustained McCann-Erickson USA, Inc.’s (“McCann”) protest challenging the Army’s preliminary elimination of McCann’s proposal for advertising services on an acquisition valued up to $4 billion.  After receiving numerous proposals the Army performed a “compliance review” aimed at thinning the number of proposals before applying the evaluation criteria detailed in the requests for proposals. McCann’s proposal was eliminated for alleged failures in followi
 

Failure to Submit Signed JV Agreement Rendered Proposal Technically Unacceptable

In a decision publicly released on Friday, March 31, in CJW-Desbuild JV, LLC, B-414219 (Mar. 17, 2017), the Government Accountability Office (GAO) denied a protest challenging the rejection of a proposal where the contractor had failed to provide a signed joint venture agreement with its proposal. In issuing the RFP, the Department of the Navy, Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) stated that award of the construction and repair contract would be made on a best value basis, with price
 

The Earth is Flat but Not My Driveway

By Barbara Kinosky My Driveway I wake up to yet another day of rain in the Washington D.C. metro area.  It wouldn’t be so bad if my driveway was not a mud pit.  Years ago a crafty driveway company talked us into a pebble driveway which looked like it was in Architectural Digest – for all of a couple of years.  Rocks eventually roll downhill and my driveway has a definite slope to it.  I also have discovered that it is cheaper to put down gravel than it is to remove it and that crews don’t like
 

More Changes to SAM: GSA Updates SAM Log-in Process

By Maureen Jamieson, Many companies were caught by surprise when they attempted to log into the System for Award Management (SAM) on or after June 11, 2018, and read the alert: Entities registering in SAM must submit a notarized letter appointing their authorized Entity Administrator. Some companies discovered that they were no longer active in SAM due to the backlog of notarized letters awaiting approval. Effective June 29, 2018, SAM has a new log-in process. You must have a login.gov account
 

IT’S OFFICIAL: “Cascading” Set-Asides Are Now Authorized at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

By Wayne Simpson, CFCM, CSCM   Discretionary Use by VA Contracting Officers Authorized; Must Be Approved First   In what many will see as VA’s continued assault on its Veterans First Contracting Program post-Kingdomware, VA recently implemented “Cascading” set-asides.  VA refers to these set-asides as “Tiered Evaluations,” noting they are also known as “Cascading” set-asides.   VA issued Acquisition Policy Flash (No. 18-15), transmitting Procurement Policy Memorandum (PPM) No. 2018-04, dat
 

Pre-Award Audit: Is it Time to Panic?

Are you prepared for a letter from the U.S. General Services Administration Office of Inspector General (GSA OIG) stating that your company has been selected for a pre-award audit of the Commercial Sales Practice (CSP) pricing information that will become the basis for the pricing on your contract option extension? The Primary purpose of a Pre-Award Audit The purpose of the pre-award audit pursuant to Clause 52.215-21 Alternate IV (GSAM 515.408(a) (4) of the contract is to ensure that the CSP

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

Trending Government Contracting News

So later today I am hosting a lunch at my house. And unless Desoto (the Spanish explorer who looked for the Fountain of Youth in Florida) has been visiting my family room, I have a major water leak. There is water everywhere. I just lost a small business set-aside contract to an unfathomably low, low, low price bidder, and the cat barfed all over my new carpet. It’s not even noon yet! So in an attempt to turn my day around, I hopped online to see what others are up to in hopes of finding somethi
 

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

 

SBA Adopting the 2017 NAICS Size Standards

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is amending its small business size regulations to incorporate the NAICS revision for 2017.  The proposed rule was issued by the SBA on April 18th and is currently open for comments until June 19th.  The NAICS changes for 2017 include the creation of 21 new industries.  These new NAICS codes were created from combining, reclassifying, or splitting 29 existing industries.  The new NAICS codes have resulted in an increase to the size standards for six N
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