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Seller Beware!

There is an aphorism that goes “Buyer Beware”; time-honored sage advice to be sure.  But perhaps a new aphorism is in order for the Federal marketplace: “Seller Beware.” Many vendors and contractors selling to the Federal Government under contracts awarded under some type of small business set-aside are frequently unaware of an important requirement tucked neatly away in set-aside clauses.  This requirement is set forth as portion of the clause which normally begins with the word “Agreement.”

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

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

Mass Modifications – How to Stay Up to Date with GSA Solicitation Refreshes

By JW Butler The General Services Administration (GSA) will occasionally refresh the terms and conditions across all of the GSA Schedule solicitations. When a Schedule solicitation refreshes, it can be for several reasons such as adding, deleting, or amending Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) or General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation (GSAR) clauses or adding or revising the Special Item Numbers (SINs). Occasionally, the refresh contains simple formatting or spelling changes.

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

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

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

“Hot Take” Alert – Turns Out, Dads Are Parents Too!

By David Warner In August 2017, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) brought a class action lawsuit against cosmetics giant Estée Lauder alleging that the company violated federal law when it implemented and administered a paid parental leave program that automatically provides male employees who are new fathers lesser parental leave benefits than are provided to female employees who are new mothers. The suit alleged that, under the company’s parental leave program, in addi

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

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

Of Mistletoe and Misclassification

Earlier this week, a U.S. Department of Labor webpage dedicated to the issue of employee misclassification went live. Just in time for the holidays! While much ink has been spilled in recent weeks regarding potential changes of direction at the DOL in a Trump Administration, the new webpage suggests that the agency will continue to view the abuse of independent contractor status as an enforcement priority for the foreseeable future. The new page does not provide any novel substantive content,

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

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

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

Proposed Rule VAAR

On May 17, 2017, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) published a proposed rule in the Federal Register to revise and streamline the VA Acquisition Regulation (VAAR).  Public comments are invited and must be submitted no later than July 17, 2017, to be considered in formulating the Final Rule.  Codified acquisition regulations may only be amended and revised through formal rulemaking under the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act.  For ease of reference, information on how to submit comme

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

GSA Reviews FY2016 and FedRAMP Looks Ahead to 2017

As we now have FY2016 in the rear-view mirror, the government has begun to look back at the past year and look ahead to 2017. GSA In the case of GSA, the Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) commissioner, Tom Sharpe, reflected on the successes of the FAS program over the past year in a recent blog post. In it, he explains that GSA has achieved its three-year goal as the government acquisition marketplace. Sharpe then goes on to explain that the FAS initiative, Category Management, has helped with

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

Should I stay or should I go? Transactional Data Reporting (TDR)

Over a year ago, GSA published a final General Services Acquisition Regulation (GSAR) rule incorporating Transactional Data Reporting (TDR) into select product and service schedules in the Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) program. Initial participation in the TDR pilot was optional for existing contractors. However, new offerors and existing contractors with upcoming options were required to participate in the pilot. GSA is now making participation in the TDR pilot voluntary. Any vendor required

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

More GSA Changes! Out with DUNS Number and in with SAMMI Number

By Maureen Jamieson, On March 18, 2019, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announced that Ernst and Young LLP (EY) was awarded a one-year base and four option period, $41.8 million contract for entity validation services for the federal award process. Entity validation services are critical because the federal government must validate the identity of each entity (company, individual or organization) wanting to do business with the government. Dun & Bradstreet, who established t

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

EPA Issues Final Rule on Self-Certification for Disadvantaged Business Enterprises

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a final rule regarding self-certification for Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) in procurements under EPA financial assistance agreements, which will be effective on October 26, 2016 if no adverse comment is received. If an adverse comment is received by the EPA, the rule will be withdrawn. However, the EPA expects to receive no adverse comments. Current Major Components of the EPA’s DBE Program EPA’s DBE Program was first implemente

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

Help! My GSA Contract is Suspended in eBuy and my Catalog/Pricelist has Disappeared

By JW Butler, An email with the subject line “GSA Advantage Catalog/Pricelist Removal Notice” followed by your contract number may cause many to panic, but not to worry, the solution is a simple one. The General Services Administration (GSA) requires that all GSA Schedule contract catalogs/pricelists be updated to ensure the accuracy of prices and catalog terms and conditions.  If a catalog/pricelist has not been updated within two years, you will receive an email with the above subject line. C

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

VA National Acquisition Center Issues Updated Small Business Subcontracting Plan Template

Large business prime contractors holding Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) contracts issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Acquisition Center (NAC) may want to take note. Updated Small Business Subcontracting Plan Template The VA NAC posted an updated Small Business Subcontracting Plan Template to its website in February 2017. This latest version of the template is dated January 26, 2017. VA NAC also updated its VA FSS Subcontracting Plan Training presentation in January 2017

OCI and FCA: Two Acronyms You Never Want to See Together…

By William Weisberg, Organizational Conflicts of Interest (OCI) are a well-known fixture of government contracting. OCI has its own FAR subsection, FAR part 9.5, and figures prominently in several GAO bid protests every year. OCIs can be waived by the Government, and mitigated by contractors, with the Government’s approval. OCIs are situations where a contractor either has an unfair competitive advantage from previous work done, has impaired objectivity, or has other prohibited items. I spend

The “Veterans Affairs Purchase Card Misuse Mitigation Act”

By Wayne Simpson, CFCM, CSCM House Moves to Prevent Abuse and Misuse of SmartPay Program’s Largest User On May 21, 2018, after 40 minutes of floor debate, the U.S. House of Representatives considered under the suspension of the rules, and passed H.R. 5215, the “Veterans Affairs Purchase Card Misuse Mitigation Act” by voice vote.  The bill was sent to the Senate May 22, 2018, for consideration. H.R. 5215 amends Title 38 of the United States Code to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to p

Remember to Timely File Comments… Or Else

In a recent decision on August 25, 2017, the GAO dismissed the protest of PennaGroup, LLC for failure to timely file comments on the agency reports. On March 17, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued an RFP for the design and construction of solid concrete border wall prototypes. The RFP instructed offerors to acknowledge any issued amendments by signing the accompanying form and advised offerors that failure to acknowledge all Amendments may result in an offeror’s proposal bei

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
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