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
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
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
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
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 If an adverse comment is received by the EPA, the rule will be withdrawn.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
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.
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
By Barbara Kinosky
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
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
By David Warner,
As most federal contractors are aware, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) is the agency responsible for ensuring that contractors and subcontractors doing business with the U.S. government comply with affirmative action and non-discrimination obligations under federal laws, executive orders, and regulations. In September 2016, the Government Accounting Office (“GAO”) issued a report recommending that OFCCP review its complian
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
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
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
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.”
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,
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
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
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) published an Interim Final Rule in the February 21, 2017, edition of the Federal Register, increasing the period for re-verification examination by VA’s Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE) of Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) and Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) program participants from two years to three years.
The purpose of this change, effective February 21, 2017, is to reduce the administrative burden on SDV
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
Mrs. Kinosky has been invited to speak during the “Enterprise Risk Management Session – Managing Fraud Risk through ERM and current trends with GSA Price Reductions” on Thursday, May 5, 2016 at 11:10am in Tysons Corner, VA.
About Barbara Kinosky
Barbara Kinosky is the Managing Partner of Centre Law and Consulting and has over twenty-five years of experience in all aspects of federal government contracting. Barbara is a nationally known expert on GSA and VA Schedules and the Service Contract Ac
Earlier this week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a publication related to the rights of individuals with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when requesting leave from work as a reasonable accommodation. While the ADA clearly requires employers provide qualified disabled individuals with a “reasonable accommodation” to permit the individual to perform the essential functions of the job, the entitlement to leave as such an accommodation has bee
Potential Intervenors Denied Intervention in Multi-Billion Dollar Protest as Having No Legal “Interest” in Protest
The Court of Federal Claims issued a decision on September 27, 2016 denying two motions to intervene in a bid protest.
Nevada Site Science Support and Technologies Corporation (NVS3T) filed a bid protest alleging that the Department of Energy’s decision to rescind a multi-billion dollar contract awarded to it based on ownership issues involving the Plaintiff was arbitrary and capr
By David Warner
On September 15, 2015, President Obama signed the Executive Order requiring federal contractors and subcontractors to provide one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to at least seven days per year. Both the EO and its implementing regulations, finalized on September 30, 2016, made clear that the EO only applied to “new contracts,” defined as contracts with the Federal Government that result from solicitations issued on or after January 1, 2017, or that are awa
In a recent GAO decision, Boise Cascade Wood Products, LLC, B-413987.2 (Apr. 3, 2017), the GAO denied a small business’ request for reimbursement of the costs of filing and pursing a bid protest where the protester argued that the agency unduly delayed taking corrective action in the face of a clearly meritorious protest.
In this matter, the protester pursued a protest against the Forest Service, which involved both a timber sale and a procurement of services. Specifically, the Forest Service i
By Heather Mims
GAO recently released its bid protest statistics for fiscal year 2017. The number of bid protests filed saw a slight decrease from 2016 but, overall, the effectiveness rate remained fairly even.
Specifically, 2,596 cases were filed at the GAO in fiscal year 2017, which is down 7% compared to the 2,789 cases that were filed in fiscal year 2016. However, the GAO’s “effectiveness rate,” which includes voluntary agency corrective active and sustained protests, remained virtually un
By Wayne Simpson, CFCM, CSCM
Federal Contractor and Subcontractor Labor Reporting Requirements Under the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA)
VEVRAA requires Federal contractors and subcontractors covered by the Act’s affirmative action provisions to report annually to the Secretary of Labor the number of employees in their workforces, by job category and hiring location, who are qualified covered veterans. VEVRAA also requires Federal contractors and subcontractors to re