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Looking Back at GAO Bid Protest Trends from 2017

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

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

Annual Review Speaker Lineup

ANNUAL REVIEW 2018: Hot Issues in Federal Contracting | Speaker Lineup   Threase Baker – Panel Discussion: Types of Contract Vehicles Ms. Threase Baker is the President at ABBTECH Professional Resources, Inc. She joined ABBTECH in 2001 and has more than twenty-five years’ of experience in all areas of the staffing industry with particular emphasis on corporate recruiting, executive placement and staff augmentation. Her customer focus includes both the government and private sector. Prior t

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

Government Shutdown Showdown – Season 3

By Barbara Kinosky Action, cameras, déjà vu of 1995 and 2013, with the same story line except this time the President and both Houses of Congress are all Republican.  However, it is a divided Republican party which is not putting Paul Ryan in much of a party mood.  (And yes, I did steal “Shutdown Showdown” from CNN’s Chris Cillizza.  It will now be a race to the Patent & Trademark Office to get all rights for the new t-shirt line.)  This Friday night is the deadline for either the passage o

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

SIP – As Easy As 1-2-3

By Julia Coon GSA Advantage!® is the General Services Administration (GSA)’s online shopping and ordering system that provides access to products and services offered under the GSA Schedule program. Once a new schedule contract or modification is awarded, contractors have 30 days from the effective date to upload their pricelist to GSA Advantage!®  The pricelist can be uploaded to GSA Advantage!® through the Schedules Input Program (SIP). GSA’s SIP software is free to Schedule contractors and

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

VA Issues Proposed Rule Governing its Veteran-Owned Small Business Verification Program

By Wayne Simpson Comments must be submitted by March 12, 2018 In the Wednesday, January 10, 2018, edition of the Federal Register, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) issued a proposed rule with request for public comment to amend VA’s regulations governing its Veteran-Owned Small Business Verification Program.  Public comments on the proposed rule must be submitted on or before March 12, 2018 (see below on how to submit comments). The proposed rule implements §1832 of Public Law 1

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

$650 Million in Small Business Awards Given to Fraudulent Companies

By Tyler Freiberger  In 2016 alone, the federal government spent $58.8 billion with minority or woman owned small businesses and another $16.3 billion with businesses run by disabled veterans. The vast majority of these prime contract awards were specifically not the result of open market, merit based competition. Rather, it was the result of the government openly steering more government dollars toward groups otherwise disadvantaged in society.  While there is some debate over the effectivenes
 

“Let’s Talk About Sex[ual Harassment], Baby!”

By David Warner I had intended to write about the Supreme Court’s recent decision denying certiorari in the 11th Circuit’s decision in Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital, thereby declining to resolve the existing circuit split concerning whether sexual orientation is a protected characteristic under Title VII. But then yet another story dropped with high profile allegations of sexual harassment, and the siren call of timely “click-bait” won out over the finer points of Supreme Court jurispruden

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

Changes to Subcontracting Reporting Requirements—Effective November 30, 2017

By Colin Johnson A Final Rule published in the Federal Register July 14, 2016, effective November 1, 2016, amended the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to implement regulatory changes made by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) , which provide for a Governmentwide policy on small business subcontracting.  One of the changed requirements effects subcontracting reports submitted after November 30, 2017. Specifically, the language at FAR 19.704(a)(10)(iii), 52.219-9(d)(10)(iii), and

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

Removal of Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Rule from the Federal Acquisition Regulation

By Wayne Simpson A Final Rule was published in the November 6, 2017 (corrected and republished in the November 8, 2017) edition of the Federal Register removing all regulations relating to the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order issued by President Barrack Obama (Executive Order No. 13673, July 31, 2014). In March 2017, using the authority of the Congressional Review Act, Congress passed House Joint Resolution 37, which disapproved the final rule submitted by the U.S. Department of De

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

Removal of Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Rule from the Federal Acquisition Regulation

By Wayne Simpson A Final Rule was published in the November 6, 2017 (corrected and republished in the November 8, 2017) edition of the Federal Register removing all regulations relating to the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order issued by President Barrack Obama (Executive Order No. 13673, July 31, 2014). In March 2017, using the authority of the Congressional Review Act, Congress passed House Joint Resolution 37 (Public Law 115-11), which disapproved the final rule submitted by the U

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

Reminder: Changes to Subcontracting Reporting Requirements—Effective November 30, 2017

By Wayne Simpson A Final Rule published in the Federal Register July 14, 2016, effective November 1, 2016, amended the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to implement regulatory changes made by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) , which provide for a Governmentwide policy on small business subcontracting.  One of the changed requirements effects subcontracting reports submitted after November 30, 2017. Specifically, the language at FAR 19.704(a)(10)(iii), 52.219-9(d)(10)(iii), and

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

NDAA Curbs Bid Protests (Somewhat) But Adds Enhanced Debriefings

By Barbara Kinosky  Yes, you read that right.  Deep in the murky depths of the $700 billion fiscal 2018 National Defense Authorization (NDAA) bill is language that puts a chill down the spine of protesters. Companies with revenue more than $250 million will have to pay the costs for filing losing protests on DoD procurements at the GAO.  Now protestors pay their own costs and attorneys’ fees with some exceptions. Section 827 of the NDAA would require DoD to launch a pilot program beginning in l

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

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

 

Do You See a Link Between Maintaining Your GSA Schedule and the Movie Psycho?

By Maureen Jamieson As quoted by Norman Bates in Psycho – “She just goes a little mad sometimes. We all go a little mad sometimes. Haven’t you?” I’m not naming names, but I have worked with many clients who have gone quite mad when working to ensure compliance with their GSA Schedules. Having just celebrated Halloween, I am reminded of some frightening misconceptions surrounding GSA Schedules. Maintaining compliance with your schedule can be a grueling experience. Let’s not forget that blood-c

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

Don’t be late! eSRS Submissions Due October 30, 2017

By Wayne Simpson Prime contractors with contracts containing commercial subcontracting plans are required to file a Summary Subcontract Report (SSR) (formerly Standard Form 295), reporting the accomplishments under their respective subcontracting plans in the Electronic Subcontracting Reporting System (eSRS) for the 12-month period ending September 30, 2017, no later than October 30, 2017. eSRS is the official Governmentwide System designated for small business subcontracting program reporting

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

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

 

Protester Not Found to Be An Interested Party Where It Was The Awardee

Yes, you read the title correctly – a protester actually protested its own future award. In an interesting twist of fate, a company recently filed a pre-award bid protest only to find out that the agency had already evaluated the protester’s bid and intended to award the contract to the protester. Daekee Global Company, Ltd., a South Korean company, protested the terms of a solicitation issued by the Department of Navy for ship husbanding services arguing that the evaluation scheme failed to ev

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

Trump DOJ Withdraws Obama Administration Memo Regarding Title VII And Gender Identity

Last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued an agency-wide memorandum entitled “Revised Treatment of Transgender Employment Discrimination Claims Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.” The memorandum expressly withdraws a December 15, 2014 memorandum in which then-current Attorney General Eric Holder opined that Title VII “encompasses discrimination based on gender identity, including transgender status.” While the new memo is undoubtedly a reversal of the Obama DOJ’s policy (ed

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
 

The Annual List of Labor Surplus Areas are Available

The Department of Labor has published its annual list of Labor Surplus Areas (LSA) for Fiscal Year 2018.  What is a LSA you ask?   A LSA is a civil jurisdiction that has a civilian average annual unemployment rate during the previous two calendar years 20 percent above the average annual civilian unemployment rates for all states & Puerto Rico during the same period.  Civil jurisdictions are defined as follows: A city of at least 25,000 population on the basis of the most recently availabl
 

GSA Federal Supply Schedule Description Too Limited For Contractor to Receive Award

In its September 18, 2017 decision, the GAO sustained a protest over a task order awarded to a contractor whom only had one of the two required services listed on their General Services Administration (“GSA”) Federal Supply Schedule (“FSS”). The United States Navy attempted to acquire 120-250 hotel rooms for civil service mariners in the Norfolk, Virginia area. The Agency invited vendors to submit offers through the GSA’s e-buy system, with instructions to only submit services on a current GSA

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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