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Executive Order for More Accountability at Department of Veterans Affairs

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has come under intense scrutiny from Congress, Veterans, and taxpayers in recent years in large part due to its patient wait time scandal. The first bills to pass the U.S. House of Representatives in the current 115th Congress included The Ensuring VA Employee Accountability Act. The Congress.gov website has numerous current bills pending pertaining to VA accountability, and there was no shortage of proposed accountability legislation in the 114th Congre

Commercial Supplier Agreement (CSA) and Order-Level Materials (OLMs) Roll-Out

By Julia Coon, The General Services Administration (GSA) started the mass modification roll-out of the Commercial Supplier Agreement (CSA) final rule into all Federal Supply Schedules this week. Mass modification roll-out for Order-Level Materials (OLMs) eligible Schedules will begin following acceptance of the CSA mass modification. Following is a summary of the steps for accepting these mass modifications. Please note that this will be a multi-step process for the OLM authorized Schedules an

Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the Coming Political “Kabuki Theater”

By David Warner, I have been fascinated with the political theater around U.S. Supreme Court nominees ever since the contentious Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings gave rise to one of the greatest Saturday Night Live cold openings of all time. (Viewer beware, 2018 “sensitivities” might conflict with 1991 standards of humor. It’s still a classic.) Given our current President and the fact that the incoming justice will replace the “swing vote” of retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, it is widely

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

By William Weisberg, Esq, 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

“The Frog That Roared?” Supreme Court’s Weyerhaeuser Co. Decision May Open The Door For Increased Scrutiny of Agency Decision-Making

Last week the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Weyerhaeuser Co. v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regarding an agency determination that certain lands were a “critical habitat” for the endangered dusky gopher frog and could not be developed. While some contemporaneous accounts of the oral arguments anticipated a likely split along ideological lines, the Court’s eventual decision was a unanimous one that overturned the lower courts’ affirmation of the agency’s actions. While th

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

Cybersecurity for Federal Contractors: You Are Ready, Aren’t You?

Dec. 31, 2017 should be an important date for Department of Defense contractors, since by that date you will be expected to be following the cybersecurity requirements of the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) Special Publication 800-171, “Protecting Controlled Unclassified Information in Nonfederal Information Systems and Organizations.”  Although this deadline specifically applies to the DOD, all federal contractors should be familiar with the NIST standards for Non-Federa

Federal Contractor Breaches Service Contract Act: Thousands of Underpaid Workers

By Barbara Kinosky General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT) has been accused of underpaying about 10,000 workers allegedly covered by the Service Contract Act (SCA). These workers run help hotlines for public insurance programs. Four complaints were filed Monday at the Department of Labor by the Communication Workers of America. It’s interesting that this union does not represent any of the workers.  There is no private right of action under the SCA so I am a bit perplexed over how this u

Service Contractors Beware: Changes To FLSA “Salary Exempt” Status Coming (Yet Again)

By David Warner Almost exactly four years ago, Centre issued a blog post regarding the status of the Obama Administration’s effort to revise the standards for determining whether an employee may be “exempt” for purposes of entitlement to overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Ultimately, the Obama DOL issued regulations that would have more than doubled the FLSA’s minimum salary requirement from $23,660 to $47,476 per year – affecting the status of an estimated 4.2 million workers.

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

Early Bird Rates Have Arrived on 2017 Training Courses

It’s that time of year again! Early bird rates have arrived on all 2017 training courses! Visit our Training Calendar to see the full slate of courses, and be sure to use code EARLYBIRD2017 to save $100 off your registration fee when signing up before December 30, 2016. The post Early Bird Rates Have Arrived on 2017 Training Courses appeared first on Centre Law & Consulting. View the full article

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

Confused by GSA’s Sales Reporting System Transition?

By Julia Coon, The General Services Administration (GSA) has been in the process of shutting down the legacy 72A Reporting System and transitioning all Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contracts to the new FAS Sales Reporting Portal (SRP). The transition is expected to be completed by the end of this calendar year. Several contractors completed their final report in the 72A Reporting System last month. To help prepare for your first report in the new system, we answered some of the most frequently

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

“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

Don’t be Left Holding the Bag – Why It’s More Important than Ever to Thoroughly Review Your Government Contract Before Signing

By Edward W. Bailey, Boeing just challenged a recent ruling by the Court of Federal Claims which has wide-reaching implications for government contractors. In a May decision, the Court held that, by executing a contract with the government, Boeing had waived its right to challenge the government’s inclusion in the contract of certain mandatory FAR provisions. If the decision were to stand, it would seemingly mean that a contractor’s only recourse in such a situation would be to file a pre-award

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

GAO Rejects “One and Done” Line Item Evaluation

In its August 25, 2017 decision the GAO sustained a bid protest from David Jones CPA PC (“Jones”) on the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (“VA”) refusal to establish a blanket purchase agreement following a request for quotations on Equal Employment Opportunity claims investigations. The principle issue of the decision revolved around the VA’s elimination of Jones’ proposal because of a single line item. The solicitation advised offerors that technical approach was significantly more important t

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

President Trump Revokes Executive Order Providing for Nondisplacement of Qualified Workers

By Heather Mims, Esq. Under Executive Order 13495, the policy of the Federal Government was that all Service Contract Act covered contracts over the simplified acquisition threshold were to include a contract clause requiring contractors to make good-faith offers of employment to predecessor SCA-covered employees.  However, on October 31, 2019, President Trump issued an “Executive Order on Improving Federal Contractor Operations by Revoking Executive Order 13495” which requires the “Secretary o

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

New GSA Transactional Data Reporting Rule Issued

On June 23, 2016, the General Services Administration (GSA) amended the General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation (GSAR) to include clauses that require vendors to report transactional data from orders placed against certain Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) contracts, Governmentwide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs), and Governmentwide Indefinite-Delivery, Indefinite-Quantity (IDIQ) contracts. What does this mean and what do you need to know? First, it’s important to clarify what Tran

Agency Found to Have Reasonably Canceled Solicitation Due to Protest

In a decision on July 10, 2017, the GAO found that an agency reasonably canceled its solicitation after a protest where the agency’s requirements were time dependent. Tien Walker, a small business, protested the cancelation of the solicitation issued by the Department of State for public opinion polling surveys to be conducted in South Asia. Specifically, the selected contractor was to conduct two public opinion surveys in Afghanistan, with the first survey to be completed before the start of t

Count Your Blessings- A Thousand DOL Audit Letters Never Looked So Good

By Tyler Freiberger To much international acclaim, earlier this year Iceland introduced a new equal pay act to fight discrimination against protected classes, particularly historically underpaid women. The introduction of the Act made the cover of Time magazine and garnered wide-spread attention on the 24-hour news networks’ cycles. While the historic Act may warrant such coverage, for domestic industry insiders the celebration of Iceland’s legislative prioritization of gender equality may ring

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

New Overtime Rule Blocked by Federal Judge

Hopefully you had already heard by now that the Department of Labor issued a new overtime rule that would require employers to pay time and a half to employees that worked more than forty hours a week and earned less than $47,476 a year. This raised the minimum earning level by about two times – from the current standard of $23,660 – and would have affected about 4.2 million American workers. The rule also established an automatic updating mechanism that would adjust the minimum salary level eve

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

Contractors: Think Your Government Doesn’t Care? — Think Again!

By Wayne Simpson, CFCM, CSCM The government has on occasion been accused of treating offerors and contractors unfairly, if not downright poorly.  Perhaps from time to time you even perceive being treated unfairly in the conduct of a procurement.  Sadly, we hear this all the time.  But now the government is considering the potential benefits of obtaining voluntary feedback surveys from the vendor community on a regular basis. The Department of Defense (DoD), the General Services Administration

GSA ALERT: Industrial Funding Fee (IFF) Payment and Sales Reporting Due July 30th in New FAS Sales Reporting Portal

By Julia Coon, It’s that time of the year again, and your General Services Administration (GSA) Schedule Industrial Funding Fee (IFF) payment and sales reporting are due by July 30th. In accordance with Clause 552.238-74, all Schedule contractors are required to report sales within 30 calendar days following the completion of the reporting period and remit the IFF within 30 calendar days following the end of each reporting quarter. Even if you have zero sales for the April – June quarter, you a

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

Reenlistment Bait and Switch, Revolving Doors, and Another GAO Report on the VA

Raise Your Hand if You Want a Reenlistment Bonus to Redeploy – Oops Sorry, You Didn’t Read the Fine Print, Pay it Back Later Really? Seriously, this cannot be true. You, by that I mean you the Pentagon, as in The Pentagon, why are you making soldiers pay back reenlistment bonuses they were promised? This is wrong. As in really, wrong. Their job was to show up, redeploy (“re” as in go back again to a place you wouldn’t take your family to on a vacation), and do their job. They did that. You, th

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

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