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The Ghosts of Performances Past (Or Lack Of)

By Stephanie Fine, Esq. With the holidays upon us and the new year just around the corner, it is time to start thinking about new solicitations in the pipeline for the next calendar year and your record of past performance. Almost every government proposal requires information on past performance, and it’s inarguably one of the most critical parts. Why does past performance matter? Past performance shows the government that your company is capable of performing the work it says it can. It’

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

OTAs Are Totally, Completely, Amazingly, Revolutionizing Government Procurement. (Not)

By William Weisberg, Every year, the swallows return to Capistrano, the leaves change (at least here in Northern Virginia), and something comes along to revolutionize federal procurement.  LPTA procurements.  Data rights clauses.  FAR part 13. Fixed-price development contracts (if you are old enough to remember those pre-FAR days).  And now…” Other Transaction Authority” (“OTA”).  Avoid all of those pesky statutes and regulations and move FAST!  Sounds good? Sure.  What does it mean?  Read on.

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

David Warner on Federal Drive with Tom Temin

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. It presents both a cost and an administrative burden. David Warner, partner at Centre Law and Consulting joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin to explain what this means to contractors. Hear the interview.   David Warner and Tom Temin. Photo credit: Eric White, Federal News Radio
 

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
 

VA Issues Fiscal Year 2017 Small Business Goals

Small Business Contracting Goals for “Manageable Spend” On May 25, 2017, with only 128 days remaining in Fiscal Year 2017, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs issued VA’s Fiscal Year 2017 small business goals.  This is actually an improvement over when the Fiscal Year 2014 goals were issued with only 38 days remaining in the fiscal year.  Fiscal Year 2014 was the last time the Secretary of Veterans Affairs issued a Small Business Goaling Memorandum. In response to a May 24, 2017, Freedom of Info
 

“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

 

OFCCP’s New Scheduling Letter Expands Intra- and Inter-Agency Data Sharing

Effective July 1, 2016, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) began using its new scheduling letter for compliance evaluations. One of the most significant changes in the form document relates to the agency’s use of data and information submitted by contractors. The “old” letter stated: “Rest assured that OFCCP considers the information you provide in response to this Scheduling Letter as sensitive and confidential. Therefore, any disclosures we may make will be consistent
 

GAO Dismissed Protest Because Protester Failed to Allege Sufficient Basis for Protest

On August 29, 2016, the Air Force issued an RFP seeking base operations support services at an Air Force Base in Mississippi. The solicitation advised offerors that the agency would award the contract “to the proposal with the lowest evaluated price from among those proposals evaluated to be acceptable.” The RFP further stated that the technical evaluation team would evaluate the lowest-price offeror and then, as needed, evaluate higher priced offerors in order of price rank, to assign a rating
 

A Potential End to the Hate-Hate Relationship with LPTA

By Stephanie Fine, Esq. Good news for Federal contractors.  The recently enacted National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) will expand limitations on the use of the much-criticized Lowest Price Technically Acceptable (LPTA) source selection that was previously imposed on the Department of Defense to now include civilian agencies. The LPTA procurement process requires source selection officials to choose the lowest price proposal that satisfies the minimum technical requirements without regard

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

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
 

One Procurement Produced 24 Protests and a Request for Reconsideration

On March 31, 2017, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a press release concerning a bid protest decision that resolved seventeen protests, which challenged the award of contracts by the Department of Education (DOE) for student loan debt collection services. On March 27, 2017, the GAO sustained several of the protests in part, finding that DOE made several prejudicial errors in evaluating the proposals, which led it to making unreasonable source selection decisions. The GAO reco
 

Section 809 Panel: Taking Action on Acquisition Reform

By Barbara Kinosky: Congress’s Section 809 Panel has made their first move on DoD acquisition system reform. The committee is made up of 18 experts in government contracts and is “charged with making recommendations that will shape DoD’s acquisition system into one that is bold, simple, and effective.” Yours truly testified before them. Section 809 Panel has the difficult job of thoroughly reviewing every DoD acquisition regulation ever written, and then conclude which regulations should remain
 

GSA Issues Presentation on Changes to Multiple Award Schedules

The GSA FAS Office of Acquisition Management is planning to refresh all Multiple Award Schedules to incorporate provision and clause updates. For Schedules that offer services, both professional and nonprofessional, the solicitation refresh and corresponding mass modification will also update the application of the Service Contract Labor Standards (SCLS) to align with the U.S. Department of Labor’s SCLS compliance procedures. They recently issued a presentation that outlines the planned changes
 

Barbara Kinosky to Present at Tower Club Lunch and Learn Event

If you are in the Northern Virginia area, grab some lunch with Centre’s Managing Partner, Barbara Kinosky, on May 23 at the Tower Club in Tysons, VA. Barbara will be the featured speaker presenting on “Hot Topics for Federal Contractors: A Look at What’s In and What’s Out in 2017” at the Tower Club’s Lunch and Learn series. Attendees will get up to date on all the latest hot topics in the federal contracting industry. What will a Trump presidency continue to look like? Will there be more emphas
 

Protecting a Forgetful Government – “Christian Doctrine” Alive and Well!

By Hon. Jack Delman We have all learned, some of us in school and some of us in the school of “life experience” that parties to a contract are bound by its terms. Not always, if one of the contracting parties is the federal government. We should know that the sovereign reserves certain unique contract prerogatives. One such prerogative is the right to invoke provisions omitted from the contract but required by law. In G.L Christian & Associates v. United States, 312 F.2d 418 (Ct. Cl. 1963)
 

Award Terms Now an Option at NASA

On August 24, 2017, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) final rule amending the NASA Federal Acquisition Supplement by adding a policy on the use of “award terms” will take effect. Award terms are an incentive for contractors to go above and beyond a satisfactory performance to obtain an additional period of performance. Each award term cannot exceed one year in length, but is in addition to the base and option years. The difference between exercising an option and an awa
 

Centre Law & Consulting Awarded CSOSA Contract for Employee Training

Centre Law & Consulting (Centre), a leading provider of acquisition services and training for both government agencies and federal contractors, is pleased to announce the award of a contract with the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA). Under the contract, Centre will develop and deliver an Executive Contracting Officer’s (COR) Training Program for a base period of one year with two one-year option periods. The training program will focus on increasing the knowledge of CS

Centre Law & Consulting

Centre Law & Consulting

 

Department of Labor Publishes Final Rule For OFCCP Sex Discrimination Guidelines

The U.S. Department of Labor issued a final rule revising its sex discrimination guidelines for federal contractors found at 41 CFR Part 60-20. The final rule is effective August 15, 2016, is the first significant change to the guidelines since 1970, and it clarifies DOL positions with respect to issues of compensation, pregnancy, and harassment among others. Unsurprisingly given recent amendments to EO 11246, the Rule also provides specific guidance with respect to issues regarding sexual orien
 

Ninth Circuit Rules Employer Can Pay Female Employee Less Based on Prior Salary

The Ninth Circuit recently ruled in Rizo v. Yovino that a female’s prior salary can be a “factor other than sex,” thus justifying a pay disparity between comparable male and female employees for purposes of the Equal Pay Act. The plaintiff was an employee of the public schools in Fresno County, California. Upon discovering that the County paid her less than her male counterparts for the same work, she brought an action against the County under the Equal Pay Act. The County conceded that it paid
 

Fixed Costs for Rental Space Survives Challenge

Recently, in the matter of SK Hart Properties LLC, the unsuccessful incumbent contractor for the General Services Administration’s office in Salt Lake City protested the Agency’s decision to use a “fixed tenant improvement allowance.” At its heart, the contractor submitted it does not need the full amount listed for improvements in the solicitation for the contract because its space is relatively prepared for the Agency to use as is. Because the incumbent contractor would not charge the Agency t
 

VA Adopts Final Rule for Veteran-Owned Small Business Verification Guidelines

Interim Final Rule Adopted as Final Rule Without Change In the July 12, 2017, edition of the Federal Register, VA published its Final Rule implementing its revisions regarding the length of the eligibility period for inclusion in the VA Vendor Information Pages Database (VIP) (www.vip.vetbiz.gov).  This Final Rule implements an Interim Final Rule published in the Federal Register on February 21, 2017, extending the length of eligibility from two years to three years.  VA invited public comments
 

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.
 

Federal IT Modernization: Why It’s Important to Government Contractors in 2019

By Barbara S. Kinosky, Esq. There’s a revived focus on the topic and implementation of Information Technology modernization within the federal government in 2019. IT drives innovation and innovation is the most direct route to business success. Innovation in government contracting has the same impact that steam had on the industrial revolution. In fact, it’s hard to imagine any organization that has not benefited from the digital revolution. As we begin 2019, several government agencies have
 

GAO to DoD – Acquisitions for Intelligence Collection Capabilities: there’s a better way.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released a report recommending several changes to the Department of Defense’s (DoD) deployable biometrics programs. Deployable biometric capabilities like fingerprint scanners, voice recognition hardware, and iris scanning devices are used as intelligence collection platforms by the DoD. According to the report, these programs are responsible for DoD capturing or killing 1,700 individuals and preventing 92,000 more from accessing DoD bases
 

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

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