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
The answer should be: very worried. Even if you are involved in a small company or small law firm, you can be a target. Everyone needs to take appropriate precautions.
Even though we seem to be hearing nonstop horror stories about servers being held for ransom or personal information stolen from websites, there are things that you can do to minimize the chances that you or your company will be the next victim.
You need to establish a set of security rules that will apply to everyone in the f
Federal contractors often feel a great sense of relief when they are selected for an award. However, the recent GAO decision regarding a request for quotations for supplying diesel shows just how quickly a business relationship with the federal government can sour.
Bluehorse Corporation, an Indian Small Business, successfully submitted the lowest price quote on supply and delivery of around 30,000 gallons of diesel for use in a construction project. The Request for Quotations stated; “All fuel
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
In its July 28, 2017 decision, the GAO denied a protest and found an agency’s decision to negotiate a sole-source contract with a Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) to be reasonable based on the agency’s lack of progress in meeting its HUBZone goals. JRS Staffing Services, B-414630, B414630.2 (July 28, 2017).
The original solicitation process from the Department of Justice, Bureau of Prisons (BOP), underwent several rounds. The BOP originally issued a solicitation without any re
In its July 17, 2017, decision the GAO partially sustained a protest after an agency conducted an unreasonable past performance evaluation.
Timberline LLC’s award for the maintenance and deactivation of manufactured housing units in Louisiana was protested by MLU services after MLU noticed an oddity about Timberline LLC’s submitted past performance history. Put simply, the contracts submitted for evaluation were not Timberline LLC’s. In fact, the past contracts were not even the Timberline LLC’
Federal Contractor and Subcontractor Labor Reporting Requirements Under the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act
This is a reminder to Federal contractors and subcontractors of an important annual Federal labor reporting requirement coming due September 30, 2017. The Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) requires Federal contractors and subcontractors with contracts valued at > $150,000 to annually report employment data for protected Veterans in their emplo
Any contractor is frustrated when they fail to win a solicitation award. Getting edged out on price by a few percentage points, receiving a low technical rating due to a misread proposal, or dealing with confusing evaluation criteria; all legitimate complaints. But imagine if your protest was not even considered, despite clear proof you sent it on time, as instructed. That’s exactly what happened to Ghazan Neft Gas, for its proposal on a fixed-priced supply and delivery contract of fuel to the
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
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
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
Centre Law & Consulting will be at NCMA World Congress in Chicago from July 23-26, 2017. A number of Centre’s staff have been invited to speak about various federal contracting topics (see below for the topics and times). Centre will also be exhibiting at booth 417.
Monday July 24
Corporate Ethics: Lead from the Top or Pay Through the Nose
A07 • Managing Contracting Organizations • Room 309/311 • Intermediate
David Warner, Partner, Centre Law & Consulting
This session will review r
In a first for the federal government, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin has announced that the VA will now publicly post all major disciplinary actions taken against its employees. This includes all terminations, demotions, and suspensions of more than fourteen days. While the adverse action report does not include employees’ names, the list does and will continue to include the employee’s component, position, specific adverse action taken, date it took effect, and the employee’s region
In September of 2016, Aurotech Inc. won an award for a blanket purchase agreement with Health and Human Services, FDA. Discover Tech made a persuasive protest of that award, resulting in the FDA taking corrective action, and to reevaluate Aurotech’s and Discover Tech’s quotations. After the FDA revised its initial award, now choosing Discover Tech in the award determination, Aurotech filed an unsuccessful protest.
Aurotech challenged the Agency’s evaluation of how Discover Tech’s reductions to
Bill Seeks to Limit Improper LPTA Use
Although Lowest-Price, Technically Acceptable (LPTA) procurements are conducted as part of the “best value” continuum, nothing seems to get the ire of industry up more than LPTA procurements, and the government’s seemingly ever-increasing use of the LPTA method. Help may be on the way to curb the use of improper LPTA procurements in civilian departments. The National Defense Authorization Act of 2017 already placed restrictions on use of LPTA procurements
The System for Award Management (SAM) is a system in which contractors must register in order to do business with the federal government. SAM was created to consolidate and eliminate some of the legacy systems. SAM’s goal is to consolidate a majority of the federal procurement systems into one user friendly system. The next phase for SAM modernization is due to be released in September 2017. The new beta.SAM.gov being released is the Office of the Integrated Award Environment’s (IAE) effort to c
Just in time for the consummate workaholic acquisition professional to read while lying on the beach this summer, and for those who never want to get too far away from the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), the General Services Administration (GSA) Office of Government-wide Policy, in conjunction with the FAR Council announced June 20, 2017, the release of the FAR in the Kindle Bookstore.
The FAR is now available in eBook format for free in the Amazon Kindle bookstore. Users can highlight t
Yes, Congress is doing more than learning “nyet” and other basic Russian. The House of Representatives passed the Modernizing Government Technology Act of 2017 (the “MGT Act”) in record time. The legislation is now in the Senate. If enacted into law it would create funds for agencies to invest in new, innovative information technology solutions and replace aging legacy systems. The bill establishes a $500 million central fund to support rapid IT modernization across 24 agencies. Better yet,
On Thursday, June 29, 2017, Wayne Simpson will be testifying on behalf of the National Veterans Small Business Coalition (NVSBC), before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Veterans Affairs’, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.
The subcommittee is holding a legislative hearing on four bills related to strengthening acquisitions at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). These bills include H.R. 2006, H.R. 2749, H.R. 2781, and another unnumbered bill currently in draft. The
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
In a decision publicly released on May 30, 2017, Alphaport Inc. – Reconsideration, B-414086.3 (May 23, 2017), the GAO denied a request for reconsideration regarding a nearly $25 million contract. The GAO originally denied Alphaport, Inc.’s bid protest challenging the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) award of a contract to Banner Quality Management, Inc. for technical support services.
The solicitation was awarded as a single cost-plus-fixed-fee contract based on best value
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
On April 18, 2017, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) published a proposed rule in the Federal Register to amend its regulations to adopt and incorporate the U.S Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) revisions for 2017, identified as “NAICS 2017.” SBA proposes to adopt the updated table of size standards effective October 1, 2017, to coincide with beginning of the government’s next fiscal year.
NAICS 2017 creates 21 new industri
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
Employees are expensive. It’s little surprise market forces incentivize companies to search for a way to get the same work out of people without paying for holidays, accommodating disabilities, and paying overtime, among countless other requirements. Imagine if you could save all this money within the law and avoid the risk of employment discrimination lawsuits. With all these savings your company could lower the price of your services/goods and edge out the competition. Figure out how to replac