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2020 NDAA: Space Activities and Space Corps

As you may be aware, the 2020 National Defense Authorization Bill (H.R. 2500) recently made its way through the House Committee on Armed Services. With some space-centric NAICS codes, such as 517410 (Satellite Communications), seeing a 134%+ increase in small business participants in the last decade, how the U.S. approaches the final frontier should be on the mind of many small business government contractors. It definitely was on the mind of the Committee on Armed Services. The 2020 NDA

Koprince Law LLC

Koprince Law LLC

 

Draft 2020 NDAA Changes Mandatory DoD Debriefings and Permanently Authorizes DoD Mentor-Protégé Program

On June 11, the House Armed Services Committee published its draft of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which was updated June 19. Among other proposed sections impacting small business contractors which will be discussed in future blog posts, the draft reduces the monetary threshold for comprehensive Department of Defense debriefings and renews the DoD’s Mentor-Protégé Program. Enhanced Debriefings Threshold In section 818 of the 2018 NDAA, discussed on this blog,

Koprince Law LLC

Koprince Law LLC

 

SBA Issues Proposed Rule Implementing Small Business Runway Extension Act

On Monday, June 24, SBA will issue its long-awaited proposed rule implementing the Small Business Runway Extension Act. We intend to explore the proposed rule and the accompanying commentary more fully over the next few days (as we have been doing over the past few months), but we wanted to provide a quick update to our readers on the main changes in the proposed rule. The key takeaway is that, once the rule is in place, SBA size standards will be based on a 5-year average. SBA “proposes to

Koprince Law LLC

Koprince Law LLC

 

SmallGovCon Week in Review: June 17 – 21, 2019

As government contracts attorneys, we find even the mundane aspects of federal contracting law (for example, CAGE codes) pretty interesting and important. But a recent FBI warning detailed in one of the stories from this weeks reminds us all that government contractors are crucial to the safety and well-being of the nation. As reported in the story, the FBI has warned contractors “about foreign intelligence services using social media accounts to target and recruit employees with US governm

Koprince Law LLC

Koprince Law LLC

 

GSA Announces Plans to Consolidate MAS Contracts and Asks for Industry Feedback

The General Services Administration is conducting market research for its planned consolidation of the Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Program. Earlier this month, GSA publicly announced the new single solicitation format, including streamlined terms and conditions, and its intention to collect feedback from government contractors in the industry. According to GSA, the consolidation is part of its two-year modernization process for the program that began in November of 2018. The consolidated MAS s

Koprince Law LLC

Koprince Law LLC

 

Hey VA! You Can’t Avoid the Rule of Two By Using GPO To Do Your Shopping.

It’s no secret that the VA has tried to find ways around the statutorily-mandated rule of two–i.e. VA must set aside procurements for VOSBS if it has a reasonable expectation that it will receive fair and reasonable offers from two or more veteran-owned small businesses. Although the U.S. Supreme Court has already told VA, in Kingdomware, that it cannot circumvent the rule of two, VA apparently is still seeking ways to avoid it. Recently, VA tried to go around the rule of two by using G

Koprince Law LLC

Koprince Law LLC

 

SmallGovCon Welcomes Gregory Weber!

I am happy to announce that Gregory Weber has joined the great team of attorney-authors here at SmallGovCon.  Greg is an associate attorney with Koprince Law LLC, where his practice focuses on federal government contracts law. Before joining the team, Greg worked on federal and state regulatory compliance as a corporate officer for the nation’s largest home health and hospice company. Check out Greg’s full biography to learn more about our newest author, and don’t miss his first SmallGovC
 

Task Order Size Protests: Too Little, Too Late, Says SBA OHA

So, your company has made it past the first big hurdle and got on a GSA schedule. You see a small business task order pop up that you believe your company would be perfect for, but another company gets the award. Based on information you have heard or read, you believe something fishy may be going on and the awarded company may be a big fish that found its way into the small pond. But can you timely protest the task order award? Just last month, OHA reiterated the general rule that size
 

Senate Highlights Decline in Number of Small Businesses Getting Federal Contracts

Recently, a member of the Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship called for increased small business participation in federal contracts during a hearing on the SBA’s contracting programs. Senator Ben Cardin based his concern on a recent report showing that the number of small businesses with federal contracts was at a 10-year low. The report found that federal agencies had awarded contracts to 32 percent fewer small businesses in 2018 versus 2009. In contrast, the numb
 

Runway Extension Act: Return of the SBA

Congress and the SBA continue to disagree about the timing for implementation of the implementation of the Runway Extension Act (conveniently allowing my Star Wars references to continue). SBA recently provided testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship. Senator Marco Rubio called the hearing to address, among other things, why the “SBA has refused to follow the Runway Extension Act.” (We have wondered the same thing.) If you are unfamiliar wi
 

Proprietary Information Proper Basis for Restricted Solicitation Terms

While the overarching goal of the federal procurement system is to provide as many opportunities for competition as possible, there are those instances where the unique circumstances of a procurement require limiting the pool of offerors. In a recent decision, GAO determined that the need for proprietary maintenance information was a sufficient reason to limit competition. Chromalloy San Diego Corp., B-416990.2 (June 3, 2019) involved a procurement by the Navy to service the LM2500 engin
 

SmallGovCon Week in Review: June 10 – 14, 2019

Welcome to another addition of SmallGovCon’s week in review. While you might be on vacation (and feel free to wait to read this until you get back), the world of government contracting spins on. In this week’s edition, there are some interesting updates including paying back wages to federal government contractors who were not paid during the government shutdown, merging OPM with the General Services Administration and the latest in space contracting. Have a great weekend! Spac
 

Preparing for Contract Performance . . . and Guarding Against Problems

Congratulations! After a hard bidding process, your company has earned an award. But though this award process might’ve been long and tough, potential issues are still ahead. In our practice, we often hear stories of soured relationships with the government during contract performance. Adverse performance issues can come at a hefty cost—in terms of money, time, and reputation. Here are some suggestions to help guard against performance disputes with the government. First, it’s
 

Thirty-eighth Time’s the Charm? Not for this Protester.

GAO dismissed a protest recently that was the 38th docketed GAO bid protest action regarding a single solicitation. GAO said the protest was untimely. The decision is a reminder that even seasoned protesters who have gone through complicated bid protests have to stay mindful of GAO’s timeliness rules. The matter, CredoGov, B-414389.38 (May 31, 2019), had to do with a Department of the Army solicitation seeking off-the-shelf items like computers, workstations, notebooks, and printers
 

DoD Proposes Updating DFARS With 15-Day “Prompt Payment” Rules

The Department of Defense awarded contracts to an average 30,806 small businesses each year in fiscal year 2016, 2017, and 2018. A proposed rule to update the DFARS may lead to these same businesses receiving payments from the government, or prime contractors, within 15 days of invoicing. The proposed rule is found at 84 FR 25225. It was published on May 31, 2019 and comments close on July 30, 2019 if you’d like to put in your two cents. The proposed rule acknowledges that “[c]urrent D
 

VA Agrees that Rule of Two Has Priority Over AbilityOne Procurement List

Statute A tells you to solve Problem X one way. Statute B tells you solve Problem X a completely different way. How to reconcile these two conflicting mandates? The Federal Circuit encountered this exact problem in 2018, and in response to its holding, the VA has now issued a class deviation to reflect its decision, confirming that the Rule of Two has priority over the AbilityOne Procurement List. In PDS Consultants, Inc. v. United States, 907 F.3d 1345 (Fed. Cir. 2018),  which we discus
 

SmallGovCon Week in Review: June 3 – 7, 2019

Now that it’s summer, it means means hot weather, farmer’s markets, baseball, barbecues and all the other things on the summer bucket list. We hope you’re enjoying your summer! This week, we share some interesting federal government contracting stories with you including new contracting initiatives at the Departments of Energy and Health and Human Services, a few bad behaving contractors getting sentenced for fraud and bribery and where to find several June contracting conferences.
 

SBA Denies 8(a) Status Based on Applicant’s Ability to Successfully Overcome Gender-Based Discrimination in Her Field

OHA recently affirmed the 8(a) status denial of a 100% woman-owned small business performing in the historically male-dominated renewable energy field. The applicant—who SBA called an “advocate” and “mentor” to women in the industry—detailed specific instances of gender-based-discrimination that plagued her education, employment, and career. But SBA was unmoved, instead focusing its analysis on the applicant’s triumph over these obstacles—apparently an indication that she was not socially disadv
 

GAO: Exclusion Improper Because Former Official Didn’t Have Competitive Information

Hiring former government officials can sometimes be tricky business for contractors. This is particularly true if the former official, based on work at an agency, could give the contractor a leg up in a specific procurement. But hiring a former government official isn’t always a problem. And as a recent GAO decision illustrates, as long as the former official doesn’t have competitively useful, non-public information, an agency shouldn’t exclude an offeror from competition merely because it
 

Report: Federal Spending up $100B since 2015

GAO recently released a snapshot of 2018 fiscal year federal spending. Although it is a very high-level review, it provides some interesting information for government contractors. Among the highlights are the fact that federal discretionary spending has increased year over year and competitive contracts are becoming less common among defense agencies. GAO also identified four key high-risk acquisition areas that it is monitoring. It’s dry stuff, but never fear, we read it for you. Here’s a
 

CAGE-y Evaluation: Agency Unreasonably Failed to Consider CAGE Codes Provided in Proposal

Facilities security clearances are a common requirement for Department of Defense procurements. While important for national security reasons, these solicitation requirements can also create confusion with respect to evaluation. A recent GAO decision demonstrates how confusion can arise when a contractor holds multiple CAGE codes, only one of which corresponds to a cleared facility. BDO USA, LLP, B-416504.2 (May 22, 2019), involved a procurement by the United States Air Force, Transport
 

SBA OHA: For Calculating Receipts, Look to Tax Returns

To calculate a company’s size under a receipts-based NAICS code, the SBA will add the company’s total income to its costs of goods sold, as those amounts are reported on its tax returns. In fact, the SBA’s regulations are clear that it must use these reported amounts to determine a company’s size status. What happens, then, when a company’s taxes show “income” that might not really reflect money in the company’s accounts? The SBA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals recently considered this ques
 

SmallGovCon Week in Review: May 28 – 31, 2019

We hope you all enjoyed your Memorial Day Weekend. At the same time, our thoughts go out to to those affected by recent weather events, including a tornado that touched down just outside of Lawrence. While none of us at Koprince Law were directly affected by the tornado in Lawrence, many members of our community were. We thank the forecasters, first responders, and others who worked to warn us and are helping people rebuild after this event. In this week’s roundup of recent news in the gov
 

Missing Password Doesn’t Sink CIO-SP3 Proposal

A Maryland contractor nearly lost a contract with $20 billion ceiling because of a password protected encrypted document. After much back and forth, and for somewhat obscure reasons, GAO said that it was unreasonable for the agency to ask for the password and then not use it. Chags Health Information Technology, LLC, of Columbia, Maryland, protested the decision of the Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, to eliminate its proposal from the competi
 

GAO Report Shines Light On Contractors with Delinquent Taxes

For most Americans, tax season is happily behind them and Memorial Day festivities signaled the start of summer. A recent GAO report, however, may give cause for some federal contractors to revisit their tax policies before lighting up the grill next weekend. Contracting Officers are required to take in a wealth of information prior to awarding a contract. One piece of information each contracting officer is supposed to review is the tax status of offerors. If an offeror is delinquent in pay
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