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Koprince Law LLC

Greetings from Omaha, where I’ve just wrapped up a great half-day training session sponsored by the Nebraska PTAC.  If you haven’t been to Omaha, you’re missing out: I’m enjoying exploring the Old Market District, and keep wondering when I’ll run into Warren Buffett.

Of course, I’m not about to let a little road trip get in the way of our weekly roundup of government contracts news. In this edition of the SmallGovCon Week In Review, we have an update on an SDVOSB fraud case that we have been following for awhile, a push to close loopholes in the Buy American Act, some promising changes for the SBA Surety Bond Guarantee program, and more.

  • After jurors became deadlocked, a retrial was scheduled in the case of an Arkansas businessman accused of falsely claiming to operate a SDVOSB. [Arkansas Online]
  • Senator Chris Murphy is pushing hard to change federal rules regarding the government buying products from American companies, trying to close loopholes in the Buy American Act.  [New Haven Register]
  • FEMA is seeking contractors to provide meals in the wake of Hurricane Maria, and will begin awarding contracts as soon as possible. [Markets Insider]
  • Congressman Will Hurd is one step closer to making his dream of overhauling federal government information technology procurement a reality. [San Antonio Business Journal]
  • The SBA is considering granting a request for a class waiver of the Nonmanufacturer Rule for Positive Airway Pressure Devices and Supplies Manufacturing. [Federal Register]
  • The SBA has finalized two important changes to its Surety Bond Guarantee Program that will increase contract opportunities for small construction contractors. [SBA]

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Koprince Law LLC

For many sports fans, it’s now football season, but I’m still focused on baseball, with my Chicago Cubs clinching the Central Division title last night.  There are still more regular season games to be played, but I’m looking forward to the start of the playoffs, where the Cubs will try to end a 108-year World Series drought.

Of course, baseball isn’t the only thing on my mind these days–especially this close to the end of the government’s fiscal year.  As always, I’ve been keeping a close eye on government contracting news.  This week, SmallGovCon Week In Review includes stories on the latest developments in the Alliant 2 procurement process, insightful commentary by Guy Timberlake on a terrible new proposal for small business goaling, a major bid protest filed by Delta Air Lines, and much more.

  • According to Deltek’s Angie Petty, the pending change in administrations seems unlikely to affect federal IT contract spending. [ExecutiveBiz]
  • At the end of the fiscal year, lots of companies get the good news: “you’ve won!” One commentator offers a list of five things to do after winning a federal contract. [Washington Technology]
  • Guy Timberlake hits back at a recent proposal to count subcontracting dollars toward the government’s 23% small business goal–a move Timberlake says would “put the screws to America’s small businesses.” He’s right.  [GovConChannel]
  • The U.S. Government Accountability Office announced it will create a Center for Advanced Analytics to bring a more data-driven approach into its work. [govfresh]
  • Delta Air Lines is protesting a contract that it says undermines the “Fly America Act” that requires taxpayer-funded travel to take place on domestic carriers. [Reuters]
  • The General Services Administration is sprinting to launch four new categories of specialized cybersecurity offerings for agency purchase October 1 on the government’s largest IT services acquisition vehicle. [fedscoop]
  • Alliant 2 Unrestricted and Alliant 2 Small Business extended the due date again without the GSA giving a reason as to why. [Aronson Fed Point]
  • Contractors are urging the next President to mandate a change to improve the services acquisition process. [Government Executive]

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Koprince Law LLC

As we get closer to the end of the fiscal year, things can get a little crazy in the world of government contracts.  This week is no exception, with plenty of news and commentary in our SmallGovCon Week In Review.

In this mid-September edition, court documents reveal a bribery scheme centered on a former VA OSDBU official, the GSA has relaxed certain contracting rules to speed efforts to rebuild after Hurricane Harvey, the OFPP is planning a third in its series of highly-regarded “mythbusters” memos, and much more.

  • Newly released court documents have revealed an elaborate scheme with a former VA OSDBU official, who was accepting bribes for lucrative government contracts. [CBS Denver]
  • In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the GSA is relaxing certain contracting rules to encourage speed and local awards. [Government Executive]
  • Contractors are playing a major role in assisting with disaster relief in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. [Federal News Radio]
  • A former Department of Commerce official has found himself with a four year prison sentence and ordered to forfeit approximately a quarter of a million dollars for conspiracy to pay and receive bribes. [United States Department of Justice]
  • A contractor who was debarred from entering into contracts with the DoD in 2013, but continued to provide airplane parts to the government, has been sentenced to 26 months imprisonment and ordered to pay $420,000 in restitution. [United States Department of Justice]
  • 109 startup companies, venture capital firms and angel investors were interviewed to come up with a report titled “Why Startups Don’t Bid on Government Contracts.” [fedscoop]
  • The Office of Federal Procurement Policy is planning a third mythbusters memo as part of its continuing effort to improve communication around acquisition. [Federal News Radio]
  • The Senate will be voting on the 2018 NDAA soon, and Federal News Radio put together a list of four important amendments for contractors to watch. [Federal News Radio]

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Koprince Law LLC

My heart rate has finally come down after the exciting finish to Game Five of the Cubs-Nationals playoff series last night.  I caught the first few innings waiting for my flight in Salt Lake City, and the game (which clocked in at more than 4 1/2 hours) was still going when I landed in Kansas City a couple hours later.  Thanks in part to the magic of instant replay, my Cubs were victorious, and will continue their World Series title defense against the Dodgers this weekend.

Clearly, my mind is on sports–but I’m also closely watching developments in government contracts.  In this week’s SmallGovCon Week In Review, the GAO reminds agencies that they have the power to override the automatic stay, the SBA updates the WOSB/EDWOSB NAICS codes, a bill to improve the SBIR and STTR programs passes the House unanimously, and much more.

  • Can one contract change the way the government buys IT? How EIS will spur federal IT modernization. [FedTech]
  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services signed a memorandum of understanding to use the GSA’s OASIS vehicle. [fedscoop]
  • The government may soon buy based more on best value considerations, and less often using lowest price as its main, or sometimes only, focus. [Bloomberg Government]
  • An Ohio senator has asked the Treasury Department to review whether the Equifax breach could constitute grounds for debarment, which would prevent the company from winning or renewing contracts with the government. [Washington Examiner]
  • The GAO released a statement rebuking comments by the IRS, which had stated that it was forced award a bridge contract to Equifax during the course of a bid protest. The GAO noted that agencies have the power to override the automatic stay in appropriate circumstances. [Nextgov]
  • The SBA has updated the NAICS codes authorized for use in the WOSB program; the updates apply to all solicitations issued on or after October 1, 2017. [Federal Register]
  • Language in the 2018 NDAA would make it more difficult for companies to protest contract awards, particularly those made by defense and military agencies. [Nextgov]  (And click here for my take on why this is a really bad idea).
  • It was with unanimous support this week that H.R. 2763, The Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Improvement Act of 2017, passed the House of Representatives. [scvtv]

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Koprince Law LLC

Wow!  After 108 years, my Chicago Cubs are the World Series champions!  I was in Minneapolis for this year’s National Veterans Small Business Engagement (which was an amazing event), and split my Game 7 viewing between the hotel bar and my room.  I wish I could have been at Wrigley Field, and I wish that my grandfather (who really started the family on the whole Cubs thing) could have been alive to see it.  But I am sure somewhere he is smiling along with all the other Cubs fans who couldn’t see this moment.

While my week consisted mostly of convention halls and Cubs, there was no shortage of news in the world of government contracting.  In this week’s SmallGovCon Week In Review, a company was able to continue contracting with the VA even after it was indicted and convicted of fraud, a new report indicates that WOSBs are still being shut out of opportunities to earn major government contracts, a look ahead to the election and what changes may lie for federal contractors, a contractor gave a high-ranking government official free living space–and didn’t violate the ethics rules–and much more.

  • A company was convicted of falsely claiming SDVOSB status in order to obtain more than $100 million in government contracts–and the company continued to receive VA contract money even after it was convictred. [CBS Boston]
  • A new report released by Women Impacting Public Policy shows that women owned small businesses are still being shut out of major government contracts. [Forbes]
  • With the November 8 election just a few days away, a new report by data and analytics firm Govini shows how the outcome of highly-contested races in five key battleground states may affect federal spending in those states. [Government Executive]
  • A victory in the federal courts for California software company Palantir is either a win for just one company or a much broader decision that will impact how the government buys commercial technology. [Washington Technology]
  • The Pentagon’s gift rules allowed an Army National Guard General to accept rent-free living space from a defense contractor because the contractor is a personal friend. [Government Executive]
  • Contractors, take note: the Office of Government Ethics has published a final rule overhauling the ethics rules for executive branch employees. [Federal News Radio]
  • A government contracts consulting firm identifies 20 key opportunities–including many major recompetes–on the horizon in 2017. [Federal News Radio]

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Koprince Law LLC

While we are diving into fall weather here in Kansas, my colleagues and I are thinking of everyone on the East Coast dealing with Hurricane Matthew.  We hope that everyone makes it through the storm safe and sound.

Hurricane Matthew is at the top of the news headlines this week, but there’s still plenty happening in the world of government contracting.  In this edition of SmallGovCon Week In Review, we bring you articles final FAR rule restricting awards to companies with unpaid tax liabilities, two separate cases regarding alleged discrimination by government contractors, a new beta version of a Freedom of Information Act Wiki was launched, a major expansion of the HUBZone program, and much more.

  • The FAR Council has adopted, without changes, an interim rule I reported on last year, which restricts most contract awards to companies with unpaid federal tax obligations. [Government Publishing Office]
  • The United States Department of Labor is suing a Silicon Valley firm, which handles $340 million of federal contracts, for allegedly discriminating against Asian job applicants. [Parent Herald]
  • Using a category management approach to optimize spending, the GSA’s Human Capital and Training Solutions Unrestricted contract is intended to increase access to 77 qualified vendors offering, efficient, cost-effective management and training support. [Federal Times]
  • The Small Business Administration is correcting a final rule that described the limitations on subcontracting that apply to set aside contracts. [Federal Register]
  • A Freedom of Information Act Wiki was launched that acts as a free and collaborative resource and allows a rapid account of new developments so everyone has the most up-to-date information about the law in a useful, online format. [CJR]
  • A global technology manufacturing company has been sued by the U.S. Department of Labor for compensation discrimination against female assembly workers who were found to be making less than their male counterparts. [The Salem News]
  • President Obama is being urged to issue a directive against anti-gay bias in federal contracting. [The Washington Post]
  • Oracle’s decision to abandon the GSA Schedules as a channel to sell its products might just be the tip of the iceberg of problems in the government market. [Washington Technology]
  • A new report shows that women-owned firms are 21 percent less likely to win government contracts. [Biz Journals]
  • In an important change that’s flown beneath the radar, the SBA removed what it said was an unnecessary requirement in the HUBZone program, allowing for a major expansion of the program. [Set-Aside Alert]

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Koprince Law LLC

The curse is broken!  For the first time in 71 years, my Chicago Cubs will play a World Series game in Wrigley Field tonight.  While I wish I could be in Wrigley to cheer them on, the ticket prices are being called “record breaking,” and not in a good way.  So I’ll be watching with my family from the comfort of my couch right here in Kansas–which, if nothing else, will offer the advantage of a better dinner than the ballpark (I’ll take chicken smoked on the Big Green Egg over a ballpark hot dog any day).

But before I head home to watch the first pitch, it’s time for our weekly dose of government contracting news and notes.  In this week’s SmallGovCon Week In Review, a judge has blocked implementation of the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Rule, Guy Timberlake sounds the alarm about proposed changes to small business goaling, a group of contract employees have gone on strike in protest of alleged legal violations, and much more.

  • A federal court in Texas has halted enforcement of new rules requiring many U.S. government contractors to disclose labor law violations, including workplace safety violations, when bidding for contracts. [POLITICO]
  • The GSA has introduced new initiatives to better engage small and innovative companies that aren’t traditionally government contractors. [fedscoop]
  • Our friend Guy Timberlake takes a look at what would happen if, all of a sudden, agencies didn’t have to work so hard to meet or exceed their small business goals. [GovConChannel]=
  • The team at the Office of Management and Budget have been thinking creatively on how to deal with unsolicited proposals and generate the best ways to approach the federal IT procurement process. [fedscoop]
  • Fed up truck drivers and warehouse workers employed by federal contractors are striking for 48 hours to draw attention to alleged wage theft and other violations. [workdayMinnesota]
  • Washington Technology lays out four things you need to know about new the contractor requirements for classified networks. [Washington Technology]

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Koprince Law LLC

The baseball playoffs are back, and tonight I’ll be watching my Cubs begin their quest for back-to-back titles.  (If you’re not a lifelong Cubs fan, you may not realize how strange it feels to write that previous sentence).

Before the games begin, it’s time for our weekly dose of government contracting news.  In this week’s edition of the SmallGovCon Week in Review, the DOJ charges four men with participating in a bribery and kickback conspiracy, the GAO publishes a report finding that many contracts weren’t closed on time, a court reverses a contractor’s debarment, and more.

  • You don’t see this every day: four men are charged in a bribery and kickback conspiracy scheme–involving a DoD Office of Inspector General contract.  If true, that’s pretty brazen.  [U.S. Department of Justice]
  • The SBA has adopted the 2017 NAICS code revision as the basis of its small business size standards. [Federal Register]
  • The GAO published a report showing that contracts were not closed on time at several agencies. [U.S. Government Accountability Office]
  • A federal court ruled the GSA unfairly debarred a government contractor because GSA did not give the contractor notice of all grounds prior to the agency’s final debarment determination. [Federal News Radio]
  • Several defendants in a New York SDVOSB False Claims Act case have agreed to pay $3 million to resolve allegations that they improperly obtained SDVOSB contracts. [U.S. Department of Justice]
  • A retired Army colonel whose business company reportedly was used to commit bribery to obtain more than $20 million in government contracts has been charged with conspiracy. [The Augusta Chronicle]
  • A new website consolidates federal Inspector General reports in one place. [Oversight.gov]
  • Reverse auction provider FedBid has been acquired but will continue to operate under its own brand. [Compusearch]

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Koprince Law LLC

It is KU’s homecoming weekend here in Lawrence.  I’m planning to catch KU’s homecoming parade with the family tonight, and then cheer KU onto football victory tomorrow against Oklahoma State (ok, that last part may be wishful thinking).

Of course, before we all head out to enjoy an autumn weekend, it’s time to get caught up on the latest in federal government contracting news.  In this week’s SmallGovCon Week In Review, a former State Department employee will spend four years in prison for helping steer contracts to his son’s company, the IRS awards contracts to contractors owing back taxes, one commentator sounds a well-worn (and in my view, essentially incorrect) alarm about bid protests, and much more.

  • A former State Department employee has been sentenced to more than four years in prison for helping to steer $2 million in government contracts to a company half owned by his son. [KOIN 6]
  • Many federal agencies-including the IRS itself–are awarding contracts to contractors owing back taxes. [U.S. News]
  • The FedRAMP overhaul is beginning to pay dividends. [Federal News Radio]
  • The debate over the scope of the False Claims Act continues, with recent cases focusing on what happens if the government knew about a contractor’s noncompliance but paid anyway. [Bloomberg BNA]
  • One commentator offers a well-worn “sky is falling” argument regarding bid protests, which includes cherry-picking statistics (like focusing on GAO’s relatively low sustain rate instead of the actual protest success rate) in an effort to make a case against the protest process. (My take: protests are relatively rare, and succeed nearly half the time.  Improvements are always possible, but overall the system is working.  Please stop whining). [NextGov]
  • A new DFARS regulation clarifies which kinds of unclassified information contractors need to protect under DoD’s new cyber incident reporting requirement. [Federal Register]
  • Speaking of the DFARS, a final rule has been issued regarding the mandatory display of hotline posters. [Federal Register]

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Koprince Law LLC

My Cubs couldn’t pull off the World Series repeat, losing badly to the Dodgers last night in the National League Championship Series.  And you know what?  I’m okay with it.  We Cubs fans are a different breed: after 108 years, many of us  thought we’d never see a title.  So after the amazing championship last year, all of 2017 felt like playing with house money.  Yankees fans might be grumbling that it’s been a whopping eight years since their last title, but Cubs fans like me will always have 2016.

Enough baseball–time to move on to what’s really important on your Friday, the SmallGovCon Week In Review!  This week, we bring you articles ranging from government employees taking illegal gratuities, a sharp decrease in the number of successful small business contractors, investigators find major problems with many of the Census Bureau’s sole source contracts, and more.

  • A 40-month prison sentence was handed down to the former comptroller of the Norfolk Ship Support Activity for conspiring with others to essentially force a government prime contractor to use a specified subcontractor. [United States Department of Justice]
  • Federal agencies met the governmentwide small business goal for the fourth straight year in fiscal 2016, but the number of small  business prime contractors has gone down by 25% since 2010. [Federal News Radio]
  • After helping to steer millions of dollars in contracts to a North Carolina defense contractor, a former employee of the Navy has now been sentenced to three years and four months in prison for his role in the scheme. [The Virginia Pilot]
  • Listen to Larry Allen on Federal Drive with Tom Temin as he discusses what GSA has in store for contractors this year. [Federal News Radio]
  • A whistleblower suit has led to a False Claims Act settlement of $2.6 million to resolve civil allegations that the company submitted false claims for payment to the DoD for unqualified security guards. [wtop]
  • Government investigators found problems with 90% of the no-bid contracts awarded by the Census Bureau, resulting in overpayment to contractors by about $9 million. [New York Post]
  • Congressional members have submitted a request for information on data security vetting for government contracts. [Homeland Preparedness News]
  • GSA Administrator nominee Emily Murphy wants the GSA to make it easier for new companies to do business with the government so competition remains robust. [Federal News Radio]
  • The Indian Health Service agency has come under fire for awarding a contract to a company that had previously paid $10 million to settle allegations of submitting false claims to the government. [Bristol Herald Courier]

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Koprince Law LLC

It’s mid-October, and my Chicago Cubs are still playing.  After a thrilling comeback win over the Giants, the Cubs will take on the Los Angeles Dodgers starting tomorrow in the National League Championship Series.  Will this be the year that the Cubs break the Billy Goat Curse and allow their fans to think about The Simpsons instead of the 2003 playoffs when they hear the word “Bartman”?

Time will tell.  But as the baseball playoffs move forward, I’m keeping my eyes on government contracting news–and there’s plenty of it this week.  In the latest SmallGovCon Week In Review,  a large trade group has filed a lawsuit to block the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces final rule, GSA updates its Dun & Bradstreet contract, Guy Timberlake addresses the potential effects of the 2017 NDAA, and much more.

  • A large construction trade group has filed a lawsuit to block the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces final rule. [The Wall Street Journal]
  • The Air Force awarded the largest contract during the 2016 fiscal year, thanks to a $30 million agreement with Agile Defense. [Washington Technology]
  • A draft proposal, Implementing Category Management for Common Goods and Services, was published last week in the Federal Register and is now open for public comment. [FCW]
  • The General Services Administration has updated its Dun & Bradstreet contract, which will allow agency acquisition personnel and contractors wider latitude to use the standardized company information for purposes beyond mere identification. [Government Executive]
  • An ex-NASA official has pleaded guilty to making false statements about self-interested interactions with contractors according to the Justice Department. [Government Executive]
  • Bloomberg Government takes a look at five trends shaping federal contracts in fiscal 2017 [Bloomberg Government]
  • With about four months before the end of the Obama administration, the push to recognize, even celebrate, and institutionalize its management agenda is coming fast and furious. [Federal News Radio]
  • Guy Timberlake digs into the proposed changes being considered in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act and how small businesses will be affected. [GovConChannel]

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Koprince Law LLC

It’s been quite the week!  We began with a Presidential election to remember and are ending the week with a celebration of the veterans who have served our country.  On behalf of the entire team here at Koprince Law LLC, thank you to the many veterans who read SmallGovCon.  Your sacrifice and dedication to our country is truly a debt that can never be repaid.

Election coverage dominated the headlines this week, but there was  no shortage of government contracts news.  In this week’s SmallGovCon Week In Review, the DoD has changed its policy on independent research and development, Washington Technology takes a first look at what the Trump Administration will mean for federal contractors, the Court of Federal Claims is hearing a case that could decide whether the Kingdomware decision applies to AbilityOne procurements, and much more.

  • Does the Kingdomware case apply to AbilityOne procurements?  That question may be resolved in a case pending at the Court of Federal Claims. [Winston-Salem Journal]
  • The Federal Acquisition Service undertook a strategic organizational realignment of the workforce and processes which has a goal for the government to act as one – but will also improve organizational efficiencies and effectiveness in the delivery of acquisition solutions and services.  [Federal News Radio]
  • The Defense Department changed its policy on independent research and development last week, requiring companies to consult with the Pentagon about research done party on the government’s dime. [Federal News Radio]
  • Washington Technology takes an early look at what a Trump presidency looks like for federal contractors. [Washington Technology]
  • The GAO upheld the protest of an incumbent vendor who lost a contract award in a case that points to the high level of complexity involved in IT and government contracting. [FCW]

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The year is flying by.  Believe it or not, Thanksgiving is next week.  While my colleagues and I prepare to overdose on turkey and stuffing (and my personal Thanksgiving favorite–copious amounts of pie), our focus today is on the top stories that made government contracting headlines this week.

In this edition of SmallGovCon Week In Review, all nine bid protests filed against the TRICARE award were denied, the FAR Council proposes a rule to clarify how Contracting Officers are to award 8(a) sole source contracts in excess of $22 million, Set-Aside ALERT offers an in depth look at HUBZone set-asides in 2016, the Obama Administration’s government contracting Executive Orders may be reversed by President-Elect Trump, and much more.

  • All nine bid protests filed by health insurers who came out on the losing end of the Defense Department’s TRICARE awards have been denied. [Federal News Radio]
  • The General Services Administration will launch a cloud-based shared service contract-writing system that will offer federal agencies a turnkey, comprehensive contract writing and administrative solution beginning next year. [Nextgov]
  • The FAR Council has issued a proposed rule to clarify the guidance for sole-source 8(a) contract awards exceeding $22 million. [Federal Register]
  • Writing in Bloomberg Government, Tom Skypek offers four steps on how to turn around a failing contract. [Bloomberg Government]
  • As 2016 draws to a close, Set-Aside ALERT provides an in-depth look at where things stand with the SBA’s HUBZone program. [Set-Aside ALERT]
  • Federal IT executives and industry experts say between the election, expected slow or non-existent budget growth and uncertainty in leadership, most of the change will happen below the surface. [Federal News Radio]
  • According to one commentator, Donald Trump’s election is likely to provide federal contractors with one of the biggest items on their wish list: the reversal of most if not all of the Executive Orders President Barack Obama has directed at them over the past eight years. [Bloomberg BNA]
  • Federal CIOs are asking Congress for the authority to stop major IT procurements if they have concerns about cyber security. [fedscoop]
  • The VA has issued a solicitation notice for a 10 year, $25 billion, professional services contract known as VECTOR, which will be set aside for service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses. [Bloomberg Government]

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I have food memories of the 1990s–my Duke Blue Devils won back-to-back titles, it was the heyday of Seinfeld, and Furbies were all the rage.  (Ok, Furbies aren’t exactly a fond memory for much of anyone).  But somehow, despite soaking up all kinds of ’90s culture, I missed out on one of the biggest live acts of the decade: Garth Brooks.  But better late than never.  Tomorrow night, I’ll catch the 2017 version of Brooks’ country crooning–part of seven shows he is playing over the course of just two weekends in Kansas City (yep, KC loves some Garth).

Before I go enjoy a country music time warp–followed by a Mother’s Day celebration–it’s time for some government contracting news.  In this week’s SmallGovCon Week in Review, a former USACE program manager is accused of bid rigging, the GSA is working on translating President Trump’s priorities into acquisition policy, and more.

  • A former program manager for the Army Corps of Engineers in Nebraska is accused of rigging bids on nine contracts in exchange for about $33,000 worth of bribes. [The Oregonian]
  • The GSA starts translating President Trumps priorities into acquisition policy. [Federal News Radio]
  • A longtime DoD contractor in Afghanistan reflects on some lessons learned. [GovExec]
  • A contractor who worked on the Navy’s supply and transport arm is facing a five-count indictment for his alleged role in a bribery scheme that allegedly netted him $3 million. [Federal Times]
  • The SBA will start adoption of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act but the CFO and Associate Administrator don’t have much faith in the new law. [Federal News Radio]
  • Agencies “embrace of FedRAMP is still uneven,” a new report concludes. [FCW]
  • More bad behavior: a former Army contractor pleads guilty to a bribery scheme involving contracts at Aberdeen Proving Ground. [Department of Justice]

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June seems to have crept up on us, but here we sit enjoying warm temperatures and sunshine. Hopefully you are making plans for some summer rest and relaxation. While you kick back this weekend by the pool, we are happy to bring to you some weekend reading material in this edition of SmallGovCon Week In Review. 

This week’s top governing contracting stories include an inquiry on DoD Buy American Act waivers, the continued push to “dump the DUNS,”  False Claims Act allegations regarding pricing, a construction company settles a SDB fraud claim for $5.4 million, and more.

  • NASA has proposed a new rule that would require vendors to make their company’s greenhouse emissions data available through the Systems for Award Management. [FCW]
  • Over the past 10 years the U.S. DoD has granted more than 300,000 lawful waivers to the Buy American Act and while some of the exceptions make sense, many of them do not. [Journal Inquirer]
  • The summer of 2016 will be known from this point forward as “the summer of the billion dollar IT contract” with 26 protests of an $11.5 billion training contract. [Federal News Radio]
  • Back in 2012 the GAO said that the costs and technical challenges of moving away from the DUNS to another system for identifying and tracking contractors would simply be too great.  One industry group says that, four years, later the time is ripe to dump the DUNS. [Federal News Radio]
  • One of the largest federal consulting practices has agreed to settle a False Claims Act brought by the General Services Administration for allegations the vendor failed to lower prices on its IT services contracts. [Federal Times]
  • The Department of Energy is examining what it would take to overhaul the IT behind its business operations, possibly resulting in a contract that could be worth up to $850 million. [fedscoop]
  • The charges against a former Hayner Hoyt employee have been dismissed after alleging the company had fired him for refusing to go along with a scheme to defraud a government program that provided contracts to small business owned by disabled veterans. [Syracuse.com]
  • Federal Times offers seven highlights form the General Services Administration’s Office of Inspector General semiannual report. [Federal Times]
  • Allegations that Harper Construction, Inc., knowingly used sham small disadvantaged businesses and then falsely certified to the government that it used legitimate small disadvantaged businesses has led to the company paying $5.4 million to the United States. [Oceanside Camp Pendleton Patch]
  • Washington Technology takes a look at the 100 largest government contractors over the past two decades to determine the changing government market over the years and where 2016 is heading. [Washington Technology]

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Koprince Law LLC

June is here which means we are nearing the official start of summer–and it already feels like summer here in Lawrence with temperatures in the mid-80s. Before I head off to enjoy the warm weather and sunshine it’s time for our weekly look at the latest and greatest in government contracting.

In this edition of the SmallGovCon Week In Review, a food contractor has agreed to pay a whopping $95 million as part of a major procurement fraud settlement, the GSA Inspector General issues a semi-annual report offering some lessons for contractors, Guy Timberlake kicks off a new series over at the GovConChannel with an article about the five fatal flaws killing proposal efforts, and much more.

  • A food contractor for the U.S. forces in Iraq has agreed to pay $95 million and plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge to settle criminal and whistle-blower claims pending in federal court. [myAJC]
  • The new SBA Administrator is bringing some of her lessons learned around the ring to her leadership role at a time when other federal agencies are looking to duck and cover amid a government reorganization. [Federal News Radio]
  • The “Section 809 Panel” is seeking to provide lawmakers with a set of recommendations for legislative or administrative redress that will help improve the speed and performance of the defense acquisition system. [Government Executive]
  • A new series from our friends over at GovConChannel discusses the 5 fatal flaws killing GovCon proposal efforts. [GovConChannel]
  • A New Jersey company will pay $245,000 in back wages and will be prohibited from bidding on government contracts for three years, as part of the resolution of a Service Contract Act case. [New Jersey Herald]
  • The Homeland Security Department has cancelled its $1.5 billion contract vehicle for agile development services. [Federal News Radio]
  • A report from the GSA reviewing its investigations and reports was released which found that 21 contractors didn’t submit accurate and complete information among other things. [Washington Technology]

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Memorial Day weekend is almost here, which means the unofficial start to summer! Whether you are hitting the beach or relaxing at home (my plans include BBQ ribs and chicken wings courtesy of the family Big Green Egg), I hope you have an enjoyable long weekend while remembering those that have given their lives to protect our country.

Of course, a relaxing weekend isn’t complete without some good reading material, and we’ve got you covered.  In the final May edition of the SmallGovCon Week In Review, a contracting fraud scheme results in jail time, a bipartisan new bill would help small contractors receive prompt payment for change orders, a survey shows rising confidence among government contractors, and much more.

  • A new report looks to assess the competitive landscape for major federal services contracts over $50 million. [FederalTimes]
  • Cautious optimism is surrounding a bill that would require the Defense Department to use marketplaces like Amazon to buy commercial goods. [Federal News Radio]
  • An interim report from the little-known but important Section 809 Panel has been released, reviewing acquisition regulations and making recommendations for the amendment or repeal of many rules. [Section 809 Panel]
  • An eight-month sentence was handed down to a former Navy civilian employee and construction supervisor for false claims related to government contracts and theft. [Times of San Diego]
  • Government contracts guru (and friend of the blog) Guy Timberlake takes a look at the government’s FY 2016 small business report card, and concludes that the government isn’t that good at math. [GovConChannel]
  • A survey of 424 companies that sell to federal, state, local and educational agencies shows that government contractors overall, have increased confidence in 2017-2018 sales growth. [FederalTimes]
  • Proposed cuts totaling $1.4 trillion would include shrinking the federal workforce and cutting spending at non-defense agencies. [Government Executive]
  • When the Office of Federal Procurement Policy met with vendors, they pulled together the 10 misconceptions they heard most frequently and gathered them in a myth-busting memo. A few years later, some of those myths remain pervasive. [FederalSmallBizSavvy.com]
  • House Small Business Committee Member Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) introduced a new bill to ensure that small business federal contractors get paid in a timely manner for change orders. [Small Business Committee]

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It’s been a whirlwind of a week here in Kansas. I was fortunate enough to speak yesterday at the 16th Annual DOE Small Business Forum & Expo just up the road in Kansas City. My presentation focused on recent legal updates in federal contracting. It was a wonderful event put on by the Department of Energy and I was glad to be a part of it.

Before we sail off into the weekend, it’s time for the SmallGovCon Week In Review. This edition looks at a plan to make the Transactional Data Reporting rule voluntary, it appears LPTA is still as hated as ever, the federal government notched its 4th consecutive year of hitting the 23% small business contracting goal, and much more.

  • Plans to make the mandatory Transnational Data Reporting rule into a voluntary requirement should be in place by summer. [ExecutiveGov]
  • An interagency working group is about to turn the government’s concept of cloud computing on its head. [Federal News Radio]
  • It turns out that lowest price technically acceptable is still a hated and despised way to run a procurement. [Washington Technology]
  • A former defense contractor from Gig Harbor was sentenced to prison for tax fraud and ordered to pay over $40k in restitution. [Sky Valley Chronicle]
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs is proposing to amend and update portions of its VA Acquisition Regulation. [Federal Register]
  • Nextgov takes a look at how much agencies are actually spending on new contracts. [Nextgov]
  • The SBA announced that the federal government reached its small business federal contracting goal for the fourth consecutive year. That’s great news–but not all is rosy, because the government missed the mark on its HUBZone and WOSB goals. [PR Newswire]
  • A reform bill aimed at DoD’s ability to buy commercial products, contract audits and services acquisition will eventually be folded into the 2018 defense authorization bill. [Federal News Radio]

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Feliz Cinco de Mayo! Whether you are celebrating the Mexican Army’s “unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla” back in 1862 or just looking for an excuse to grab a cold margarita on the patio, I hope you have a wonderful May 5.

Even though it’s not an official holiday here in the U.S., it’s still Friday–and that means it’s time for our weekly roundup of government contracts news. This edition of SmallGovCon Week In Review includes a defense contractor heading to prison in connection with a $53 million fraud and gratuity scheme, the GAO provides six recommendations to reduce fraud, waste, and abuse, California lawmakers debate “blacklisting” contractors who work on the President’s proposed border wall, and more.

  • With last week’s potential government shutdown temporarily averted, contractors breathed a sigh of relief, but what happens in a few months? Forbes takes a look at the toll a shutdown would take on women federal contractors. [Forbes]
  • Federal News Radio gives us a look at eight trends its expects to continue into 2018 for federal contractors. [Federal News Radio]
  • A defense contractor will be spending five years in prison after being sentenced for a $53 million fraud and gratuity scheme. [United States Department of Justice]
  • The GAO makes six recommendations to reduce fraud, waste and abuse in small business research programs. [GAO]
  • What can Congress and the administration do now to speed up the modernization of IT procurement? [Defense Systems]
  • California lawmakers are debating whether to blacklist contractors who help build the president’s proposed border wall. (My opinion: regardless of one’s political leanings, punishing contractors for working on federal government contracts of any type is a very bad idea). [NPR]
  • Government contracts guru Mark Amtower busts seven pervasive contracting myths. [Washington Technology]

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I am headed back to Kansas after a great trip out west to speak at the 2017 Alliance Northwest Procurement Conference in Puyallup, WA. It was great seeing many familiar faces and meeting many other new ones. But I won’t be home long: I will be off to fabulous Las Vegas for the National RES Conference, where I’ll be presenting on Monday. If you will be at RES, please be sure to connect.

Even with all of this travel, I’ve been keeping a close eye on government contracting news–and that means that it’s time for the SmallGovCon Week In Review. In this week’s edition, scammers are using the HHS OIG telephone number in a spoofing ploy, the GAO releases a report on developments in the HUBZone program, a Coast Guard employee makes a funny FedBizOpps post (no, really!) and more.

  • A post from the U.S. Coast Guard’s Pacific Northwest contracting office that appeared on FedBizOpps showed some humor, and a bit of bureaucratic frustration. [The Libertarian Republic]
  • The GAO reports that agencies need to step it up when it comes to protecting contractor whistleblowers. [U.S. Government Accountability Office]
  • Fraud Alert! The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General recently confirmed that the HHS OIG Hotline telephone number is being used as part of a telephone spoofing scam. [Office of Inspector General]
  • The SBA has made significant improvements in HUBZone Program administration, but some weaknesses remain. [U.S. Government Accountability Office]
  • One commentator explains that the GSA Schedule program needs an overhaul–and offerors some thoughts as to how the program should be revised. [Federal News Radio]
  • The former owners of a Pittsburgh-area military supplier have been accused of defrauding the U.S. government of more than $6 million in defense contract work.
  • The Defense Department may have hit upon an acquisition innovation that is slowly drifting to the civilian world. [Federal News Radio]
  • The Senate voted Monday to kill an Obama administration rule aimed at curbing labor violations among government contractors and President Trump can seal its fate with his signature. [The Center for Public Integrity]
  • Washington Technology gives us 5 steps for contractors to meet the FAR’s cyber requirements. [Washington Technology]

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Here at Koprince Law LLC, we just celebrated our second anniversary (which we affectionately call our “firmaversary”). Thank you very much to our wonderful lawyers, staff and clients for a fantastic first two years.

It’s time for our weekly dose of the latest and greatest in federal government contracting news–the SmallGovCon Week In Review. In this week’s edition, the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rule is gone, contractors weigh in on the President’s “skinny budget” proposal, a new bill would expand the USASpending.gov website, and much more.

  • Contractors weigh in on the highs and lows of President Trump’s proposed “skinny budget.” [Government Executive]
  • The “Contractor Accountability and Transparency Act of 2017” will expand the contracting information available on USASpending.gov and make the contract information more accessible and readable. [Project On Government Oversight]
  • President Donald Trump signed a joint resolution shutting down the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rule that supporters said evened the playing field for law-abiding contractors, and opponents singled out as unduly burdensome. [Federal News Radio]
  • The White House released a statement on the revocation of the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order and other contracting-related executive orders issued by former President Obama. [The White House]
  • Speaking of repeals, the President’s action rolls back pieces of an Obama executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against employees on the basis of their sexual orientation or identity. [NBC News]
  • When it comes to federal IT acquisition, the workforce is too small, the hurdles are numerous, and modernization is slow. A House subcommittee hears proposals for modernizing Federal IT acquisition. [Federal News Radio]
  • The White House has released a few more details on how exactly it plans to cut $18 billion from some civilian agencies and offset significant boosts to defense and homeland security spending for the rest of fiscal 2017. [Federal News Radio]

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The mantra of March Madness is “survive and advance,” but the Kansas Jayhawks did more than that in their 32-point win over Purdue last night. Here in Lawrence, we’re waiting for tomorrow night’s Elite Eight showdown with Oregon. And since waiting is always better with some good reading material, it’s time for the SmallGovCon Week In Review.

In this week’s edition, a look at how President Trump’s proposed military budget will impact customers, a contractor agrees to a whopping $45 million payout to settle allegations of overcharging the government, the Army contends that protests are “nearly automatic,” and much more.

  • President Trump is requesting a big boost to military spending in the FY 2018 budget request blueprint, but not all contractors will win. [Bloomberg Government]
  • After a long-lasting legal dispute between an IT contractor and the federal government, the contractor has agreed to pay $45 million to settle allegations that it overcharged and provided false pricing information to the government. [Nextgov]
  • The National Park Service concessions program is making changes based on recommendations from the GAO, but challenges remain. [U.S. Government Accountability Office]
  • Federal contractors are driving a trend of specialization to reposition themselves in the market so they can compete less on price and more on the value of particular skills and knowledge. [National Defense]
  • High-ranking U.S. Army officials contend that protests are “nearly automatic” and are asking industry to reconsider its approach. (My take: with only 2,789 GAO bid protests filed in FY 2016–across all procurements by all federal agencies–I’m sensing a wee bit of exaggeration on the part of the Army). [DefenseNews]
  • A possible bright spot for contractors asking how to maintain market share could be GWACs and IDIQs. [Washington Technology]
  • According to government contracting guru Larry Allen, contractors should look forward to more activity in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year. [Federal News Radio]

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March Madness is here!  I hope your brackets are doing well.  So far, mine haven’t been “busted,” but Notre Dame looked mighty shaky in that opening-round win over Princeton.

While I get ready for tomorrow’s games with my Duke Blue Devils and Kansas Jayhawks, I’m keeping an eye on the latest and greatest (or not so great) in government contracting. In this week’s SmallGovCon Week In Review, the GAO releases a major report on the state of government contracting, an IT contractor will pay $45 million to resolve claims of overcharging the government, the SBA proposes to terminate a nonmanufacturer rule class waiver, and more.

  • A revised National Institute of Standards and Technology guideline raises the risk profile of merger and acquisition deals and presents challenges. [Signal]
  • Because the statute of limitations had expired, a federal judge threw out charges against two men accused of falsely claiming a construction company they operated was headed by a service-disabled veteran. [ArkansasOnline]
  • The Federal Acquisition Service closed Schedule 75 for what it claimed would be just 24 months, but over six years later Schedule 75 remains closed to new offers. [Federal News Radio]
  • The Government Accountability Office released a 66-page report that dives into the state of federal contracting and where those federal dollars are being spent. [Government Executive]
  • An IT contractor will pay $45 million to resolve allegations of overcharging the GSA for software licenses and maintenance. [FCW]
  • A proposed rule by the VA will amend and update various aspects of the VA Acquisition Regulations (VAAR). [Federal Register]
  • A retired Navy admiral is among nine people indicted in a major bribery scandal. [Federal News Radio]
  • The SBA is proposing to terminate the nonmanufacturer rule class waiver for rubber gloves. [Federal Register]

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Yesterday was a huge victory for SDVOSBs and VOSBs, as the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the VA’s “rule of two” is mandatory, and applies to all VA procurements – including GSA Schedule orders.

The Kingdomware decision has drawn news coverage and discussion from across the country.  This special Kingdomware edition of the SmallGovCon Week In Review collects some of the many articles on this important precedent. Enjoy!


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While we patiently await the Supreme Court’s pending decision in Kingdowmware Technologies, Inc. v. United States, there is still plenty happening in the world of government contracting.

This week’s edition of SmallGovCon Week In Review is packed with important news and commentary, including stories on the Army looking to end its ‘use it or lose it’ budgeting, the continued push for category management, a sneaker company looking to nix an exemption in the Berry Amendment, allegations of SDVOSB fraud, and much more.

  • The VA’s chief acquisition officer says that a new acquisition program management framework will be rolled out this summer. [Federal News Radio]
  • The GAO is warning that CIOs in various agencies are undercutting the usefulness of the federal IT dashboard that is meant to offer feds and the public alike a way to keep tabs on how investments are likely to proceed. [FCW]
  • As part of a directive set to take effect July 1, the Army is telling all of its major commands that they cannot cut a program’s funding just because it didn’t spend all of its money the year before. Will this directive help address the persistent “use it or lose it” problem associated with federal contracting? [Federal News Radio]
  • Large and small companies alike are facing the loss of their GSA Schedule 75 contracts, as the GSA doesn’t plan on accepting new offers or renewing current Schedule holders’ contracts for at lease another nine months. [Federal News Radio]
  • In the ongoing debate over category management, one commentator argues that category management is “good news for American taxpayers.” [FCW]
  • President Obama has threatened to veto the 2017 NDAA, in part because of the bill’s acquisition reforms, many of which have support in the contracting community. [Government Executive]
  • Who says sneaker wars only happen in basketball? New Balance is looking to become the sneaker brand of the U.S. Military by lobbying to remove a Berry Amendment exception. [Government Executive]
  • An SDVOSB that was awarded a $3 million contract in the wake of the Joplin, Missouri May 2011 tornado has been indicted for allegedly passing-through the work to a non-SDVOSB and splitting the profits with that company. [KZRG]

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