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Koprince Law LLC

I’m not sure what the weather is going to be like in your neck of the woods, but we are ready for a few 90+ degree days here in Lawrence. It’s a great weekend for sitting in the shade with a cold lemonade and some good reading material. And if you need something to read, we’ve got you covered with the latest in government contracting news.

In this week’s SmallGovCon Week in Review, a Texas contractor has made nearly $2.5 million to settle procurement fraud allegations, the SBA’s administrative judges gain authority to hear size standard appeals, the last protest of the GSA’s EIS contract has ended, and much more.

  • The new Air Force Secretary is placing emphasis on expanding the fleet of planes to meet worldwide demands and to do so more quickly. [Government Executive]
  • The company with the last bid protest on General Services Administration’s long-delayed $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solution contract folded its cards. [Nextgov]
  • Allegations claiming a North Texas contractor violated the False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Act in connection with federal contracts obtained form the U.S. Bureau of Prisons has resulted in a $2.475 million settlement. [Department of Justice]
  • A comedy of errors led the Department of Homeland Security to cancel its $1.5 billion agile contract vehicle. [Federal News Radio]
  • The SBA is amending the rules of practice of its Office of Hearings and Appeals, which authorizes OHA to decide Petitions for Reconsideration of Size Standards. [Federal Register]
  • Nextgov looks at what exactly went wrong with the DHS’s contracting vehicle that pre-approved certain vendors selling agile software services. [Nextgov]
  • The GSA is planning a major reorganization by moving the Technology Transformation Service into the Federal Acquisition Service. [Federal News Radio]

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Koprince Law LLC

Happy (early) 4th of July! I hope you have something fun planned for this long weekend–and all the better if those plans include sunshine, fireworks, and plenty of BBQ. Before the holiday festivities begin, it’s time for our weekly dose of government contracting news and notes.

This edition of SmallGovCon Week In Review includes articles about a DoD bribery scandal, the release of the solicitation for the major Alliant 2 IT contracts, a look a the top 100 rankings in federal IT spending and much more.

  • Fourteen people have been charged in connection with a contracting scheme that involved the acceptance of bribes in the form of cash, travel expenses and the services of prostitutes in exchange for steering government contracts. [The United  States Department of Justice]
  • Nearly a decade after a panel of experts recommended major changes to the way the government buys services, the General Services Administration is implementing two significant updates. [Federal News Radio]
  • Vendors now have two months to read through the Alliant 2 Unrestricted and Alliant 2 Small Business RFPs and put together proposals for submission by the Aug. 29 deadline. [Federal Times]
  • More Alliant 2: the biggest IT contract of the decade is about to hit the market with a total ceiling of $50 Billion. [The Daily Caller]
  • New top 100 rankings reveal which firms earn the most from federal IT spending. [fedscoop]
  • The Supreme Court’s Kingdomware decision could affect broader procurement regulations across government, according to the SBA. [Government Executive]

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Koprince Law LLC

As we June comes to a close, it’s almost time to celebrate our nation’s independence. I hope all of our readers have a happy and safe 4th of July. We will take a little break from the SmallGovCon Week In Review next week but will be right back at it with a new edition on July 14th.

In this week’s roundup of government contracting news, a study finds that the win rate for incumbent contractors dropped sharply in 2016, a shady North Carolina contractor was found guilty of double billing the government for close to a decade, the SBA launches a new HUBZone map system, and much more.

  • A new study finds that the incumbent win rate dropped sharply in 2016–from 75 percent to 54 percent.  [Federal News Radio]
  • Alan Thomas was sworn in as Acquisition Chief of the Federal Acquisition Service just two weeks after incumbent Tom Sharpe abruptly resigned. [Government Executive]
  • The owner of a North Carolina-based defense contractor pleaded guilty to billing the federal government for more than $13.6 million in work that was never performed. [The Virginian-Pilot]
  • Changes in the Trump administration’s handling of accelerated payments to small businesses, acquisition assessments and report of agency priority goals are being sought by the Professional Services Council. [Government Executive]
  • According to a GAO report, U.S. Army leaders have not consistently evaluated the efficiency and effectiveness of the department’s contracting operations and will be developing new metrics to assess the effects of organizational changes going forward. [SIGNAL]
  • The SBA has launched a new HUBZone map which is the first step in the modernization effort of SBA’s federal contracting programs. [CISION]

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Koprince Law LLC

Wednesday marked the official start of summer, and I’ll be spending the next few months taking full advantage–grilling out on the deck, enjoying a family beach trip, and more.  Whether you’re at the beach, on the deck, or sitting in an office cubicle, it’s always nice to have some good reading material.  And if you’re here at SmallGovCon, you’re among those who consider government contracting articles to be good reading material.

In this edition of SmallGovCon Week In Review, Bloomberg Government takes a look at how “mid-tier” contractors can get squeezed out of government work, the House Small Business Committee approves a bill to get some small contractors paid faster, the Army wasted as much as $28 million on “pretty” uniforms for Afghan soldiers, and more.

  • Two of the federal government’s most important contracts are squeezing out mid-tier companies, according to Bloomberg Government analysis. [Bloomberg Government]
  • The number of multiple award contracts has been dropping since 2012. Can the Office of Management and Budget implement their new streamlined process to continue the trend? [Federal News Radio]
  • NOAA released a special notice declaring ‘there is no draft or final solicitation available at this time” regarding the highly anticipated computing contract draft solicitation worth up to $500 million. [Nextgov]
  • According to one commentator, a recent procurement fraud settlement highlights a need to get tougher on fraudsters. [Townhall]
  • After a series of bid protests from Northrop Grumman dating back to 2015, Raytheon has been re-awarded a $1 billion cyber contract to protect government networks. [Nextgov]
  • Three memos trying to bust contracting myths weren’t enough, as four agencies try to reverse years of industry/government communication problems. [Federal News Radio]
  • Small businesses could be paid faster for work done on some federal contracts under a bill approved by the House Small Business Committee. [SFGATE]
  • Preliminary moves by the White House to ease the moratorium on reviewing federal jobs for outsourcing under the guidelines in Circular A-76 have drawn some skepticism with the Office of Management and Budget. [Government Executive]
  • The Pentagon wasted as much as $28 million over the last decade on Afghan soldier’s camouflage uniforms despite the fact that forests make up only a small fraction of the country’s landscape. [Government Executive]

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Koprince Law LLC

It’s been a wild week in the world of federal government contracting. Yesterday the Supreme Court issued two major decisions affecting contractors: Kingdomware Technologies, Inc. v. United States and Universal Health Services v. United States ex rel. Escobar If you’re a regular SmallGovCon reader, you know that I’ve been following Kingdomware closely for years, and we will have a separate post later today with reaction to Kingdomware from around the country.  But Escobar is an important decision too, so don’t miss out on the coverage of that case.

In addition to coverage of Escobar, this week’s SmallGovCon Week In Review features a major new rule prohibiting contractors from discriminating on the basis of sex, GSA adding a new category on IT Schedule 70,  the indictment of a former GSA director and many more.

  • The ability to incorporate secretly in the U.S. has enabled criminals to carry out all sorts of crimes – from defrauding school districts to laundering drug money, all while carrying out government-awarded contracts. [The Hill]
  • Contractors are attempting to get on the presidential candidates’ radar well before our new Commander-in-Chief is even elected. [Government Executive]
  • Escobar: An important Supreme Court case involves the False Claims Act, the most important federal law that most people don’t know. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
  • The inevitable amendments and extensions when a contract ends its period of performance can complicate the process for small businesses with limited resources; the General Services Administration is now trying to address small businesses’ expectations. [Government Executive]
  • The GSA is expected to publish a solicitation August 12 for a new category on IT Schedule 70 related to “Highly Adaptive Cybersecurity Services.” [fedscoop]
  • There is a growing recognition that the future of federal contracting may involve an “unpriced” schedule that involves evaluating vendors for their capabilities, past performance and overall skillsets, and not on their prices, and then allow price competition to happen at the task order level. [Federal News Radio]
  • A business opportunity specialist for the Small Business Administration explains what the 8(a) Business Development Program is and how government agencies should submit offer letters to get involved. [Washington Technology]
  • The Labor Department has come out with detailed guidance to help federal contractors comply with an executive order that prohibits companies from discriminating against LGBT employees. [Government Executive]
  • The Department of Labor has issued a final rule overhauling the sex discrimination rules governing contractors and subcontractors. [Federal Register]
  • A federal grand jury has indicted a former Director of a General Services Administration division and her husband for fraud and nepotism. [Office of Inspector General]
  • Escobar: The U.S. Supreme Court limited the reach of a whistleblower law designed to ferret out fraud, in a mixed ruling for health-care companies and other government contractors. [Bloomberg Politics]
  • Escobar: The U.S. Supreme Court made it a little harder for lawyers to press whistleblower lawsuits over minor violations of government contract terms. [Forbes]

Before we go we would also like to wish all of the dads out there a very happy Father’s Day!


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Koprince Law LLC

This Sunday we celebrate Father’s Day.  I’m looking forward to celebrating with my kids, my father, and my brother (himself the father of three). Happy Father’s Day to all the other dads out there!

In this mid-June edition of SmallGovCon Week In Review, about 500 new small business partners were added to the GSA 8(a) STARS II vehicle , a USAID Deputy Director pleads guilty to procurement fraud charges, new SBA Administrator Linda McMahon wants to implement more efficient processes for contractors to obtain socioeconomic certifications, and much more.

  • An Army Colonel and his wife have been charged in a bribery scheme, accused of accepting $60,000 in payments from a contractor. [FOX 54]
  • Sometimes, through no fault of a contractor, a contract is terminated anyway.  Here are some steps to prepare for that possibility. [Washington Technology]
  • The DHS has had a tough couple weeks, having lost one major bid protest and canceling a second large procurement–but one commentator writes that the DHS is still an example of an agency “getting strategic sourcing right.” [Federal News Radio]
  • A USAID Deputy Director has pled guilty to charges alleging that he engaged in cronyism and contract-steering, choosing to reward a friend with federal money instead of actively seeking the most qualified and cost-effective bidder. [United States Department of Justice]
  • The Civilian Agency Acquisition Council released a memorandum that temporarily retracts the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces final rule, pending a final change removing these provisions from the FAR. [GSA Office of Governmentwide Acquisition Policy]
  • The two highest-ranking officials in the GSA’s acquisition service are resigning after a shakeup in the service’s structuring that includes new leadership. [fedscoop]
  • A contracting dispute is delaying the OPM’s background investigations processing after the GAO sustained a protest of the award. [Government Executive]
  • SBA Administrator Linda McMahon wants to make SBA’s certification programs “more user-friendly,” saying that the application forms are complex. Amen to that–but McMahon more ominously says that if SBA can’t make the programs more effective and efficient, “those programs have to go.” [Government Executive]
  • The GSA 8(a) STARS II GWAC recently added approximately 500 qualified industry partners during an Open Season. [General Services Administration]

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Koprince Law LLC

Welcome back after a hopefully enjoyable long 4th of July weekend! Although this week is a shortened one, there was no shortage of news floating around the county.

This week’s SmallGovCon Week In Review looks at the number of suspensions and debarments of government contractors, a proposed penalty for Pentagon contractors trying to game the system, a case of fraud and much more.

  • Government contractors shouldn’t be celebrating that the number of suspensions and debarments dropped in fiscal 2015. [Federal News Radio]
  • The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program rolled out the final version of the high impact baseline, a framework for authorizing third party vendors to host some of the government’s most sensitive data. [FederalTimes]
  • The National Labor Relations Board is preparing to report alleged labor law violations by government contractors. [Bloomberg BNA]
  • One of the biggest questions with the final Alliant 2 Unrestricted and Small Business RFPs is whether to team, but many contractors are finding the options presented in the final RFPs confusing. [Washington Technology]
  • One of the legislative proposals the Senate will debate this week would penalize Pentagon contractors that game the bid protest system. [FederalSmallBizSavvy.com]
  • The Strategic Sourceror explains what the Women-Owned Small Business Program is, and why businesses should become certified. [The StrategicSourceror]
  • A possible 20 year sentence could be handed down to a woman who accepted bribes in exchange for using her company as a “straw” contractor that allowed nonminority-owned firms to circumvent regulations for federally funded transportation projects. [MyCentralJersey.com]
  • A federal whistleblower lawsuit alleging that information technology companies duped the government in order to win money specifically set aside for small businesses has agreed to pay $5.8 million dollars. [Los Angeles Business Journal]

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Koprince Law LLC

Coming off their World Series win last year, my Chicago Cubs are back atop the National League Central division in hopes of repeating as champions.  While we still have few months of the regular season left, I’m hoping for a repeat of October 4, 1908, when a whopping 6,210 fans watched the Cubs successfully defend their 1907 title.

But enough baseball for now–this is a government contracts blog, after all.  And since it’s Friday, here is the SmallGovCon Week in Review.  In this edition, a contractor gets 60 months in jail for paying $3 million in bribes, the Federal Times takes a look at potential bid protest reforms, a commentator takes aim at no-bid contracts, and much more.

  • A former government contractor conspired with a contracting official to commit close to $3 million in bribery–and he’s now been sentenced to 60 months in prison. [United States Department of Justice]
  • When you get past the sky-is-falling headline, this article provides a surprisingly nuanced take on potential bid protest reforms.  (See my own take right here).  [Federal Times]
  • The House has voted to continue a seven-year-old moratorium on public-private competition to perform certain federal jobs under the long-standing Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76. [Government Executive]
  • NASA has launched a new program to help buyers using its governmentwide IT contract verify that the products they’re buying from are legitimate sources. [Nextgov]
  • With the “use it or lose it” philosophy many federal agencies adopt in Q4, the Federal Times offers some tips for businesses looking to bid on contracts at the end of the government’s fiscal year. [Federal Times]
  • President Trump’s first anti-regulation agenda is winning favor with federal contractors. [Federal News Radio]
  • One commentator calls no-bid contracts an “outrage,” and says that the government needs to renew its focus on competition. [The Hill]
  • A look at what vendors can do to capture year-end money, as well as set the stage for the new fiscal year head as Q4 winds down. [American City & County]
  • An appeal has been filed challenging a major Court of Federal Claims ruling in May, which held that SDVOSB preferences trump AbilityOne at the VA . [Winston-Salem Journal]
  • An ex-GSA contracting official and her husband both received prison sentences for a nepotism conspiracy scheme totaling more than $200,000. [Government Executive]
  • The Pentagon has detailed a plan to shake-up its Acquisition, Technology and Logistics office in the Office of Secretary of Defense with two main goals in mind. [Federal News Radio]

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Koprince Law LLC

It’s been a very busy week in government contracting with the SBA issuing its final rule on the small business mentor-protege program. It has given us here at Koprince Law a lot to read over and blog about so that SmallGovCon readers can stay abreast of all of the changes packed inside this lengthy document.

But as important as the mentor-protege rule is for small and large contractors alike, it’s not the only government contracts news making headlines this week.  In this week’s SmallGovCon Week in Review, you’ll find articles on proposed new whistleblower protections, opportunities for small businesses at the close of the fiscal year, significant pricing discrepancies under GSA Schedule contracts, and much more.

  • A new bipartisan measure would give subgrantees and personal services contractors the same whistleblower protections currently afforded contractors, grant recipients  and subcontractors. [Government Executive]
  • An advocacy group for small businesses is once again claiming that  giant corporations are reaping billions from federal small business contracts. [Mother Jones]
  • It’s not too late to get in on the fourth quarter government spending bonanza so long as you are a company that has some prospects in the pipeline. [Federal News Radio]
  • DoD’s new procurement evaluation process is moving toward objectivism and a more mathematical system of judgement, as part of an overall shift in favor of Lowest Price Technically Available evaluations.  [Federal News Radio]
  • Officials at five Army components failed to fully comply with rules for evaluating contractors’ past performance when awarding those firms work. [Government Executive]
  • An audit report shows that Army officials did not consistently comply with requirements for assessing contractor performance. [Office of Inspector General]
  • IT reseller contracts present significant challenges for the GSA’s schedules program, according to a GSA IG report. [Office of Inspector General]
  • Nearly half of the Democratic House caucus asked defense authorization conferees to remove “harmful language” narrowing the application of the Fair Play and Safe Workplaces executive order. [Bloomberg BNA]
  • Small businesses can find plenty of opportunities as the curtain comes down on the federal fiscal year. [Government Product News]
  • An update to the Freedom of Information Act was signed into law earlier this month and mandates a presumption of openness, and adds new appeal rights for citizens whose requests are denied. [Federal News Radio]

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Koprince Law LLC

July has flown by.  Soon, my kids will be back in school, the leaves will start to turn, and the annual craziness at the end of the government fiscal year will be here.  For now, I’m enjoying a few more weeks of summer.  I hope you are too.

Before we head into the last July weekend of the year, it’s time for the SmallGovCon Week In Review. In this edition: the re-arrangement of personnel over at the GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service, a new measure attached to the annual defense authorization bill aims to prevent the DoD from spending more on service contracts, the purchase of some “unnecessary” uniforms has led to a criminal probe, and much more.

  • A big shakeup with the OASIS program personnel hasn’t settled down yet, as four more contracting officers are moving to the FedSIM program. [Federal News Radio]
  • NCMA Executive Director Michael Fischetti gives his opinion on what to do with recent data that indicates that contract protests are rising while contract awards are declining. [Federal Times]
  • Lawmakers are looking to reinstate a cap on the DoD’s service contract spending next year, amid concerns the Pentagon has unduly outsourced federal work. [Government Executive]
  • Two strategies have emerged on how change to government procurement, but will Congress go along with it? [Federal News Radio]
  • As the Senate proposes provisions in the defense authorization bill to reduce protests it seems as though they may have missed the point. [Washington Technology]
  • Up to $28 million was wasted on pricey forest-camouflage uniforms for Afghan troops who operate in a largely desert environment. Now a top U.S. oversight official is launching a criminal probe into why the Pentagon authorized the purchase. [McClatchy DC Bureau]
  • A former employee of the Army Corps of Engineers pleaded guilty to soliciting more than $320,000 in bribes from Afghan contractors. [Illinois Homepage.net]

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Koprince Law LLC

I’m back in the office today after a great workshop with the Kansas PTAC where I spoke about Big Changes for Small Contractors–a presentation covering the major changes to the limitations on subcontracting, the SBA’s new small business mentor-protege program, and much more.  If you didn’t catch the presentation, I’ll be giving an encore presentation next week in Overland Park.

And since it’s Friday, it must be time for our weekly dose of government contracting news and notes.  In this week’s SmallGovCon Week In Review, we take a look at stories covering the anticipated increase in IT spending, the Contagious Diagnostics and Mitigation program is moving into phase 3, the GAO concludes the VA made errors in its contracting of medical exams and more.

  • The overall rate of IT spending will be above $98 billion each year for the next six federal fiscal years. [E-Commerce Times]
  • Tony Scott, U.S. Chief Information Officer, said he will allot time trying to improve how the federal government accepts unsolicited ideas from industry during what may be his last few months as the U.S. Chief Information Officer. [Nextgov]
  • The Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contract will reshape how agencies procure telecommunications IT starting in 2020, but agencies need to prepare now. [FedTech]
  • The Homeland Security Department and the General Services Administration put two more key pieces in place under the Contagious Diagnostics and Mitigation program. [Federal News Radio]
  • The U.S. GAO is recommending the VA rebid its contracts for conducting medical exams for thousands of vets applying for disability payments after concluding the VA made several prejudicial errors in its process. [TRIB Live]
  • GSA launches a new special item number that will make it easier for agencies to find and buy the health IT services they need. [fedscoop]
  • The SBA has launched online tutorials for entities seeking SBIR funding. [SBA]
  • Three companies have agreed to pay $132,000 to resolve allegations of falsely self-certifying as small businesses in order to pay reduced nuclear material handling fees. [DOJ]

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Koprince Law LLC

Greetings from Fargo, North Dakota where I will present a luncheon seminar today on recent developments in government contracting. The seminar is sponsored by the SBA, North Dakota PTAC, and National Contract Management Association, and should be a great event.  It’s wonderful being back in the state where I grew up.  Even though I no longer have family here, I’m looking forward to catching up with an old friend (since elementary school!) this evening.

While I enjoy a trip down memory lane, it’s time for the SmallGovCon Week in Review.  This week’s stories include a major change in NASA’s SEWP contract, proposed government contracting changes in the House’s version of the 2018 NDAA, Elon Musk offers his two cents on how to improve contracting, a former contractor pleads guilty to accepting kickbacks, and much more.

  • At the end of this month, NASA SEWP will add a tool for contracting officers who want to only get bids from contract holders who are authorized resellers of a product. [Washington Technology]
  • A Florida Republican is pushing for more federal contracts for small businesses owned by veterans, and it’s beginning to gain traction on Capitol Hill. [Sunshine State News]
  • The House Armed Services Committee’s version of the fiscal 2018 NDAA would require, among dozens of additional provisions affecting contractors, that the General Services Administration set up “more than one” Amazon-like online marketplace. [Bloomberg Government]
  • The Trump administration’s latest set of legislative proposals to Congress include several changes on contracting related policies. [FEDweek]
  • Elon Musk offered his advice on NASA’s costly contracting issues and how to bring back a stable incentive structure for contractors. [ars TECHNICA]
  • A former employee of a U.S. government contractor in Afghanistan pleaded guilty to accepting more than $250,000 in illegal kickbacks from a subcontractor, in exchange for assistance in obtaining government contracts. [UPI]
  • A contractor misrepresented its eligibility for government contracts and will now pay $1.1 million over allegations of submitting false claims. [Legal NewsLine]
  • The VA has requested that a judge hold off on proceeding with a ruling that negatively affects IFB SOlutions Inc.’s lab until another case is settled. [Winston-Salem Journal]
  • Two ex-defense contractors face five years imprisonment for lying to Air Force investigators about a contract awarded to their company. [Dayton Daily News]
  • Jane Dowgwillo, president of the national PTAC association, discusses strategies that work when trying to win government business as the federal fiscal year 2017 draws to a close on September 30, 2017. [Government Product News]

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Koprince Law LLC

I’m back in the office after a great family beach vacation in Florida over the 4th of July. I have a confession to make: I didn’t read a single government contracts article during my trip. My beach reads consisted entirely of popular fiction with no redeeming social or educational value whatsoever.

But that was then, and this is now–I’m back, and so is the SmallGovCon Week In Review. This edition includes an update on the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, a DHS contract called out as the “textbook definition of waste,” a contractor accused of a $20 million bribery and bid-rigging scheme, and more.

  • The OMB and Commerce Department have issued guidance on the government’s policy to maximize the use of goods, products, and materials produced in the United States in government procurement. [FEDweek]
  • A leading contractors group has welcomed a bipartisan House bill aimed at curbing agency use of lowest priced technically acceptable contracts. [Government Executive]
  • The Homeland Security Department did such a poor job of monitoring a contractor’s implementation of a new performance management software it was deemed a “textbook definition of ‘waste'” by GAO standards. [Government Executive]
  • The 2018 National Defense Authorization Act is out of committee, and will now proceed to the House floor. [Federal News Radio]
  • The GSA and the VA are making it even easier for VA acquisition professionals to access verified VA’s Vendor Information Pages after signing a memorandum of understanding this week. [GSA]
  • An Army colonel, his wife and a former defense contractor accused of bribery and bid-rigging in an alleged $20 million conspiracy at Fort Gordon have entered not guilty pleas in U.S. District Court. [The Augusta Chronicle]
  • Bloomberg Government analysed the OMB’s spending projections, and is predicting federal government contract obligations to increase by 1.4 percent, from $477 billion in fiscal 2016 to $484 billion, by the end of FY 2018. [Bloomberg Government]
  • Steve Kelman takes a look at ‘microconsulting’ and the potential for its disruption of government contracting. [FCW]
  • Will government transparency take a hit when Congress takes action on acquisition issues aimed at reducing regulations? [Federal News Radio]

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Koprince Law LLC

There is a lot of excitement brewing here in our neck of the woods. We are cautiously awaiting a potential ice storm that is expected to hit town today and roll through the weekend, our Kansas Jayhawks are in action against Oklahoma State on Saturday and a win will likely seal them as the new number 1 seed in the polls and of course the Kansas City Chiefs have their AFC divisional round game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. I’m no fan of cold weather, so I’ll be watching the Jayhawks from Allen Fieldhouse and the Chiefs-Steelers game from the comfort of my living room.

While we await “icemaggedon” here in Kansas, it’s time for the SmallGovCon Week In Review. This week’s government contracting news includes three updates to the FAR affecting, a new survey shows that small businesses are spending more time and money trying to win contracts, a federal court rules that a large prime’s subcontracting plan was exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, and more.

  • According to an annual survey, small businesses upped their efforts to bid on federal contracts, reporting a 72 percent increase in time and money devoted to winning a share of the government’s procurement budget. [Government Executive]
  • The GSA is issuing a final rule amending the GSAR to clarify that the ordering-agency task and delivery order Ombudsman has jurisdiction and responsibility to review and resolve fair opportunity complaints on tasks and delivery orders placed against GSA multiple-award contracts. [Federal Register]
  • The DoD won an appeals court decision that denied a demand from a small business advocacy group that they be required to disclose its subcontracting plan submitted under a long-standing Pentagon program. [Government Executive]
  • Proposed revisions of the National Industrial Security Program would add provisions incorporating executive branch insider threat policy and minimum standards as well as make other administrative changes to be consistent with recent revisions to the NISPOM and with updated regulatory language and style. [Federal Register]
  • The FAR Council has issued a final rule to implement regulatory clarifications made by the Small Business Administration regarding the 8(a) Program–including by adding the longstanding “once 8(a), always 8(a)” policy to the FAR. [Federal Register]
  • Federal agencies exceeded $144 billion in improper payments in Fiscal Year 2016, according to the GAO. [Federal News Radio]

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Koprince Law LLC

Super Bowl Sunday is just a few days away. Whether you are a fan of football or are just tuning in for the commercials, I hope you have a relaxing day with friends and family. Next week, I’ll be heading to Orlando for the 2017 National 8(a) Association Small Business Conference where I have been selected as a panelist to discuss “Two is Better than One: JVs, MPs, and Teaming Agreements.” If you are planning to attend the conference I hope you will come say hello at my Koprince Law booth on the exhibit floor.

Before I leave the freezing temperatures of Kansas behind for the sunshine and sand of Florida, we bring you this edition of the SmallGovCon Week In Review. This week, we have articles discussing the role of FOIA under the new Administration, Congress is working to block former President Obama’s “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” executive order, a look ahead to what experts are saying may be the most competitive year in federal IT contracts in over a decade, and much more.

  • How does FOIA fit under the new Trump administration? FCW takes a look. [FCW]
  • The VA is exempting some contracting professionals from President Donald Trump’s recently announced, short-term hiring freeze. [Federal News Radio]
  • One commentator says that despite good intentions, initiatives surrounding the Multiple Award Schedules have resulted in costly, time-consuming contracting and reporting requirements for both contractors and contracting officials. [Federal News Radio]
  • President Donald Trump signed an executive order that requires federal agencies requesting new regulations to cut two existing regulations, which he hopes will reduce regulatory burdens on the private sector, particularly small businesses. [NBC News]
  • For the Trump administration to make good on its campaign pledges to radically reform the government, agencies will have to reprogram dollars from some current programs. [Washington Technology]
  • If 2016 was the biggest year for federal IT contracts in a decade, 2017 might well be the most competitive. [Nextgov]
  • A series of new acquisition rules proposed weeks ago by the Department of Homeland Security have some Federal contracting experts worried about future governmentwide disruptions and a decrease in competition. [MeriTalk]
  • Leaders in both the House and Senate made good on past pledges and introduced a joint resolution to block former President Obama’s “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” rule. [Government Executive]
  • Linda McMahon clarified past statements and now says she favors keeping the SBA separate, instead of merging it into the Department of Commerce. [Multichannel]

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Koprince Law LLC

It has been a busy week across the country as we get close to wrapping up the first month of 2017. Here in Lawrence, we’re gearing up for Saturday’s blue blood match-up between Kansas and Kentucky. Both teams are coming off losses and Kentucky is looking to avenge its loss to KU last year. It should be a great game.

Before we get to Saturday basketball, it’s time for our weekly Friday look at government contracting news. In this week’s SmallGovCon Week In Review, articles about what contractors can expect from the new Secretary of the Army and SBA Administrator, the number of new government contractors dropped sharply in 2016, the Washington Post wonders whether President Obama’s executive orders pertaining to contractor employees are on the new Administration’ s”chopping block,” and much more.

  • Vincent Viola has been selected as the new Army Secretary. What should technology contractors expect? [Deltek]
  • Will President Trump reverse President Obama’s executive orders pertaining to contractor employees? [The Washington Post]
  • A former government official has plead guilty to receiving bribes as part of a scheme to give contracts to specific companies and now faces a maximum of 15 years in prison and forfeiture of $60,0000. [Long Beach Patch]
  • A whistleblower has filed a lawsuit against Washington University for allegedly being fired over bringing attention to “pass through” purchases made from a supposed SDVOSB. [Riverfront Times]
  • President Trump’s administration has asked the EPA to temporarily halt all contracts, grants and interagency agreements, pending a review. [Oil and Gas Investor]
  • Speaking of the EPA suspension, the Professional Services Council trade association is none too pleased. [FederalTimes]
  • The Navy is preparing to release draft requests for proposals to industry to help refine the parameters of the Next Generation Enterprise Networks Recompete. [FCW]
  • There was a dramatic decline in new vendors selling to the government in fiscal year 2016, raising concerns about the health of the federal government’s industrial base and its ability to fulfill national security, scientific, health and environmental missions. [Bloomberg Government]
  • Guy Timberlake demystifies the relationship between NAICS codes and Product Service Codes. [GovConChannel]
  • Linda McMahan, President Trump’s nominee for SBA Administrator, has pledged to level the playing field for women, service-disabled veterans, and minority business owners. [Federal News Radio]
  • President Trump’s tweets – especially some pointed challenges of big defense contracts just before he took office – have some federal contractors a bit skittish going into the new year, wondering what kind of contracting landscape is developing. [FCW]

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It is inauguration day, and we are beginning a new chapter in America’s history. We’re expecting lots of government contracting changes in short order (beginning with repeals of some of the Obama Administration’s Executive Orders), so check in with us here on SmallGovCon regularly for updates.

As we honor our nation’s unparalleled tradition of peaceful transitions of power, it’s time for the SmallGovCon Week In Review. In this week’s edition, two commentators weigh in on the GAO’s denial of four protests of the major Alliant 2 GWAC, two major corporations are facing potential debarment stemming from alleged discrimination, Set-Aside Alert discusses how the new Trump Administration will affect small contractors, and much more.

  • One commentator says that the GAO’s decision to deny four protests of GSA’s Alliant 2 GWAC could end up being a landmark ruling on lowest-price, technically acceptable contracts for services. [Federal News Radio]
  • More Alliant 2: another commentator says the GAO’s decisions have ramifications beyond a potential $65 billion worth of IT services that it could bring to the federal government over the next 10 years. [Nextgov]
  • Many small federal vendors are hopeful about the possibility of greater opportunities in defense procurement, and possibly fewer regulations to follow as a federal contractor. [Set-Aside Alert]
  • Debarment from government contracting could be at stake for Oracle over an employee pay discrimination suit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor. [ZDNet]
  • President Obama’s Executive Orders dealing with contractor work forces could face reversal now that Donald Trump is President. [Stars and Stripes]
  • In a lengthy report, the GAO concludes that DoD needs clearer guidance when it comes to privately financed construction projects. [GAO]

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If you have been reading our blog recently, you may be aware that this is the 999th SmallGovCon post. My colleagues and I are excited to reach the 1,000-post milestone next week. To celebrate SmallGovCon‘s first 1,000 posts, we’re offering one lucky reader a chance to win a free one-hour custom webinar with me on the government contracting legal topic of your choice. All that you need to do is tell us why you read the blog and you will be entered–you don’t need to be a Koprince Law client or even a Chicago Cubs fan (although if you are both, I commend you for your exceptional choices).

Keep an eye out for SmallGovCon Post #1,000 early next week.  In the meantime, it’s time for the weekly SmallGovCon Week In Review.  This week’s articles include White House guidance on the new Executive Order governing agency regulations, a Minnesota man heads to the pokey after being convicted of contract fraud, the GSA seeks to calm apprehensions related to its new Transactional Data Reporting rule, and more.

  • The VA Inspector General has released a report about how the agency “blew $5 million on a botched cloud broker program,” and the report offers some important lessons for acquisition officials. [Nextgov]
  • A Minnesota businessman was sentenced to seven years in prison for fraudulently obtaining at least $3 million in government construction contracts–which he used to buy a Corvette, Jaguar, and other high-end toys. [StarTribune]
  • An anticipated wave of expiring contracts at the Department of Health and Human Services could free up billions for reprogramming. [FCW]
  • The White House released a memorandum giving guidance on how to implement the Executive Order that is requiring two regulations to be repealed before implementing one new one. [The White House]
  • The General Services Administration sought to calm apprehensions related to its Transactional Data Reporting rule by hosing a roundtable to outline the benefits of the acquisition rule–but some industry stakeholders remain skeptical. [FederalTimes]
  • Despite inaction by Congress on appropriations, the Pentagon’s Defense Logistics Agency continues to award billions of dollars in government contracts. [Bloomberg Government]
  • Most fraudulent contractors steal money, but according to a federal grand jury, one contractor stole government secrets for more than 20 years. [FCW]

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March has arrived, and March Madness will be here soon. With the Kansas Jayhawks looking like a top seed and my Duke Blue Devils sitting at Number 14 in the Coaches Poll, I’m hoping to be watching my teams a lot this month.

While we await conference tournaments and Selection Sunday, it’s time for the SmallGovCon Week In Review.  This week’s edition is packed with the latest developments in government contracting, including guilty pleas from seven defendants accused of contract fraud, questions about the Trump administration’s position on category management, the Federal Times takes a look at which agencies will have the most follow-on work up for grabs in 2017, and much more.

  • A recent report from Onvia predicts several factors will continue to drive growth in government spending including President Trump’s proposed $1 trillion, 10-year infrastructure initiative. [Federal Times]
  • Linda McMahon is committed to keeping the SBA intact but will be taking a hard look at the loan programs it offers. [Forbes]
  • Could total acquisition cost be the missing link in measuring, assessing, and ultimately, reforming the procurement system to deliver best value mission support for customer agencies and the American people? [Federal News Radio]
  • An Air Force Master Sergeant has been sentenced to 23 months in prison and $126,300 in restitution after accepting a kickback in exchange for a contract award. [United States Department of Justice]
  • The Departments of Education, State and the Army are among those with the most documented bids for contracts expiring in 2017, providing industry with actionable insight on just how competitive the procurement process will be. [Federal Times]
  • Without knowing whether the Trump administration will support category management, the federal government continues to use its immense buying power to drive down acquisition costs. [Nextgov]
  • The Office of Personnel Management’s National Background Investigations Bureau is almost five months old and is already embroiled in its first bid protest. [Federal News Radio]
  • Seven defendants have pleaded guilty to obtaining money from the United States by making false representations and false claims to the Department of Defense for payment on items that were substituted with unauthorized products. [United States Department of Justice]
  • Even though a  North Carolina-based defense contractor defrauded the U.S. government of more than $13.6 million dollars over the course of a decade, the government continues to do business with it. [The Virginian-Pilot]

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It’s hard to believe, but this is already the last SmallGovCon Week In Review of February 2017. The year seems to be flying by, and there’s never a shortage of government contracting news. This week is no exception.

In this edition of the SmallGovCon Week in Review, one commentator suggests that the Trump administration revive an old contracting practice, a Pennsylvania man faces up to 10 years in prison after admitting to paying bribes and kickbacks on federal construction projects, government contracting gurus Guy Timberlake and Mark Amtower offer some candid commentary on the industry, and much more.

  • Could an old contracting approach be just what the Trump administration needs? [Government Executive]
  • The DOE has published an updated Acquisition Guide on its Management and Operating contracts. [United States Department of Energy]
  • The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program unveiled the first draft of another tool it will add to its kit: a way to more efficiently authorize low-risk cloud services. [fedscoop]
  • Unlawful bribes and kickbacks have one construction company operator in hot water: he could face 10 years  in prison and and maximum fine of $250,000. [United States Department of Justice]
  • A former OPM and NSA contractor has been sentenced to pay $70,000 in restitution and perform 360 hours of community service for falsifying his time sheets while working at the agencies. [United States Department of Justice]
  • Guy Timberlake has some advice on the importance of knowing your stuff when it comes to procurement data and the federal contracting process. [GovConChannel]
  • Mark Amtower offers some tips on getting government buyers and influencers to notice you during the bidding process. [Washington Technology]

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Spring seems to have sprung here in Lawrence, even though the calendar still says February. These past few days we have been treated to 70+ degree weather. For me, the early spring temps have meant playing outside with the kids and, well, blogging about government contracts here inside the office, but with the window open.

Speaking of government contracts blogging, it’s time for our weekly look at the latest government contracting news and notes. In this week’s SmallGovCon Week In Review, Congress is likely to repeal former President Obama’s “blacklisting” rule, Jason Miller of Federal News Radio wonders if contractors are worrying too much over the GSA’s transactional data rule, the SBA has a new leader, and much more.

  • The federal government is boosting the use of contracts to save energy that require no upfront capital costs or special appropriations from Congress. [Bloomberg Government]
  • Former President Obama’s blacklisting rule, estimated to cost business $474 million to enforce, awaits a likely repeal in the Senate. [Chief Executive]
  • Many government contractors are worried, fearful and in disbelief about the General Services Administration’s implementation of its Transactional Data Rule. But should they be so concerned? [Federal News Radio]
  • A roundtable discussion recommended the Trump administration conduct a review of all acquisition regulations and policies with a goal of reducing them and including sunset provisions in existing ones to force a periodical review. [Federal News Radio]
  • Dump the DUNS? The GSA took an important step toward reducing its reliance on a proprietary business entity identifier system in government contracting. [FCW]
  • In a rare display of bipartisanship, the Senate confirmed former wrestling entertainment executive Linda McMahon to lead the SBA as part of President Donald Trump’s cabinet. [Fox News]
  • The White House is preparing a new executive order to require agencies to plan and suggest ways to reorganize the government. [Federal News Radio]

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I don’t know about your part of the country, but here in Lawrence, the temperatures have plunged and it has finally felt like winter for the first time.  When temps get cold, I prefer to stay inside with a hot beverage, but I have to hand it to all of the die hard Chiefs fans who scoffed at the single-digit temperatures and spent the evening watching their team defeat the Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium last night.

As we continue our wintry approach to the holidays, it’s been a big week in government contracting. Here on SmallGovCon, we’ve been focusing on the government contracting provisions of the 2017 NDAA, and this week’s SmallGovCon Week In Review has an additional update on the bill’s progress.  But that’s not all: our weekly roundup of government contracting news also includes a change to the FAR to reflect SBA regulations regarding multiple-award contracts, previews of contracting under President-elect Trump, and much more.

  • The 2017 NDAA conference bill has been approved by House and Senate, and is now on President Obama’s desk.  Will he sign it? [ExecutiveGov]
  • Speaking of the 2017 NDAA, it includes provisions restoring the GAO’s ability to hear protests of civilian task and delivery orders in excess of $10 million. [FCW]
  • Two men who executed “the largest disadvantaged business enterprise fraud in the nation’s history” will not have their sentences adjusted after a court denied a request for leniency. [Central Penn Business Journal]
  • Washington Technology takes a look at the incoming Trump administration and what is next for contractors. [Washington Technology]
  • Federal contracts played a factor in United Technologies’ decision to keep a Carrier plant in Indianapolis open at the request of President-elect Trump. [The Washington Post]
  • A bill protecting whistleblowers who expose what they think is wrongdoing in government contracts has been passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and is expected to be signed by President Obama. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]
  • What will be the new administration’s acquisition priorities? Speculation opaquely says increased outsourcing of government activity, but what does that mean? Federal Times tries to answer these and other questions. [Federal Times]
  • President-elect Trump has nominated Linda McMahon, of World Wrestling Entertainment fame, to head the SBA. [ExecutiveGov]
  • The FAR Council has proposed important changes to implement regulatory changes made by the SBA, which provide Government-wide policy for partial set-asides and reserves, and set-aside orders for small business concerns under multiple-award contracts. [Federal Register]
  • The GSA has inked a government-wide deal for Adobe’s “data-centric” security and electronic signature software which the GSA believes could save American taxpayers $350 million. [fedscoop]
  • A commentator opines that improving government contracting should begin with “dumping the DUNS.” [The Hill]

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With Christmas just two days away, it is time for  many of us to focus on family and friends and enjoy a few days off. I hope that you have an enjoyable holiday season and are able to surround yourself with those that mean the most to you. Before we take a little break for the holidays we are happy to bring you this final 2016 edition of SmallGovCon Week In Review. (We won’t be publishing a Week in Review next week, but will be back with more in 2017).

As we head into the final week of 2016, we take a look at two separate fraud cases where million dollar fines have been assessed, more predictions of how the incoming Trump Administration will affect government contractors, 2017 is shaping up as a competitive year in IT contracting, and much more.

  • The Trump transition and campaign websites provide some insight about the acquisition agenda that the new administration will pursue, as well as other policies that may impact government contractors and federal acquisition personnel. [Washington Technology]
  • A Rhode Island business will pay $1 million dollars to resolve civil allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by submitting, or causing the submission of, claims for reimbursement for funding earmarked for minority, women-owned, or small business that it was not entitled to receive. [The Valley Breeze]
  • Two Arkansas business owners are accused of falsely claiming to be a service-disabled veteran owned business in order to collect more than $15.5 million in federal contracts. [Arkansas Online]
  • Our very own Senior Associate Attorney Matthew Schoonover was interviewed for this article on the controversy surrounding the Trump Washington hotel. [Bloomberg Politics]
  • According to one commentator, the GSA is taking steps to make multiple award schedules more expensive for contractors. [Allen Federal Business Partners]
  • President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for Army Secretary has some people wondering who? But that may be just what the Army needs. [Federal News Radio]
  • 2017 is shaping up to be a very competitive year for IT contracts across the U.S. military branches and Defense Department. [Nextgov]
  • A handful of defense organizations are crying foul on a proposed regulation that may eat into research funding the Defense Department gives to industry. [Federal News Radio]
  • The National Defense Authorization Act of 2017 directs more limited use of Low Price Technically Acceptable procurements, which may be a welcome holiday gift for federal contractors. [Washington Technology]
  • Jason Miller of Federal News Radio takes an in depth look at three changes to federal acquisition agencies that industry should know about. [Federal News Radio]
  • The federal government maintains a database of every contract action above the $3,500 threshold, but despite this expansive data set, the government does not capture meaningful visibility into what agencies are actually buying. [Federal News Radio]
  • Will a potential Trump hiring freeze on federal hiring result in the hiring of more contractors to compensate for a small internal agency workforce? [Government Executive]

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This winter’s first polar vortex is upon us, and although much of the country has been getting hit with snow, Kansas has managed to stay mostly snow free with temperatures centered around a balmy 30 degrees. As the vortex sweeps its way out, we are looking to get our first dose of really cold weather with lows in the teens this weekend. Weekends like this are perfect to spend time with family and daydream about being on a beach–or anyplace that does not require 10+ minutes of preparation just to leave the driveway.

While much of the nation prepares to dig itself out from a winter snowstorm, there is still plenty happening in the world of government contracts. In this week’s SmallGovCon Week In Review, the FAR Council issues a rule responding to a judge’s injunction of much of the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, a Virginia contractor will cough up $1 million to settle bid rigging and kickback allegations, and much more.

  • A Virginia contractor has agreed to pay $1 million to resolve claims of bid rigging and kickbacks. [Department of Justice]
  • The FAR Council issues a final rule responding to a federal judge’s injunction of portions of the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order. (It’s nice to see the FAR Council offering guidance, but if I were a betting man, I’d wager that this E.O. will be repealed by the incoming Administration). [Federal Register]
  • Speaking of Executive Orders that may be on the chopping block, the FAR Council has issued an interim rule implementing the “mandatory sick leave” E.O. [Federal Register]
  • Some business groups are celebrating President-elect Trump’s choice of Linda McMahon to lead the SBA. [Forbes]
  • It is getting increasingly more difficult for individuals and companies alike to stay on top of new technology and devices, but GAO is making some progress, it seems. [GovFresh]
  • Big thanks and congratulations to Guy Timberlake and The American Small Business Coalition on the success of their 2016 Holiday Charity Bash™, which took place last week and raised a lot of money for a great cause. (Koprince Law LLC was a proud sponsor). [GovConChannel]
  • President-elect Trump has called for a lifetime ban on certain federal employees later going to work for defense contractors. [The Fiscal Times]
  • ChallengeHER took place this week in Washington, offering encouragement and words of advice to WOSBs. [Federal News Radio]
  • NASA has adopted an interim final rule amending the NFS to implement revisions to the voucher submittal and payment process. [Federal Register]

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This week I had the pleasure of speaking at the 20th Annual Government Procurement Conference in Arlington, Texas. It was a great event and I was glad to see so many familiar faces. Next up, I’ll be in Des Moines on August 23rd for the Iowa Vendor Conference, where I’ll be joined by my friend Guy Timberlake for a great day of networking and information sessions.

But even as I log miles on the air and on the highways, there’s no mistaking the fact that we’re in the last days of the government fiscal year–and that means a busy week of government contracting news.  This week, SmallGovCon Week In Review takes a look at stories involving an update to CAGE codes, some Milwaukee businesses under investigation for wrongly portraying themselves as veteran-owned and minority-owned, a lack of oversight allowed contractors to overbill a government customer, a look at the uptick in government spending as the fourth quarter winds down, and much more.

  • The Defense Logistics Agency will, for the first time in 44 years, allow CAGE codes to expire. [Defense Logistics Agency]
  • Has the Homeland Security Department and it’s components gone overboard with agile? [Federal News Radio]
  • Several Milwaukee-area businesses are under investigation for falsely claiming  they were owned by minorities and military veterans in order to win government contracts. [Daily Progress]
  • The Defense Information Systems Agency said it will amend the ENCORE III RFP to fix some of the problems pointed out by protesters that were upheld by the GAO last week. [Federal News Radio]
  • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service allowed contractors to overbill the government for more than $130,000 because the agency didn’t “always review contractor invoices to ensure costs claimed were allowable and adequately supported.” [The Daily Caller]
  • A proposed rule from the SBA would update the regulations governing the delivery and oversight of its business lending programs. [Federal Register]
  • The SBA is asking a judge to throw out a lawsuit claiming it uses “creative accounting” for federal contracting benchmarks. [Federal News Radio]
  • The procurement policy world is heating up as summer begins to wind down and we jump into the final stretch of the fiscal year. [Federal News Radio]
  • Companies fraudulently got $268 million in contracts, according to a recent affidavit. [BizTimes]
  • A trifecta of companies protested the Department of Defense TRICARE contract awards, including the winner of the contract. [Federal News Radio]
  • The SBA has launched a new website that helps women-owned small businesses more easily manage eligibility and certification documents for the WOSB Federal Contract Program. [GCN]
  • An increasingly sluggish security review process is forcing some recruiters, contractors and agencies to change the way they enlist new qualified, cleared candidates. [Federal News Radio]

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