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Koprince Law LLC

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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Koprince Law LLC

It’s the Friday before Thanksgiving, which means if you haven’t gone shopping yet, you may be facing the chaos of the grocery stores this weekend in preparation. Or, perhaps, you’re skipping the extensive meal preparation and going for something very simple (as a college student in North Carolina, I once classed it up by having Bojangles for Thanksgiving. Fantastic sweet tea, special seasoning, and no dishes!)

Even around the holidays, the world of government contracting doesn’t slow down that much. In this pre-Thanksgiving edition of SmallGovCon Week in Review, we take a look at two men facing five years in prison for fraudulently obtaining $20 million in contracts at Fort Gordon, the 2018 NDAA’s effect on GAO bid protests, new legislation intended to give equal consideration to VOSBs for contract awards, and much more.

  • Two people admitted their involvement in a conspiracy to fraudulently obtain $20 million in contracts at Fort Gordon. [The Augusta Chronicle]
  • Two trucking companies found guilty of Service Contract Act violations are still working at America’s largest ports. [USA Today]
  • The 2018 National Defense Authorization bill includes a compromise on disputed language aimed at reducing the number of bid protests. [Government Executive] (See my take on the issue here).
  • Government sources say OFPP wants agencies to set goals for using “best-in-class contracts” and implement demand management by analyzing procurement data and making decisions on how and who to buy from. [Federal News Radio]
  • U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick introduced legislation aimed at giving veteran-owned small businesses equal consideration for contract awards that companies in other ownership-preference categories currently enjoy as part of various set-aside programs. [The Ripon Advance]
  • A former procurement officer employed at a nuclear research and development facility of the U.S. Department of Energy was indicted for orchestrating a scheme to obtain a $2.3 million contract through fraudulent means. [U.S. Dept. of Justice]
  • The American Small Business League has argued that large federal contractors mislead agencies and the public by overstating their use of small businesses as subcontractors to meet statutory goals. In U.S. District Court in San Francisco last Friday, attorneys for the advocacy group successfully pried out the previously non-public names of suppliers and other subcontractors used by Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. [Government Executive]

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Koprince Law LLC

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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Koprince Law LLC

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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Koprince Law LLC

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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Koprince Law LLC

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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Koprince Law LLC

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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