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SmallGovCon Week In Review: November 7-11, 2016

It’s been quite the week!  We began with a Presidential election to remember and are ending the week with a celebration of the veterans who have served our country.  On behalf of the entire team here at Koprince Law LLC, thank you to the many veterans who read SmallGovCon.  Your sacrifice and dedication to our country is truly a debt that can never be repaid. Election coverage dominated the headlines this week, but there was  no shortage of government contracts news.  In this week’s SmallGovCon Week In Review, the DoD has changed its policy on independent research and development, Washington Technology takes a first look at what the Trump Administration will mean for federal contractors, the Court of Federal Claims is hearing a case that could decide whether the Kingdomware decision applies to AbilityOne procurements, and much more. Does the Kingdomware case apply to AbilityOne procurements?  That question may be resolved in a case pending at the Court of Federal Claims. [Winston-Salem Journal] The Federal Acquisition Service undertook a strategic organizational realignment of the workforce and processes which has a goal for the government to act as one – but will also improve organizational efficiencies and effectiveness in the delivery of acquisition solutions and services.  [Federal News Radio] The Defense Department changed its policy on independent research and development last week, requiring companies to consult with the Pentagon about research done party on the government’s dime. [Federal News Radio] Washington Technology takes an early look at what a Trump presidency looks like for federal contractors. [Washington Technology] The GAO upheld the protest of an incumbent vendor who lost a contract award in a case that points to the high level of complexity involved in IT and government contracting. [FCW]
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Koprince Law LLC

Koprince Law LLC

 

SmallGovCon Week in Review: November 6-10, 2017

Happy Veterans Day to all our SmallGovCon readers. We hope that you will take some time today and tomorrow to honor the strength, loyalty and commitment that our brave veterans dedicated to this country. Veterans, we are deeply grateful for your service. This edition of SmallGovCon Week In Review brings a look at six large companies with a high reliance on government contracts, the “Amazon Amendment” and how Amazon is looking to expand it’s operations through government procurement, the removal of Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Rule, tips for WOSBs to succeed in the federal marketplace, and much more. In a $3.7 trillion federal government budget, there are going to be a lot of companies doing well–here are the top six. [The Motley Fool] Forbes offers tips for female business owners who are frustrated by the lack of opportunities and showcases the huge opportunity for women to get a piece of the set-aside contracts for women-owned businesses. [Forbes] Amazon has an opportunity to dramatically expand its hold on the logistics space as it tries to capture $53 billion in defense procurement. [Freight Waves] An alleged kickback and bribery scheme that went on for six years before being discovered has led to a Government contracting officer and his contractor facing a heap of trouble. [PNWC’s Government Contracting Update] Federal contractors will not face requirements aimed at protecting employees from wage and unsafe working conditions under rule the Trump administration finalized on Monday. [Government Executive] Effective November 6, 2017, the FAR Council finalized a final rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation for the removal of the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces requirements. [Federal Register] At least 125 companies were discovered to owe the federal government a total of $40,633,951 in unpaid taxes while still receiving federal contract awards totaling more than $134 million. [Live 5 News] A jury deadlocked in a case against two men accused of SDVOSB fraud. [Arkansas Online] An elaborate scheme between a former Army official and a contractor has led to an 18 month sentence and forfeiture of over a quarter of a million dollars. [Department of Justice] A look at what did, and did not, make it through the conference version of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act. [Nextgov]
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Koprince Law LLC

Koprince Law LLC

 

SmallGovCon Week In Review: November 14-18, 2016

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

Koprince Law LLC

 

SmallGovCon Week in Review: November 13-17, 2017

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

Koprince Law LLC

 

SmallGovCon Week In Review: May 8-12, 2017

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

Koprince Law LLC

 

SmallGovCon Week In Review: May 30 – June 3, 2016

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

Koprince Law LLC

 

SmallGovCon Week In Review: May 29 – June 2, 2017

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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Koprince Law LLC

Koprince Law LLC

 

SmallGovCon Week in Review: May 28 – June 1, 2018

This week, I had the great opportunity to join Guy Timberlake in Minneapolis to discuss the impacts of the 2018 NDAA on small businesses. It was a wonderful event (made all the better by the fabulous participants and presenters). Minneapolis was fun, but it’s nice to be home. Hopefully you’re gearing up for a lovely weekend (perhaps with a little bit of pool time reserved). Before you punch out completely, let’s check out the latest in the world of government contracting. In this week’s edition of the SmallGovCon Week in Review, we take a look at Washington Technology’s new podcast focused on the future of government contracting, a lawsuit in which a contractor allegedly falsely overcharged the U.S. Navy for ship husbanding services, and more. Enjoy, and we’ll see you back here next week! Washington Technology launches “Project 38,” a podcast that discusses the future of government contracting [Washington Technology] The General Services Administration wants to make it easier for federal and state agencies to quickly acquire a broader array of cybersecurity services [Nextgov] United States settles lawsuit alleging that a contractor falsely overcharged the U.S. Navy for ship husbanding services [U.S. Department of Justice] An audit of two Army Contracting Command centers in Redstone, Alabama, and Warren, Michigan, revealed The Department of Defense must increase its efforts in order to meet small business subcontracting goals [Small Business Trends] A civilian employee at Picatinny Arsenal admitted his role in a scheme that traded bribes and other gratuities for favorable treatment on government contracts [TAPinto.net]
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SmallGovCon Week In Review: May 22-26, 2017

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

Koprince Law LLC

 

SmallGovCon Week in Review: May 21 – 25, 2018

Memorial Day is almost here, which means the unofficial start of summer. I hope everyone enjoys the long weekend while remembering all the men and women who gave their lives in service to our country. In this week’s edition of the SmallGovCon Week in Review, two Topeka men were named in a scheme to fraudulently obtain government contracts set aside for minority and disabled military veteran contractors, contractors argue that a Pentagon proposal to curb bid protests would deny fair access of companies seeking relief from potentially unjustified awards, and much more (including some special pre-holiday snarky commentary by yours truly). Procurement fraud allegations from right here in Kansas: two Topeka businessmen are named in $352 million dollar fraud scheme. [KSNT] A contractors’ group is urging the Senate to reject a DoD proposal to curb bid protests. [Government Executive] (And see my article about how DoD bid protests are already exceedingly uncommon). The SBA has announced that the government met its 23% small business goal in FY 2017. [PR Newswire] (That’s good news, of course, but the SBA’s spin omits the fact that the government missed its WOSB and HUBZone goals once again). The Army is recompeting $600 million follow-on contract to provide information technology services worldwide. [Bloomberg Government] Simplified buying has increased over the years and this year agencies are on track for a record-breaking fiscal year.  [GovConChannel] The DOE has issued a revised Small Business First policy to foster dynamic business environment for the small business community. [U.S. Department of Energy] (And given that DOE missed all four of its socioeconomic goals in FY 2017, a renewed focus on small business seems wise). As agencies approach the year-end surge, they’ll look for ways to spend their remaining IT funds quickly, and SEWP is set up to do just that. [Bloomberg Government] Two men who took part in a bid-rigging and bribery scheme involving $54 millions in contracts at Fort Gordon received the maximum prison terms of five years Wednesday despite the recommendation from the U.S. Attorney’s office for a reduction in their sentences. [The Augusta Chronicle]
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SmallGovCon Week In Review: May 15-19, 2017

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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Koprince Law LLC

Koprince Law LLC

 

SmallGovCon Week in Review: May 14 – 18, 2018

As we head into the second half of May, it is time for graduation parties and summer fun.  But before we enjoy the weekend, it’s Friday and time for the SmallGovCon Week in Review. In this week’s edition, we highlight GAO giving contractors a second chance to make it into the OASIS unrestricted pool; an audit showing that DOD isn’t giving small businesses enough opportunity; DSS’ plans for a new methodology to vet security of contractor facilities; and more. GSA plans to add vendors to two OASIS Unrestricted pools. [Bloomberg Government] Google employees resign over company’s involvement with Project Maven. [fedscoop] Auditor report states DSS only accomplished 60% of its workload during 2016.  [Nextgov] Google employees resign over company’s involvement with Project Maven. [fedscoop] North Carolina man sentenced to 6 years in prison for accepting bribes at U.S. Army Communications. [U.S. Department of Justice] Head of GSA looking to reshape procurement schedules to reduce duplication and save money. [fedscoop] Google employees resign over company’s involvement with Project Maven. [fedscoop]
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SmallGovCon Week In Review: May 1-5, 2017

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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Koprince Law LLC

Koprince Law LLC

 

SmallGovCon Week In Review: March 6-10, 2017

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

Koprince Law LLC

 

SmallGovCon Week In Review: March 27-31, 2017

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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Koprince Law LLC

Koprince Law LLC

 

SmallGovCon Week in Review: March 26 – 30, 2018

It’s moving day at Koprince Law LLC. We are in the midst of moving into our new digs at 901 Kentucky Street, Suite 301 here in Lawrence. Our new office has a lot more space to support our growing firm, and is just a two-block walk to Chipotle. I call that a win-win. While we get the new space ready for Monday morning, it’s time for the SmallGovCon Week in Review. In this week’s edition, the GSA’s Inspector General is investigating fraudulent activity on SAM, Bloomberg Government expects the number of mergers and acquisitions in the federal contracting market to decrease in 2018, a mother and daughter plead guilty to bribing employees of the Picatinny Arsenal military base for 12 years with luxury items valued at $250,000, and much more. The GSA’s inspector general is investigating fraudulent activity on its contractor and grantee registration website after someone allegedly redirected federal payments to bank accounts not tied to the appropriate contractors. [fedscoop] Georgia Tech PTAC offers these useful tips for surviving the compromise of the SAM database. [GTPAC] “Other transaction authorities,” also known as OTAs or OTs, has been around longer than the FAR, but it may become the new, potentially game-changing acquisition model. [Nextgov] Bloomberg Government expects the number of mergers and acquisitions in the federal contracting market to decrease in 2018, a trend since 2015. [Bloomberg Government] The Civilian Board of Contract Appeals has proposed major changes to its rules of procedure. [federalregister.gov] CACI International has withdrawn a $7.2 billion bid for government IT Services conglomerate CSRA, ending a bidding war. [washingtonpost.com] A mother and daughter have pleaded guilty to bribing employees of a military base for 12 years. [njherald.com] The document that provides the most comprehensive information on services contracting was missing from the Trump administration’s fiscal 2019 budget released in February. [govexec.com]
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SmallGovCon Week In Review: March 20-24, 2017

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

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SmallGovCon Week In Review: March 13-17, 2017

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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SmallGovCon Week In Review: Kingdomware Edition

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! SmallGovCon – Victory! SDVOSBs Win In Kingdomware Supreme Court Decision The Hill – Justices side with veteran-owned small business over VA SCOTUSblog – Opinion analysis: Unanimous Court hands victory to veterans in contracting dispute Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center – Supreme Court unanimously rules in favor of VOSBs in case involving the VA’s use of GSA Schedule contracts VETLIKEME – We Won! We Won! Supreme Court Upholds Vet Preference in Kingdomware Federal Times – Supreme Court rules against VA in disabled vets contract dispute USA Today – Veteran-owned businesses win at Supreme Court PBS – Justices rule against VA in disabled vets contract dispute Jurist – Supreme Court rules for veteran-owned business Courthouse News Service – Veteran-Owned Business Wins High Court Reversal The Washington Post – High court says law requires more contracts for veteran-owned small  business RT – VA violated disabled vets law, deprived contract to vet owned business – Supreme Court  Law360 (subscription required) – High Court VA Ruling Gives Small Biz Big Opportunities
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SmallGovCon Week In Review: June 6-10, 2016

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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SmallGovCon Week In Review: June 5-9, 2017

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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SmallGovCon Week in Review: June 4 – 8, 2018

TGIF! Let’s get the weekend started off with a look at the latest and greatest in government contracting. In this week’s edition of the SmallGovCon Week in Review, we’ll take a look at DoD’s final rule amending DFARS to increase certain micro-purchase thresholds, more questions about the SBA’s small business participation report cards, a former background investigator’s guilty plea, and much more. Have a great weekend! DoD issues final rule amending DFARS to increase micro-purchase thresholds. [Federal Register] Did the Small Business Administration really meet their FY17 goals. [Linkedin] A former background investigator pleads guilty to making a false statement and may serve 5 years. [U.S. Department of Justice] Google not renewing its contract with Pentagon due to employee backlash. [Quartz at Work] Richmond company agrees to pay $625,000 to settle federal civil fraud lawsuit. [U.S. Department of Justice]
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SmallGovCon Week In Review: June 27 – July 1, 2016

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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SmallGovCon Week In Review: June 26-30, 2017

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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SmallGovCon Week in Review: June 25 – 29, 2018

I hope everyone has a safe and happy 4th of July as we celebrate our nation’s independence. If you’re still struggling to think of top-notch grilling ideas for Independence Day, might I suggest this delicious recipe from the fine folks at the Big Green Egg? But before firing up the grill, let’s take a look at the latest and greatest in government contracting news.  In this week’s star-spangled edition of the SmallGovCon Week in Review, a former government employee pleads guilty to criminal charges related to using her position to benefit her husband’s company, Alaska Native Corporations celebrate as three military branches agree to reinterpret a limit on high-dollar sole source 8(a) contracts, and much more. A Virginia woman pleaded guilty to using her federal employment to personally benefit herself and her husband’s company. [U.S. Department of Justice] Three military branches have agreed to reinterpret a law that limited Alaska Native corporations’ access to high-dollar sole source 8(a) contracts. [Anchorage Daily News] SAM scheduled to be fixed starting June 29, 2018. [Federal News Radio] GSA is continuing with plans to create e-commerce portal for federal procurement. [FedScoop] A New York man pleaded guilty to government contracting fraud and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. [U.S. Department of Justice] The SBA’s watchdog found that contracting officers did not comply with self-certified women-owned companies program requirements. [Government Executive] (and see my commentary here). The federal government may have met its goal of awarding prime contract dollars to small businesses, but those dollars are going to just a handful of firms. [Washington Examiner] A North Carolina man pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States and commit wire fraud under contract awarded by the U.S. Army. [Fox45 News]
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