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SmallGovCon Week In Review: July 17-21, 2017

Greetings from Fargo, North Dakota where I will present a luncheon seminar today on recent developments in government contracting. The seminar is sponsored by the SBA, North Dakota PTAC, and National Contract Management Association, and should be a great event.  It’s wonderful being back in the state where I grew up.  Even though I no longer have family here, I’m looking forward to catching up with an old friend (since elementary school!) this evening. While I enjoy a trip down memory lane, it’s time for the SmallGovCon Week in Review.  This week’s stories include a major change in NASA’s SEWP contract, proposed government contracting changes in the House’s version of the 2018 NDAA, Elon Musk offers his two cents on how to improve contracting, a former contractor pleads guilty to accepting kickbacks, and much more. At the end of this month, NASA SEWP will add a tool for contracting officers who want to only get bids from contract holders who are authorized resellers of a product. [Washington Technology] A Florida Republican is pushing for more federal contracts for small businesses owned by veterans, and it’s beginning to gain traction on Capitol Hill. [Sunshine State News] The House Armed Services Committee’s version of the fiscal 2018 NDAA would require, among dozens of additional provisions affecting contractors, that the General Services Administration set up “more than one” Amazon-like online marketplace. [Bloomberg Government] The Trump administration’s latest set of legislative proposals to Congress include several changes on contracting related policies. [FEDweek] Elon Musk offered his advice on NASA’s costly contracting issues and how to bring back a stable incentive structure for contractors. [ars TECHNICA] A former employee of a U.S. government contractor in Afghanistan pleaded guilty to accepting more than $250,000 in illegal kickbacks from a subcontractor, in exchange for assistance in obtaining government contracts. [UPI] A contractor misrepresented its eligibility for government contracts and will now pay $1.1 million over allegations of submitting false claims. [Legal NewsLine] The VA has requested that a judge hold off on proceeding with a ruling that negatively affects IFB SOlutions Inc.’s lab until another case is settled. [Winston-Salem Journal] Two ex-defense contractors face five years imprisonment for lying to Air Force investigators about a contract awarded to their company. [Dayton Daily News] Jane Dowgwillo, president of the national PTAC association, discusses strategies that work when trying to win government business as the federal fiscal year 2017 draws to a close on September 30, 2017. [Government Product News]
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Koprince Law LLC

Koprince Law LLC

 

SmallGovCon Week in Review: July 16-20, 2018

Happy Friday! Before we sign out for the weekend, let’s take a look at the government contracting highlights for the past week. In this edition of SmallGovCon Week in Review, we’ll check in with our friend Guy Timberlake for the latest on GSA FSS spending, consider GAO’s recommendations for DOD award time frames, look at NASA’s increases in small business spending, and more. Have a great weekend! Spending on GSA Federal Supply Schedules declines. [GovConChannel] Study by the Federal Treasury’s Data Lab finds that 6-8 percent of federal contract spending happens in the final week of the fiscal year. [Nextgov] DoD increases spending on OTA contracts in light of easing federal regulations. [Federal News Radio] NASA continues to increase its contracting with small businesses. [WOUB Digital] GAO recommends DoD begin developing a strategy for assessing  contract award time frames. [GAO] Richard C. Davis, founder of Second Chance Body Armor, agrees to resolve False Claims Act regarding defective bullet proof vests. [US Department of Justice] Federal spending on advertising contract awards increases for small disadvantaged businesses, including WOSBs. [GAO] Congressman Will Hurd helps to explain the importance of federal IT procurement. [Nextgov] Former government contracting officer and owner of TCC Services, Unlimited, LLC plead guilty for bribery and conspiracy regarding government contracts. [US Department of Justice] OFPP clarifies the exemption for contracts or subcontracts for the acquisition of commercial items. [Federal Register] Study by PSC and Grant Thornton Public Sector suggests positive outlook for federal acquisition. [Professional Services Council] GAO study finds reverse auctions may save the federal government money on bidding process. [GAO]
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SmallGovCon Week In Review: July 10-14, 2017

I’m back in the office after a great family beach vacation in Florida over the 4th of July. I have a confession to make: I didn’t read a single government contracts article during my trip. My beach reads consisted entirely of popular fiction with no redeeming social or educational value whatsoever. But that was then, and this is now–I’m back, and so is the SmallGovCon Week In Review. This edition includes an update on the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, a DHS contract called out as the “textbook definition of waste,” a contractor accused of a $20 million bribery and bid-rigging scheme, and more. The OMB and Commerce Department have issued guidance on the government’s policy to maximize the use of goods, products, and materials produced in the United States in government procurement. [FEDweek] A leading contractors group has welcomed a bipartisan House bill aimed at curbing agency use of lowest priced technically acceptable contracts. [Government Executive] The Homeland Security Department did such a poor job of monitoring a contractor’s implementation of a new performance management software it was deemed a “textbook definition of ‘waste'” by GAO standards. [Government Executive] The 2018 National Defense Authorization Act is out of committee, and will now proceed to the House floor. [Federal News Radio] The GSA and the VA are making it even easier for VA acquisition professionals to access verified VA’s Vendor Information Pages after signing a memorandum of understanding this week. [GSA] An Army colonel, his wife and a former defense contractor accused of bribery and bid-rigging in an alleged $20 million conspiracy at Fort Gordon have entered not guilty pleas in U.S. District Court. [The Augusta Chronicle] Bloomberg Government analysed the OMB’s spending projections, and is predicting federal government contract obligations to increase by 1.4 percent, from $477 billion in fiscal 2016 to $484 billion, by the end of FY 2018. [Bloomberg Government] Steve Kelman takes a look at ‘microconsulting’ and the potential for its disruption of government contracting. [FCW] Will government transparency take a hit when Congress takes action on acquisition issues aimed at reducing regulations? [Federal News Radio]
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Koprince Law LLC

Koprince Law LLC

 

SmallGovCon Week In Review: January 9-13, 2017

There is a lot of excitement brewing here in our neck of the woods. We are cautiously awaiting a potential ice storm that is expected to hit town today and roll through the weekend, our Kansas Jayhawks are in action against Oklahoma State on Saturday and a win will likely seal them as the new number 1 seed in the polls and of course the Kansas City Chiefs have their AFC divisional round game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. I’m no fan of cold weather, so I’ll be watching the Jayhawks from Allen Fieldhouse and the Chiefs-Steelers game from the comfort of my living room. While we await “icemaggedon” here in Kansas, it’s time for the SmallGovCon Week In Review. This week’s government contracting news includes three updates to the FAR affecting, a new survey shows that small businesses are spending more time and money trying to win contracts, a federal court rules that a large prime’s subcontracting plan was exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, and more. According to an annual survey, small businesses upped their efforts to bid on federal contracts, reporting a 72 percent increase in time and money devoted to winning a share of the government’s procurement budget. [Government Executive] The GSA is issuing a final rule amending the GSAR to clarify that the ordering-agency task and delivery order Ombudsman has jurisdiction and responsibility to review and resolve fair opportunity complaints on tasks and delivery orders placed against GSA multiple-award contracts. [Federal Register] The DoD won an appeals court decision that denied a demand from a small business advocacy group that they be required to disclose its subcontracting plan submitted under a long-standing Pentagon program. [Government Executive] Proposed revisions of the National Industrial Security Program would add provisions incorporating executive branch insider threat policy and minimum standards as well as make other administrative changes to be consistent with recent revisions to the NISPOM and with updated regulatory language and style. [Federal Register] The FAR Council has issued a final rule to implement regulatory clarifications made by the Small Business Administration regarding the 8(a) Program–including by adding the longstanding “once 8(a), always 8(a)” policy to the FAR. [Federal Register] Federal agencies exceeded $144 billion in improper payments in Fiscal Year 2016, according to the GAO. [Federal News Radio]
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Koprince Law LLC

Koprince Law LLC

 

SmallGovCon Week In Review: January 8-12, 2018

It’s been a big week here at Koprince Law LLC: we published the first volume in our new series of GovCon Handbooks called Government Contracts Joint Ventures.  After briefly reaching #1 on Amazon’s Best Sellers list (okay, in a wonky legal sub-sub-subcategory, but still!), we are pleased to know that the Handbook is being so well received. If you’re an active Koprince Law client, you’ll be getting a free copy in the mail soon. If not, you can get a copy on Amazon, for just $9.99 in paperback or $6.99 in Kindle form. While you wait for your copy of Government Contracts Joint Ventures, why not get up to speed on the latest government contracts news? In this edition of SmallGovCon Week In Review, we take a look at changes to the SBA’s Surety Bond Guarantee Program, two key defense acquisition positions are set to be filled, Alliant 2 protestors are trying their hand in the Court of Federal Claims, Bloomberg Government takes a big-picture look at government spending, and much more.  The SBA’s Surety Bond Guarantee Program is trying to increase the chances of winning government contracts for small-scale contractors. [Multi Briefs] The 2018 NDAA rules governing the acquisition of commercial items should give those making relatively small purchases more choices, and small businesses more hope for getting a piece of the pie. [Federal News Radio] The White House has announced nominations for two key defense acquisition positions at the DoD and Air Force. [Defense Systems] While the coming year looks promising for federal contracting, there are reasons for concern. [The Washington Post] There are many findings in the Rand Corp.’s bid protest study but two things are clear: the bid protest process is not necessarily broken but contract debriefings certainly are. [Washington Technology] (and see my take here). The battle for the next great IT services governmentwide acquisition contract took a bit of an unusual turn when a protest of the Alliant 2 awards was filed in the Court of Federal Claims. [Federal News Radio] A government watchdog says that the Pentagon task force on Afghanistan reconstruction wasted millions of dollars of taxpayer money. [The Washington Times] Bloomberg Government takes a look at contract spending by the federal government and how it has changed over the past five years. [Bloomberg Government] Industry leaders told the GSA that the Pentagon’s e-commerce platform should balance efficiency with oversight. [Nextgov] The GSA has plans to formalize cyber rules for contractors and will be accepting public comments about the regulations later this year. [Nextgov]
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SmallGovCon Week In Review: January 30 – February 3, 2017

Super Bowl Sunday is just a few days away. Whether you are a fan of football or are just tuning in for the commercials, I hope you have a relaxing day with friends and family. Next week, I’ll be heading to Orlando for the 2017 National 8(a) Association Small Business Conference where I have been selected as a panelist to discuss “Two is Better than One: JVs, MPs, and Teaming Agreements.” If you are planning to attend the conference I hope you will come say hello at my Koprince Law booth on the exhibit floor. Before I leave the freezing temperatures of Kansas behind for the sunshine and sand of Florida, we bring you this edition of the SmallGovCon Week In Review. This week, we have articles discussing the role of FOIA under the new Administration, Congress is working to block former President Obama’s “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” executive order, a look ahead to what experts are saying may be the most competitive year in federal IT contracts in over a decade, and much more. How does FOIA fit under the new Trump administration? FCW takes a look. [FCW] The VA is exempting some contracting professionals from President Donald Trump’s recently announced, short-term hiring freeze. [Federal News Radio] One commentator says that despite good intentions, initiatives surrounding the Multiple Award Schedules have resulted in costly, time-consuming contracting and reporting requirements for both contractors and contracting officials. [Federal News Radio] President Donald Trump signed an executive order that requires federal agencies requesting new regulations to cut two existing regulations, which he hopes will reduce regulatory burdens on the private sector, particularly small businesses. [NBC News] For the Trump administration to make good on its campaign pledges to radically reform the government, agencies will have to reprogram dollars from some current programs. [Washington Technology] If 2016 was the biggest year for federal IT contracts in a decade, 2017 might well be the most competitive. [Nextgov] A series of new acquisition rules proposed weeks ago by the Department of Homeland Security have some Federal contracting experts worried about future governmentwide disruptions and a decrease in competition. [MeriTalk] Leaders in both the House and Senate made good on past pledges and introduced a joint resolution to block former President Obama’s “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” rule. [Government Executive] Linda McMahon clarified past statements and now says she favors keeping the SBA separate, instead of merging it into the Department of Commerce. [Multichannel]
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Koprince Law LLC

Koprince Law LLC

 

SmallGovCon Week In Review: January 29 – February 2, 2018

I’m back in the office from my great trip to Nashville for the 2018 National 8(a) Association Small Business Conference. This weekend, I’m looking forward to watching the Super Bowl and cheering on the Eagles (or rather, with apologies to our New England-based clients, cheering against the Patriots). Before we prepare for hours of football and outlandish commercials, let’s recap what went on this week in the world of government contracting. This week, we take a look at why it’s a good time to be a federal contractor, why RFIs may be a waste of time and money, a financial fraud case involving a scheme to falsely secure more than $13.8 million in SDVOSB contracts, and much more. PV Puvvada, president of Unisys Federal, sat down with Federal News Radio Executive Editor Jason Miller and discussed why it’s a good time to be a federal contractor [Federal News Radio] A proposed rule by the SBA will provide one definition of ownership and control for VOSBs and SDVOSBs, which will apply to the VA in its verification and Vets First Contracting Program procurements, and all other government acquisitions which require self-certification. [Federal Register] (and see my take here). RFIs may be a waste of time, money, and resources, especially for small businesses. [FCW] (And see Guy Timberlake’s classic “RF-Why” column from a few years ago). Over the years some have questioned whether GSA Schedule prices are fair and reasonable, and such concerns have let to the GSA launching efforts, such as Transactional Data Reporting and horizontal pricing analysis. [Federal News Radio] Here’s an interesting trivia question for all you acquisition lovers in the government: How many rules did the FAR Council finalize during the first year of the Trump administration? [Federal News Radio] There have been several initiatives undertaken across the government space focused on moving the federal procurement process onto commercial e-commerce portals. [Federal News Radio] SDVOSB fraud: the former owners of a construction company have pleaded guilty in federal court to their roles in a “rent-a-vet” scheme to fraudulently obtain more than $13.8 million in federal contracts. [U.S. Department of Justice]
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SmallGovCon Week In Review: January 23-27, 2017

It has been a busy week across the country as we get close to wrapping up the first month of 2017. Here in Lawrence, we’re gearing up for Saturday’s blue blood match-up between Kansas and Kentucky. Both teams are coming off losses and Kentucky is looking to avenge its loss to KU last year. It should be a great game. Before we get to Saturday basketball, it’s time for our weekly Friday look at government contracting news. In this week’s SmallGovCon Week In Review, articles about what contractors can expect from the new Secretary of the Army and SBA Administrator, the number of new government contractors dropped sharply in 2016, the Washington Post wonders whether President Obama’s executive orders pertaining to contractor employees are on the new Administration’ s”chopping block,” and much more. Vincent Viola has been selected as the new Army Secretary. What should technology contractors expect? [Deltek] Will President Trump reverse President Obama’s executive orders pertaining to contractor employees? [The Washington Post] A former government official has plead guilty to receiving bribes as part of a scheme to give contracts to specific companies and now faces a maximum of 15 years in prison and forfeiture of $60,0000. [Long Beach Patch] A whistleblower has filed a lawsuit against Washington University for allegedly being fired over bringing attention to “pass through” purchases made from a supposed SDVOSB. [Riverfront Times] President Trump’s administration has asked the EPA to temporarily halt all contracts, grants and interagency agreements, pending a review. [Oil and Gas Investor] Speaking of the EPA suspension, the Professional Services Council trade association is none too pleased. [FederalTimes] The Navy is preparing to release draft requests for proposals to industry to help refine the parameters of the Next Generation Enterprise Networks Recompete. [FCW] There was a dramatic decline in new vendors selling to the government in fiscal year 2016, raising concerns about the health of the federal government’s industrial base and its ability to fulfill national security, scientific, health and environmental missions. [Bloomberg Government] Guy Timberlake demystifies the relationship between NAICS codes and Product Service Codes. [GovConChannel] Linda McMahan, President Trump’s nominee for SBA Administrator, has pledged to level the playing field for women, service-disabled veterans, and minority business owners. [Federal News Radio] President Trump’s tweets – especially some pointed challenges of big defense contracts just before he took office – have some federal contractors a bit skittish going into the new year, wondering what kind of contracting landscape is developing. [FCW]
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Koprince Law LLC

Koprince Law LLC

 

SmallGovCon Week In Review: January 22-26, 2018

Next week, I’m off to Nashville for the National 8(a) 2018 Small Business Conference.  If you plan to attend the conference, please swing by the Koprince Law LLC booth to say hello and check out copies of Government Contracts Joint Ventures, our recently-published handbook for contractors. Before I head off to Music City we are here to bring you this edition of SmallGovCon Week In Review. This week, Washington Technology looks at the effect of the shutdown on contractors (and what may lie ahead if it happens again in February), Lockheed Martin agrees to a $4.4 million False Claims Act settlement, an Ohio woman faces penalties in an apparent SDVOSB “rent-a-vet” scheme, the city of Huntsville, Alabama kicks off a new HUBZone accelerator program, and much more. Lockheed Martin will pay a $4.4 million dollar settlement to resolve allegations that it violated the civil False Claims Act by providing defective communications to the Coast Guard. [United States Department of Justice] A Tennessee man has been sentenced for his role in a scheme devised to trick the Department of Energy and hide money from the IRS. [Knox News] After a brief shutdown of the government and the threat of another impasse next month, contractors face a fragile financial environment. [WAMU] Contractors survived the shutdown but is the worst yet to come? [Washington Technology] A painting contractor plead guilty to theft from union plans, wire fraud, and discharge of pollutants in connection with Pennsylvania bridge project. [United States Department of Justice] SDVOSB fraud: an Ohio woman faces a fine and possible jail time for unlawfully securing SDVOSB contracts in an apparent “rent-a-vet” scheme. [Dayton Daily News] A new HUBZone accelerator program has launched in Huntsville, Alabama. [WAAY 31 ABC] The General Services Administration is amending the GSAR to clarify the authority to acquire order-level materials when placing an individual task or delivery order against a FSS contract or FSS blanket purchase agreement. [Federal Register]
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SmallGovCon Week In Review: January 16-20, 2017

It is inauguration day, and we are beginning a new chapter in America’s history. We’re expecting lots of government contracting changes in short order (beginning with repeals of some of the Obama Administration’s Executive Orders), so check in with us here on SmallGovCon regularly for updates. As we honor our nation’s unparalleled tradition of peaceful transitions of power, it’s time for the SmallGovCon Week In Review. In this week’s edition, two commentators weigh in on the GAO’s denial of four protests of the major Alliant 2 GWAC, two major corporations are facing potential debarment stemming from alleged discrimination, Set-Aside Alert discusses how the new Trump Administration will affect small contractors, and much more. One commentator says that the GAO’s decision to deny four protests of GSA’s Alliant 2 GWAC could end up being a landmark ruling on lowest-price, technically acceptable contracts for services. [Federal News Radio] More Alliant 2: another commentator says the GAO’s decisions have ramifications beyond a potential $65 billion worth of IT services that it could bring to the federal government over the next 10 years. [Nextgov] Many small federal vendors are hopeful about the possibility of greater opportunities in defense procurement, and possibly fewer regulations to follow as a federal contractor. [Set-Aside Alert] Debarment from government contracting could be at stake for Oracle over an employee pay discrimination suit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor. [ZDNet] President Obama’s Executive Orders dealing with contractor work forces could face reversal now that Donald Trump is President. [Stars and Stripes] In a lengthy report, the GAO concludes that DoD needs clearer guidance when it comes to privately financed construction projects. [GAO]
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Koprince Law LLC

Koprince Law LLC

 

SmallGovCon Week In Review: January 15-19, 2018

Will they or won’t they? That is the question looming today, which is the deadline to temporarily halt a partial shutdown of the government. While we keep our eyes on news from Washington, we have other noteworthy news and commentary in this edition of SmallGovCon Week In Review. This week, we have stories about the implementation of the so-called “Amazon Amendment,” a new bill aims to improve transparency surrounding change orders, a large business pays $1.7 million to settle allegations of overcharges on a GSA Schedule contract, and more. The General Services Administration and the Office of Management and Budget hosted an Industry Day on Section 846 of the 2018 NDAA–the so-called “Amazon Amendment.” [Federal News Radio] A Nebraska Congressman has introduced the “Change Order Transparency for Federal Contractors Act,” which would require agencies to release change order information to bidders on new contracts. [The Ripon Advance] A Chinese mobile phone maker is facing a ban that would prevent its phones and equipment from being used by the U.S. government. [Silicon Angle] The GSA has reopened a “new and improved” Schedule 75, and has added a new enhanced Special Item Number for Office Products & Services. [U.S. General Services Administration] The GSA plans to officialize regulations on how contractors should handle and protect sensitive information for federal clients. [fedscoop] The GO Topeka program is connecting Kansas small businesses with government contracts. If you’re in Kansas, like we are, you owe it to yourself to connect with the Kansas PTAC. [Topeka Capital Journal] Accenture Federal Services LLC has agreed to pay more than $1.7 million to resolve allegations that it overcharged the government under a GSA Schedule contract. [U.S. Department of Justice] Government contracts guru Mark Amtower describes five steps to stand out from the crowd in 2018 to help your business get more government contracting dollars. [Washington Technology]
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SmallGovCon Week In Review: February 6-10, 2017

If you have been reading our blog recently, you may be aware that this is the 999th SmallGovCon post. My colleagues and I are excited to reach the 1,000-post milestone next week. To celebrate SmallGovCon‘s first 1,000 posts, we’re offering one lucky reader a chance to win a free one-hour custom webinar with me on the government contracting legal topic of your choice. All that you need to do is tell us why you read the blog and you will be entered–you don’t need to be a Koprince Law client or even a Chicago Cubs fan (although if you are both, I commend you for your exceptional choices). Keep an eye out for SmallGovCon Post #1,000 early next week.  In the meantime, it’s time for the weekly SmallGovCon Week In Review.  This week’s articles include White House guidance on the new Executive Order governing agency regulations, a Minnesota man heads to the pokey after being convicted of contract fraud, the GSA seeks to calm apprehensions related to its new Transactional Data Reporting rule, and more. The VA Inspector General has released a report about how the agency “blew $5 million on a botched cloud broker program,” and the report offers some important lessons for acquisition officials. [Nextgov] A Minnesota businessman was sentenced to seven years in prison for fraudulently obtaining at least $3 million in government construction contracts–which he used to buy a Corvette, Jaguar, and other high-end toys. [StarTribune] An anticipated wave of expiring contracts at the Department of Health and Human Services could free up billions for reprogramming. [FCW] The White House released a memorandum giving guidance on how to implement the Executive Order that is requiring two regulations to be repealed before implementing one new one. [The White House] The General Services Administration sought to calm apprehensions related to its Transactional Data Reporting rule by hosing a roundtable to outline the benefits of the acquisition rule–but some industry stakeholders remain skeptical. [FederalTimes] Despite inaction by Congress on appropriations, the Pentagon’s Defense Logistics Agency continues to award billions of dollars in government contracts. [Bloomberg Government] Most fraudulent contractors steal money, but according to a federal grand jury, one contractor stole government secrets for more than 20 years. [FCW]
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Koprince Law LLC

Koprince Law LLC

 

SmallGovCon Week In Review: February 5-9, 2018

It has been a cold week here in Lawrence, Kansas.  I hope everyone is staying warm.  It’s time to get some hot cocoa (or the Friday afternoon beverage of your choice) and enjoy the top government contracting news and notes for the week. This week’s news includes the release of the major Section 809 Panel’s first acquisition reform report, a Maryland company pays the government more than half a million dollars to settle False Claims Act allegations relating to unallowable costs, HHS agency officials are heading on a cross-country tour to demystify selling to the government, the GAO says that the SBIR and STTR databases are riddled with errors, and much more. The Section 809 Panel put out its first “Report of the Advisory Panel on Streamlining and Codifying Acquisition Regulations.” [Section 809 Panel] An 8(a) contractor has protested a major DoD cloud computing services contract that could be worth up to $950 million. [Federal News Radio] A defense contractor will pay more than $500,000 to settle False Claims Act allegations relating to unallowable costs. [justice.gov] HHS has kicked off a tour to encourage selling to the government. [Nextgov.com] The new GSA Administrator is looking to bring more transparency to the procurement process, especially in the GSA Schedule program. [Federal News Radio] The SBA’s SBIR and STTR program databases are hobbled by errors, according to the GAO. [Fedscoop.com]
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SmallGovCon Week In Review: February 27-March 3, 2017

March has arrived, and March Madness will be here soon. With the Kansas Jayhawks looking like a top seed and my Duke Blue Devils sitting at Number 14 in the Coaches Poll, I’m hoping to be watching my teams a lot this month. While we await conference tournaments and Selection Sunday, it’s time for the SmallGovCon Week In Review.  This week’s edition is packed with the latest developments in government contracting, including guilty pleas from seven defendants accused of contract fraud, questions about the Trump administration’s position on category management, the Federal Times takes a look at which agencies will have the most follow-on work up for grabs in 2017, and much more. A recent report from Onvia predicts several factors will continue to drive growth in government spending including President Trump’s proposed $1 trillion, 10-year infrastructure initiative. [Federal Times] Linda McMahon is committed to keeping the SBA intact but will be taking a hard look at the loan programs it offers. [Forbes] Could total acquisition cost be the missing link in measuring, assessing, and ultimately, reforming the procurement system to deliver best value mission support for customer agencies and the American people? [Federal News Radio] An Air Force Master Sergeant has been sentenced to 23 months in prison and $126,300 in restitution after accepting a kickback in exchange for a contract award. [United States Department of Justice] The Departments of Education, State and the Army are among those with the most documented bids for contracts expiring in 2017, providing industry with actionable insight on just how competitive the procurement process will be. [Federal Times] Without knowing whether the Trump administration will support category management, the federal government continues to use its immense buying power to drive down acquisition costs. [Nextgov] The Office of Personnel Management’s National Background Investigations Bureau is almost five months old and is already embroiled in its first bid protest. [Federal News Radio] Seven defendants have pleaded guilty to obtaining money from the United States by making false representations and false claims to the Department of Defense for payment on items that were substituted with unauthorized products. [United States Department of Justice] Even though a  North Carolina-based defense contractor defrauded the U.S. government of more than $13.6 million dollars over the course of a decade, the government continues to do business with it. [The Virginian-Pilot]
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Koprince Law LLC

Koprince Law LLC

 

SmallGovCon Week In Review: February 26 – March 2, 2018

March has arrived, and soon it will be time for all the March Madness fun.  But first, I will be heading to sunny Florida for the APTAC Spring 2018 Training Conference on Monday.  If you’re a PTAC counselor, I hope to see you there. In today’s edition of the SmallGovCon Week in Review, an Atlanta-based company that failed to deliver millions of emergency meals to Puerto Ricans struggling to recover from Hurricane Maria may have plagiarized its winning bid, a former quality-control officer who demanded kickbacks from construction businesses he monitored is going to prison, Guy Timberlake takes a look at the use of Product Service codes, and much more. Government contracts guru Guy Timberlake says that “fair opportunity is not the best value in Simplified Acquisitions for agencies or small business concerns.” [linkedin.com] An Atlanta-based contractor has been accused of plagiarizing its bid for a major Puerto Rico food supply contract. [usnews.com] The instigators of a kickback scheme at a South Carolina military base are heading to prison. [postandcourier.com] One commentator says that the Pentagon’s new $1 Billion cloud deal may signal a new era in government buying.  [nextgov.com] The GSA says a recent rule change will simplify Schedule buys and reduce the proliferation of multiple-award contracts. [federalnewsradio.com] Two recent DHS procurements show how innovation is happening in government. [federalnewsradio.com] Guy Timberlake reminds contractors that NAICS codes are just part of the story–to truly understand how procurements are classified, you also need to think about Product Service Codes. [govconchannel.com] Congratulations to the 40 companies named as potential winners of the CIO-SP3 Small Business ramp-on. [washingtontechnology.com]
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SmallGovCon Week In Review: February 20-24, 2017

It’s hard to believe, but this is already the last SmallGovCon Week In Review of February 2017. The year seems to be flying by, and there’s never a shortage of government contracting news. This week is no exception. In this edition of the SmallGovCon Week in Review, one commentator suggests that the Trump administration revive an old contracting practice, a Pennsylvania man faces up to 10 years in prison after admitting to paying bribes and kickbacks on federal construction projects, government contracting gurus Guy Timberlake and Mark Amtower offer some candid commentary on the industry, and much more. Could an old contracting approach be just what the Trump administration needs? [Government Executive] The DOE has published an updated Acquisition Guide on its Management and Operating contracts. [United States Department of Energy] The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program unveiled the first draft of another tool it will add to its kit: a way to more efficiently authorize low-risk cloud services. [fedscoop] Unlawful bribes and kickbacks have one construction company operator in hot water: he could face 10 years  in prison and and maximum fine of $250,000. [United States Department of Justice] A former OPM and NSA contractor has been sentenced to pay $70,000 in restitution and perform 360 hours of community service for falsifying his time sheets while working at the agencies. [United States Department of Justice] Guy Timberlake has some advice on the importance of knowing your stuff when it comes to procurement data and the federal contracting process. [GovConChannel] Mark Amtower offers some tips on getting government buyers and influencers to notice you during the bidding process. [Washington Technology]
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Koprince Law LLC

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SmallGovCon Week In Review: February 19-23, 2018

After a long week that included two ice storms here in the Midwest, I hope you’re ready for a relaxing weekend.  But first, it’s Friday, which means that it’s time for the SmallGovCon Week In Review.  In today’s edition, a Utah man pleads guilty to wire fraud and money laundering for his role in a scheme to obtain government construction contracts set aside for SDVOSBs, a former CEO pleads guilty to an $8.1 million “Made In The USA” marketing scheme and government contract fraud, the federal services market has experienced a jolt of dealmaking activity in recent months as companies position themselves to capture new government spending, and much more. SDVOSB fraud: a Utah man has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering charges.  [justice.gov] Speaking of guilty pleas, a former CEO has pleaded guilty in relation to a scheme to sell Chinese-made combat boots as “Made in America.” [justice.gov] Merger mania? Dealmaking accelerates as federal contractors jockey for spending. [standard.net] Are RFIs a waste of time and money? [fcw.com] The GAO has sustained a protest of a $771 million award. [nextgov.com] One commentator says that increases in the micro-purchase and simplified acquisition thresholds are a “win-win.” [Federal News Radio]
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SmallGovCon Week In Review: February 13-17, 2017

Spring seems to have sprung here in Lawrence, even though the calendar still says February. These past few days we have been treated to 70+ degree weather. For me, the early spring temps have meant playing outside with the kids and, well, blogging about government contracts here inside the office, but with the window open. Speaking of government contracts blogging, it’s time for our weekly look at the latest government contracting news and notes. In this week’s SmallGovCon Week In Review, Congress is likely to repeal former President Obama’s “blacklisting” rule, Jason Miller of Federal News Radio wonders if contractors are worrying too much over the GSA’s transactional data rule, the SBA has a new leader, and much more. The federal government is boosting the use of contracts to save energy that require no upfront capital costs or special appropriations from Congress. [Bloomberg Government] Former President Obama’s blacklisting rule, estimated to cost business $474 million to enforce, awaits a likely repeal in the Senate. [Chief Executive] Many government contractors are worried, fearful and in disbelief about the General Services Administration’s implementation of its Transactional Data Rule. But should they be so concerned? [Federal News Radio] A roundtable discussion recommended the Trump administration conduct a review of all acquisition regulations and policies with a goal of reducing them and including sunset provisions in existing ones to force a periodical review. [Federal News Radio] Dump the DUNS? The GSA took an important step toward reducing its reliance on a proprietary business entity identifier system in government contracting. [FCW] In a rare display of bipartisanship, the Senate confirmed former wrestling entertainment executive Linda McMahon to lead the SBA as part of President Donald Trump’s cabinet. [Fox News] The White House is preparing a new executive order to require agencies to plan and suggest ways to reorganize the government. [Federal News Radio]
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SmallGovCon Week In Review: February 12-16, 2018

Love was in the air this week with Valentine’s Day falling on Wednesday.  If all the chocolate and flowers distracted you from the latest and greatest in government contracting news, you’re in luck.  It’s time for our weekly roundup, the SmallGovCon Week in Review. In today’s edition, a California father-and-son team pleaded guilty to using false financial statements and other lies in order to win more than $4 million in federal contracts, one commentator says the Department of Homeland Security must improve the quality of post-award debriefings, the GSA awarded its Alliant 2 small business small contract on Wednesday, and much more. A California father-and-son team pleads guilty to fraudulently obtaining more than $4 million in government contracts.  [nbcsandiego.com] The GAO says that the DoD can improve its practices for developing acquisition program managers. [GAO] A new report says that a significant percentage of government contractors have experienced cybersecurity breaches. [Washington Technology] Speaking of cybersecurity, the DoD is warning contractors to better protect their networks, or risk losing contracts. [GovExec] One commentator says that DHS’ post-award debriefings are underwhelming, and offers ideas for improvements. [hstoday.us] The GSA has awarded the $15B Alliant 2 SB contract to 81 small businesses. [fedscoop.com] The DoD recently used Other Transaction Authority to make a $950 million award.  But what the heck is Other Transaction Authority, anyway? [Federal News Radio]
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SmallGovCon Week In Review: December 5-9, 2016

I don’t know about your part of the country, but here in Lawrence, the temperatures have plunged and it has finally felt like winter for the first time.  When temps get cold, I prefer to stay inside with a hot beverage, but I have to hand it to all of the die hard Chiefs fans who scoffed at the single-digit temperatures and spent the evening watching their team defeat the Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium last night. As we continue our wintry approach to the holidays, it’s been a big week in government contracting. Here on SmallGovCon, we’ve been focusing on the government contracting provisions of the 2017 NDAA, and this week’s SmallGovCon Week In Review has an additional update on the bill’s progress.  But that’s not all: our weekly roundup of government contracting news also includes a change to the FAR to reflect SBA regulations regarding multiple-award contracts, previews of contracting under President-elect Trump, and much more. The 2017 NDAA conference bill has been approved by House and Senate, and is now on President Obama’s desk.  Will he sign it? [ExecutiveGov] Speaking of the 2017 NDAA, it includes provisions restoring the GAO’s ability to hear protests of civilian task and delivery orders in excess of $10 million. [FCW] Two men who executed “the largest disadvantaged business enterprise fraud in the nation’s history” will not have their sentences adjusted after a court denied a request for leniency. [Central Penn Business Journal] Washington Technology takes a look at the incoming Trump administration and what is next for contractors. [Washington Technology] Federal contracts played a factor in United Technologies’ decision to keep a Carrier plant in Indianapolis open at the request of President-elect Trump. [The Washington Post] A bill protecting whistleblowers who expose what they think is wrongdoing in government contracts has been passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and is expected to be signed by President Obama. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch] What will be the new administration’s acquisition priorities? Speculation opaquely says increased outsourcing of government activity, but what does that mean? Federal Times tries to answer these and other questions. [Federal Times] President-elect Trump has nominated Linda McMahon, of World Wrestling Entertainment fame, to head the SBA. [ExecutiveGov] The FAR Council has proposed important changes to implement regulatory changes made by the SBA, which provide Government-wide policy for partial set-asides and reserves, and set-aside orders for small business concerns under multiple-award contracts. [Federal Register] The GSA has inked a government-wide deal for Adobe’s “data-centric” security and electronic signature software which the GSA believes could save American taxpayers $350 million. [fedscoop] A commentator opines that improving government contracting should begin with “dumping the DUNS.” [The Hill]
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SmallGovCon Week In Review: December 4-8, 2017

I am back in the office after a great time at the 2017 National Veterans Small Business Engagement in St. Louis. I was able to see many familiar faces and meet many new ones. A big thanks to everyone who attended my presentation on the nonmanufacturer rule and visited the Koprince Law booth–and most of all, thank you to all the veterans I met for your service and sacrifices. In this edition of SmallGovCon Week In Review, we take a look at two separate cases where contractors conspired to defraud the government, the Census Bureau is finally able to move forward with preparations for the 2020 Census, the General Services Administration has named its new leader, and much more. A government contractor has been convicted of major fraud for executing a scheme to defraud the United States on a construction contract valued at approximately $1.5 million. [United States Department of Justice] Federal prosecutors sought the maximum allowed sentence for a defense contractor who bilked the government out of more than $15.4 million. [Pilot Online] Federal agencies are beginning to catch up with the ever-evolving nature of cyber risk, but the scope and complexity of federal contracting cannot keep up with the challenges. [Forbes] AT&T has withdrawn its protest of the Census Bureau contract to provide mobile devices for workers, allowing the agency o move forward after the $283 million procurement dispute. [Nextgov] After continued efforts to change the federal procurement process by submitting bid protests, Latvian Connection has been handed a two-year suspension from the GAO, preventing it from filing further bid protests. [Federal News Radio] (and see my take here) The GSA has a new leader in Emily Murphy, who received Senate approval on Tuesday to become the next administrator of the GSA. [fedscoop] The GAO released a report describing potential improvements in the VA’s acquisition of medical and surgical supplies. [GAO]
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SmallGovCon Week In Review: December 19-23, 2016

With Christmas just two days away, it is time for  many of us to focus on family and friends and enjoy a few days off. I hope that you have an enjoyable holiday season and are able to surround yourself with those that mean the most to you. Before we take a little break for the holidays we are happy to bring you this final 2016 edition of SmallGovCon Week In Review. (We won’t be publishing a Week in Review next week, but will be back with more in 2017). As we head into the final week of 2016, we take a look at two separate fraud cases where million dollar fines have been assessed, more predictions of how the incoming Trump Administration will affect government contractors, 2017 is shaping up as a competitive year in IT contracting, and much more. The Trump transition and campaign websites provide some insight about the acquisition agenda that the new administration will pursue, as well as other policies that may impact government contractors and federal acquisition personnel. [Washington Technology] A Rhode Island business will pay $1 million dollars to resolve civil allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by submitting, or causing the submission of, claims for reimbursement for funding earmarked for minority, women-owned, or small business that it was not entitled to receive. [The Valley Breeze] Two Arkansas business owners are accused of falsely claiming to be a service-disabled veteran owned business in order to collect more than $15.5 million in federal contracts. [Arkansas Online] Our very own Senior Associate Attorney Matthew Schoonover was interviewed for this article on the controversy surrounding the Trump Washington hotel. [Bloomberg Politics] According to one commentator, the GSA is taking steps to make multiple award schedules more expensive for contractors. [Allen Federal Business Partners] President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for Army Secretary has some people wondering who? But that may be just what the Army needs. [Federal News Radio] 2017 is shaping up to be a very competitive year for IT contracts across the U.S. military branches and Defense Department. [Nextgov] A handful of defense organizations are crying foul on a proposed regulation that may eat into research funding the Defense Department gives to industry. [Federal News Radio] The National Defense Authorization Act of 2017 directs more limited use of Low Price Technically Acceptable procurements, which may be a welcome holiday gift for federal contractors. [Washington Technology] Jason Miller of Federal News Radio takes an in depth look at three changes to federal acquisition agencies that industry should know about. [Federal News Radio] The federal government maintains a database of every contract action above the $3,500 threshold, but despite this expansive data set, the government does not capture meaningful visibility into what agencies are actually buying. [Federal News Radio] Will a potential Trump hiring freeze on federal hiring result in the hiring of more contractors to compensate for a small internal agency workforce? [Government Executive]
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SmallGovCon Week In Review: December 18-22, 2017

It’s hard to believe it, but Monday is Christmas. Hopefully you will be able to enjoy some time with family and friends this weekend and maybe even get that special gift you’ve been hoping for under your tree. Before we head off into the holiday weekend, we wouldn’t think of leaving you without the SmallGovCon Week In Review. In this edition, two defense contractors will fork over $1.4 million (and spend some time in the pokey) as a result of a procurement fraud scheme, the GAO releases a study on DoD contracts awarded to minority-owned and women-owned businesses, a contractor will pay a whopping $63.7 million to settle False Claims Act allegations, and more. SmallGovCon Week in Review will be off next week, but we’ll be back with more government contracts news and notes in 2018.  Happy holidays! Two San Diego defense contractors will forfeit $1.4 million and serve jail time for their roles in conspiring to commit wire fraud and file false claims against the government. [Times of San Diego] A contractor will pay $63.7 million to settle False Claims allegations relating to improper billing practices and unlawful financial inducements in violation of the Anti-Kickback Act. [United States Department of Justice] A new DoD memorandum allows Contracting Officers, at their discretion, to eliminate cost or price as an evaluation factor when awarding certain multiple-award contracts. [Office of the Undersecretary of Defense] GAO released a report on the number and types of contracts for the procurement of products or services that the DoD awarded to minority-owned and women-owned businesses. [Military Technologies] The Defense Logistics agency wants to beef up its Business Decision Analytics decision tool to better help it better identify and combat procurement fraud. [GCN]
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SmallGovCon Week in Review: December 12-16, 2016

This winter’s first polar vortex is upon us, and although much of the country has been getting hit with snow, Kansas has managed to stay mostly snow free with temperatures centered around a balmy 30 degrees. As the vortex sweeps its way out, we are looking to get our first dose of really cold weather with lows in the teens this weekend. Weekends like this are perfect to spend time with family and daydream about being on a beach–or anyplace that does not require 10+ minutes of preparation just to leave the driveway. While much of the nation prepares to dig itself out from a winter snowstorm, there is still plenty happening in the world of government contracts. In this week’s SmallGovCon Week In Review, the FAR Council issues a rule responding to a judge’s injunction of much of the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, a Virginia contractor will cough up $1 million to settle bid rigging and kickback allegations, and much more. A Virginia contractor has agreed to pay $1 million to resolve claims of bid rigging and kickbacks. [Department of Justice] The FAR Council issues a final rule responding to a federal judge’s injunction of portions of the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order. (It’s nice to see the FAR Council offering guidance, but if I were a betting man, I’d wager that this E.O. will be repealed by the incoming Administration). [Federal Register] Speaking of Executive Orders that may be on the chopping block, the FAR Council has issued an interim rule implementing the “mandatory sick leave” E.O. [Federal Register] Some business groups are celebrating President-elect Trump’s choice of Linda McMahon to lead the SBA. [Forbes] It is getting increasingly more difficult for individuals and companies alike to stay on top of new technology and devices, but GAO is making some progress, it seems. [GovFresh] Big thanks and congratulations to Guy Timberlake and The American Small Business Coalition on the success of their 2016 Holiday Charity Bash™, which took place last week and raised a lot of money for a great cause. (Koprince Law LLC was a proud sponsor). [GovConChannel] President-elect Trump has called for a lifetime ban on certain federal employees later going to work for defense contractors. [The Fiscal Times] ChallengeHER took place this week in Washington, offering encouragement and words of advice to WOSBs. [Federal News Radio] NASA has adopted an interim final rule amending the NFS to implement revisions to the voucher submittal and payment process. [Federal Register]
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SmallGovCon Week In Review: December 11-15, 2017

As we reach the halfway point of December, we have managed to escape any real signs of winter weather here in Lawrence. Our chances for a white Christmas may also be dwindling as the long range forecast is predicting sunny skies and zero precipitation. But I’m not complaining: bring on the sun and (relative) warmth, I say. As the holidays approach, there’s plenty happening in the world of government contracts. So if you’re an Eggnog fan (I’m not, but perhaps it’s an acquired taste), pour yourself a tall glass, sprinkle on some cinnamon, and enjoy this edition of the SmallGovCon Week in Review.  This week, the Pentagon has delayed a much-discussed January 1 deadline for contractors to meet the NIST 800-171 standards, a bribery scheme involving a contract at the Hoover Dam has led to the indictment of a longtime former official for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in Nevada, government contracts guru Larry Allen discusses how the recent emphasis on preventing sexual harassment may impact contractors, and much more. After knowingly disclosing confidential information to private companies bidding on contracts at Scott Air Force Base the Chief of Project Management has plead guilty to one charge of government procurement fraud. [The Telegraph] Larry Allen to discuss the recent rules regarding sexual harassment on Capitol Hill and takes a look at if contractors will be next to target sexual harassers. [Federal News Radio] A Pennsylvania man has been indicted for conspiring to defraud the United States through repeated bribes and contractor kickbacks related to a U.S. Army renovation project. [Daily Record] President Donald Trump signed a major government technology revamp into law Tuesday as part of the 2018 NDAA. [Nextgov] The GSA cannot proceed with the $50 billion Alliant 2 Unrestricted contract for IT services until the resolution of several protests. [Washington Technology] Ellen Lord, the DoD’s new undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics is requesting more “flexibility” to cut down the amount of cost and pricing data it requires companies to cough up when bidding on certain contracts. [Federal News Radio] The DoD intents to award a cloud computing contract next year that could disrupt the entire federal market. [Nextgov] The Pentagon will delay a January 1 deadline for all of its suppliers to meet a set of new regulations largely designed to better protect sensitive military data and weapons blueprints. [Nextgov] An ex-official for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in Nevada has been indicted on federal charges for his alleged role in a bribery scheme involving a government contract at the Hoover Dam. [U.S.News]
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