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  1. FAR 52.219-14, Limitations on Subcontracting (Dev. 2021-O0008) provides an exclusion from the 50% LOS calculation where it says: The following services may be excluded from the 50 percent limitation: (i) Other direct costs, to the extent they are not the principal purpose of the acquisition and small business concerns do not provide the service. Examples include airline travel, work performed by a transportation or disposal entity under a contract assigned the environmental remediation NAICS code 562910), cloud computing services, or mass media purchases. Would a contractor be allowed to exclude transportation and disposal entity costs under a SBSA contract for Hazardous Waste Removal and Disposal assigned NAICS code 562211, using definition (2): This U.S. industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in (1) operating treatment and/or disposal facilities for hazardous waste or (2) the combined activity of collecting and/or hauling of hazardous waste materials within a local area and operating treatment or disposal facilities for hazardous waste. Various other related services, including analysis, recycling, non-RCRA waste disposal, packaging, tracking, industrial cleaning, etc., are also included in performance work statement, but the largest cost of the contract is the disposal entity. Additionally, 86 FR 44233, received similar question: 12a. Additional SBA Rule—Hazardous Waste Industry Comment: Six respondents stated the hazardous waste industry should be excluded from the limitations on subcontracting as disposal facilities and transportation costs are prohibitively expensive for small businesses to own and operate. Therefore, small businesses subcontract out these services, which would cause them to exceed the limitations on subcontracting. Two respondents stated environmental remediation requires the purchase of significant materials, which is similar to construction. The respondents requested these materials be excluded from the limitations on subcontracting. Response: These changes are included in SBA's final rule at 13 CFR 125.6(a), published in the Federal Register on November 29, 2019 (84 FR 65647). SBA's rule updates the limitations on subcontracting. A new FAR case would have to be opened to implement the additional changes, which require public comment under 41 U.S.C. 1707 prior to implementation in the FAR. Therefore, the suggested changes are not incorporated in this final rule. These questions can after SBA at 84 FR 65647, already said the following: In the environmental remediation industry (NAICS 562910), a large part of the cost of the contract is tied to the transportation and disposal of hazardous, toxic, and radiological waste. According to some SBCs in this industry that have contacted SBA, given the fact that these services are highly regulated and capital intensive, these particular transportation services can generally be performed only by other than small business concerns. For example, all the disposal facilities in the United States are large businesses, and most railroads and shipping companies that transport hazardous waste are other than small business concerns. This rule proposed to exclude transportation and disposal services from the limitations on subcontracting compliance determination where small business concerns cannot provide the disposal or transportation services. (…) Based on the positive feedback from industry, the final rule at 125.6(a)(1) adopts the language that specifies that the above-mentioned industries are excluded from limitations on subcontracting compliance calculations. The regulatory text provides that direct costs may be excluded to the extent they are not the principal purpose of the acquisition and small business concerns do not provide the service, “such as” in the four identified industries (airline travel, work performed by a transportation or disposal entity under a contract assigned the environmental remediation NAICS code (562910), cloud computing services, or mass media purchases). The regulatory text is not meant to be inclusive. It allows a small business in another industry in a similar situation to the four identified to also demonstrate that certain direct costs should be excluded because they are not the principal purpose of the acquisition and small business concerns do not provide the services. It appears 86 FR 44233, says the Hazardous waste Industry was excluded, but the mention of environmental remediation NAICS is so specific, it does not seem clear if HW removal/disposal NAICS 562211, could also use it.
  2. According to Bloomberg, information technology (IT) continues to be a large source of federal market growth, accounting for more than $76.4 billion dollars. Most of these dollars are typically spent through commodities, solutions, and services purchased from a myriad of companies operating within the United States. But, with so many vendors competing for federal dollars, how can government agencies ensure fair opportunity in government contracting? Before we answer this question, let’s first examine what fair opportunity is and why it is important. What is fair opportunity? The concept of fair opportunity is mandated by Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 16.505(b). It is intended to level the playing field so that agencies cannot give an unfair advantage to one contractor over another. Fair opportunity is a mandatory requirement and is applicable to all federal agencies purchasing IT products and services when using a multiple-award contract. According to the (FAR) 16.505(b), fair opportunity must be exercised when a purchase exceeds the $10,000 micro-purchase threshold. When this happens, an agency must give every company that holds that contract an equal opportunity to respond to a request for proposal (RFP). Why is fair opportunity important? Encouraging competition has a myriad of benefits. Competitive contracting often results in lower overall costs for the government as contractors are more likely to submit more competitive bids to win the business. This results in lower direct public service costs and reduced internal costs. Additionally, competition opens the door for everyone to participate in contracting. According to a recent survey by Zippia, 70.6 percent of most government contractors are white. In 2021, only two percent of federal contracts were awarded to minority-owned firms. Although fair opportunity does not guarantee equity, it does ensure that every qualified offeror receives consideration. In fact, last year, the Biden administration set a goal of increasing the share of federal contracts going to small, disadvantaged businesses to 15 percent by 2023, a 50 percent increase from recent spending levels. This lofty goal has left many agencies wondering how they can achieve this goal. NITAAC can help. Ensuring fair opportunity in federal contracting Let’s face it. Most agencies do not have the time or manpower to sort through multiple contracts to ensure every eligible offeror is included. As a result, the federal government still struggles with ensuring parity in contracting. According to a January 2023 FedScoop article, the world’s largest software companies, received at least 25% to 30% of government sales over the last 10 years through less than fully competitive procurement processes. NITAAC has the solution for this problem. NITAAC has designed an electronic Government Ordering System (e-GOS) to ensure that fair opportunity is carried out correctly on every order. This web-based, secure system is fast and easy to use—allowing contracting professionals to walk through the entire solicitation process seamlessly. NITAAC’s commitment to fair opportunity does not stop there. Leveling the playing field NITAAC is committed to leveling the playing field for all contractors. In FY22, seven of the top ten performing CIO-SP3 Small Business contract holders were Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSB), 8(a) or Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone). NITAAC boasts one of the highest numbers of socioeconomic categories compared to most other GWACs. Agencies can award opportunities in a number of categories, including: 8(a) – 131 Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) - 22 Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) - 53 Small Business (SB) - 311 Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) – 21 Agencies looking to get fair opportunity done right, need to look no further than NITAAC. The three NITAAC GWACs, CIO-SP3, CIO-SP3 Small Business and CIO-CS are multiple award IDIQ contracts for IT that can be used by any federal agency. Our Electronic Government Ordering System (e-GOS) takes the guess work out of fair opportunity and ensures that fair opportunity is carried out correctly on every order. To learn more, visit https://nitaac.nih.gov/resources/e-gos.
  3. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), small businesses are the lifeblood of the U.S. economy. In fact, small businesses create two-thirds of net new jobs and drive U.S. innovation and competitiveness. The contributions of small businesses are so great that federal legislation has been enacted to ensure that small businesses have fair and equitable access to federal spending. This legislation includes the requirement that federal agencies meet goals for small business and establishes several socioeconomic categories by which they can do so. The SBA negotiates with agencies to establish individual agency goals that, in the aggregate, constitute government-wide goals. There are 24 agencies that are subject to meeting socioeconomic goals, and the NIH Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center (NITAAC), through our Best in Class Government-Wide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs), is uniquely poised to assist each of these agencies in meeting their goals and fulfilling their information technology-related missions. Goals Met with CIO-SP3 Small Businesses The NITAAC CIO-SP3 Small Business GWAC features a wide variety of leading small business innovators and can be used by any federal, civilian or DoD agency to fulfill information technology requirements and meet socioeconomic goals. CIO-SP3 Small Business boasts pre-vetted contract holders in key socioeconomic categories, such as: 8(a): The SBA 8(a) Program is an essential instrument for helping socially and economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs gain entry in government contracting. This certification is intended for organizations that are owned and controlled at least 51% by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. The CIO-SP3 Small Business GWAC features 133 8(a) designated Contract Holders. Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone): The government limits competition for certain contracts to businesses in HUBZones. It also gives preferential consideration to those businesses in full and open competition. The CIO-SP3 Small Business GWAC features 22 HUBZone small businesses located in underutilized urban and rural communities. Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB): The SDVOSB designation is given to small businesses that are at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more service-disabled veterans. The CIO-SP3 Small Business GWAC features 53 SDVOSB Contract Holders. Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB): To help provide a level playing field for women business owners, the government limits competition for certain contracts to businesses that participate in the WOSB Federal Contracting Program. In fact, the federal government's goal is to award at least five percent of all federal contracting dollars to women-owned small businesses each year. The CIO-SP3 Small Business GWAC features 21 dynamic Women-Owned Small Businesses. NITAAC Has You Covered No matter your socioeconomic goal, CIO-SP3 Small Business can help you meet it. To learn more about CIO-SP3 Small Business, visit https://nitaac.nih.gov/services/cio-sp3-small-business.
  4. As Congress continues to deliberate on the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), many small business contractors are wondering if the reforms started in 2018 will continue. The FY 2018 and 2019 NDAA both contained positive provisions for small businesses. From making it easier for small businesses to win follow-on contracts, to encouraging prompt payment of small business contractors, to increasing the amount of funding that can be authorized through the rapid prototyping program and specifically directing small businesses to apply, previous NDAAs greatly encouraged the viability of small business contracts and incentivized defense agencies to further utilize small business contracts. Regardless of the final direction of the NDAA, adopting a strong small business procurement posture makes continued sense for the DoD. NITAAC understands the importance of small businesses to defense contracting. America’s nearly 30 million small businesses are the backbone of our economy. They also provide critical goods, services and technologies which actively contribute to the health of the manufacturing and defense industrial base. The NITAAC Chief Information Officer-Solutions and Partners 3 Small Business Government-Wide Acquisition Contract (CIO-SP3 Small Business GWAC) is uniquely positioned to help the DoD accomplish its information technology missions. With 10 task areas covering virtually every defense agency need, CIO-SP3 Small Business contractors offer innovative solutions that are capable of meeting upcoming modernization and acquisition reform priorities, such as software licensing and cloud computing. Even better, CIO-SP3 Small Business customers benefit from built-in Fair Opportunity competition, no protests for awards under $25 million for the DOD and unparalleled customer support. CIO-SP3 Small Business makes vetting and competing small business awards easy. With a $20 billion contract ceiling spanning five socioeconomic categories, including Small Business (SB), Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB), 8(a), Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), and Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone), there are no better options for the DoD when soliciting small business products and solutions and meeting small business goals.
  5. Under FAR Clause 52.222-11 - Subcontracts (Labor Standards) , does the actual reporting requirements stop at the Prime, or at the contracting officer? Fixed Price Construction IDIQ. All contractors/subcontractors are SB. As an example: Prime uses one subcontractor. The subcontractor (acts like a prime and) subcontracts all of the actual work. The Prime does not interpret 52.222-11 to mean that all of the document generation requirements under this clause get sent to the CO; rather, submittals like Payroll, Form 1413, Apprentice Certifications and such stop at the Prime. Prime believes they only need to submit said documents on the first tier subcontractor. Initially I read the clause and disagreed; it seemed an easy way around Federal labor laws if this were the case. After reading through para (d)(1) and (d)(2) of the clause a few more times, what seemed clear at first no longer seems so. Para (d)(2) states that the Contractor shall deliver an updated 1413 for additional subcontracts, which seems to imply that additional lower tier subcontractors do not generate a new 1413 -they just get added onto the current one. After thinking about this some more, I think it's a poorly worded and confusing clause. I think the intent may be that a subcontractor should read (d)(1) as if he were the Contractor being referred to in the clause, and therefore the requirements apply to himself/herself as well. I want to say that in (d)(2), any subsequently awarded lower tier subcontracts get updated on the 1413 for that subcontractor. In turn, the lower tier subcontractors have to repeat this process until no more subcontracts occur. Can anyone weigh in?
  6. Company has been approached by several DoD purchasers across agencies that are interested in purchasing its product. The product is a ubiquitous, low-tech component found in most government hardware systems. Government systems that require this manufactured component cannot function without it, and existing government hardware is obsolete technology and failing, raising national security concerns. Because this hardware is located in major & minor systems across the defense industrial base, the potential scope of work is daunting. The government lacks records containing specs for the currently installed product, requiring reverse engineering in many instances. The government also lacks an inventory database. It appears that the government officials who want to purchase the products are not sure how to design and scope this type of procurement and fund it. I am helping the Company think through procurement options for discussion with government officials. We would like to find an analogous situation that was successfully solved, thinking that this can't be the first time the government faced this problem. The Company is a small business. So, here's my question: Can you identify an example of a ubiquitous component in government property that was replaced with a new and improved product. Ideal examples would involve replacement of manufactured hardware components in the defense industrial base.
  7. I'd like to gather other's thoughts & opinions regarding the perception of the following scenario and whether or not the appearance of general affiliation exists and whether or not there are any ethical concerns? Company A had an employee who left approximately 3 years ago to start his own company, Company B. Company B is in the same line of work as Company A; Company A & Company B employ two (2) of the same employees (both employees provide contract support to Company A, while both employees provide security administration support to Company B); While Company A has been approved to be a Mentor, a Mentor-Protege arrangement between Company A & Company B has yet to be finalized by the Government; Company B does receive approximately 70% of its income from Company A.
  8. Hi All, My questions are about the small business (SB) subcontracting requirements for an "other than small business (OTSB)" first-tier construction subcontractor (sub). From all the reading I've done so far, I have a few assumptions and some questions. I really appreciate any help as I am trying to set some sort of company policy. Because of the recent change regarding "Credit for Lower Tier Small Business Subcontracting"; I am guessing Prime Contractors (PC) will start coming after subs to get help from subs to meet PCs SB goals. Now questions; 1) Small Business Subcontracting Plan (SBSP): A construction sub is required to submit a SBSP i) if it's total contract value exceeds $1.5m and ii) if it "offers further subcontracting opportunities". a) Who determines if we offer further subcontracting opportunities? Is it the PC or Contracting Officer (CO) or someone else? b) Does offering further subcontracting opportunities mean having the potential of hiring a Sub-subcontractor (sub-sub) to do a part of the work? (Note: If so, almost all of my projects with a contract exceeding $1.5m would fall under this category. Because of the nature of our work, we almost always use a sub-sub, even if its subcontract value might be as small as let's say $50K for my $1.5M contract. Therefore, I'd have to submit a SBSP for almost every project I work at with a contract exceeding $1.5m.) 2) Assuming I am required to submit a SBSP because I might hire a sub-sub, when am I required to submit it, prior to being awarded a subcontract (i.e. during the bid process) by the PC or after execution of the subcontract or anytime I am asked to submit a SBSP? 3) Assuming my planned "total subcontracted dollars" is only 3% of my subcontract value (i.e., $50K), can I submit a SBSP with 0% goal in each category? 4) Who approves/rejects my SBSP? Can I be required to accept/adopt certain goals by PC (e.g. PC's own goals as submitted to the Government)? 5) Do my reports (ISR and SSR) go to the PC for review, not to the CO; unless I add CO's email address to the list of the parties to be notified of my report on eSRS; or CO is automatically notified by eSRS and reviews/comments/approves/rejects/monitors my reports? Please consider the recent LowerTier SB counting in your comments. I hope this tread will be a guide for any subcontractor getting into Federal projects. Thank you all very much in advance.
  9. Department of Defense uses form DD2579, Small Business Coordination Record, in accordance with DFARS 219.201 and DFARS PGI 253.219-70. (1) What other forms do civilian, non-DoD agencies use to document the contracting officer's decision re: small business set-asides and coordination with the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization? DHS? VA? NASA? Energy? GSA? (2) Do any frogs have Internet links to see these documents in PDF or Word? From this thread, PepeTheFrog sees that GSA uses the "2689."
  10. @Vern Edwards has mentioned the idea of the Department of Defense (DOD) having its own acquisition laws and regulations-- completely separating it from civilian agency acquisition laws and regulations. Maybe you can throw in some other high-dollar, national-security-related agencies like Department of Homeland Security, Department of Energy, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The National Defense Authorization Act often includes DOD-specific legislation, so this wouldn't be a revolutionary change. PepeTheFrog hears rumors of the desire to legislate a "Defense Small Business Act" and move all small business contracting laws under Title 10, Armed Forces. This would exempt DOD from Title 15 and the Small Business Act. It would allow DOD to run small business programs with total autonomy and independence from the Small Business Act and the Small Business Administration. (1) What do you think of the political feasibility? Would this cause a fight between the H/S Small Business Committees and the H/S Armed Services Committees? (2) How should DOD shape its own small business contracting and small business programs? The 2018 National Defense Strategy focuses on lethality, rapid acquisition, acquisition reform, and technological innovation from small businesses. (3) PepeTheFrog hears rumor of the desire to let the civilian agencies handle the "breadline" socioeconomic stuff and let DOD focus on getting innovative technology from small businesses, rather than distributing taxpayer money to a specific ethnicity, sex, or economic region. If that happens, the Small Business Act goal of 23 percent will be impossible to meet because DOD spending is usually more than half of that effort. Of course, that would be the point of exemption from the Small Business Act. (4) If you could eliminate any of the small business programs in DOD, which would you eliminate? Which would you keep? Why?
  11. Hello, I'm accustomed to completing executive compensation forms, reps & certs, and other related forms when I receive a subcontract from a prime contractor. Starting about two years ago we started getting awarded our first few prime contracts... these contracts are currently in the first or second option year, and we have been getting great CPARS ratings.. great! In reviewing some internal processes during a new prime contract award I came across a clause I wasn't fully familiar with - 48 CFR 52.204-10 Reporting Executive Compensation and First-Tier Subcontract Awards. I had only seen this in our subcontracts, and typically based on our small business status (SDVOSB) we were/are largely exempt. Upon review of the clause I realized that there has been no one reporting the required data on fsrs.gov, and upon further review of 48 CFR 52.204-14 Service Contract Reporting Requirements, no one has been reporting in sam.gov either (though our sam.gov info is up to date). We need to get this reporting within compliance. We dutifully complete the yearly Contractor Manpower Reporting, but these others have obviously been overlooked. Are there any things I should be aware of as I start to get this data reported? Does the latency pose any issues/call for review? Any inherent concerns? I would like to be more knowledgeable in this area so that I may undertake all responsibility involved from here out. Much appreciated, -slow
  12. Hi! I have a situation where it seems DFAS/ACO/PCO/Contractor have a different expectation of how progress payments should work on this program. I am looking for guidance that could help everyone have the same understanding, or to weave the pieces together. I am the Contractor, small business, awarded a Task Order (which we all refer to as a "contract") under a GSA GWAC, primarily for services and material (aka not Construction). The total value to include all options is $80M. There are multiple CLIN types, mostly FPIF (with FFP for leased space and Cost for travel/materials). There are no "option years" just options for different systems to be built and delivered. These different systems are on their own CLINs, are FPIF and have their own target cost/fee & ceilings which are separate from the other CLINs, and each CLIN has its own period of performance and a requirement for its own DD250. At award, 1 FPIF CLIN for 1 of the deliveries (CLIN 0001) was funded along with some travel funding (Cost CLIN) and 1st period of lease space (FFP). During this time we submitted progress payment requests - on one 1443, which only included the total for CLIN 0001 - FPIF which is for the delivery of a system. Since we are small and its DoD, we are allowed 90% rate on costs, and received the 90% in payments. (Fee should not be included and was not.) During this time we submitted cost vouchers for travel - which the payment matched the dollars on the cost voucher. During this time we submitted an invoice for the FFP facilities - which DFAS witheld 90% of the amount due - to "liquidate" the progress payments being made on CLIN 0001. (Issue #1) Our funding for the above 3 are all on the same ACRN - which according to DFAS is why they liquidated because they do not look at the CLIN level, only at the ACRN level - unless its specifically called out in the contract that a CLIN is NOT subject to liquidation. Our PCO and ACO did not expect this to happen, the PCO at the time (we have had 4) issued a unilateral modification, but instead of calling out CLINs that were not subject to liquidation, according to the ACO the language used calls out ALL FFP/FPIF CLINS to be eligible for progress payments. We did not need progress payments on the FFP - lease clins as we were billing a pro-rated basis monthly (total/12months). So we are not comfortable with submitting another invoice against our lease CLIN for fear of it being liquidated as the previous one, so is the ACO, which stated DFAS liquidating these will make the amounts of the master progress payment incorrect. I am waiting on the current PCO to weight in on this issue and hopefully issue a modification with the original language we were expecting. Q: Is the PCO even allowed to exclude CLINs from liquidation? Currently, the other FPIF CLINS have been exercised and funded (again they are for a delivery of a separate system). Each of our FPIF CLINs have a period of performance spanning 3-4 years each, CLIN 0001 which was the first to turn on, has a delivery date of 2019, whereas CLIN 0004 has a delivery date of 2022. It was our (the contractor's) understanding that each CLIN, since they are severable and separate in our eyes, would each have their own progress payment form. The ACO states to put it on one form. I am hesitant due to the "liquidation" of invoices. I am waiting on our new PCO to weigh in. This is Issue #2. If we put all CLINs on the same form, as we delivered our systems and earned our incentive fee, if we billed for the incentive fee, wouldn't it be liquidated because we had other CLINs with open progress payments commitments? If so, this scenario means that we would never see any fee earned until 2022 when the final delivery is made - or even later when all the cost audits have been completed. Is it possible to have different progress payment forms for each of the FPIF CLINs for delivery of a system? If so, would we be able to invoice and receive any incentive fee earned even though the other FPIF CLINs are not yet completed and still receiving progress payments? The ACO didn't think DFAS would liquidate the invoice for incentive fee as we deliver the different systems, but I do not see any language that states this in fact I see the opposite and reading the liquidation as DFAS would liquidate all other amounts owed. Is it possible to get the basis or progress payments changed from based on cost to performance based? However, again each CLIN has its own milestones (SSR, PDR, CDR etc.), so we would still have the same question. If we have to track and perform at the CLIN level how can we get the progress payments to reflect the CLIN level - or is there no such option? I see there is language to allow something similar if the "rate of payment (%'s) are different, but that is not the case for us. Sorry its such a long post, I hope I included enough information on the situation. Any advise, opinions are welcome. This affects our long term budget so we need to understand completely how our payments are supposed to work or could work and get it documented in a modification/amendment.
  13. Hello all, Senario: The requirement is an 8(a) sole source for construction and a FFP type contract is contemplated. the estimated value is 3-5million. The ktr has an OH rate of 14.95%. We normally see overhead in the range of 6-10%. The ktr has a 10% fee on top of all the subcontractor's markup. All of the proposal backup for subcontracted work only has the lump some numbers on the quotes provided. Question: 1. Is the 14.95% allowable can this be negotiated? 2. Can a prime (8(a)) get profit on profit? Im looking for a dumb down answer on this one. I have seen that some say this is allowable however I need a FAR reference to validate. I have seen some post on this topic but none are plainly clear or easily spelled out with a clear yes/no and have a direct reference provided. Also, I have seen some site the excessive pass-through clause, this only applies to cost reimbursement type contracts for civilian agencies. 3. Can the Excessive pass-though rationale be used for an FFP construction contract in a civilian agency? Would this be a deviation since far only says it can be used for cost reimbursement?
  14. Hello, I am having trouble justifying a response with a cited intelligible answer to the following situation: What limits a small business from subcontracting out a majority of the work to a large business for an acquisition under $150K? If I received a quote that outlines that the large business will do 99% of the work do I have anything to cite to throw them out? Procurement information: Under FAR Part 13 Dollar value is estimated below $150k Total set aside for small business FAR 52.219-14 was not included in the solicitation as the acquisition is estimated below $150k. FAR 52.219-6 was checked in the solicitation.
  15. How would you recommend working with government to hold the prime accountable on a full and open/unrestricted IDIQ contract, that has a goal, but not a requirement for the prime to include small business/sub-contractors in work share? Do you know of any previous contracts where this situation occurred? Without the government requiring the prime to include work share for sub-contractors, and only goals, it is going to be very difficult to find any prime that is willing to split their work share. Any advice, or examples of previous contracts that held prime's accountable for small business/sub-contractor participation goals would be highly appreciated!
  16. As someone new to USAID contracting and running a small business, I am curious to ask anyone their thoughts on this new FAR clause (Basic Safeguarding of Covered Contractor Information Systems (Jun 2016)) Based on the blogs I have read, this clause will likely be included in most future contracts. As a small business, we use google apps, dropbox, sales applications, and other 3rd party applications that are cloud based because of their affordability and practicality (we don't need an IT team). Provided we win future contracts with this clause, we will surely have "Federal Contract information" as defined in this clause on all of these cloud-based systems and applications. The clause does not specifically mention cloud computing or prescribe any controls or requirements that directly address the use of cloud solutions. But the way I read the clause, my company does not have control over the employees at Amazon, for example (where many of 3rd party apps store their data), so we can not really know who has access to the data. It is unclear to me whether this clause will eventually make cloud computing and communication unallowable for contractors unless all servers are in-house. Furthermore, I am concerned that this has the potential of placing a large financial burden on small businesses to finance and restructure how information is stored and communicated. Does anyone have any thoughts, or am I worrying about this too much?
  17. Question for any experts out there in the SEWP Contract arena. If a small business acquires a company that IS a Prime Contractor on the SEWP Contract Full and Open category can the small business be grandfathered into the appropriate SEWP Small Business Category? In this example the company acquiring the SEWP Full and Open Prime company is a SDVO/Hubzone certified company. Can they be added to the Hubzone Group? Or do they remain Full and Open category regardless of surviving Business socioeconomic status?
  18. So I stumbled across this delightful sounding concept while looking at FAR updates and thought, Oh boy, someone is trying to really help out small businesses figure out what they need to do to comply with the regs. Then I started looking around and I must say I couldn't see any difference between the "Small Entity Compliance Guide" and what I have always seen in a DAC. Is the Small Entity Compliance Guide just a way, as we would have said pre-internet, a way to kill more trees? What am I missing here?
  19. Hello everyone, I have followed WIFCON.com for a while now, but never had the need to post anything until just recently. There is discussion going on within my office, and I wanted to get different opinions on the topic. Scenario: An RFQ, using FAR Part 13 procedures, was issued for an LPTA supply requirement that totals less than $15,000. In the RFQ it was stated the appropriate NAICS and size standard. The RFQ closed, and 4 responses were received. The vendor who is the lowest priced technically acceptable is a Small Business but does not have the stated NAICS resident on their SAM profile. The vendor is also not the manufacturer of the item they are offering, and their offered item is not manufactured by a Small Business. According to 13 CFR §121.406(d) a Small Business is exempt from providing a product manufactured by a Small Business when using Part 13 procedures, and when the acquisition is less than $25,000 as long as they meet the following requirements: (i) Does not exceed 500 employees; (ii) Is primarily engaged in the retail or wholesale trade and normally sells the type of item being supplied; (iii) Takes ownership or possession of the item(s) with its personnel, equipment or facilities in a manner consistent with industry practice; and (iv) Will supply the end item of a small business manufacturer, processor or producer made in the United States, or obtains a waiver of such requirement pursuant to paragraph (b(5) of this section. The prospective awardee meets all of these requirements, but again does not have the solicitation’s NAICS resident on their SAM profile. The CO is stating that the award cannot be made to that vendor because the NAICS is not resident in SAM. Is this in fact the case? On the SBA's website (https://www.sba.gov/content/guide-size-standards-0) it states: To bid on Federal contracts, the concern must self-certify in SAM that it is a small business under the appropriate size standard set forth in the solicitation. This question was also posed to DAU’s Ask a Professor, and their response was that the NAICS did not have to resident in SAM as long as the vendor would still qualify as a Small Business under that NAICS. Our Small Business specialist is not co-located with our office, and the question has been asked to that individual but no response has been received as of yet.
  20. Government has released an RFP with a 100% SDVOSB set-aside. The Government has stipulated they anticipate awarding the contract strictly on a FFP basis where all Offerors will be responsible for including all costs associated with travel and ODCs into each of the specific CLINs. Does the 50 percent that is required to be performed by the SDVOSB Prime consists of only labor or is it inclusive of all costs (labor, travel, and ODCs) as a result of how the Government is anticipating on awarding the contract?
  21. I was informed by an SBA rep that we would not be able to use individuals we subcontract with in our small business plan goals...does anyone know what hoops we could jump through to allow independent contractors to be included? The definition of "small business concern" includes sole proprietors so I guess I'm just not sure how an individual who was a woman couldn't be counted toward our WOSB goal. Any clarification would be great. Thanks.
  22. We are considering doing a SATOC small business set-aside for construction rather than MATOC. The Defense consolidation memo of October 28, 1996 would indicate this is a consolidation even though it is for construction. Value overf $25M. Though it would be "new" work because it is construction, it is work that could be performed by smalls. Should this be subject to a consolidation analysis and if so, would this a quantitative justification to show the benefits. The Jobs Act refers to this but does not seem clear. Thanks.
  23. Good Day All: I have two questions both of which are related to subcontracting. I am inquiring about when a subcontracting plan is required. Is it necessary for a subcontracting plan to be included if Offeror is taking credit for other entity's projects (ie. relevant experience project) or will meaningful relationship letters will suffice? Also for a small business set aside where the small business is the prime contractor what are the requirement for the subcontracting plan?
  24. I am currently doing USG contracting overseas. I know that according to FAR 19.000(B ), small business requirements do not apply to me, however, I believe that it is good for my agency to receive credit for small business contracting we do engage in overseas. Therefore, I often have trouble filling out the SF-1449 for solicitations in this regard. I think these are questions that people contracting in the states might have as well. 1. If we do a J&A for a small business (unrelated to the fact that it is a small business), should I/can I still be checking the Small Business Set-Aside (100%) Box? 2. If we end up contracting with a small business and it wasn't originally set aside for that, can we still call it a set-aside to receive credit for the fact that we hired a small business? 3. Given that SBA is mainly interested in supporting American small businesses (though the SBA definition of a small business does not specify where the small businesses are based), would you check the box for small businesses that are not American small businesses? I was just interested in whether you had any thoughts or opinions that could help me shape how I fill out these boxes, which is a question I think about everytime I use the SF-1449. Thanks, Andrea
  25. I am under the impression that most Dept. of Defense RFPs include a requirement for a Small Business Subcontracting Plan (SBSP) from Large Businesses (LBs) when the FAR 19.7 criteria are triggered. In addition, most also require a Small Business Participation Plan (SBPP) from both Large and Small Business Offerors which is different from the SBSP. From what I have seen, the SBPP usually requires the Offeror to calculate the percentage of participation on total contract value (sometimes the offeror's price and sometimes the contract's ceiling value), while the SBSP usually requires the SB percentage of participation to be calculated using the value of the "total subcontracted dollars." (I say "usually" because of the Court of Federal Claims decision in FIrstLine Transportation Security, Inc, v. US, No. 12-601C, November 27, 2012.) Can anyone tell me if any other Agencies use these 2 separate plans? From what I have seen, other Agencies seem to use the terms "subcontracting" and "participation" interchangeably. Thanks (I am new to this, so any insights or references are welcome.)
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