I Fought the Law, and the Law Won? Standing Issues Prevent Claim of Agency’s Rulebreaking

As we discussed in July 2017, Timberline Helicopters, Inc. has been involved in ongoing litigation regarding the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management’s (a.k.a. “BLM”) procurement of helicopter flight services to aid in fire-fighting and fire-suppression missions, services essential now more than ever.

Most recently, in Timberline Helicopters, Inc. v. United States, No. 18-1474C (Fed. Cl. Nov. 14, 2018), the Court of Federal Claims held that Timberline no longer had standing to bring its claims.

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SmallGovCon Week in Review: November 12-16, 2018

Happy Friday, everyone! I don’t know about you but, as Thanksgiving inches closer, I can practically smell the turkey and stuffing. I hope you’re gearing up for a nice, holiday-shortened week.

Before the holiday, let’s take a look at the SmallGovCon Week In Review. In this week’s edition, we’ll discuss GSA intent to consolidate cybersecurity contract vehicles; a potential spending bonanza by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency; results from DoD’s first-ever audit (spoiler, it failed); and more.

Have a great weekend!

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GAO: DOD Should Clarify Criteria for Using LPTA

Over the last few years, SmallGovCon has covered the Congressionally-mandated march away from use of lowest-price technically-acceptable procurements at the Department of Defense. But although Congress has restricted when DOD might use LPTA criteria, the Department has not followed this mandate.

A recent GAO report highlights DOD’s struggle. As of September 2018, DOD has not yet revised its regulations to reflect certain statutory restrictions against LPTA awards and, as a result, DOD contracting officers believe they are not yet required to follow these new requirements.

Candidly, I’m not so sure. But in any event, GAO’s report issued a couple of recommendations to help DOD fully implement the restrictions against LPTA procurements.

Let’s take a look.

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Under FAR Part 16 Task Order Solicitation, Agency Can Establish Competitive Range Without Notification

Under FAR Part 15 negotiated procurements, an agency must give notice and an opportunity to request a debriefing to offerors eliminated from the competitive range. But the notice requirement does not apply for task and delivery order procurements under FAR Part 16 where FAR Part 15 is inapplicable.

A recent GAO decision highlights this distinction.

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Yes, Foreign-Owned Entities Can Be Small Businesses Under SBA Government Contracting Rules

Government contractors often assume that a foreign-owned company cannot qualify as a small business under the SBA’s government contracting size rules.

Not so.  As demonstrated by a recent SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals size appeal decision, a foreign-owned entity can qualify as a small business, provided that it has a physical location in the United States and contributes to the U.S. economy.

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Section 809 Panel Achieves $1 Coin Clause Removal

If, like us, you spend your days reading through the FAR, you might suppose that there are opportunities to streamline the regulations. Congress agreed, at least for DOD acquisitions, and as part of the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, created the Section 809 panel, an independent advisory panel on streamlining acquisition regulations. The panel is working to improve many aspects of acquisitions law, including, as we’ve written about, the definition of subcontract.

A recent, small (but helpful) recommendation was the elimination of a FAR clause involving the $1 coin.

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SmallGovCon Week in Review: November 5-9, 2018

This week, Lawrence got its first taste of cold and snow for the season. I have to say, it was not a welcomed arrival. Hopefully it’s warmer in your neck of the woods.

Let’s all warm our hearts with this week’s edition of SmallGovCon Week In Review. In today’s WIR, we’ll look at a joint VA/SBA partnership to benefit SDVOSBs, DoD’s effort to use its expanded “middle tier” contracting vehicles, and more government contractors behaving badly.

Have a great weekend!

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