SmallGovCon Week in Review: June 10 – 14, 2019

Welcome to another addition of SmallGovCon’s week in review. While you might be on vacation (and feel free to wait to read this until you get back), the world of government contracting spins on.

In this week’s edition, there are some interesting updates including paying back wages to federal government contractors who were not paid during the government shutdown, merging OPM with the General Services Administration and the latest in space contracting.

Have a great weekend!

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Preparing for Contract Performance . . . and Guarding Against Problems

Congratulations! After a hard bidding process, your company has earned an award. But though this award process might’ve been long and tough, potential issues are still ahead.

In our practice, we often hear stories of soured relationships with the government during contract performance. Adverse performance issues can come at a hefty cost—in terms of money, time, and reputation.

Here are some suggestions to help guard against performance disputes with the government.

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DoD Proposes Updating DFARS With 15-Day “Prompt Payment” Rules

The Department of Defense awarded contracts to an average 30,806 small businesses each year in fiscal year 2016, 2017, and 2018. A proposed rule to update the DFARS may lead to these same businesses receiving payments from the government, or prime contractors, within 15 days of invoicing.

The proposed rule is found at 84 FR 25225. It was published on May 31, 2019 and comments close on July 30, 2019 if you’d like to put in your two cents.

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VA Agrees that Rule of Two Has Priority Over AbilityOne Procurement List

Statute A tells you to solve Problem X one way. Statute B tells you solve Problem X a completely different way. How to reconcile these two conflicting mandates? The Federal Circuit encountered this exact problem in 2018, and in response to its holding, the VA has now issued a class deviation to reflect its decision, confirming that the Rule of Two has priority over the AbilityOne Procurement List.

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SBA Denies 8(a) Status Based on Applicant’s Ability to Successfully Overcome Gender-Based Discrimination in Her Field

OHA recently affirmed the 8(a) status denial of a 100% woman-owned small business performing in the historically male-dominated renewable energy field. The applicant—who SBA called an “advocate” and “mentor” to women in the industry—detailed specific instances of gender-based-discrimination that plagued her education, employment, and career. But SBA was unmoved, instead focusing its analysis on the applicant’s triumph over these obstacles—apparently an indication that she was not socially disadvantaged in the first place. Unfortunately, this perplexing holding does fall in line with many past SBA denials of women-owned companies for 8(a) status.

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SmallGovCon Week in Review: June 3 – 7, 2019

Now that it’s summer, it means means hot weather, farmer’s markets, baseball, barbecues and all the other things on the summer bucket list. We hope you’re enjoying your summer!

This week, we share some interesting federal government contracting stories with you including new contracting initiatives at the Departments of Energy and Health and Human Services, a few bad behaving contractors getting sentenced for fraud and bribery and where to find several June contracting conferences.

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