SmallGovCon Week In Review: November 25 – December 6, 2019

The end of the year brings different traditions for different folks. Around these parts, Lawrence is celebrating its old fashioned Christmas Parade downtown. Old fashioned in this case means all horses and no motorized vehicles. It’s a fun event.

But for government contractors (and their lawyers), the end of the year is a great time to reflect on changes to the federal contracting legal landscape. In that vein, Public Contract’s (AKA Pub K) free Annual Review 2019 will take place via webcast on December 12 from 9 am to 4:30 pm. For those looking for some detailed discussion of government contracting issues over the past year from some seasoned presenters, this is the place.

Over the past couple weeks there has also been a lot of interesting updates in federal contracts, including a GAO report highlighting how lack of contractor ownership transparency can mask national security threats as well as other contractor scams, companies vying for the government e-commerce portals, and small contractors are struggling to meet cybersecurity standards. The GAO report will make for good reading as it has a lot of examples of ownership concerns for those looking to avoid fraud issues in government contracting.

Continue reading…

VA Updates, Expands, and Clarifies Its Verification Assistance Briefs

The VA and SBA have numerous regulations defining the eligibility requirements for participation in the veteran-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned small business programs. To help laypersons better understand these regulatory hurdles the VA publishes Verification Assistance Briefs. These “are resources to assist applicants in obtaining VA Verification for the Veterans First Contracting Program” and understand SBA’s ownership and control criteria. The VA recently updated all of its existing Briefs and added some new ones. Read on for an overview of the 26 Briefs and a more detailed look at some of the more notable ones.

Continue reading…

5-Year Receipts Calculation Period Effective January 6, 2020

At SmallGovCon, we’ve closely followed the SBA’s implementation of the Small Business Runway Extension Act. After much confusion caused by the delayed implementation of the Act, there’s finally a light at the end of the tunnel: the 5-year receipts calculation period will become effective January 6, 2020.

Importantly, the SBA’s final rule implements relief for businesses that will be adversely affected by the change to a 5-year receipts calculation period.

Let’s take a look.

Continue reading…

SBA Proposes to Remove the “Three” from the “Three-In-Two” Rule for Joint Ventures

The SBA recently proposed a rule that would amend the infamous three-in-two (AKA 3-in-2) rule for joint ventures. SBA’s current regulations provide that a joint venture can be awarded no more than three contracts over a two-year period. While SBA plans to keep the two-year lifespan for joint venture awards, it plans to get rid of the three contract maximum.

Continue reading…

SBA Proposes to Change When Companies Need to Recertify Size and Status for Orders

SBA recently proposed changes to a number of its small business rules, as we’ve written about in earlier posts. The same proposed rule includes a small but significant change to when a business has to recertify its size and status for orders under multiple award contracts. Based on the number of times we’ve written about size and status protests for orders under multiple award contracts (see the related content at the bottom of this post for a sampling), this is an area in need of clarity.

Continue reading…

Federal Government Contractors Can Use Electronic Signatures for Claim Certifications, ASBCA Says

Despite technological advance, some (perhaps even you) still cling to the notion that a signature, written by a human hand, is the only official kind. In other words, if a person doesn’t personally affix her “John Hancock” in cursive script or some other creative form, then the document really isn’t signed. If this thought sounds familiar, I’m here to liberate you. You are no longer bound like a medieval prisoner to your tube filled with ink. You can use an electronic signature in your contract work with the U.S. Government, including certifications connected to claims submitted under the Contract Disputes Act.

Continue reading…