It’s Friday, and that means its time for another round of SmallGovCon updates as you ease on into your weekend. Hope everyone has a great one and enjoys these last few weekends of summer!
Read on for some important updates from the government contracting world, including an amended solicitation for the Alliant 2 Small Business IT contract, discussions about how best to put data in the cloud, and satisfactory CPARS ratings.
The Court of Federal Claims recently wrote that “[t]here is no such thing as a perfect procurement.” To anyone familiar with federal government contracts, this commentary states the obvious. But springing from the Court’s observation is another important reality: “a flawed procurement is not necessarily an illegal one.”
As we wrote about, the Section 809 Panel had recommended that Congress eliminate most small business set-asides for DoD acquisitions. The Panel suggested replacing small business set-asides with a five percent small business price preference. It looks like Congress heard our concerns—and those voiced throughout industry—and will reject this suggestion.
Agencies and contractors must do their math right (even fractions) when evaluating proposals against solicitation terms, and GAO will call them on it if they don’t. GAO recently sustained a protest where an agency improperly calculated a small business subcontracting percentage by including the prime contractor’s fee as part of the subcontracted costs when the fee shouldn’t have been included.
It comes as little surprise that
when it comes to nuclear security, the FAR’s full and open competition
requirements take a backseat. To this end, Congress temporarily granted the
Department of Energy authority to exclude contractors from nuclear weapons and
security system procurements to preserve the integrity of the supply chain. A
recent GAO report, however, reveals the Department of Energy is not utilizing
this unique procurement authority.
Traditionally, small business set-asides are not utilized in Federal contracts performed outside the United States. The SBA allows for contracts performed outside the United States to use set-asides or sole-source awards, but the FAR does not reflect this. Recently, the Department of Defense, General Services Administration, and NASA have proposed an update the FAR that would reflect the allowance of small business set-asides and sole-source awards in contracts performed outside of the United States.
It’s back to school week here in Lawrence. Kind of like parents doing a back to school shopping spree, the federal government’s spending calendar is also seeing more activity. The fourth quarter of the government’s fiscal year regularly sees a big spike in government spending.
Here is a roundup of some interesting happenings in government contracting world, including the draft STARS III IT solicitation for small businesses and new IRS procurement methods.
- GSA announces STARS III IT contract for small businesses. [fedscoop]
- Wilbraham business owner agrees to pay $1.3 million to federal government to settle false-claims case. [Masslive]
- DOJ not joining whistleblower’s False Claims Act case against companies with Navy contracts. [legalnewsline]
- IRS tries agile acquisition for data tools. [FCW]
- Department of Defense develops plan to correct contracting practices. [HomelandPrepNews]
- New tool to help contractors comply with federal workplace discrimination rules. [federalnewsnetwork]
- Guilty pleas in government contract furniture bid scheme. [woodworkingnetwork]
- Labor Unveils New Resources to Boost Contractor Hiring Compliance. [NextGov]