SmallGovCon Week In Review: September 9 – September 13, 2019

It’s Friday the 13th and a harvest moon. That isn’t going to happen again until 2049. So be safe out there, don’t let any black cats cross your path as you look at the moon, and enjoy this rare event.

You can also enjoy some updates from the world of federal government contracting news, as there are some interesting tidbits this week. For instance, we’ve been hearing about the bribery charges for FEMA officials, examples of malicious actors targeting government contractors, and details about DOD’s use of pilot programs for software-only appropriations.

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GSA On Track to Release Consolidated MAS Program Schedule On First of October

This week, GSA announced it is on track to debut its Consolidated Multiple Acquisition Schedule (MAS) Program Schedule Solicitation on October 1. GSA also gave federal contractors planning to bid on the MAS a head start on the process by releasing a final draft solicitation and an updated industry FAQs sheet. Let’s take a look at how to utilize this opportunity to prepare for the solicitation’s long-awaited debut.

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SDVOSB Start-Ups Continue to Face Obstacles to CVE Verification

Several years ago, we argued that VA’s rule, requiring a veteran to devote herself full time to an SDVOSB during normal working hours, unnecessarily handicapped SDVOSB start-ups seeking CVE verification. This same requirement–though now in a slightly different form–continues to impede new businesses from obtaining verification, a key credential for many SDVOSBs. Beyond that, CVE’s application of the managerial experience requirement also poses a potential hurdle for incipient SDVOSBs.

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Alert! SBA OHA Decides 3-Year Receipts Calculation Period Still Applies

Since being passed by Congress in late 2018, the Runway Extension Act has been the source of great confusion among small business contractors: would size under receipts-based NAICS codes be calculated under the 3-year calculation period set out in the SBA’s regulations, or under the new 5-year calculation period mandated by Congress?

In a decision just publicly released, the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals has weighed in. As of now, the SBA will still calculate size under the 3-year calculation period.

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GAO: VA Rule of Two Doesn’t Apply if Pricing Isn’t Reasonable

GAO recently gave its blessing to a VA decision not to follow the Rule of Two, despite knowing several SDVOSBs would bid. The VA’s decision was based on the contracting officer’s opinion that prices would not be fair and reasonable based on an evaluation of prices and market research. The decision is important for providing some clarification on what research a contracting officer must undertake to establish that prices will not be fair and reasonable for purposes of the Rule of Two.

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SmallGovCon Week In Review: September 2 – September 6, 2019

College football is back. In Lawrence, that means we got to see what the Mad Hatter could do his first time on the field coaching at KU. As one writer put it, having a new coach makes “people pay at least temporary attention to Kansas football.” I hope the attention lasts a while.

For those needing a break from football, or who always take a break from football, there are some interesting stories from the government contracting gridiron the past week. These include a former U.S. Army colonel sentenced to five years in federal prison for accepting bribes from a a business fraudulently claiming small business status, the ever-growing demand for federal cloud services, and a contractor owning up to overbilling the government for $2.6 million.

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