GAO Recommends Improvements For Comments on Proposed Federal Agency Rules

Have you ever felt like you were screaming into the void when submitting your comments to a proposed rule in the Federal Register? That your well thought out comments were being drowned out by a mass of other comments on a proposed rule or attributed to someone else? Have you wondered what agencies do with all that information you send them when you submit a comment on a proposed rule? Well, GAO seems to have the same questions and concerns regarding the proposed rule comments process and has taken time these past few months to examine how agencies wade through comments on proposed rules, publish them, and clearly attribute identities to them.

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SmallGovCon Week In Review: November 4 – 8, 2019

It’s a busy travel period in our office. Just this week, I went to Warrensburg, Missouri for the Procurement Conference 2019 featuring Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler and John Mattox spoke at the 14th Veterans Business Conference in Fort Bliss, Texas. Next week, Matthew Schoonover will speak at APTAC’s 2019 Fall Training Conference. It’s been great to chat with folks at these conferences.

Despite all the travel, we’ve been keeping up with federal contracting news. This week, we wanted to share a number of stories, including the Justice Department’s anti-price collusion “strike force”, a crackdown on supply chain cybersecurity, and the number of suspended and debarred contractors fell for the fourth year in a row.

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Veterans Business Conference at Fort Bliss, TX

Earlier this week, I was privileged to attend and present at the 14th Annual Veterans Business Conference. As always, the Contract Opportunities Center at El Paso Community College did a great job organizing the conference and connecting contractors with information they need to thrive. In the morning, I presented on size/affiliation issues and joint ventures and mentor protégé agreements. And at lunch, I spoke about various legal developments affecting small businesses. After that, the whole conference was treated to a motivational speech by Jack Tilley, a former Sergeant Major of the Army.

All in all, the conference was a grand success, and I am grateful for my involvement. My special thanks goes to Pablo Armendariz and Melissa Murphy for their invitation and their superb organizing efforts.

Thanks to the Missouri Procurement Conference 2019!

I recently returned from the Procurement Conference 2019 featuring Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler in Warrensburg, Mo. It was a great experience! The remarks of the Congresswoman, as well as those of keynote speaker the Hon. Alan Shaffer, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense Acquisition & Sustainment.

One theme they both touched on was that the Department of Defense is looking for great ideas from contractors and wants to pay well for those innovative ideas. That’s good news for federal contractors!

Thanks to all who organized the event, especially Bill Stuby with Missouri PTAC. I was able to provide an update on current issues in government contracting to a lively audience. And thanks to all who stopped by our booth to chat!

Alert! SBA Proposes to Consolidate the All-Small and 8(a) Mentor/Protégé Programs

As many small business government contractors know, the SBA offers two mentor/protege programs: one reserved for 8(a) participants; the other, a universal program open to all small businesses—not just 8(a) companies.

Since the All-Small Mentor/Protege Program was rolled out in 2016, many have wondered why the SBA still runs two programs, instead of a single, consolidated program.

Fans of government efficiency, your cries are soon to be answered. Earlier today, the SBA issued a comprehensive proposed rule that, among other things, would consolidate the 8(a) Mentor/Protégé Program into the All-Small Mentor/Protégé Program.

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