Thank you, El Paso!

Last week I had the wonderful experience of giving several presentations at the 13th Annual Veterans Business Conference on base at Fort Bliss (El Paso, Texas). The conference was an excellent opportunity for veteran business owners to come together and learn about opportunities. 

Organized by the Contract Opportunities Center, the event brought together small businesses and government agencies to meet and learn about wide-ranging topics. I was given the opportunity to discuss the All Small Mentor-Protege Program and joint venturing, size and affiliation issues, and provide the lunch audience with an update on the whirlwind of changes occurring as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Small Business Administration work to combine their two Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business programs. If you were there and have questions, please reach out

We all got to listen to the incredibly moving speech of Justin Constantine, retired Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. His tale, and the lessons he learned, is certainly one worth taking to heart. 

Thanks especially to Pablo Armendariz and Melissa Murphy for their steady hand on the wheel. Hope to see you all again soon. 

GAO Fends Off ‘Killer Tomato’ Protest

I always knew my legal career would some day overlap with my love of terrible movies, before-they-were-stars trivia, and naval warfare. Today is that day.

When I saw that GAO had dismissed a “killer tomato” protest, several things came to mind. First, I thought, wait, are they talking about “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes“? Then I though, wait, wasn’t George Clooney in that—and didn’t he have a terrible 80’s mullet? Naturally, my curiosity got the best of me. I clicked.

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GAO: No Attorneys’ Fees When Arguing that Corrective Action is a Ruse

When pursuing a bid protest before the Government Accountability Office, it is never a good idea to presume that you’ll get your attorneys’ fees paid by the agency.

If you are fortunate enough to recover attorneys’ fees, GAO’s general standard is to recommend paying the fees associated with all the protest grounds being pursued, whether or not they were meritorious. But although this is the general posture, it is not always the case.

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Thank you, Cross Timbers!

It was a great honor to be a speaker at the 2018 Government Procurement Conference in Arlington, Texas. The event was organized by the Cross Timbers Procurement Technical Assistance Center from the University of Texas at Arlington.

My talk ranged from basic bid protest matters, to cybersecurity, to threats facing small businesses (including Amazon), and the 2019 NDAA. I hope those in attendance learned something. I know I learned from you (you know who you are).

Special thanks to Gregory James and Loren L. Hitchcock for organizing the event and everyone who worked so hard to make it happen. It was great to connect with clients and make new friends. Hope to see you all again soon.

GAO Faults Contractor for General Manager’s Sickness

When an incumbent contractor’s general manager got sick and had to quit, the contractor promptly found a replacement, which the agency approved. But there was still one problem: the incumbent had already proposed to use the same general manager for the next contract.

According to GAO, the agency was right to eliminate the contractor from the competition, even though the agency knew that the contractor had a new general manager and had, in fact, approved the replacement.

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Hack Response: Notarized Letters Now Required for SAM.gov

Because of a recent cyber attack on the System for Award Management, the Federal Service Desk is requiring new contractors to submit a signed notarized letter in order to be registered. Later this month, existing registrants seeking to update or renew profiles will have to do the same.

This move comes after the General Services Administration acknowledged on March 22 that the inspector general is looking into a hack of the SAM.gov database, in which the hackers changed the banking information for “a limited number” of contractors.

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Thank you, Boise!

Last week I had the fantastic opportunity to travel to Boise to speak at the Idaho Small Business Contracting Symposium.  My talk focused on recent updates in the law relating to contracting with the Federal government. It was a broad topic I hope was valuable to all who attended.

The symposium provided a wonderful opportunity to meet some clients face-to-face after having established a relationship over email and the phone and also to make some great new contacts. Huge thanks to Gary Moore and Lee Velton and the Idaho PTAC for organizing and inviting Koprince Law LLC to speak. Thanks to all who stopped by the table (and if you asked me where to get a copy of the Joint Ventures handbook, here’s a handy dandy link.)

Next stop: Kansas SBDC Cybersecurity Forum in Manhattan, Kan., April 25, where I’ll be on the Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, Recover panel. The event is sponsored by the Washburn Kansas Small Business Development Center. Registration is open. Hope to see you there.