2017 NDAA Creates Pilot Program For Subcontractors To Receive Past Performance Ratings

The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act gives certain small subcontractors a new tool to request past performance ratings from the government.

If the pilot program works as intended, it may ultimately improve those subcontractors’ competitiveness for prime contract bids, for which a documented history of past performance is often critical.

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2017 NDAA Requires “Brand Name Or Equivalent” Justifications

A small but interesting change in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act will require the DoD to obtain an appropriate justification and approval (“J&A”) before restricting any competition to a particular brand name, or imposing similar restrictions.

In adopting this change, Congress doesn’t mince words, using the term “Anti-competitive Specifications” to refer to instances in which competitions are restricted to particular brand names without appropriate justification.

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2017 NDAA Strengthens Subcontracting Plan Enforcement

The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, if signed into law, includes a few changes designed to help small business subcontractors. Among those changes, the bill, which has recently been approved by both the House and Senate, includes language designed to help ensure that large prime contractors comply with the Small Business Act’s “good faith” requirement to meet their small business subcontracting goals.

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2017 NDAA Increases DoD’s Micro-Purchase Threshold To $5,000

The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act will increase the DoD’s micro-purchase threshold to $5,000.

Under the conference bill recently approved by both House and Senate, the DoD’s micro-purchase threshold will be $1,500 greater than the standard micro-purchase threshold applicable to civilian agencies.

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Government “Poaches” Contractor’s Employee, Then Rejects Fixed-Price Invoices

Picture this scenario: the government hires your company to do a job; you assign one of your best employees to lead the effort. He or she does such a good job that the government hires your employee away. The government then drags its feet on approving your proposed replacement and refuses to pay you for the time when the position was not staffed–even though the contract was fixed-price.

The scenario is exactly what happened to a company called Financial & Realty Services (FRS), and according to the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals, FRS wasn’t entitled to its entire fixed-price contract amount.

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GAO: Lower-Paid Incumbents An “Obvious” Price Realism Concern

An offeror’s proposal to hire incumbent personnel–but pay those personnel less than they are earning under the incumbent contract–presents an “obvious” price realism concern that an agency must address when price realism is a component of the evaluation.

In a bid protest decision, the GAO held that an agency’s price realism evaluation was inadequate where the agency failed to address the awardee’s proposal to hire incumbent personnel at discounted rates.

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ASBCA: Government Properly Terminated Contractor for Preliminary Finding of SCA Violation

The government can terminate a contract when the Department of Labor has made a preliminary finding of non-compliance with the Service Contract Act, even if the contractor has not exhausted its remedies fighting or appealing the finding.

The 3-0 (unanimous) decision by the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals in Puget Sound Environmental Corp., ASBCA No. 58828 (July 12, 2016) is troubling because it could result in other contractors losing their contracts based on preliminary DOL findings–perhaps even if those preliminary findings are later overturned.

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