Contractors Beware: Government Bans Certain Telecommunications Equipment Effective August 13, 2019

Cybersecurity is a key concern of the federal government, which means that it should be a key concern for federal contractors, too.

To address a perceived cybersecurity risk, the 2019 NDAA prohibited the government from buying telecommunications devices produced by certain companies—namely, Huawei Technologies, ZTE Corporation, or any of their subsidiaries. In a proposed rule announced this week, this ban will be effective beginning August 13, 2019.

Continue reading

SmallGovCon Week In Review July 29, 2019 – August 2, 2019

Can you believe it’s already August? Pretty soon, kids will be heading back to school . . . and agencies will begin their fiscal year-end buying spree. In the meantime, we hope you’re enjoying some summer serenity.
Let’s ease into the weekend with the SmallGovCon Week In Review.

In this week’s edition, we’ll explore the government’s growing contracting spend, the government’s planned move away from SAM.gov, an IT procurement fraud ring, and more.

Continue reading

GAO: Conversion of Sealed Bid to Negotiated Procurement Doesn’t Cure Untimely Protest

As seasoned government contractors know, an impropriety in a solicitation’s terms must be protested before the deadline to submit an offer. If the protest is submitted after the solicitation’s response deadline, the protest will be dismissed as untimely.

GAO recently held that this rule holds true when an agency converts a sealed bid (under FAR part 14) to a negotiated procurement (under FAR part 15).

Continue reading

CVE Verification Pointer: Remember to Provide Truthful Information

In government contracting—as in life—it’s important to be honest. And in our experience, most government contractors are honest. Where a contractor is dishonest or untruthful, it can face significant sanctions.

So it was in a recent SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals decision, in which the OHA considered the cancellation of an entity’s SDVOSB status. In CVE Appeal of Afily8 Government Solutions, LLC, SBA No. CVE-125-A (2019), the OHA affirmed the cancellation of Afily8’s SDVOSB verification based on concerns that Afily8 did not provide truthful information to the VA’s Center for Verification and Evaluation.

Continue reading

SBA’s 2018 Small Business Procurement Scorecard: Over $120 Billion Awarded to Small Businesses

Earning federal contracts is a powerful tool to help small companies grow their business. To help make sure that small businesses have a seat at the table, the Small Business Act sets prime contracting goals for small businesses (along with each socio-economic category). 15 U.S.C. § 644(g). And each year, the SBA issues a scorecard grading the government’s compliance with those goals.

Just a couple days ago, the SBA released its scorecard for the 2018 fiscal year. All told, the scorecard paints a rosy picture of small business contracting.

Let’s take a look.

Continue reading

Preparing for Contract Performance . . . and Guarding Against Problems

Congratulations! After a hard bidding process, your company has earned an award. But though this award process might’ve been long and tough, potential issues are still ahead.

In our practice, we often hear stories of soured relationships with the government during contract performance. Adverse performance issues can come at a hefty cost—in terms of money, time, and reputation.

Here are some suggestions to help guard against performance disputes with the government.

Continue reading

SBA OHA: For Calculating Receipts, Look to Tax Returns

To calculate a company’s size under a receipts-based NAICS code, the SBA will add the company’s total income to its costs of goods sold, as those amounts are reported on its tax returns. In fact, the SBA’s regulations are clear that it must use these reported amounts to determine a company’s size status.

What happens, then, when a company’s taxes show “income” that might not really reflect money in the company’s accounts? The SBA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals recently considered this question, and affirmed a company’s ineligibility based on the income reported in its tax returns.

Continue reading