ASBCA Awards Costs Incurred Before Notice to Proceed

Your newly awarded government contract requires you to move significant amounts of equipment prior to receiving a Notice to Proceed (NTP). You spend thousands of dollars moving equipment and people into place so you are ready to perform once the NTP is issued. But what if instead of issuing the NTP the agency cancels your contract? Are you out all of the costs incurred to prepare for the NTP?

Not necessarily. The Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals recently reviewed just this situation and awarded a significant amount to the contractor.

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2020 NDAA: Space Activities and Space Corps

As you may be aware, the 2020 National Defense Authorization Bill (H.R. 2500) recently made its way through the House Committee on Armed Services. With some space-centric NAICS codes, such as 517410 (Satellite Communications), seeing a 134%+ increase in small business participants in the last decade, how the U.S. approaches the final frontier should be on the mind of many small business government contractors. It definitely was on the mind of the Committee on Armed Services.

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Runway Extension Act: Return of the SBA

Congress and the SBA continue to disagree about the timing for the implementation of the Runway Extension Act (conveniently allowing my Star Wars references to continue).

SBA recently provided testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship. Senator Marco Rubio called the hearing to address, among other things, why the “SBA has refused to follow the Runway Extension Act.” (We have wondered the same thing.)

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DoD Proposes Updating DFARS With 15-Day “Prompt Payment” Rules

The Department of Defense awarded contracts to an average 30,806 small businesses each year in fiscal year 2016, 2017, and 2018. A proposed rule to update the DFARS may lead to these same businesses receiving payments from the government, or prime contractors, within 15 days of invoicing.

The proposed rule is found at 84 FR 25225. It was published on May 31, 2019 and comments close on July 30, 2019 if you’d like to put in your two cents.

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GAO Report Shines Light On Contractors with Delinquent Taxes

For most Americans, tax season is happily behind them and Memorial Day festivities signaled the start of summer. A recent GAO report, however, may give cause for some federal contractors to revisit their tax policies before lighting up the grill next weekend.

Contracting Officers are required to take in a wealth of information prior to awarding a contract. One piece of information each contracting officer is supposed to review is the tax status of offerors. If an offeror is delinquent in paying taxes, the contracting officer has several subsequent review steps to take. But contracting officers do not not always conduct this review, so Congress asked GAO to review the impact of these missing steps.

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GAO Allows Contracting Officer Discretion to Act as Tie-Breaker

Your company has submitted a proposal for a Lowest-Priced, Technically Acceptable acquisition. To your surprise, you find out another company has submitted a technically acceptable offer with the same price. Equally surprising, the solicitation does not contain any provisions instructing the agency on how to pick from otherwise equal bids. So what is the contracting officer to do – issue an order for a standoff, a la the O.K. Corral? (For the record, we do not advise this as a viable method of conflict resolution.)

Fortunately, GAO encourages a less drastic solution–use of the contracting officer’s reasonable discretion.

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Runway Extension Act: Congress Strikes Back

A short time ago in a blog not too far away, we wrote about the newly passed Small Business Runway Extension Act.

Shortly after passage of the Runway Extension Act confusion struck the government contracting world when the SBA openly stated that it would not implement the Runway Extension Act. Recently, the House Committee on Small Business passed H.R. 2345, “Clarifying the Small Business Runway Extension Act” which, in no uncertain terms, tells SBA it has to implement the Runway Extension Act before the end of 2019.

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