SmallGovCon Week in Review: May 20 – 24, 2019

Happy Memorial Day! Please take some time this weekend to remember those veterans who have sacrificed for our country.

And amidst the fun of kicking off summer this weekend, you can read up on some of the latest happenings in government contracting. In this Memorial Day edition of the SmallGovCon Week in Review, you can read about GSA’s new e-commerce platform, a new federal civilian cloud platform, and whether cyber security failures can lead to a false claims case.

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COFC Clarifies When Agency Must Seek Clarification

Agencies have some discretion to seek clarification of a question after reviewing a proposal. But when must the agency do so? GAO allows agencies substantial discretion in choosing whether or not to seek proposal clarifications. But the Court of Federal Claims has a dramatically different standard than GAO for reviewing when an agency must seek clarification for a proposal.

A recent Court of Federal Claims decision confirms (as in a 2016 decision) that agencies should seek clarification for obvious proposal errors. But according to the court, there is a difference between an obvious proposal error and a calculated decision on the contractor’s part. This decision was about how to tell the difference.

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SBA Poised to Increase 8(a) Income and Net Worth Eligibility Standards

We recently discussed at length the SBA’s proposed rule to get rid of WOSB self-certification and revise some of the other WOSB certification rules. Well, it seems like SBA is crossing a lot of things off its to-do list, because in that same proposed rule, SBA also proposes to “to make the economic disadvantage requirements for the 8(a) BD program consistent to the economic disadvantage requirements for women-owned firms seeking EDWOSB status” and to “eliminate the distinction in the 8(a) BD program for initial entry into and continued eligibility for the program.”

If the rule is approved, the dollar amounts for initial 8(a) economic disadvantage eligibility would increase quite a bit, making more people economically eligible. Read on for the details on this proposed change.

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SmallGovCon Week In Review May 13, 2019-May 17, 2019

This week finds Lawrence with temperatures reaching the 90s. The 7-year-olds that I coach at soccer found this to be a little too hot; too bad I don’t have the indoor air conditioned facility they were asking for. But fear not, readers, you can enjoy this week’s roundup of federal government contracting news in the comfort of your air-conditioned facilities.

And, for those in the region, we wanted to highlight an upcoming networking and learning opportunity. The Kansas PTAC will be hosting Mission Installation Contracting Command (MICC) – Ft. Leavenworth’s 2019 Industry Day at Johnson County Community College. This is a great opportunity to meet representatives from the MICC and the Fort Leavenworth Contracting Staff.

Read on for some interesting updates in the government contracting world, including how whistleblowers reduce fraud, updates on the government’s electronic procurement efforts, and the ongoing federal migration to the cloud (IT stuff, not a new type of floating living platform).

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SmallGovCon Week In Review May 6, 2019-May 10, 2019

There are some exciting things going on this week. First off, Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! And please give recognition to all the small businesses out there contributing to the vitality of our nation. You can buy your mother a gift at a local small business and knock out Mother’s Day and National Small Business Week in one fell swoop.

Before you head out for the weekend, take a look at some of the recent news in federal government contracting. Below, you can read about some of the impressive small businesses that were recognized this week, as well as read about how government contractors were affected by the government shutdown, important changes to how security clearances will be processed, and how the DoD is looking to modernize technology acquisitions. Enjoy!

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GAO Highlights SBA Oversight Issues with WOSB Certification and Lack of Use of WOSB Set-Asides

This is our second blog on GAO’s recent report on SBA’s management of the Woman-Owned Small Business program. Here is our initial post.

In the report, GAO analyzes SBA’s oversight of the current certification program, and reports on its study of why contracting officers don’t use the WOSB set-asides as much as one might think.

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SmallGovCon Week In Review April 29, 2019-May 3, 2019

Hope everyone is ready for the weekend. Around here, we’ll be enjoying a break from the intense rain that’s been coming down in the Lawrence area over the past week. What better way to welcome the weekend than with a review of what’s been happening in the government contracting world?

In this week’s roundup, we take note of new DoD rules on performance based contract payments and fixed-price contracts, ramifications of changes in the security clearance process, changes in supply chain security programs, and more.

Enjoy your weekend!

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