SmallGovCon Week In Review: September 9 – September 13, 2019

It’s Friday the 13th and a harvest moon. That isn’t going to happen again until 2049. So be safe out there, don’t let any black cats cross your path as you look at the moon, and enjoy this rare event.

You can also enjoy some updates from the world of federal government contracting news, as there are some interesting tidbits this week. For instance, we’ve been hearing about the bribery charges for FEMA officials, examples of malicious actors targeting government contractors, and details about DOD’s use of pilot programs for software-only appropriations.

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GAO: VA Rule of Two Doesn’t Apply if Pricing Isn’t Reasonable

GAO recently gave its blessing to a VA decision not to follow the Rule of Two, despite knowing several SDVOSBs would bid. The VA’s decision was based on the contracting officer’s opinion that prices would not be fair and reasonable based on an evaluation of prices and market research. The decision is important for providing some clarification on what research a contracting officer must undertake to establish that prices will not be fair and reasonable for purposes of the Rule of Two.

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SmallGovCon Week In Review: September 2 – September 6, 2019

College football is back. In Lawrence, that means we got to see what the Mad Hatter could do his first time on the field coaching at KU. As one writer put it, having a new coach makes “people pay at least temporary attention to Kansas football.” I hope the attention lasts a while.

For those needing a break from football, or who always take a break from football, there are some interesting stories from the government contracting gridiron the past week. These include a former U.S. Army colonel sentenced to five years in federal prison for accepting bribes from a a business fraudulently claiming small business status, the ever-growing demand for federal cloud services, and a contractor owning up to overbilling the government for $2.6 million.

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SmallGovCon Week In Review: August 26 – August 30, 2019

Here in the Midwest, it seems we’re all looking for the first signs of fall even as summer continues (be that leaves changing color or pumpkin spice sightings). But even as the seasons turn, our conference schedule stays pretty busy throughout the year. Next week, my colleague Matthew Schoonover will be in Chantilly, VA for the 2019 National HUBZone Conference, speaking about size and affiliation issues. And Mathew Moriarty recently returned from a wonderful conference in Oklahoma.

As we finish up the summer and look towards fall, please enjoy some interesting tidbits from the government contracting world. This week, the FAR is updating rules about electronic transmission of task orders, the Alliant 2 small business contract continues to generate headlines, and agencies are releasing a flurry of solicitations.

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SmallGovCon Week In Review August 19, 2019 – August 23, 2019

It’s Friday, and that means its time for another round of SmallGovCon updates as you ease on into your weekend. Hope everyone has a great one and enjoys these last few weekends of summer!

Read on for some important updates from the government contracting world, including an amended solicitation for the Alliant 2 Small Business IT contract, discussions about how best to put data in the cloud, and satisfactory CPARS ratings.

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Congress Expected to Reject Section 809 Panel Recommendation to Eliminate Small Business Set-Asides

As we wrote about, the Section 809 Panel had recommended that Congress eliminate most small business set-asides for DoD acquisitions. The Panel suggested replacing small business set-asides with a five percent small business price preference. It looks like Congress heard our concerns—and those voiced throughout industry—and will reject this suggestion.

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Miscalculation of Subcontracting Percentage Leads to Sustained Protest

Agencies and contractors must do their math right (even fractions) when evaluating proposals against solicitation terms, and GAO will call them on it if they don’t. GAO recently sustained a protest where an agency improperly calculated a small business subcontracting percentage by including the prime contractor’s fee as part of the subcontracted costs when the fee shouldn’t have been included.

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