Changes to Limitations on Subcontracting: My Game Changers Podcast

The limitations on subcontracting are undergoing some major changes in 2019, including a newly-effective DoD class deviation and the FAR Council’s long-awaited proposal for a comprehensive overhaul.

Recently, I joined host Michael LeJeune of RSM Federal on the Game Changers podcast to discuss these important changes. Click here to listen to my podcast, and be sure to check out the other great Game Changers podcasts featuring voices from across the government contracting landscape.

Offeror Provides Only First Pages of Teaming Agreements, Gets “Marginal” Score

An offeror provided a procuring agency with only the first pages of its teaming agreements with proposed subcontractors–and received a “Marginal” score on the small business participation factor as a result.

In a recent decision, the Court of Federal Claims held that the agency reasonably downgraded the offeror for failing to provide its entire teaming agreements, saying that the agency correctly determined that it was unable to determine what work would be performed by the subcontractors.

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“Eliminate Most DoD Small Business Set-Asides,” Says Section 809 Panel

The Section 809 Panel has recommended that Congress eliminate most small business set-asides for DoD acquisitions. The Panel would replace the longstanding set-aside system with a meager five percent small business price preference.

For small government contractors, this recommendation is the policy equivalent of a five-alarm fire. Small contractors may need to fight hard to save the set-aside system.

Get ready for a battle.

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Section 809 Panel Recommends Changing “Once 8(a), Always 8(a)” Rule

Under the so-called “once 8(a), always 8(a)” rule set forth in the FAR and SBA regulations, when a procurement has been accepted by the SBA for inclusion in the 8(a) Program, any follow-on contract generally must remain in the 8(a) Program, unless the SBA agrees to release it for non-8(a) competition.

Now, the Section 809 Panel has proposed a modest, but potentially important change to the “once 8(a), always 8(a)” rule–a change that would allow for acquisitions to be removed from the 8(a) Program without the SBA’s explicit consent.

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Section 809 Panel: Congress Should Order Government to Communicate with Contractors

Congress should require Government acquisition personnel to communicate with industry, according to the Section 809 acquisition reform panel.

In the third and final volume in its series on streamlining and improving DoD acquisition processes, the Section 809 Panel takes aim at Government reticence to communicate with industry, and says that merely permitting such communications doesn’t go far enough.

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Why Does the 8(a) Program Penalize Older Business Owners?

The 8(a) Program can offer incredible opportunities: sole source contracts, set-aside competitions, mentor-protege relationships, SBA business training and much more.

But for business owners older than 59 1/2, getting admitted to the 8(a) Program can be very difficult: unlike their younger counterparts, funds these owners have saved in traditional retirement accounts will likely count against the 8(a) Program’s $250,000 adjusted net worth cap.

How is this fair? (Spoiler alert: in my opinion, it ain’t).

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SmallGovCon Welcomes Robert Kampen!

I am very pleased to announce that Robert Kampen has joined our team of attorney-authors here at SmallGovCon.  Rob is an associate attorney with Koprince Law LLC, where his practice focuses on federal government contracts law.

Rob is a graduate of the University of Kansas School of Law. Before joining the firm, Rob worked for several years in financial services and telecommunications, where he focused on negotiating, drafting and managing contracts.  Check out Rob’s full biography to learn more about our newest author, and don’t miss his first SmallGovCon post on limits BPA awardees face in attempting to challenge fellow awardees.