SmallGovCon Week In Review: February 1-5, 2016

Hopefully you will have some time to relax this weekend and enjoy the Super Bowl (or at least the commercials if that’s more your thing). Before we know it, March Madness will be here (although at the rate my Duke Blue Devils are going, they’re not likely to challenge for a repeat).

While we wait for the “Big Game,” it’s time for another installment of SmallGovCon Week In Review. This week, we have more sordid tales of procurement related bribery and misrepresentation, an excellent look at the set-aside programs for veterans, the struggles that women-owned businesses continue to face, and more.

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Army Improperly Extended Contracts, GAO Says

The Army improperly used FAR 52.217-8 (Option to Extend Services) to extend several contracts for periods much longer than the six-month maximum allowed by the clause.

This conclusion comes from a recent GAO study, in which the GAO determined that the Army improperly applied FAR 52.217-8 in three out of five contracts studied by the GAO.  And although the GAO’s report was narrowly focused on a handful of Army contracts, it leads me to wonder whether FAR 52.217-8 is being improperly used on a much broader scale.

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GAO: On Unrestricted Solictitation, No Extra Credit For Small Business Status

An offeror on an unrestricted solicitation was not entitled to “extra credit” in the evaluation on account of its small business status.

In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO held that an agency, during its evaluation of proposals under an unrestricted solicitation, had no obligation award extra credit to the protester just because the protester was a small business.  In its decision, the GAO rejected the protester’s argument that a FAR clause establishing a policy of maximizing small business participation required the agency to give an evaluation preference to a prospective small business prime contractor.

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SmallGovCon Week In Review: January 25-28, 2016

It is hard to believe that Tuesday is Groundhog Day already. As we all wait in anticipation for him to emerge from his burrow, and hopefully not see his shadow, we offer you some reading material to help make your wait more enjoyable.

This final January 2016 edition of SmallGovCon Week In Review brings you a look at the Lockheed Martin/Leidos merger, a cautionary tale about the dangers of violating federal prevailing wage laws, new principles behind the VA’s procurement strategies, and much more.

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Buy Indian Act: New Policy Memo Aims To Increase Set-Asides

Buy Indian Act set-asides might increase following the Department of the Interior’s recent release of a Buy Indian Act National Policy Memorandum.

In the January 2016 Memorandum, the DOI establishes a policy of maximizing the use of the Buy Indian Act and increasing the number of Buy Indian Act set-asides.  The Buy Indian Act Memorandum comes in the wake of a GAO Report issued last summer, which criticized the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Indian Health Service for their implementation of the Buy Indian Act.

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Tick-Tock: NAICS Code Appeal Clock Keeps Running During Discussions

A NAICS code appeal ordinarily must be filed within ten days of the issuance of a solicitation–and a prospective offeror’s discussions with the Contracting Officer do not extend the deadline.

In a recent NAICS code appeal decision, the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals confirmed that the ten-day clock keeps moving even while a prospective offeror is working behind the scenes in an effort to convince the procuring agency to change the NAICS code.

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SmallGovCon Week In Review: January 18-22, 2016

Hopefully those of you on the East Coast are hunkered down and ready for the historic snow storm headed your way.  And since many of our readers may be having a lot of unplanned time at home this weekend, we have the perfect idea to prevent boredom: catching up on the latest and greatest in government contracts news.

In this week’s edition of SmallGovCon Week In Review, a major investigation of the AbilityOne program is underway, Guy Timberlake offers some common sense advice on multiple-award contracts, and much more.

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