SmallGovCon Week In Review: February 26 – March 2, 2018

March has arrived, and soon it will be time for all the March Madness fun.  But first, I will be heading to sunny Florida for the APTAC Spring 2018 Training Conference on Monday.  If you’re a PTAC counselor, I hope to see you there.

In today’s edition of the SmallGovCon Week in Review, an Atlanta-based company that failed to deliver millions of emergency meals to Puerto Ricans struggling to recover from Hurricane Maria may have plagiarized its winning bid, a former quality-control officer who demanded kickbacks from construction businesses he monitored is going to prison, Guy Timberlake takes a look at the use of Product Service codes, and much more.

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GAO: Understated Pricing Alone Isn’t “Unbalanced Pricing”

Under the FAR, unbalanced pricing may increase performance risk and can result in the government paying unreasonably high prices.  But the concept of unbalanced pricing is often misunderstood in practice.

As the GAO wrote in a recent bid protest decision, unbalanced pricing doesn’t exist merely because some of an offeror’s line item prices are low.  Rather, unbalanced pricing requires both understated and overstated line items–that is, some line items appear too high while others appear too low.

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GAO Confirms: No Protests of Most Subcontract Awards

Despite older case law to the contrary, the GAO ordinarily lacks jurisdiction to decide a protest challenging the award of a subcontract, even where the subcontract is alleged to have been made “for” the government, as in the case of some subcontracts awarded by DOE Management and Operation prime contractors.

In a recent decision, the GAO confirmed that, except in very narrow circumstances, it won’t decide protests challenging subcontract awards.

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SmallGovCon Week In Review: February 19-23, 2018

After a long week that included two ice storms here in the Midwest, I hope you’re ready for a relaxing weekend.  But first, it’s Friday, which means that it’s time for the SmallGovCon Week In Review. 

In today’s edition, a Utah man pleads guilty to wire fraud and money laundering for his role in a scheme to obtain government construction contracts set aside for SDVOSBs, a former CEO pleads guilty to an $8.1 million “Made In The USA” marketing scheme and government contract fraud, the federal services market has experienced a jolt of dealmaking activity in recent months as companies position themselves to capture new government spending, and much more.

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Civilian Agencies May Increase Simplified Acquisition and Micro-Purchase Thresholds

Civilian agencies may issue class deviations to quickly implement provisions of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act increasing the micro-purchase threshold to $10,000 and the simplified acquisition threshold to $250,000.

In a memorandum for civilian agencies issued on February 16, the Civilian Agency Acquisition Council says that agencies may elect to adopt interim authority allowing their Contracting Officers to take advantage of these higher thresholds, even as the FAR Council goes through the formal process of codifying those changes.

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SBA Size Protests: Subsidiary Couldn’t File for Parent

A subsidiary cannot file an SBA size protest on behalf of its parent company.

Last week, I wrote about an SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals case holding that a parent couldn’t file a size appeal on behalf of its subsidiary.  Unsurprisingly, it turns out that the same principles apply to initial size protests, too.

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SmallGovCon Week In Review: February 12-16, 2018

Love was in the air this week with Valentine’s Day falling on Wednesday.  If all the chocolate and flowers distracted you from the latest and greatest in government contracting news, you’re in luck.  It’s time for our weekly roundup, the SmallGovCon Week in Review.

In today’s edition, a California father-and-son team pleaded guilty to using false financial statements and other lies in order to win more than $4 million in federal contracts, one commentator says the Department of Homeland Security must improve the quality of post-award debriefings, the GSA awarded its Alliant 2 small business small contract on Wednesday, and much more.

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