GAO finds DOD Middle-Tier Acquisition Pathway Needs More Oversight

Congress has long had concerns that Department of Defense procurements did not act fast enough to get innovations in the hands of our nation’s warfighters. Section 804 of the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act addressed this concern by requesting the creation of procurement pathways for rapid prototyping and rapid fielding. To achieve this aim, a “middle-tier” DOD procurement pathway was created. The roll-out of this middle-tier pathway has been complicated and GAO recently decided to look at why.

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SBA’s 2018 Small Business Procurement Scorecard: Over $120 Billion Awarded to Small Businesses

Earning federal contracts is a powerful tool to help small companies grow their business. To help make sure that small businesses have a seat at the table, the Small Business Act sets prime contracting goals for small businesses (along with each socio-economic category). 15 U.S.C. § 644(g). And each year, the SBA issues a scorecard grading the government’s compliance with those goals.

Just a couple days ago, the SBA released its scorecard for the 2018 fiscal year. All told, the scorecard paints a rosy picture of small business contracting.

Let’s take a look.

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Report: Federal Spending up $100B since 2015

GAO recently released a snapshot of 2018 fiscal year federal spending. Although it is a very high-level review, it provides some interesting information for government contractors. Among the highlights are the fact that federal discretionary spending has increased year over year and competitive contracts are becoming less common among defense agencies. GAO also identified four key high-risk acquisition areas that it is monitoring.

It’s dry stuff, but never fear, we read it for you. Here’s a quick summary of the findings.

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GAO Report Shines Light On Contractors with Delinquent Taxes

For most Americans, tax season is happily behind them and Memorial Day festivities signaled the start of summer. A recent GAO report, however, may give cause for some federal contractors to revisit their tax policies before lighting up the grill next weekend.

Contracting Officers are required to take in a wealth of information prior to awarding a contract. One piece of information each contracting officer is supposed to review is the tax status of offerors. If an offeror is delinquent in paying taxes, the contracting officer has several subsequent review steps to take. But contracting officers do not not always conduct this review, so Congress asked GAO to review the impact of these missing steps.

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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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DOD Needs To Improve Space Acquisition Employee Tracking, says GAO

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing; a feat accomplished through a massive federal government contract program. A half century later, the federal government continues to pour significant resources into space infrastructure, particularly through the Department of Defense. A recent GAO report provided a glimpse into the size and composition of the Department of Defense space contracting workforce. While GAO notes more precise data is needed, it is clear that space acquisitions continue to be supported by a robust workforce.

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