Complicated Business Structures Contribute to Set-Aside Fraud, GAO Finds

Fraud is an ever pressing concern in federal contracts, and the federal government goes to great lengths to minimize the risks to introduce fraud into the procurement system. Unfortunately, a recent GAO report highlighted how complex ownership structures can be leveraged to obscure fraudulent contracting activities. Worse still, complex ownership structures are most frequently leveraged to perpetrate small business set-aside fraud.

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GAO Recommends Improvements For Comments on Proposed Federal Agency Rules

Have you ever felt like you were screaming into the void when submitting your comments to a proposed rule in the Federal Register? That your well thought out comments were being drowned out by a mass of other comments on a proposed rule or attributed to someone else? Have you wondered what agencies do with all that information you send them when you submit a comment on a proposed rule? Well, GAO seems to have the same questions and concerns regarding the proposed rule comments process and has taken time these past few months to examine how agencies wade through comments on proposed rules, publish them, and clearly attribute identities to them.

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How not to make a Terminator, by the Defense Innovation Board

You know the story. The government creates artificial intelligence—badda bing badda boom—you’re fighting Arnold Schwarzenegger in a post-apocalyptic battle for the planet. It’s a tale as old as 1984 (and still being told).

But it doesn’t have to be that way. The Department of Defense asked the Defense Innovation Board to prepare a report called “AI Principles: Recommendations on the Ethical Use of Artificial Intelligence by the Department of Defense” or as I call it a Terminator avoidance plan.

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DOD will Require Cybersecurity Certification Starting Fall 2020

It’s not too soon to start thinking about those New Year’s resolutions. Along with other personal goals, federal contractors might want to add a cybersecurity resolution to their list. The Department of Defense has drafted a cybersecurity certification that will be finalized in January 2020. Starting next fall, contractors will have to be certified in order to submit proposals on defense solicitations. Read on for some of the highlights.

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SBA Inspector General Identifies “Challenges” with Multiple SBA Programs

The SBA Office of the Inspector General has taken it upon itself to look at the SBA’s programs and activities in order to determine what risks the SBA may face in the 2020 Fiscal Year. It appears that the OIG did not like what it found. The examination found multiple risks and problems associated with SBA programs, including the 8(a) program, the WOSB program, and SBA’s small business contract goaling methods.

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GAO Report Considers Options to Increase “Mid-Sized” Business Opportunities

Earlier this month, GAO produced an over 50-page report, presenting a discussion on options for increasing business opportunities for “mid-sized” businesses. It can be tough to go from being a small business to competing with all large businesses, so GAO took a look at these small-ish large businesses. We know SmallGovCon readers are busy, so we’ll provide the CliffNotes version.

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