NNSA Does Not Utilize Unique Contractor-Exclusion Authority, GAO Finds

It comes as little surprise that when it comes to nuclear security, the FAR’s full and open competition requirements take a backseat. To this end, Congress temporarily granted the Department of Energy authority to exclude contractors from nuclear weapons and security system procurements to preserve the integrity of the supply chain. A recent GAO report, however, reveals the Department of Energy is not utilizing this unique procurement authority.

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The Role of Small Business Innovation in America’s Space Program

The Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship recently held a hearing focusing on the role small businesses will play in NASA’s renewed focus on going back to the Moon and then on to Mars. We have recently touched on the growing impact space exploration is having on small businesses, and vice versa, but this dedicated hearing prompts a closer look at the opportunities small businesses will have for working on space exploration.

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GAO Report: Agencies Need to Improve Data on Construction Contract Changes

Many federal construction contractors know that contract changes can be frustrating business. Changes can be unilateral or bilateral. They can stress a contractor’s finances. They can delay the overall project. And they can result in animosity between the agency and a contractor.

Fortunately, GAO has shined some light on the problems in the contract change process. Indeed, in a recent report, GAO concluded that agencies, particularly the Army Corps of Engineers and GSA, need to develop better systems to collect data about changes in construction contracts.

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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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