SmallGovCon’s 500th Post: Thank You, Readers

Last week, SmallGovCon hit a milestone: the 500th post since the blog began publication in May 2012.

At the beginning, I wondered whether anyone would pay attention to a blog focusing exclusively on legal issues of interest to small government contractors.  I don’t wonder anymore.  According to Google Analytics, several hundred readers visit SmallGovCon each weekday–sometimes, many more than that.  Even if it weren’t for Google’s metrics, I would know that SmallGovCon has filled an important information gap from the comments I receive whenever I am on the road at industry events.  Many people I meet for the first time don’t know me yet, but they do know SmallGovCon.

I have been fortunate to write for a bright, articulate audience of contractors and industry professionals.  Yes, that means you.  So whether you are a first-time reader or long-time follower, thank you for reading SmallGovCon.  A blog is nothing without its readers, and I am honored–and humbled–to be read by you.

GAO: Agency “Mechanically” Applied Undisclosed Staffing Estimate

An agency improperly downgraded a proposal simply because the proposal’s full-time equivalents (FTEs) differed from the agency’s undisclosed internal estimate.

In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO concluded that an agency’s “mechanical” evaluation of the adequacy of an offeror’s proposed staffing by reference to an undisclosed government estimate was improper, because the estimate was not disclosed to the offeror and the agency failed to give the offeror an opportunity to address the differences between the offeror’s proposed staffing and the government estimate.

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SmallGovCon Week In Review: December 9-13, 2013

As 2013 begins to draw to a close, there is still no shortage of government contracting news and commentary.

This week, many headlines were dedicated to a GAO report on reverse auctions (as well as the VA’s decision to suspend their use).  Those reverse auction stories, along with articles about the shakeup at the VA CVE, labor law violations, and much more, are in this week’s SmallGovCon Week In Review.

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SmallGovCon Week In Review: Dec. 2-6, 2013

After a Thanksgiving hiatus (which I spent enjoying traditional American pastimes such as eating and watching football, rather than reading bid protest decisions), it’s time to get back to government contracts news.

In this week’s SmallGovCon Week In Review, the VA has cancelled the contract of the company performing SDVOSB verifications.  The implications are anyone’s guess, but they probably aren’t good–and Jill Aitoro’s story in the Washington Business Journal is a “must read” for all SDVOSBs.  Other news and commentary of note includes a new GSA sourcing plan, a breakdown of 8(a) STARS II numbers, “crazy subcontractors” and more.

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DOE OIG: Mentor-Protege Program Needs Improvement

The Department of Energy’s Office of Inspector General has concluded that the agency’s mentor-protege program requires improvements to maximize benefits for eligible small business proteges.

In a new audit report, the DOE OIG states that it discovered various weaknesses in DOE’s management of its mentor-protege program, including allowing graduated firms to participate as proteges for a second time.

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Concerned About SBA Compliance? Consider An Internal Review

The government contracting world has been buzzing about a two-part series published in the Washington Post last week.  The first story in the series questioned whether MicroTech violated the SBA’s affiliation and 8(a) Program rules.  The second piece examined a SDVOSB’s relationship with MicroTech.  Now, the Post reports that two House committees are digging into the allegations.

MicroTech has not been found guilty of any wrongdoing, and could yet be vindicated.  However, the Post stories have some small contractors nervous that they might be inadvertently violating the complex SBA size, affiliation, and/or socioeconomic regulations.

If the Washington Post stories struck a nerve, it’s a good time to consider an internal compliance audit.  I assist companies with thorough internal reviews of potential size and affiliation problems, as well as compliance audits under the 8(a), HUBZone, SDVOSB, and WOSB programs.  Contact me for a confidential introductory discussion about my small business compliance review services.

SmallGovCon Week In Review: November 11-15, 2013

The government’s rules for small contractors made national headlines this week, in the form of a pair of Washington Post investigative stories.  Those stories, which involve the 8(a) program, SDVOSB program, set-aside rules, and affiliation, are “must reads” for anyone in the industry–although it is worth remembering that the companies in question have not been found guilty of any wrongdoing (at least not yet).

In case you missed the Post stories, they are part of this week’s SmallGovCon Week In Review, along with some good news for WOSBs, a drop in DOD awards, and an opportunity to register for the American Small Business Coalition’s Holiday Charity Bash.

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