Hope everyone is ready for the weekend. Around here, we’ll be enjoying a break from the intense rain that’s been coming down in the Lawrence area over the past week. What better way to welcome the weekend than with a review of what’s been happening in the government contracting world?
In this week’s roundup, we take note of new DoD rules on performance based contract payments and fixed-price contracts, ramifications of changes in the security clearance process, changes in supply chain security programs, and more.
Enjoy your weekend!
This afternoon, news broke that Linda McMahon, the SBA’s Administrator, is expected to resign.
An agency can’t award an offeror a contract if its proposal doesn’t conform with a material solicitation requirement. So if, for example, the solicitation requires certain types of documentation showing an offeror’s right to use property, but the awardee offers something different, GAO will likely sustain a protest.
Put differently, GAO won’t let an agency relax key solicitation requirements even though the agency might, during evaluation, accept the non-complying proposal.
Happy Friday, everyone! If you’re a college basketball fan (who isn’t?), this is one of the best times of the year. Things stay pretty interesting around our office in March and April, between our assortment of KU, Duke, and North Carolina fans. We hope you enjoy the games this weekend!
Before tipoff, let’s rundown the latest government contracting news. In this week’s edition of the Week In Review, we’ll discuss DoD’s ongoing cloud computing legal battle, GAO’s report on health and safety of defense contractors’ employees, the government’s end-of-year buying spree, and more government contractors behaving badly.
Have a great weekend!
In evaluating proposals, an agency will sometimes use “adjectival ratings” (e.g., Excellent, Good, Acceptable) to describe its assessment of a proposal or portions of a proposal. But, importantly, an agency cannot evade its responsibility to reasonably evaluate proposals–based on the articulated evaluation criteria–by deferring solely to the assigned adjectival ratings.
In other words, if the agency doesn’t perform a true qualitative assessment, but instead relies on mere labels to make its ultimate award decision, GAO will likely slap the agency’s hand.
In all competitive procurements, agencies must identify and analyze, as soon as possible, whether a potential contractor has an actual or potential organizational conflict of interest. (OCIs come in three general varieties: unequal access to information, biased ground rules, and impaired objectivity.) If the agency finds one, it must avoid, neutralize, or mitigate the potential OCI to ensure fairness.
As one recent GAO decision illustrates, an agency’s failure to reasonably investigate a potential OCI can lead to a sustained protest.
Congress should require Government acquisition personnel to communicate with industry, according to the Section 809 acquisition reform panel.
In the third and final volume in its series on streamlining and improving DoD acquisition processes, the Section 809 Panel takes aim at Government reticence to communicate with industry, and says that merely permitting such communications doesn’t go far enough.