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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SmallGovCon Week In Review: November 4-8, 2013

I am in sunny Southern California, where I am speaking on teaming and joint venturing at an excellent PTAC conference.  Meanwhile, as the effects of the shutdown begin to slowly fade, a wide variety of government contracts news is making headlines.

In this week’s SmallGovCon Week in Review, the DHS’s EAGLE II awards come under fire, a GAO report alleges poor contracting practices at the Bureau of Land Management, Guy Timberlake of the American Small Business Coalition explains the importance of understanding and using government contracting data, and much more.

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Sex, Lies, & Bid Protests: Adultery-Based Challenge Fails at GAO

An alleged adulterous relationship between a Navy program manager and a contractor support employee did not provide a basis to challenge the Navy’s award to a different contractor.

The GAO’s recent decision in Harris IT Services Corporation, B-408546.2, B-408546.3 (Oct. 31, 2013) involved more salacious allegations  than one typically encounters in a bid protest case, but the GAO’s ruling was no surprise: after all, the awardee was not the company employing the allegedly unfaithful employee.

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