SmallGovCon Week in Review: July 2–6, 2018

We hope you had a wonderful Fourth of July. Next week promises to be busy, with vacations ending and preparations for the 4th quarter rush. In the meantime, let’s dive into this week’s edition of the SmallGovCon Week in Review!

This week, we highlight IT draft requests from the DOT, an update to the DHS EAGLE II program, a proposed amendment to the DFARS, and more.

Have a great weekend!

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Limitations on Subcontracting: FAR Revisions May Be Delayed

At least a couple times a month, I’m asked when the FAR’s limitations on subcontracting provisions will be updated to correspond with SBA regulations adopted in 2016, and underlying statutory changes adopted way back in the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act.

Well, now it seems that the FAR updates may take longer than I’d hoped.  In its most recent “Open Cases” update, the FAR Council says that it’s made a switch in the procedure that will be used to implement the changes to the limitations on subcontracting–and that switch will likely delay the implementation of those changes by several months.

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SmallGovCon Welcomes Stephan Skepnek

I am very pleased to announce that Stephan Skepnek has joined our team of attorney-authors here at SmallGovCon.  Stephan is an associate attorney with Koprince Law LLC, where his practice focuses on federal government contracts law.

Before joining our team, Stephan practiced civil litigation and administrative law with the Kansas Corporation Commission.  Check out Stephan’s full biography to learn more about our newest author, and don’t miss his first SmallGovCon post on the GAO’s tricky timeliness rules.

Let’s Replace SBA Small Business Goaling Grades with Participation Trophies

For Fiscal Year 2017, SBA’s small business goaling scorecard awarded 21 agencies grades of “A+” or “A” for their small business contracting and subcontracting.  Two agencies received a “B” and a single, lonely agency brought up the rear with a “C.”  Not one agency received a grade below “C,” even agencies that missed most of their small business goals.

It was a “record breaking” performance, to hear SBA tell it.  But these inflated grades do a disservice to the public and government alike.  So long as almost everyone is going to get a top grade anyway, I say we just replace next year’s SBA goaling grades with agency participation trophies.

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Hack Response: Notarized Letters Now Required for SAM.gov

Because of a recent cyber attack on the System for Award Management, the Federal Service Desk is requiring new contractors to submit a signed notarized letter in order to be registered. Later this month, existing registrants seeking to update or renew profiles will have to do the same.

This move comes after the General Services Administration acknowledged on March 22 that the inspector general is looking into a hack of the SAM.gov database, in which the hackers changed the banking information for “a limited number” of contractors.

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Thank you, Boise!

Last week I had the fantastic opportunity to travel to Boise to speak at the Idaho Small Business Contracting Symposium.  My talk focused on recent updates in the law relating to contracting with the Federal government. It was a broad topic I hope was valuable to all who attended.

The symposium provided a wonderful opportunity to meet some clients face-to-face after having established a relationship over email and the phone and also to make some great new contacts. Huge thanks to Gary Moore and Lee Velton and the Idaho PTAC for organizing and inviting Koprince Law LLC to speak. Thanks to all who stopped by the table (and if you asked me where to get a copy of the Joint Ventures handbook, here’s a handy dandy link.)

Next stop: Kansas SBDC Cybersecurity Forum in Manhattan, Kan., April 25, where I’ll be on the Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, Recover panel. The event is sponsored by the Washburn Kansas Small Business Development Center. Registration is open. Hope to see you there.

Civilian Agencies May Increase Simplified Acquisition and Micro-Purchase Thresholds

Civilian agencies may issue class deviations to quickly implement provisions of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act increasing the micro-purchase threshold to $10,000 and the simplified acquisition threshold to $250,000.

In a memorandum for civilian agencies issued on February 16, the Civilian Agency Acquisition Council says that agencies may elect to adopt interim authority allowing their Contracting Officers to take advantage of these higher thresholds, even as the FAR Council goes through the formal process of codifying those changes.

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