GAO: Exclusion Improper Because Former Official Didn’t Have Competitive Information

Hiring former government officials can sometimes be tricky business for contractors. As we discussed in a previous post, this is particularly true if the former official, based on work at an agency, could give the contractor a leg up in a specific procurement.

But hiring a former government official isn’t always a problem. And as a recent GAO decision illustrates, as long as the former official doesn’t have competitively useful, non-public information, an agency shouldn’t exclude an offeror from competition merely because it employs a former government official.

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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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CAGE-y Evaluation: Agency Unreasonably Failed to Consider CAGE Codes Provided in Proposal

Facilities security clearances are a common requirement for Department of Defense procurements. While important for national security reasons, these solicitation requirements can also create confusion with respect to evaluation. A recent GAO decision demonstrates how confusion can arise when a contractor holds multiple CAGE codes, only one of which corresponds to a cleared facility.

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SBA OHA: For Calculating Receipts, Look to Tax Returns

To calculate a company’s size under a receipts-based NAICS code, the SBA will add the company’s total income to its costs of goods sold, as those amounts are reported on its tax returns. In fact, the SBA’s regulations are clear that it must use these reported amounts to determine a company’s size status.

What happens, then, when a company’s taxes show “income” that might not really reflect money in the company’s accounts? The SBA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals recently considered this question, and affirmed a company’s ineligibility based on the income reported in its tax returns.

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SmallGovCon Week in Review: May 28 – 31, 2019

We hope you all enjoyed your Memorial Day Weekend. At the same time, our thoughts go out to to those affected by recent weather events, including a tornado that touched down just outside of Lawrence. While none of us at Koprince Law were directly affected by the tornado in Lawrence, many members of our community were. We thank the forecasters, first responders, and others who worked to warn us and are helping people rebuild after this event.

In this week’s roundup of recent news in the government contracting world, you can read some interesting items, including a study of how whistleblowers can reduce government fraud, government procurement innovations, and a request by the DOD to defend against cyber attacks.

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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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