SmallGovCon Week In Review: April 18-22, 2016

Time seems to be flying by, as April already marks the halfway point for the 2016 fiscal year. It won’t be long before procuring agencies are scrambling to get their dollars spent in the fourth quarter.

While contractors work on getting their piece of the annual fourth quarter pie, it’s time for our weekly look at news and notes from the world of federal contracting.  In this week’s edition of SmallGovCon Week In Review, we look at key federal spending date for the first two quarters, the GSA’s plans to reopen the dormant Schedule 75, the SBA’s adoption of new regulations for its Surety Bond Guarantee Program, and much  more.

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GAO: Offeror’s High Labor Hours Need Not Be Raised In Discussions

An agency was not required to inform an offeror that its proposed base year labor hours were too high, even though the offeror proposed more than twice as many labor hours as the awardee.

In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO held that a procuring agency did not act improperly by failing to raise the protester’s high labor hours in discussions, because the protester’s labor hours, while much higher than the awardee’s, were not deemed unacceptably high under the RFQ’s lowest-price, technically acceptable evaluation scheme.

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GAO Considers “Intertwined” Protest of Task Order Valued Below Jurisdictional Threshold

GAO’s bid protest jurisdiction is defined—and limited—by both statute and its regulations. As part of these jurisdictional limits, GAO ordinarily may only consider protests relating to task order procurements if those orders are valued in excess of $10 million.

But despite this rule, GAO recently considered a protester’s challenge to a task order valued at only $8.7 million. It did so after deciding that the challenge was “intertwined” with the protester’s challenge to its own termination for convenience–another matter the GAO only considers in unusual circumstances.

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Nonmanufacturer Rule Violation Leads To Default Termination

A procuring agency appropriately terminated a small business set-aside contract for default when the SBA determined, after contract award, that the prime contractor was not complying with the nonmanufacturer rule.

A recent decision of the Armed Service Board of Contract Appeals involved a very interesting factual situation, in which the small business in question told the SBA that it planned to perform the contract in compliance with the nonmanufacturer rule, but then failed to do so.  This failure, according to the ASBCA, justified a default termination.

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GAO: Agency Could Disclose Incumbent’s Staffing Numbers

In a solicitation seeking the award of a follow-on services contract, a procuring agency could validly disclose the number of incumbent personnel performing a particular function.

In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO held that this information was not proprietary or confidential to the incumbent, and that the incumbent was not competitively harmed by the release of the information.

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SmallGovCon Week In Review: April 11-15, 2016

With tax day looming (the IRS, in its infinite generosity, has granted taxpayers a reprieve until Monday), accountants and bookkeepers everywhere are preparing for a break.  But in the world of federal government contracting, there is never a pause.  And that’s why it’s time for our weekly look at government contracting news and notes.

In this week’s edition of SmallGovCon Week In Review we bring you two articles on just how much time is being saved with FASt Lane, a look into category management and if small contractors are being squeezed out, a closer examination of the shrinking 8(a) population and much more.

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