Thank You, San Diego!

I am back in Lawrence after a trip to beautiful San Diego, where I spent three great days.

On Tuesday, I was part of the 2014 Navy Gold Coast conference, where I gave a presentation on GAO bid protests.  A big “thank you” to the Gold Coast organizers for inviting me to participate in one of the country’s premier events for small government contractors, and to the San Diego Contracting Opportunities Center for helping coordinate my presentation.  Thank you, too, to all of the attendees for their courtesy and great questions.

On Thursday, I spent the morning at the offices of the San Diego Contracting Opportunities Center, where I gave a seminar on joint venturing and teaming.  My thanks to Rachel Fischer, Luz Velasco, and the rest of the SDCOC for inviting me to speak and for hosting the event.  And of course, thank you to the attendees for being such a great audience.

If we didn’t connect in San Diego, there will be more opportunities on the horizon: I will be speaking at industry events in Oklahoma, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Mexico in the coming months.

Ostensible Subcontractor Rule: Size Determined as of the Date of Final Proposal

For the purposes of the ostensible subcontractor rule, a firm’s small business size is determined as of the date of final proposal revisions.

As demonstrated in a recent SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals decision, any changes to the relationship between the prime contractor and subcontractor made after the date of final proposal have little to no bearing in determining compliance with the ostensible subcontractor rule.

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Davis-Bacon Act Fraud: Subcontractor’s Owner Sentenced

Davis-Bacon Act fraud has resulted in a criminal sentence for the owner of a now-defunct construction subcontractor.

According to a Department of Justice press release, the subcontractor’s owner has been sentenced to four years of probation (including 18 months of home confinement) and ordered to pay $164,627 in restitution, after pleading guilty to charges of conspiracy to pay employees less than prevailing wages on a federal construction project in Boston.

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SmallGovCon Welcomes Amanda Wilwert

When I began SmallGovCon a little more than two years ago, I regularly blogged four to five times per week.  My friend Guy Timberlake told me “you’ll never keep up that pace.”

Guy was right.  These days, I am lucky if I have time to post more than twice a week.  More and more often, I’ve read a GAO decision, SBA OHA case, or new regulation that I wanted to blog about, but didn’t have the time.  So in the interest of ensuring that SmallGovCon stays true to its initial mission to frequently report on legal developments of note to small government contractors, I am very pleased to announce that Amanda Wilwert is joining me as a SmallGovCon co-author.

Amanda is an associate at Petefish, Immel, Heeb & Hird.  Like me, Amanda’s legal practice focuses on federal government contracts law.  Between us, we will begin covering more decisions, regulations, and other legal developments, and even add some new features to the blog.  So whether you’re a longtime reader or a more recent visitor, please join me in welcoming Amanda to SmallGovCon.

Price Realism: Agency Erred By Failing To Conduct Analysis

An agency erred by failing to conduct a price realism analysis for a time-and-materials contract with fixed-price fully-burdened labor rates.

In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO acknowledged that a solicitation of this type does not always require that the agency engage in a price realism analysis, but found that the terms of the particular solicitation called for such an analysis–and that the agency acted unreasonably by ignoring the solicitation’s requirement.

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Thank You, Texas!

I am back in Kansas after a trip to Texas, where I spoke at the 18th Annual Government Procurement Conference.  My presentation provided an overview of recent legal developments of importance to small government contractors, as well as a look at potential changes on the horizon.  In between sessions, I met lots of engaging industry and government representatives in the exhibit hall and enjoyed listening to a great roster of speakers over lunch.

A big “thank you” to Gregory James and his team at the Cross Timbers Procurement Center for sponsoring this great event and inviting me to participate.  Thank you, also, to the many other speakers who shared their knowledge and guidance about a wide range of government contracting topics.  And, of course, a big thank you to the hundreds of government contractors, government representatives, and others who attended the conference.

GAO: Agency “Mechanically” Applied Undisclosed Staffing Estimate

An agency improperly downgraded a proposal simply because the proposal’s full-time equivalents (FTEs) differed from the agency’s undisclosed internal estimate.

In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO concluded that an agency’s “mechanical” evaluation of the adequacy of an offeror’s proposed staffing by reference to an undisclosed government estimate was improper, because the estimate was not disclosed to the offeror and the agency failed to give the offeror an opportunity to address the differences between the offeror’s proposed staffing and the government estimate.

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