Changes to Limitations on Subcontracting: My Game Changers Podcast

The limitations on subcontracting are undergoing some major changes in 2019, including a newly-effective DoD class deviation and the FAR Council’s long-awaited proposal for a comprehensive overhaul.

Recently, I joined host Michael LeJeune of RSM Federal on the Game Changers podcast to discuss these important changes. Click here to listen to my podcast, and be sure to check out the other great Game Changers podcasts featuring voices from across the government contracting landscape.

Offeror Provides Only First Pages of Teaming Agreements, Gets “Marginal” Score

An offeror provided a procuring agency with only the first pages of its teaming agreements with proposed subcontractors–and received a “Marginal” score on the small business participation factor as a result.

In a recent decision, the Court of Federal Claims held that the agency reasonably downgraded the offeror for failing to provide its entire teaming agreements, saying that the agency correctly determined that it was unable to determine what work would be performed by the subcontractors.

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SmallGovCon Week In Review February 4 – February 8, 2019

After a lovely weekend, temperatures have again dropped here in Lawrence. A quick Google search, however, tells me that a certain groundhog didn’t see his shadow last week, so here’s hoping we all get warmer temperatures soon . . . .

In the meantime, let’s warm our hearts with the latest government contracting news. Today we look at how the Pentagon plans to use the cloud and protect itself while doing so, how several companies survived the shutdown as they look toward another, and the millions it costs to settle a procurement fraud investigation.

Have a great weekend!

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GAO: Agency Didn’t Reasonably Evaluate a Potential OCI

In all competitive procurements, agencies must identify and analyze, as soon as possible, whether a potential contractor has an actual or potential organizational conflict of interest. (OCIs come in three general varieties: unequal access to information, biased ground rules, and impaired objectivity.) If the agency finds one, it must avoid, neutralize, or mitigate the potential OCI to ensure fairness.

As one recent GAO decision illustrates, an agency’s failure to reasonably investigate a potential OCI can lead to a sustained protest.

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In Recent Decision, GAO Finds Agency Documentation Lacking

When choosing the most appropriate awardee for any federal contract, agencies are required to fully document all procurement decisions and their rationale, especially when those decisions could narrow the competition.

In Soft Tech Consulting, Inc., B-416934 (Comp. Gen. Feb. 1, 2019), GAO held that the Department of Homeland Security failed to adequately document its evaluation decision in a procurement for software development services and recommended that DHA reevaluate all offers from square one.

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Error in Table of Contents Dooms Proposal

By now, our frequent readers are familiar with GAO’s mantra that it is an offeror’s responsibility to submit a well-written proposal that complies with the solicitation’s requirements and risks being found unacceptable if it fails to do so.

That rule serves its purpose: it helps maintain an organized bidding process, under which the agency can evaluate proposals on an even footing. But it can also lead to harsh results, like it did in a recent protest challenging a proposal’s unacceptability due to its non-compliant table of contents.

Let’s take a look.

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COFC Dismisses Claim for Failure to State Dollar Amount, Despite Claimant’s Attempt to Camouflage Claim

A government contractor must include certain details in a certified claim, including a sum certain, signature, and a request for a final decision. With regards to the “sum certain,” a contractor cannot avoid this requirement by attempting to portray its claim as one not for monetary relief, when the contractor is really just asking for money.

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