Thank You, Indian Country!

I am back from a great trip to Sooner Country (Norman, Oklahoma), where it was an honor to be part of the annual Indian Country Business Summit.  I gave two talks at ICBS: one on recent developments in government contracting, and another on crafting effective and compliant teaming agreements and subcontracts.

It was great to see so many familiar faces, including my longtime friend Guy Timberlake, who gave a fantastic presentation on competitive market intelligence.  A big thank you to the Tribal Government Institute and Oklahoma Bid Assistance Network for sponsoring this wonderful event, and Victoria Armstrong and everyone who worked with her to organize it.  And, of course, thank you to all of the clients, old friends, and new faces I met and spoke with at the conference.

I’ve been a road warrior recently, but will be sticking around town for the next few weeks.  Next up on my travel schedule: a half-day, in-depth session on teaming agreements, joint venturing, and mentor-protege programs, sponsored by the Nebraska PTAC.  Hope to see you in Omaha on September 22!

SmallGovCon Week In Review: August 28-September 1, 2017

I have just returned from Indian Country Business Summit in Norman, Oklahoma, where I enjoyed catching up some old friends and making some new ones.  This conference continues to grow every year–if you haven’t been yet, get it on your calendar for next year.  You won’t regret it.

Of course, like all of us, my thoughts this week have been with the citizens of Houston and elsewhere in Texas as they battle the horrible effects of Harvey. While Harvey dominated the news this week, there was still plenty happening in the world of government contracts.  This edition of SmallGovCon Week In Review brings articles on the end-of-the-year rush to nab contracting dollars, pending legislation to encourage agencies to “Buy American,” a look at the top 10 acquisition trends of FY 2017 and more.

Enjoy the Labor Day weekend and stay safe, Houston.

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Failure to Timely File Comments Leads to Dismissed Protest

When my nephew started kindergarten, his vocabulary expanded to include a new phrase: “Rules are rules, and you have to follow the rules!” For my nephew (who, if I’m being honest, can be a bit mischievous), this newfound respect for following rules was adorable.

Government contractors should commit this lesson to heart: you have to follow the rules! As one government contractor recently learned, this includes GAO’s bid protest filing rules. Where a protester doesn’t follow the rules, its protest is likely to be dismissed.

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Contractor’s Email Leads to Lost Contract, Denied Protest

Generally speaking, government contractors know that part of the cost of doing business with the federal government is some loss of autonomy. The government writes the rules. It is the 500 lb. gorilla. What it says usually goes.

When contractors try to do things their own way–even in an relatively informal medium such as email–they can sometimes get into trouble, as evidenced by a recent GAO protest decision: Bluehorse Corp., B-414809 (Aug. 18, 2017).

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SmallGovCon Week In Review: August 21-25, 2017

It has been a busy week that kicked off with a total solar eclipse.  I was on an airline heading to San Diego for 2017 Department of the Navy Gold Coast Small Business Procurement Event, so I missed the spectacle.  I didn’t get to wear eclipse glasses, but was well worth it to be part of that great annual procurement conference.  My travels aren’t over: next week, I’m off to Norman, Oklahoma to speak at the annual Indian County Business Summit.

While travel has me occasionally wondering which day of the week it is, I haven’t forgotten that it is time for your weekly dose of SmallGovCon Week In Review. This edition includes a tale of Davis-Bacon Act violations, a no-bid contract is now coming under fire (and protests), a new list of the top federal contractors has hit the shelves and much more.

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Thank You, San Diego NDIA!

I am back in Lawrence after a great trip to San Diego for the 2017 Department of the Navy Gold Coast Small Business Procurement Event.  I gave a session at Gold Coast on the SBA’s new All Small Mentor-Protege Program, and enjoyed speaking with contractors, government representatives, and others on the trade show floor.

Thank you very much to the San Diego chapter of the National Defense Industrial Association for sponsoring this fantastic event and inviting me to speak.  Thank you also to the fine folks of the San Diego Contracting Opportunities Center and American Indian Chamber Education Fund PTAC for sharing their booth.  And a big thank you to the many contractors who attended the session and asked great questions–so many, in fact, that some people stuck around 30 minutes after the session ended to chat.

If you haven’t had the pleasure of attending Gold Coast, I strongly encourage you to put it on your radar screen for 2018.  As for me, I’ll be hitting the road again soon: I will be in Norman, Oklahoma next week for the annual Indian Country Business Summit, one of my favorite procurement events each year.  Hope to see you there!

SBA Considering 8(a), HUBZone Changes

The SBA is considering making changes to improve its socioeconomic programs–particularly the 8(a) and HUBZone Programs.

In a talk yesterday at the 2017 Navy Gold Coast Procurement Conference, Robb Wong, the SBA’s recently-appointed Associate Administrator, Office of Government Contracting and Business Development, discussed some of the big changes the SBA is considering.  And to my ears, at least, a lot of what Mr. Wong said makes good sense.

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