Super Bowl Sunday is just a few days away. Whether you are a fan of football or are just tuning in for the commercials, I hope you have a relaxing day with friends and family. Next week, I’ll be heading to Orlando for the 2017 National 8(a) Association Small Business Conference where I have been selected as a panelist to discuss “Two is Better than One: JVs, MPs, and Teaming Agreements.” If you are planning to attend the conference I hope you will come say hello at my Koprince Law booth on the exhibit floor.
Before I leave the freezing temperatures of Kansas behind for the sunshine and sand of Florida, we bring you this edition of the SmallGovCon Week In Review. This week, we have articles discussing the role of FOIA under the new Administration, Congress is working to block former President Obama’s “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” executive order, a look ahead to what experts are saying may be the most competitive year in federal IT contracts in over a decade, and much more.
Greetings from Oklahoma, where I am wrapping up a busy week of travel that has included speaking engagements both at the Iowa Vendor Conference and The Indian Country Business Summit.
While I’ve been on the road, it has also been a noteworthy week in government contracting news. This week, SmallGovCon Week In Review takes a look at stories about the year end spending frenzy, the Freedom of Information Act may undergo major changes, DoD is barely exceeding 50% when it comes to meaningful competitions, and much more.
With half of January already in the books and the days already beginning to stay light longer, we can begin to dream about warm spring months ahead. That is, until you walk out the front door and a blast of winter air hits your face. But so long as it is cold outside, why not curl up somewhere warm with a little light government contracts reading?
In this week’s SmallGovCon Week in Review, we bring you articles involving fraud charges, a rundown of some new legislation that could affect contractors, the potential elimination of DUNS codes, plus much more.
On February 27, the VA CVE sent an email to companies listed in the VetBiz database, suggesting that all documentation submitted to the CVE may be subject to Freedom of Information Act requests. Many SDVOSBs and VOSBs were outraged–was the VA really stating that tax returns, payroll, bank signature cards, and other closely-guarded information would be made available to the public?
Now, after push back from SDVOSBs and VOSBs, the CVE has issued a press release clarifying that some documentation submitted to the CVE may be withheld under FOIA on a “case by case basis” and that the CVE will seek to limit the exposure of proprietary and personally identifiable information.
The press release is a good start, but in the wake of its misguided email, the CVE needs to do more to assure SDVOSBs and VOSBs that their proprietary information is safe in the government’s hands.
Bidding against an incumbent prime contractor often presents unique challenges. In some cases, the incumbent has been highly successful, and the procuring agency may hope to award the follow-on to the same company. Even if the agency is not predisposed to favor the incumbent, the incumbent often knows more than its challengers about how the new procurement will actually operate “in real life.”
But just because an incumbent has unique information about the ongoing procurement does not mean that the procuring agency is necessarily required to level the playing field by releasing that information to challengers. For instance, in one recent GAO bid protest decision, the GAO held that the procuring agency was not required to release the names of the incumbent’s subcontractors or other proprietary and confidential information about the incumbent contract.