SBA’s Oversight of ANC-Owned 8(a) Firms Has Come a Long Way, But Still Has a Long Journey Ahead, GAO Says

In its report published last week, GAO both commends and criticizes SBA for its handling of tribally affiliated 8(a) business development firms—particularly Alaska Native Corporations (ANCs) and ANC-owned businesses participating in the 8(a) program.

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GAO Report Considers Options to Increase “Mid-Sized” Business Opportunities

Earlier this month, GAO produced an over 50-page report, presenting a discussion on options for increasing business opportunities for “mid-sized” businesses. It can be tough to go from being a small business to competing with all large businesses, so GAO took a look at these small-ish large businesses. We know SmallGovCon readers are busy, so we’ll provide the CliffNotes version.

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NNSA Does Not Utilize Unique Contractor-Exclusion Authority, GAO Finds

It comes as little surprise that when it comes to nuclear security, the FAR’s full and open competition requirements take a backseat. To this end, Congress temporarily granted the Department of Energy authority to exclude contractors from nuclear weapons and security system procurements to preserve the integrity of the supply chain. A recent GAO report, however, reveals the Department of Energy is not utilizing this unique procurement authority.

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GAO Report: Agencies Need to Improve Data on Construction Contract Changes

Many federal construction contractors know that contract changes can be frustrating business. Changes can be unilateral or bilateral. They can stress a contractor’s finances. They can delay the overall project. And they can result in animosity between the agency and a contractor.

Fortunately, GAO has shined some light on the problems in the contract change process. Indeed, in a recent report, GAO concluded that agencies, particularly the Army Corps of Engineers and GSA, need to develop better systems to collect data about changes in construction contracts.

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GAO finds DOD Middle-Tier Acquisition Pathway Needs More Oversight

Congress has long had concerns that Department of Defense procurements did not act fast enough to get innovations in the hands of our nation’s warfighters. Section 804 of the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act addressed this concern by requesting the creation of procurement pathways for rapid prototyping and rapid fielding. To achieve this aim, a “middle-tier” DOD procurement pathway was created. The roll-out of this middle-tier pathway has been complicated and GAO recently decided to look at why.

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Report: Federal Spending up $100B since 2015

GAO recently released a snapshot of 2018 fiscal year federal spending. Although it is a very high-level review, it provides some interesting information for government contractors. Among the highlights are the fact that federal discretionary spending has increased year over year and competitive contracts are becoming less common among defense agencies. GAO also identified four key high-risk acquisition areas that it is monitoring.

It’s dry stuff, but never fear, we read it for you. Here’s a quick summary of the findings.

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GAO Report Shines Light On Contractors with Delinquent Taxes

For most Americans, tax season is happily behind them and Memorial Day festivities signaled the start of summer. A recent GAO report, however, may give cause for some federal contractors to revisit their tax policies before lighting up the grill next weekend.

Contracting Officers are required to take in a wealth of information prior to awarding a contract. One piece of information each contracting officer is supposed to review is the tax status of offerors. If an offeror is delinquent in paying taxes, the contracting officer has several subsequent review steps to take. But contracting officers do not not always conduct this review, so Congress asked GAO to review the impact of these missing steps.

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