The DFARS Approach to Data Rights

We have discussed data rights in the general federal government context, now it is finally time to look at the DFARS’ approach to this area of intellectual property. One thing: The DFARS (Defense Acquisition Regulation Systems) does not replace the FAR. It is a supplement, not a completely different set of rules. That said, there are certain nuances that the contractor needs to be aware of in order to navigate the DoD’s requirements.

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Polaris: GSA Releases Solicitations, New Q&A

GSA recently released new solicitations for the Small Business Pool and the Women Owned Small Business Pool. The Q&A has some additional details on the Polaris solicitation. As we’ve written about, the purpose of the Polaris solicitation is to provide federal agencies with information technology services from qualified small businesses. I’ll mention some of the highlights from both the solicitations and the update, which includes some more information on the timing for the solicitation, other small business pools, and other items. Also, GSA will be extending the due date for proposals.

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New Senate Bill Takes Aim at Organizational Conflicts of Interest

These days it often seems like both sides of the congressional aisle cannot agree on anything and bipartisan support is in short supply. However, one thing that Congress can agree on is the fact that organizational conflicts, which can lead to unfair advantages, have no place in Federal contracting. On March 23, 2022, Michigan Senator Gary Peters, with support of three other senators, introduced S. 3905, the Preventing Organizational Conflicts in Federal Acquisition Act (the Act). The bill aims to identify and prevent organizational conflicts of interest (OCI) that have been slipping through the cracks, stating that “[p]rotecting against conflicts of interest in Federal acquisition is vital to the integrity of Government operations.”

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Department of Defense Proposes Rule to Reauthorize and Improve the Mentor-Protégé Program

The Department of Defense (DoD) has proposed to revise the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations (DFARS) to reauthorize and improve the DoD Mentor-Protégé Program (MPP). The primary purpose of the proposed rule (Proposed Rule) is to reauthorize the DoD MPP, provide incentives to large DoD contractors to serve as mentors to small businesses, and extend opportunities for small businesses to participate in the MPP. In addition, the proposed rule removes restrictions on the eligibility of small businesses by aligning the size of the small business with the size standard associated with its primary NAICS code.

The Proposed Rule is here.

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Other Transaction Authority? What Other Transaction Authority? – A Look at OTA

Ah, the Federal Acquisition Regulations, or FAR. Quite numerous and complex, yes, but they provide a standardized set of rules and procedures that govern federal government procurements.  Regardless of what contract you’re dealing with (other than a few exceptions such as the FAA, which is not subject to the FAR), you can be sure that the rules of the FAR govern it.

Unfortunately, that last statement is not true.

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Is the End Near? NITAAC Releases CIO-SP4 Amendments 15 and 16

Additional changes to the submission date and the self-scoring requirements for CIO-SP4 offers make up the latest batch of amendments published by the National Institutes of Health Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center, leaving offerors hopeful the latest changes will be the last in a long string of amendments. Amendment 15 pushes back the submission date for CIO-SP4 offers and addresses a change to offer modifications. Amendment 16 includes additional changes to submission requirements and removes the iNsight method of calculating Self Scores.

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Picking Your Team: Joint Ventures Versus Prime/Subcontractor Teams (Part Three, Relationships)

Federal contractors often ask: “It is better to team up for government work with a prime-sub arrangement or with a joint venture?” Well, (spoiler alert) the answer is: it depends. But I won’t leave you with just that. This three-part series will provide insight on some of the major differences between these two types of “teams” that offerors should consider when making the decision between a joint venture or prime/subcontractor team in competing for and performing federal contracts. While this series will not provide a comprehensive list of all the differences between these two types of teams, it will cover some of the big ones that seem to come up more frequently in this decision-making process. Our first article focused on workshare, and our second, on past performance. This final article of the three-part series will discuss the parties’ relationship with the government and with each other in both types of teams.

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