Congressional Research Service Report Discusses Emergency-Related Acquisition Flexibilities, the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

This Congressional report, issued December 27, 2022, provides a “discussion of acquisition flexibilities federal agencies may use to facilitate the government’s response to and recovery from disasters and emergencies.” The report explains the various types of flexibilities and some of the pros and cons of each. And it concludes by identifying several significant issues related to these acquisition flexibilities. Let’s take a look.

Continue reading

Law to Create One Stop Shop for Small Businesses Questions

In late 2022, Congress passed and the President signed a law that aims to make it easier for Small Business Contractors to track down small business compliance information for the wide range of agencies involved in government contracting, that are currently housed somewhere within each specific agency’s website. In this post, SmallGovCon reviews this law, and through it, can examine with our readers where you can currently find the many resources available for small business issues at federal agencies. While these small business offices may not be able to solve all your problems as a federal contractor, a free resource is always good to have.

Continue reading

Year in Review: Top SmallGovCon Posts of 2022

Happy New Year, Readers! Hope everyone is off to a great start in 2023. As we have done in the past, we want to take a step back and revisit those blog posts from 2022 that were the most popular. Below, we summarize the blogs written in 2022 that were the most popular as well as the perennial favorites from years past that were the most popular in 2022. It’s a good chance to look back on the important articles from 2022, and those topics of continuing interest to federal contractors.

Continue reading

GAO: Misrepresentation on Key Person Availability Sinks Proposal

Agencies rely on the representations made by offerors in their proposals to determine how capable each offeror is. In many cases, key personnel are so vital to an offeror’s chance of success that any change to the key personnel must be approved by the agency prior to such a change taking place. Logic follows that the risk of losing a possible award outweighs any benefit that may be reaped from stretching the truth. Nonetheless, from time to time an offeror will decide to give it a try, hoping that any inaccuracies will be overlooked, or will simply unintentionally misrepresent a detail. But, as one offeror learned, the possibility of such inaccuracies being discovered is high, and the end result is far from ideal.

Continue reading

Goodbye PTAC, Hello APEX Accelerators

The Department of Defense (DOD) and the Small Business Administration (SBA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Friday, December 2, 2022, in a bid to strengthen and expand small business development nationally. The most obvious immediate change is that the more than 90 Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC) will be renamed APEX Accelerators, and the DOD and SBA are hopeful that this rebranding will bring new life to  the program, which provides free procurement assistance to small businesses that work with all levels of the government, whether federal, state, or local.

Continue reading

GAO Sustains Protest to Best Value Trade Off Where Agency Only Considers “Outstanding” Proposals, Without Weighing Price/Non-Price Factors

The federal government contracting solicitation, proposal, and selection processes are something that all federal government contractors should strive to know. These methods, found in FAR parts 14 and 15, respectively, can be boiled down to two methods: sealed bidding and contracting by negotiation. Contracting by negotiation can occur either through a competitive award or a sole source award. When used effectively, the parts of the FAR clue contractors into the methods that agencies use to evaluate proposals and can help contractors tailor their proposals to better target agencies’ needs, thereby increasing chances of award. Of particular importance is the method an agency will use to evaluate proposals, and the weight given to technical components of the proposal against the weight given to price. In KPMG LLP, B-420949 (Nov. 7, 2022), GAO takes a look at how agencies evaluate technical proposals and price, and how those evaluations work together in a best-value tradeoff decision.

Continue reading

Proposed FAR Regulation Turns up the Heat on Federal Contractor Greenhouse Gas Emission Reporting

In an effort to comply with Executive Orders issued by the President, and to lower greenhouse gas effects, the Department of Defense, NASA, and GSA have recently issued a proposed rule that would change the FAR to create further requirements for contractors to report and disclose greenhouse gas emissions, as well as create emission targets. This proposed rule will add various requirements to the FAR that create additional reporting for contractors based on their size. Contractors should review these potential changes carefully, provide comments, and begin preparing for compliance with the new requirements. Below is our summary of the key changes.

Continue reading