Having started my journey in the federal contracting community close to 30 years ago, I’ve seen quite a few changes in policy and process that have both improved and degraded the ability of small business concerns to participate as contractors and subcontractors. I’m not referring solely to changes where the language targeted small business, I’m also including those intending to change how business is done based on a specific commodity, contract cost type, procurement method, agency mission or government-wide initiative.
In this, my first contribution to GovCon Voices, I’m taking a look back at recent proposed changes that resulted in lots of conversations with my friend Steve Koprince, a slew of articles and blogs and way too many anxious moments awaiting the outcomes. This is the second of a three part series I’m calling ‘The Good, the Bad and the Just Plain Ugly Changes That Almost Were!’
This winter’s first polar vortex is upon us, and although much of the country has been getting hit with snow, Kansas has managed to stay mostly snow free with temperatures centered around a balmy 30 degrees. As the vortex sweeps its way out, we are looking to get our first dose of really cold weather with lows in the teens this weekend. Weekends like this are perfect to spend time with family and daydream about being on a beach–or anyplace that does not require 10+ minutes of preparation just to leave the driveway.
While much of the nation prepares to dig itself out from a winter snowstorm, there is still plenty happening in the world of government contracts. In this week’s SmallGovCon Week In Review, the FAR Council issues a rule responding to a judge’s injunction of much of the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, a Virginia contractor will cough up $1 million to settle bid rigging and kickback allegations, and much more.
I am excited to announce the re-launch of the popular SmallGovCon Week In Review series! Each Friday, SmallGovCon will provide a snapshot of some of the week’s top news and commentary from the government contracting community.
In this week’s SmallGovCon Week In Review, a False Claims Act settlement, a proposal to ban so-called “inverted” firms from receiving government contracts, Guy Timberlake weighs in on the proposed increase to the Simplified Acquisition Threshold, and much more.
The simplified acquisition threshold would increase to $500,000 under the version of the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act currently before the U.S. House of Representatives.
If the House proposal ultimately becomes law, the simplified acquisition threshold would more than triple from its current $150,00 level. Such a dramatic increase in the simplified acquisition threshold could affect nearly all federal contractors–especially small businesses.
My friend Guy Timberlake of the American Small Business Coalition has launched GovConChat, which Guy described as a “candid and informative conversation with movers, shakers and thought-leaders from around the federal contracting community.”
Earlier this week, I joined Guy for a GovConChat segment. We discussed several major changes that could be implemented as a result of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act, as well as a recent court case holding that an offeror did not qualify for a GSA Schedule task order when the offeror’s affiliate (but not the offeror itself) held a GSA Schedule contract. You can listed to our entire chat by following this link.
GovConChat is a great new resource to help contractors obtain perspectives from across the industry. Go check it out, and let me know if there is a particular blog post–or other government contracts legal issue–that you would like to hear me discuss in a future segment.
After a Thanksgiving hiatus (which I spent enjoying traditional American pastimes such as eating and watching football, rather than reading bid protest decisions), it’s time to get back to government contracts news.
In this week’s SmallGovCon Week In Review, the VA has cancelled the contract of the company performing SDVOSB verifications. The implications are anyone’s guess, but they probably aren’t good–and Jill Aitoro’s story in the Washington Business Journal is a “must read” for all SDVOSBs. Other news and commentary of note includes a new GSA sourcing plan, a breakdown of 8(a) STARS II numbers, “crazy subcontractors” and more.
The government’s rules for small contractors made national headlines this week, in the form of a pair of Washington Post investigative stories. Those stories, which involve the 8(a) program, SDVOSB program, set-aside rules, and affiliation, are “must reads” for anyone in the industry–although it is worth remembering that the companies in question have not been found guilty of any wrongdoing (at least not yet).
In case you missed the Post stories, they are part of this week’s SmallGovCon Week In Review, along with some good news for WOSBs, a drop in DOD awards, and an opportunity to register for the American Small Business Coalition’s Holiday Charity Bash.