Picking Your Team: Joint Ventures Versus Prime/Subcontractor Teams (Part Two, Past Performance)

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. The focus of the first article in this three-part series was work share considerations. This second article will focus on evaluations of a team’s past performance.

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FAR Issues Final Rule on Limitations on Subcontracting

It has been a long time coming, but the Department of Defense, in conjunction with the GSA and NASA, are finally issuing a final rule amending the FAR guidance regarding limitations on subcontracting. In this post, we are going to explore just what these changes are and what they mean for government contractors such as yourself. The hope is this brief summary and analysis will provide you some insight as to just what the new rules do.

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Five Things You Should Know: Tips for Understanding and Using the FAR

Government contracting officials receive detailed training on the FAR. So do employees of some large contractors. But for many others in government contracting, particularly small businesses, there is no formal FAR training. For them, the FAR can seem overwhelming, even scary.

I’m not going to sugarcoat it: the FAR is massive. In print form, which is how I read the FAR early in my career, you’re looking at a veritable brick of a book. You’d undoubtedly get some very nice definition by using copies of the FAR for bicep curls.

But, big as it is, the FAR isn’t quite as impenetrable as it might seem at first glance–especially if you know a few tricks. Here are my top five tips for understanding and using the FAR.

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Conflicting CIO-SP4 Updates For CTAs, And Now, A Promise to Clarify

We finally have NITAAC’s CIO-SP4 solicitation, complete with several amendments and a Q&A. So that means the anticipated offerors have the answers to all of their questions about this long-awaited GWAC procurement, right? Well, no. In fact, for anyone planning to team-up for CIO-SP4, there seems to be more confusion now than ever before.

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GAO: No SBA Certificate of Competency Review Needed for Failure to Adequately Explain Technical Approach

For small businesses, the SBA’s Certificate of Competency process can offer a powerful “second bite at the apple,” essentially allowing a small business to appeal to the SBA if a procuring agency finds the small business non-responsible.

But the SBA CoC process is limited to findings of non-responsibility under FAR Part 9. As GAO recently held, there is no right to appeal to SBA if the proposal was rejected for failing to adequately explain the small business’s technical approach.

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FAR Council Implements Interim FAR Rule Prohibiting Contractor Use of Chinese Telecom Products

The FAR Council recently moved forward with implementing provisions of Section 889(a)(1)(B) of the 2019 NDAA through an interim rule. This rule, effective August 13, 2020, furthers the work begun previously of separating the federal government and its contractors from certain Chinese telecom and video surveillance companies.

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