SmallGovCon Week in Review: September 5-9, 2022

Happy Friday, SmallGovCon Readers. The sunflower, which is the state flower or Kansas, are in full bloom. They have been spectacular this season! Sunflowers exhibit a trait called heliotropism, which means that they turn to face the sun. The tallest sunflower ever recorded was 30 feet tall! Wow! I haven’t seen one that tall but they sure are beautiful.

We hope you can get out and enjoy the September flowers in your neck of the woods and here’s a few noteworthy articles on federal goverment contracting that we hope you will find informative.

Have a great weekend!

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SmallGovCon Week in Review: July 11-15, 2022

Hello, Blog Readers! We hope you had a productive week. Here at SmallGovCon we have been geeking out to the new images from the James Webb Space Telescope. If you haven’t seen the spectacular images, we encourage you to do so! This photo was captured in infrared light and the image reveals for the first time previously invisible areas of the universe.

“The Webb team’s incredible success is a reflection of what NASA does best. We take dreams and turn them into reality for the benefit of humanity. I can’t wait to see the discoveries that we uncover – the team is just getting started!”, stated NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. You can find more spectacular images from NASA here.

Transitioning from universal news to federal government contacting news, we have included several articles for your reading pleasure including a report about the False Claims settlement for cybersecurity issues that stemmed from a five-year-old whistleblower lawsuit brought by a former employee of the company. Enjoy the weekend and stay cool out there!

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GAO Finds NASA Effectively Evaluated Risks of the Unknown

NASA is going back to the moon and is looking for private companies to help get it there. In 2018, NASA awarded nine IDIQ Commercial Lunar Payload Service contracts for commercial payload delivery services between the Earth and the lunar surface. This is a sea-change for NASA as “no [United States] commercial company has ever attempted to launch, transit, and land” on the moon.

Prior to award, NASA asked for task order proposals to include a description of risks and mitigation efforts. You might be asking–how can NASA effectively evaluate risk for something that has not been done before? A protester asked the same question, but GAO agreed with NASA’s risk analysis on the project and found the protester’s questions to be mere disagreement with the evaluation.

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Proposed FAR Update to Allow Small Business Set-Asides for Contracts Outside USA

Traditionally, small business set-asides are not utilized in Federal contracts performed outside the United States. The SBA allows for contracts performed outside the United States to use set-asides or sole-source awards, but the FAR does not reflect this. Recently, the Department of Defense, General Services Administration, and NASA have proposed an update the FAR that would reflect the allowance of small business set-asides and sole-source awards in contracts performed outside of the United States. 

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The Role of Small Business Innovation in America’s Space Program

The Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship recently held a hearing focusing on the role small businesses will play in NASA’s renewed focus on going back to the Moon and then on to Mars.

We have recently touched on the growing impact space exploration is having on small businesses, and vice versa, but this dedicated hearing prompts a closer look at the opportunities small businesses will have for working on space exploration.

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