House Passes Senate Bill to Modernize Processes to Increase Small Business Participation in Federal Contracting

The House recently passed Senate Bill 583, titled the “Promoting Rigorous and Innovative Cost Efficiencies for Federal Procurement and Acquisitions (PRICE) Act.” The Price Act would require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to report projects from its Procurement Innovation Lab (PIL) that have used innovative techniques to help modernize contracting procedures. The bill would also require the DHS to offer training to its personnel on how to use these techniques. In addition, the PRICE Act would require that these innovative best practices be made available to other federal agencies to improve procurement methods and training. The Price Act also supports the White House’s goals of providing new federal contracting opportunities to small disadvantaged businesses.

Continue reading

White House Releases New Details on Made in America Council to Make Domestic Preferences More Uniform

The White House has announced the launch of a Made in America Council, which will be the overarching group to “coordinate and advance the Made in America Office’s work across the entirety of the Federal Government.” This represents a new strategy for things like the Buy American Act and related policies, because it will try to centralize these efforts to some degree, instead of having them disbursed throughout the various federal agencies. Below are some of the highlights from this announcement.

Continue reading

OMB Offers Guidance to Agencies about Managing Contractors during COVID-19

Late last week, the Office of Management and Budget issued a memo providing direction to agencies on how to best coordinate with and manage contractors as the nation presses through the disruption caused by COVID-19.

Below are some of the salient points.

Continue reading

Realities of Cost Recovery in the Wake of the Federal Shutdown

Shuttering of the government (or parts of the government) following appropriations lapses has become an increasingly common phenomenon in recent years. Funding lapses interrupt the usual predictability of government operations, which is often to the detriment of both agencies and federal contractors that are left in proverbial limbo with stop work orders.

Unfortunately, unlike many other topics, the FAR does not substantively address procedures for contractors during or following a government shutdown. As such, recovering expenses incurred as a consequence of government shutdowns can be challenging.

Here are some pointers.

Continue reading

Accelerated Small Business Subcontractor Payments Extended To December 31, 2017

The government’s policy encouraging prompt payment to small business subcontractors has been extended to December 31, 2017.

In a Memorandum issued on January 11, 2017 by the Office of Management and Budget, OMB Director Shaun Donovan ordered that the popular policy be extended to the end of the year, and provided additional direction to agencies regarding their quarterly reports on implementing the accelerated payment policies.

Continue reading

SmallGovCon Week In Review: March 7-11, 2016

Spring seems to have arrived early here in Lawrence, as we have been hovering around the 70-degree mark for over a week now. For me, spring is grilling season, and I’m ready to get a couple racks of ribs on my Big Green Egg this weekend.  But who am I kidding–every season is grilling season for me.

While I daydream of smoked baby backs, I haven’t forgotten that if it’s Friday, it’s time for SmallGovCon Week In Review.  This week, our government contracting news includes a False Claims Act violation, a major milestone for women-owned business, a constitutional challenge to the 8(a) Program, and much more.

Continue reading

Small Business Subcontractors: Accelerated Payment Policy Extended

The Office of Management and Budget has extended a policy aimed at providing accelerated payments to small business subcontractors.  Without an extension, the policy would have expired last week.

According to an OMB memorandum announcing the extension, the policy will remain in effect until December 31, 2016.  In the meantime, the memo states, the FAR Council is “considering strategies that might be used over the longer term to help maintain effective cash flow and prompt payment to small business subcontractors.”