FAR and Beyond Blog
The Coalition for Government Procurement (“the Coalition”) congratulates Jeffrey Koses on his new role as Senior Procurement Executive (SPE) at the General Services Administration (GSA). Jeff Koses has had a long successful career at GSA working across program operations for the Federal Supply Service and its successor organization, the Federal Acquisition Service. During his time with the Federal Acquisition Service, Jeff developed the expertise in GSA’s procurement programs and acquisition policies to fill the critical role of SPE. The Coalition looks forward to working with Jeff in pursuing common sense solutions for the acquisition of commercial services and products that deliver best value and cost savings to the American taxpayer.
Our engagement with Jeff will focus on a “Common Sense Agenda for Best Value and Cost Savings:”
- Improving communication and engagement between contractors and GSA, especially with regard to the impact of strategic sourcing on the supply chain
- Reviewing GSA contract clauses and requirements and eliminate those where the costs outweigh the benefits (i.e. put “commercial” back in commercial item contracting)
- Reforming the Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) pricing policies to enhance competition and efficiency (the Coalition developed a white paper addressing reform of the MAS pricing policies which can be found here)
- Addressing and reinforcing the positive role senior and middle management plays in the management of FAS operations (to date the procurement community, including MAS contactors, has seen no formal, public FAS response to industry’s position on the GSA Inspector General Office’s June 4, 2013 audit “Improper Management Intervention in Multiple Award Schedule Contracts)
- Addressing contract duplication by improving the GSA marketplace of governmentwide contracts so customer agencies and contractors can more efficiently and effectively compete, propose and acquire solutions, services and products
The Coalition will be reaching out to Jeff to begin the dialogue on these key issues.
The General Services Administration (GSA) released a request for information (RFI) this week on Other Direct Costs (ODCs). GSA is interested in receiving comments from stakeholders that can assist them in developing processes and procedures to include order level materials as part of a broader effort to modernize the FSS program. The implementation of ODCs under the Federal Supply Schedules (FSS) program is a Coalition top priority. We will be submitting comments.
The specific questions GSA asks in the RFI are:
1. Is the current lack of a clear mechanism for the procurement of order-level materials a deterrent from using the FSS program? If so, how?
2. What potential challenges exist for FAS where order-level materials and the FSS program are concerned? How can these be addressed?
3. What kinds of processes and procedures are in place for the procurement of order-level materials under other multiple-award IDIQ contract vehicles? Can these be applied to the FSS program as-is, or are there special considerations FAS needs to address? If possible, please provide specific examples from multiple-award IDIQ contract vehicles that could serve as a good example of the kind of processes and procedures needed for the efficient and effective use of order-level materials.
4. If FAS were to implement clear processes and procedures for the acquisition of order-level materials under the FSS program, is there the potential for administrative cost savings? If so, please elaborate.
5. If FAS were to implement clear processes and procedures for the acquisition of order-level materials under the FSS program, would it provide increased flexibility to contractors to provide total solutions to Government requirements? Are there any additional benefits for small businesses, in particular?
6. What kind of risk management controls are needed to ensure efficient and effective use of order-level materials under the FSS program?
Please submit any feedback you have to Aubrey Woolley at email@example.com. Comments are due to GSA by March 17, 2014.
A new community was launched on GSA’s Interact site this week for the Alliant II and Alliant Small Business II GWACs. The purpose of the Alliant II community is to have a government and industry dialogue during the pre-planning phase of the follow on contracts to the current Alliant and Alliant Small Business GWACs. The community is led by Casey Kelly who posted a welcome notice for industry and instructions about how to get involved. A list of FAQs about Alliant II is also available. To join the Alliant II and Alliant Small Business II Community, visit https://interact.gsa.gov/group/alliant-ii-alliant-small-business-ii-gwacs.
One day after the House of Representatives passed a 1.1 trillion omnibus spending package for FY14 by a vote of 359-67, the Senate has followed suit, sending the bill to the White House for the President’s signature. The legislation provides some relief from a second round of automatic spending cuts under sequestration. Among the relief is $480 billion for the Defense Department— $20 billion more than the looming sequestration levels. This amount is $25 billion above fiscal year 2013, when automatic spending cuts from sequestration were in effect. Also, the appropriated spending in 2014 will be more than $30 billion below what was originally contemplated for 2013 and $46 billion below levels negotiated in the 2011 budget deal.
Prior to the omnibus’ passage, the President signed a three day continuing resolution into law, keeping the government open and allowing Congress time to pass the bill after the January 15 deadline. A breakdown by Federal News Radio of the funding bill for each agency can be found here.
The Government Accountability Office released a report this week on the IT Dashboard. The IT Dashboard is a public website launched by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in 2009 to provide transparency and oversight of agency IT investments. Currently the dashboard shows cost, schedule and performance data for over 700 major federal IT investments totaling $38.7 billion in planned investments for FY 2014.
GAO’s study primarily focused on the CIO ratings in the IT Dashboard and how well agencies have addressed the IT investments they identified as high-risk. GAO found that the CIO’s ratings for the agencies included in the study were mostly supported by the documentation available.
The GAO also found that agencies are appropriately addressing IT investments that are considered high-risk. In 2012, 8 of 80 IT projects reported by the agencies that participated in the study were identified as high-risk. These 8 projects are shown below:
Agencies typically address high-risk assessment through TechStat sessions with OMB. According to the GAO report, TechStat sessions as evidence-based accountability reviews in which the government identifies ways to turnaround, halt or terminate projects that are failing to produce results. The agencies had TechStat sessions that resulted in improved performance for 7 of the 8 projects listed above. One of the projects with the Department of Agriculture did not have a TechStat meeting because the project was undergoing a rebaseline.
Despite these findings, GAO had a number of recommendations to improve the data provided on the IT Dashboard. First, they suggested that the Federal CIO make accessible regularly updated portions of the public version of the Dashboard. GAO also made specific recommendations to the Departments of Commerce, Energy, and the Social Security Administration about how to improve the reliability of the CIO’s ratings on the Dashboard. To access the full report, visit http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/659666.pdf.
A recent article from Federal News Radio explains that in FY13 government contractors brought fewer bid protests to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) than the year before. This is a first since 2006. GAO estimates show agencies spent about $460 billion last year, more than a 10 percent decline as compared to 2012. The Office of Federal Procurement Policy said in 2012 agencies spent about $513 billion on acquisition. It was assumed that as agency spending on procurement saw a decrease, the number of bid protests would increase. However, the inverse appears to be happening. “At some point, as the amount of spending on federal contracts drops, it does make sense that the total number of protest filings might drop,” General Counsel for Procurement Law at GAO Ralph White says. In its latest report, the GAO said it received 2,298 bid protests in 2013, of which 509 made it through the process to a decision. GAO sustained 87 total cases.
Dan Gordon, former administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy and now the associate dean for Government Procurement Law at The George Washington University Law School also had thoughts on the numbers. “I think bid protests have remained remarkably steady over the years in terms of when there is more spending, there are more protests, and when spending goes down, protests seem to go down. There are some changes at the edges. I think there will be an overall drop as the spending drops. We will see if this is a single year’s event or if it’s the beginning of something more meaningful. We will just have to see.”
This week, GSA released an update concerning the upcoming FSSI OS3 contract. The update was posted to Interact on January 15 as a follow-up to the December 10, 2013, Industry Engagement event. Based on the information shared by industry, the OS3 Team outlines the changes they are making to the draft solicitation. GSA plans to release the final RFP within the next three weeks. We encourage members to review the Interact post at the link above.
This week the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing entitled “Examining Conference and Travel Spending Across the Federal Government.” Witnesses included
- Beth Cobert, Deputy Director for Management, Office of Management and Budget
- Daniel M. Tangherlini, Administrator, U.S. General Services Administration
- Michael Horowitz, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Justice
- Brian Miller, Inspector General, U.S. General Services Administration
- J. Russell George, and Inspector General for Tax Administration, U.S. Department of the Treasury.
Beth Cobert with the Office of Management and Budget testified that, “Over the last several years, this administration has reduced conference spending in the federal government by rethinking how and why conferences are conducted, as well as by increasing our use of technology such as video-conferencing and webinars in order to reduce travel costs.”. Also during her testimony, Cobert outlined several administration initiatives to ensure effective management of conference and travel expenditures, including directing agencies to review their conference-related activities and spending and reducing travel spending in FY 2013 by 30 percent compared to FY 2010 levels.
Dan Tangherlini, administrator of the General Services Administration also described some of the steps his agency is undertaking to cut costs. “GSA instituted internal travel and conference policies that reduce costs, provide strong oversight, and ensure that travel only occurs when necessary.” Additionally, GSA is now providing tools that assist agencies to better manage their travel and conference spending, Tangherlini testified. GSA has created the Federal Meeting Facilities tool, which allows agencies to find conference and meeting space available that other agencies are not using. In addition, GSA’s E-Gov Travel Service 2 and Conference Planning Tool will further combine online travel booking services and allow agencies to compare the costs of potential destinations.
GAO Issues Bid Protest Annual Report to Congress for Fiscal Year 2013
By: John E. McCarthy Jr., Partner, Crowell & Moring LLP and James G. Peyster, Counsel, Crowell & Moring LLP
On January 2, 2014, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) provided to Congress and released to the public its Bid Protest Annual Report to Congress for Fiscal Year 2013. Pursuant to the Competition in Contracting Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3554(e)(2), the GAO Procurement Law Division is required each year to provide a summary report to the Committee on Governmental Affairs and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate and to the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives updating Congress as to (1) the annual protest statistics, (2) any instances in which a federal agency failed to abide by a GAO recommendation in a sustained bid protest, and (3) a summary of the most prevalent grounds for sustaining protests” during the preceding year.
FY 2013 Bid Protest Statistics
The most interesting aspect of the FY 2013 GAO report is the year-on-year protest statistics.
For the first time since 2006, the number of total protests filed at GAO dropped from the previous year, although the 2429 new protests is only 2% lower than the FY 2012 total, and it is still the second highest total in GAO’s history.
The “effective rate” for GAO protests – defined as the percentage of cases in which the protester obtains a favorable result either through written decision from GAO or voluntary agency corrective action – ticked upward slightly to 43% after having held steady at 42% for each of the previous three years. Conversely, the total percentage of written sustained protests dropped from 18% in FY 2012 to 17% in FY 2013. The combination of a rising effective rate and a dropping sustain rate demonstrates that agencies are perhaps being increasingly more aggressive in taking voluntary corrective action to fix legitimate problems identified by protesters.
Another trend suggested by the FY 2013 statistics is an effort by GAO to streamline the protest process. After a recent dip, the number of cases in which outcome prediction alternative dispute resolution (ADR) was used by GAO increased by 37% from the FY 2012 figures. Moreover, 86% of the 145 cases in which ADR was used resulted in a resolution of the protest, which represents the highest ADR success rate since 2009.
At the same time ADR figures were rebounding, GAO continued its trend of dramatically reducing the number of hearings conducted. Only 3.3% of all protests were deemed to require a hearing in FY 2012. This number reflects an all-time low for GAO since hearing statistics have been published in the GAO annual report, and is far below the 12% rate of hearings in FY 2009.
The combination of more voluntary corrective action, more outcome prediction ADR, and fewer hearings suggest that the protest process has perhaps become slightly more streamlined for prospective protesters.
Agency Decisions to Reject GAO Remedial Recommendations
As required by CICA, GAO also informed Congress that on seventeen occasions an agency had declined to abide by GAO’s recommended corrective action. But this total, which is well above historical averages, is somewhat misleading. Sixteen of the seventeen remedial rejections relate to a single issue relating to an ongoing dispute between the Department of Veteran Affairs and GAO about the requirements of the VA to abide by the Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and Information Technology Act of 2006 (“the VA Act”), 38 U.S.C. §§ 8127-8128, before making purchases off the Federal Supply Schedule.
The VA Act requires that the VA procure goods and services from veteran-owned small businesses any time the contracting officer has a reasonable expectation that two or more veteran-owned small business concerns will submit offers and that the award can be made at a fair and reasonable price. Since 2012, the VA has taken the position that it does not have to make this determination before it decides to make a purchase off the Federal Supply Schedule, while GAO has repeatedly concluded that 38 U.S.C. § 8127(d) requires that the veteran preference must be complied with before the VA may decide how it wants to make a purchase. This disagreement becomes a significant issue where there are multiple veteran-owned small businesses that can do the work. Starting in 2012, GAO has held that the VA violates the VA Act when it makes an FSS buy without first making this determination. On 18 occasions in FY 2012 and 16 more in FY 2013, the VA has rejected GAO’s analysis.
The one instance of a rejection of a GAO corrective action remedy other than a VA Act dispute arose in the context of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s use of a notice of funding availability (“NOFA”) for the issuance of cooperative agreements, rather than a procurement solicitation for the award of a contract. GAO concluded that circumventing federal procurement requirements via the NOFA process was improper and contrary to the Federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act, 31 U.S.C. §§ 6301-6308, because the “principal purpose” of the NOFA was to obtain contract administration services for HUD’s direct benefit and use. See Assisted Housing Services Corp., et al., B-406738 et al., August 15, 2012, 2012 CPD ¶ 236.
GAO’s Most Prevalent Grounds for Sustaining Protests
Starting this year, CICA now requires GAO to also update Congress about the most prevalent grounds for sustaining protests in the last fiscal year. 31 U.S.C. § 3554(e)(2). In the inaugural edition of this disclosure, GAO indicated that most prevalent reasons for sustaining protests during the 2013 fiscal year were: (1) failure to follow the solicitation evaluation criteria; (2) inadequate documentation of the record; (3) unequal treatment of offerors, and (4) unreasonable price or cost evaluation. GAO also clarified that it was only considering actual published sustained decisions in identifying the most prevelant issues, because “Agencies need not, and do not, report any of the myriad reasons they decide to take voluntary corrective action.”
By: Jack Horan, Partner, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP
Effective and compliant contract administration should be a primary goal for all government contractors, including, of course, contractors with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). As with any other business goal, compliance should be attained efficiently. Within the web of statutory, regulatory, and contractual requirements, VA contractors should understand the areas where noncompliance creates the greatest risk and exposure, and spend their resources accordingly.
As with the Offices of Inspectors General throughout the government, the VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) is a central player in the oversight of contracts, enforcing compliance with all major VA statutory, regulatory, and contractual requirements, and redressing compliance failures. As part of its responsibilities, the VA OIG reports to Congress twice annually on the audits, reviews, and investigations it conducts. Although intended for other purposes, these reports can assist VA contractors in identifying the requirements that are of the most importance to the VA, and should be most important to the contractor. In short, VA OIG’s actions over the prior year serve as a lesson to contractors on where to spend their time and money (and the effect of noncompliance).
The VA OIG has “a nationwide staff of auditors, investigators, health care inspectors, and support personnel” in six major component “offices” that conduct “independent oversight reviews to improve the economy, efficiency, and effectiveness of VA programs, and to prevent and detect criminal activity, waste, abuse, and fraud.” For a VA contractor, the three component offices that are of most importance are: (1) the Immediate Office of the IG; (2) the Office of Counselor to the IG; and (3) Office of Investigations.
The Immediate Office of the IG is top-tier management, with the Deputy Inspector General operating as the “Chief Operating Officer.” In addition to planning, directing and monitoring all [IG] operations,” the Immediate Office establishes investigative priorities for the Office, and identifies and promotes legislative initiatives to Congress.
The new year should bring a new IG to the VA. On November 6, 2013, GeorgeOpfer announced his retirement as IG after more than 44 years of government service. Mr.Opfer assumed responsibility as Inspector General on November 17, 2005, after being nominated by President GeorgeW.Bush. Although President Obama has not nominated a replacement, Mr.Opfer’s long-time Deputy, RichardGriffin, is currently serving as Acting Inspector General. Mr.Griffin has been a Deputy Inspector General since November 23, 2008, and previously served as Inspector General from November 1997 to June 2005.
A change in Inspector General can have a significant effect on the priorities, policies, and procedures of an office – as demonstrated by the GSA’s OIG under the direction of the current IG, Brian Miller. Given his status as Acting Inspector General and his long service under Mr.Opfer, it would be surprising if Mr.Griffin made dramatic changes to the VA OIG’s policies or procedures. Significant changes will likely come, if at all, under the next IG.
The Office of Counselor provides counsel to the OIG on False Claims Act cases affecting the VA and serves as liaison to the Department of Justice on False Claims Act cases. The Office of Counselor also manages the Office of Contract Review, which provides pre-award and post-award audits of contractors’ proposals and contracts under an agreement with VA’s Office of Acquisition, Logistics and Construction (OALC). The majority of pre-award audits of proposals for contracts or modifications under the VA’s Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) program. The Office automatically reviews the pricing for all proposals when the estimated contract or modification exceeds $5,000,000 under Schedule 65IB, Drugs, Pharmaceuticals, and Hematology Related Products, and $3,000,000 for the other VA Schedules. The Office of Contract Review also reviews pharmaceutical manufacturers’ compliance with the pricing requirements of the Veterans Health Care Act. Thus, the Office of Contract Review reviews pricing for major VA contracts and ensures the pricing is compliant with contractual, regulatory, and statutory requirements, and provides a recommendation to the contracting officer on the prices the VA should pay for items on large FSS contracts.
So how did the pricing proposed by potential contractors fare with Office of Contract Review? During fiscal year 2013, the Office conducted 83 pre-award audits of proposals of all types, and identified $655,056,285 in cost savings, or an average of $7.9 million in cost savings per audit. It’s safe to say that the Office did not routinely accept pricing as proposed by the contractors.
How about proposals for FSS awards, renewals or modifications? Forty-six of the 83 pre-award audits were of proposals for awards, renewals or modifications under the FSS program – 32 for initial award, ten for renewals, and four for modifications to add products. The Office recommended a price reduction for 72% (23 of 32) of the audited proposals for initial award. The Office recommended a total of $470,428,110 in price reductions, with an average of $14.7 million per audit (including all 32 audits). Thus, offerors submitting proposals for an initial award of an FSS contract fared worse than the average contractor subject to pre-award audits.
With pricing established by the existing contracts, one would expect that the contractor would fare better in pre-award audits for contract renewals. Contractors did fare better but the Office frequently challenged the proposed pricing. The Office recommended a total of $18,577,827 in price reductions, with an average of $1,857,783 per audit. The OIG recommended a price reduction for 60% (six of ten) renewal proposals.
Contractors seeking product additions fared the best over the past year with the OIG recommending price reductions in only 25% (one of four) of its audits. The one price reduction was a significant one though — $8,615,256.
So, here are the lessons learned from the pre-award audits:
- Most obviously, the OIG takes a hard look at proposed pricing, in the past year rejecting 72% of pricing proposed for initial award, 60% for renewals, and 25% for modifications.
- A contractor needs to be prepared to support its pricing not only when it is seeking the initial FSS contract, but also at renewal and for each modification.
Now let’s look at post award audits – audits conducted to determine whether a contractor is complying with its pricing obligations. The Office reported 33 post-award audits in fiscal year 2013, which resulted in the VA recovering contract overcharges totaling over $17.6 million. According to the OIG, approximately $11.7 million of that recovery resulted from Veterans Health Care Act compliance with pricing requirements, recalculation of Federal ceiling prices, and appropriate classification of pharmaceutical products.
Fourteen of the post-award audits were of voluntary disclosures. The Office claimed more than offered by the contractor in nine of 14 voluntary disclosures. The average recovery to the VA from voluntary disclosures was $1,157,117.
The VA recovered 100 percent of recommended recoveries for post-award audits.
Lessons learned from post-award audits:
- Pay close attention to your Veterans Health Care Act pricing – it is a major compliance area for the OIG, comprising the largest recovery area.
- Be prepared to support your accounting and rationale for any voluntary disclosures. The disclosure is likely to be audited and the proposed repayment amount is likely to be challenged.
- Your opportunity to affect the government’s view of your liability is through negotiations with the OIG. The Office has an excellent record – 100% of the time – of recovering what it determines the VA is due.
Now, a look at the focus of the Office of Investigations over the past fiscal year. The Office of Investigations (OI) investigates crimes committed against programs and operations of the VA. Within the OI, the Criminal Investigations division investigates all types of crimes (including criminal fraud as well as rape and murder) and civil fraud. For fiscal year 2013, the OI reported opening 45 cases, making 11 arrests, and obtaining more than $564.1 million in fines, restitution, penalties, and civil judgments “in the area of procurement practices.”
The OI specifically identified twelve criminal cases involving procurement violations by contractors – all twelve involved service-disabled, veteran-owned small business fraud. In those cases, the SDVOSB business either misrepresented the eligibility of its owner, or the true ownership of the business.
Lessons learned from the OI:
- Exposure under the False Claims Act for VA contracts can be very significant – reaching over $500 million in 2013.
- People get arrested and go to jail for defrauding the VA.
- If you tell the VA that you are a serviced-disabled veteran and own and operate a SDVOSB, you better be a service-disabled veteran and own and operate the SDVOSB.
Finally, one other lesson learned – this one from the structure of the VA OIG. Contact by the Office of Contract Review and the Office of Investigations can both lead to civil or even criminal liability, but there is a significant difference. If the contact comes from the Office of Investigations, the issue has already likely been determined to be a potential civil fraud or criminal violation. There is no doubt that it is time to call your lawyer.
 See Semiannual Report to Congress, Issue 69, (October 1, 2012 – March 31, 2013),VA OIG; Semiannual Report to Congress, Issue 70 (April 1 – September 30, 2013), VA OIG.
 The three other component offices are the following: (1) the Office of Audits and Evaluations, which audits and evaluates the effectiveness of the Veterans Health Administration programs and Veterans Benefits Administration programs; (2) the Office of Healthcare Inspections, which monitors the healthcare provided to the veterans; and (3) the Office of Management and Administration, which provides comprehensive support services to the VA OIG, and administers the VA OIG Hotline.
 The Office of Counselor also supervises the Release of Information Office, which primarily processes Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act requests for OIG records, as well as other requests for information.
 The reports describe the pre-award audits results as “potential cost savings” and “savings and cost avoidance” so it is not clear whether these amounts include audit recommendations ultimately rejected by the contractors.
 To provide some perspective, the VA estimates that there are currently 1900 contract holders under its FSS program.
 The categorization of the pre-award and post-award audits in this article are based on the description of the audits in Appendix A of the reports.
 The OIG’s reports labeled eleven post-award reviews as involving voluntary disclosures with a total recovery to the VA of $6,839,320.
 This amount includes a $500 million fine resulting from a False Claims Act case against a large pharmaceutical company.
This Week on “Off the Shelf”: Steve Schooner with The GW Law School
This week on “Off the Shelf”, Steve Schooner, Nash & Cibinic Professor of Government Procurement Law at The George Washington University Law School, provides his “Year in Review” highlighting key trends, events and personalities (legacies) of 2013. Schooner highlights the spending trends marking 2013 as the first year on year decline in procurement dollars and what it means for government and industry. He also discusses the explosive growth in grants versus contracts and how grants “oversight” is about to become more like contracts. Schooner also gives us his take on DoD’s Better Buying Power Initiative, the DoD Performance Measurement Initiative, key personnel legacies, and some 2013 stories that we would like to forget. Members can listen to the program at www.federalnewsradio.com/80/3542914/Key-trends-and-legacies-of-2013 .
Seeking Member Comments on GSA Strategic Plan
The General Services Administration (GSA) has released a draft of their FY2014- 2018 Strategic Plan for public comment. The Coalition plans to submit comments on the draft and is interested in hearing member input on GSA’s draft document. The GSA Strategic Plan currently focuses on three strategic goals: Savings, Efficiency and Service. The Strategic Plan explains how the agency plans to meet these goals through initiatives like strategic sourcing and reducing the Federal real estate footprint. The chart below is a summary from the draft.
The Coalition will submit its comments by January 22, 2014. Members interested in providing input please contact Aubrey Woolley firstname.lastname@example.org.
IT 70 Quarterly Industry Meeting- Jan 23
GSA Schedule 70 will host a meeting with contractors on January 23 at 1:00pm EST. According to GSA’s announcement, the Quarterly Industry Meeting is an opportunity for IT Schedule 70 Leadership to meet with Industry and provide information on IT Schedule 70’s key initiatives, policy updates, and outreach efforts. GSA will also use the meeting as an opportunity to gather Industry feedback. Click here to register.
February 5, 2014
Join Brian Miller, GSA Inspector General and Aleksandra Doran, Assistant Counsel to the GSA Inspector General as the Coalition hosts a Myth-Busters forum focusing on the Mandatory Disclosure Rule, Multiple Award Schedule audits, and contract compliance. In particular, the Forum will examine the impact and implementation of the Mandatory Disclosure Rule and what it continues to mean for MAS Contractors. Joining Inspector General Miller and his staff will be Jonathan Aronie, Partner at the law firm of Sheppard Mullin. Look for more details in your inbox and register at www.thecgp.org
Topics will include:
- Mandatory Disclosure Rule policies and procedures
- Best practices for identifying, addressing, and making disclosures
- What to expect after a disclosure is made
- MAS audit expectations and contractor best practices, including keys to the Price Reduction Clause compliance
- The realities and myths surrounding the Mandatory Disclosure Rule program
- Office of the Inspector General frustrations with contractors (and contractor frustrations with the Office of the Inspector General)
- More than price—the other contract compliance requirements that can get you in trouble
About Brian Miller:
As GSA Inspector General, Mr. Miller leads over 300 auditors, special agents, lawyers, and support staff in conducting nationwide audits and investigations that address fraudulent conduct, deficiencies in GSA programs and operations, and the internal controls that govern those activities. Mr. Miller provides strategic and creative leadership by developing new ways to investigate fraud, resulting in over $1 billion in civil recoveries.
What you don’t know can get you in Trouble!
Defense Health Agency Industry Day, Feb 11-12
The Defense Health Agency (DHA) Directorate of Procurement is proud to host an Industry Day event on February 11 – 12, 2014. The event will be held at the Washington Navy Yard, 11th and O Street, SE, Washington, DC 20374. A draft conference agenda is available at the following website: http://www.tricare.mil/tma/industryday/documents/agenda.pdf.
The Industry Day will be held from 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. in the Washington Navy Yard Conference Center. Doors will open at 7:30 A.M. The purpose of Industry Day is to increase contractor awareness of DHA’s mission, provide the vendor community with information on DHA business processes, and shared services. To register for Industry Day, click here and complete the registration form and e-mail it to DHA Industry Day. Walk-in registration will NOT be allowed.
Webinar – Fundamentals of Ethics and Compliance
Date: Tuesday, Jan. 21st
Time: 12:30 EST
Legal and ethical conduct in the government procurement process is critical to both contractor and government employees. It protects the credibility of that process and is important to maintaining the respect and trust of employees, partners, clients, and the public.
The purpose of this Webinar is to:
- Provide an understanding of the ethical and compliance rules that apply when dealing with customers and suppliers in the federal government marketplace
- Emphasize to contractors and employees the importance of ethical conduct when doing business with the federal government
- Help contractors and employees recognize ethical issues and compliance risks associated with doing business in the federal marketplace and know when to seek guidance
Topics to be covered include:
- Bribery and Gratuities
- Kickbacks and Contingent Fees
- Procurement Integrity Rules
- Organizational Conflicts of Interest
Who should attend:
- Government-facing contractor employees (not just attorneys and compliance experts)
- Government employees who deal with contractors.
Webinar – The Cost-build Approach for GSA Schedule Labor Pricing
Date: Tuesday, Feb. 11th
Time: 12:30 EST
This session will address the disconnect between services contracting and the GSA contracting model. Attendees will learn about the pricing and compliance challenges services contractors face as well as best practices for mitigating potential compliance risk. Key points of discussion will include labor category mapping, pricing strategies, CSP disclosures, and obligations under the Price Reductions Clause. Additionally, this session will provide an examination of the pricing options available to services contractors who price their services commercially using a cost-build pricing approach. Attendees will gain an understanding of the fundamental issues and challenges associated with the use of cost-build rates under the Schedules.
The purpose of this webinar is to:
- Learn about the issues stemming from the current disconnect between the GSA contracting model and services contracting.
- Learn about labor category mapping and pricing strategies and how to effectively mitigate post-award compliance risk.
- Learn about the cost-build approach to pricing and the many challenges faced by services contractors under this approach.
Who should attend:
- GSA Schedule services contract holders, executives, contract administrators and sales personnel
- GSA Schedule services Contracting Officers, Contracting Specialists
- Legal counsel representing GSA Schedule services contract holders