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Friday Flash, 09.12.14

FAR and Beyond Blog

Registration is officially open for our exciting two day event on November 5-6, which includes our 2014 Fall Training Conference at the JW Marriott., Excellence in Partnership Awards and 35th Anniversary Black Tie Gala at The Reagan Building.

As many of you are aware, in honor of our 35th Anniversary, we have created the Coalition for Government Procurement Endowed Government Procurement Scholarship/Fellowship Fund with The George Washington UniversityThe Coalition has made it a priority to fund and endow a scholarship/fellowship to provide financial support to a deserving veteran concentrating their studies in the field of US Government procurement and pursuing the JD or LLM degree in Government Procurement Law or the interdisciplinary Masters of Science in Government Contracting degree (MSGC) at GWU.   This Scholarship/Fellowship represents the two pillars of all that we do at the Coalition—- promoting common sense acquisition and supporting our veterans!!   Common sense in acquisition starts with starts with education and the students, including the veterans, enrolled in these programs will become the next generation of skilled professionals leading this critically important sector of the US economy.

This year’s 35 Anniversary event is special.  In order to raise funds for the scholarship/fellowship, we will be holding a silent auction the night of the Gala where all net profits will be dedicated to endowing the scholarship/fellowship.  We kindly ask that you and/or your company support our endowment efforts by donating an item for this special occasion.

Thank you to the companies and individuals below for leading the charge and jumping on board right away!

  1. Suite at the Verizon Center for February 3rd at 7:00 p.m. when the Caps play the Kings (Stanley Cup Champions) – donated by Lockheed Martin
  2. Box Seats at Nationals Park – donated by Baker Tilly
  3. Golf Lessons and a Foursome – donated by Whiskey Creek Golf Club
  4. Patriotic Quilt – made and donated by Robin Klonarides of Raytheon
  5. Football Memorabilia signed by Ron “Jaws” Jaworski – donated by the Judge Group

You can see from the above list of committed items the types of donations we are seeking to make this silent auction a huge success.  Please contact Matt Cahill at or 202-315-1054 to discuss your possible donations today!

Additionally, sponsorships are now available for the Fall Conference, EIPs and the Gala  Thank you to our first committed sponsors!!

Gala & EIPs: BDO will be a GOLD Sponsor

Fall Conference: AvKARE will be out TITLE Sponsor

There are opportunities at all sponsorship levels and we will greatly appreciate your support.  Once again, please direct any questions or commitments to Matt at the contact information listed above.

Roger Waldron



Anne Rung Confirmed as OFPP Administrator


The Coalition congratulates Anne Rung on her confirmation as the new Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy.  Anne Rung received the confirmation by voice vote in the Senate on Thursday.  About the appointment, Coalition president Roger Waldron said, “She spent a good amount of time at GSA working with GSA’s governmentwide contracting programs. Anne understands the challenges in interagency contracting and has insight into what the agencies are dealing with. She can hit the ground running and move forward on some of the issues our membership is really concerned about and cares about a great deal.”  The Coalition looks forward to working with Anne Rung in a number of areas to advance commonsense in Federal procurement government-wide.


PBS Commissioner to Address Federal Buildings and Sustainability, Sept 17


The Coalition is pleased to announce that PBS Commissioner Norman Dong will speak to the Federal Buildings Committee on Wednesday, September 17 at 11am.  The myth-buster’s dialogue with Commissioner Dong is open to all Coalition members. The meeting will be at McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP (1900 K St NW, Washington, DC).  In order to attend, please RSVP to Roy Dicharry at as soon as possible.  Seating will be limited.


Continuing Resolution to Extend Funding Beyond Sept 30

This week the House of Representatives introduced a short-term Continuing Resolution (CR) (H.J.Res.124) to prevent a government shutdown at the end of the fiscal year on September 30, 2014. The House Appropriations Committee noted that the legislation does not include large changes in existing federal policy. It will continue funding for government programs and services at the current annual cap rate of $1.012 trillion for FY2014. According to the Associated Press, a top GOP lawmaker and a congressional aide said that the vote on the bill had been delayed until next week. The short-term spending bill would keep the government open until December 11. The assumption is that passage of the continuing resolution would give Congress enough time to negotiate a $1 trillion-plus spending bill after the November midterm elections.


GSA Selling Surplus Federal Properties

The Federal Government has been reducing its real estate portfolio by selling or disposing of properties no longer in use.  The Administration estimates that over time these efforts could save taxpayers billions of dollars.  A White House map of Federal excess properties identifies 14,000 excess buildings and structures costing taxpayers $190 million a year in operation and maintenance costs.

According to the Federal Times, GSA sales of excess property have increased significantly in the past several years.  GSA transferred or sold 114 properties in FY2012, 213 in FY2013 and has transferred or sold 289 properties so far this year.  Federal Times identified the following properties as just a few of those sold in 2014:

  1. The former Detroit Priority Mail Center in Romulus, Michigan—sold for $3.7 million.
  1. A former Army Reserve Center in San Antonio, Texas—sold for nearly $1.2 million.
  1. Boon Island Light Station off York, Maine—sold for $78,000.

PBS Commissioner Norman Dong will be addressing GSA’s initiatives to reduce the Federal footprint and other topics at the Federal Buildings Committee meeting on September 17 at 11am.  For more details and to attend, contact Aubrey Woolley at


Alliant 2 Meeting with GSA, Sept 16

 The Coalition’s GWAC/MAC Committee will be hosting a two part meeting with GSA’s Alliant 2 team. The meeting will take place on Sept 16 in Tysons Corner with a session devoted to the Unrestricted Alliant 2 contract scheduled from 10am-12pm and an Alliant 2 Small Business session scheduled for 1pm-3pm. The following speakers will be attending in person at the meeting.

  • Director, GSA Government wide Acquisition Contracts – Chris Fornecker
  • Director, Enterprise GWAC Division Director – Casey Kelley
  • Senior Technical Specialist – Richard Blake
  • GWAC Senior Contracting Officer – John Cavadias

There are few spots left to attend this meeting, so if you have not done so already, please do not delay in RSVping to


GSAR Proposed Rule: Part 538 Federal Supply Schedule Contracting

GSA published a proposed rule this week to update three sections of the General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation (GSAR)—part 15, Contract by Negotiation; part 538, Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) Contracting; and corresponding areas of part 552, Solicitation Provisions and Contract Clauses.  Thirty-five new FSS specific clauses are being added to GSAR parts 538 and 552.  According to GSA, these clauses and provisions have already been implemented into the program through internal policy and current FSS solicitations and contracts.  Comments on the rule are due November 10, 2014.  The Coalition is in the process of reviewing the proposed rule and will submit comments.  To submit input on the proposed rule, please contact Aubrey Woolley at or (202) 315-1053.


Submit an EIP Award Nomination Today

Nominate a deserving acquisition official for an EIP Award today!  The Excellence in Partnership (EIP) Awards honor acquisition officials in the public and private sectors who have made significant strides in promoting and utilizing multiple award contracts, saving taxpayer dollars and contributing to veterans hiring and green initiatives. Awards will be given to individuals, organizations and contractors involved in procurement with GSA, VA, DoD, DHS and other government agencies. EIP Award nominations for 2014 are being accepted in the following categories:

1.  Lifetime Acquisition Excellence Award

2.  Contractor Savings Award

3.  Government Savings Award (Civilian)

4.  Government Savings Award (DoD)

5.  Myth-Busters Award

6.  Best Veteran Hiring Program

7.  Green Excellence in Partnership Award


Nominations may be submitted on the CGP website here.  If you have any questions, please contact Matt Cahill at or (202) 315-1054.


Energy Releases Strategic Sourcing Policy

The Department of Energy (DoE) recently released a memorandum outlining how DOE plans to achieve the strategic sourcing goals in its Strategic Plan for 2014-2018. The department’s overall objective is to “expand use of the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI) to DoE federal procurement operations.” DoE plans to achieve this goal through a range of activities, including:

  • Establishing an order of precedence for use of FSSI and strategic sourcing vehicles, taking all of the federally established programs for required sources into consideration.
  • Having Heads of Contracting Activities and Procurement Directors establish costs savings (and possibly increasing usage or spend against FSSI and other strategic sourcing vehicles) as part of employee performance appraisals
  • Working with the General Services Administration (GSA) to establish the most efficient access to strategic sourcing vehicles by improving accessibility to all GSA-managed strategic sourcing vehicles in order to facilitate greater DOE usage or spend.
  • Continue to expand use of the GSA SmartPay purchase card

For the full list of strategic sourcing initiatives, visit


35th Anniversary Sponsorships Available

Sponsorships are now available for our 35th Anniversary Gala & Excellence in Partnership Awards, along with our 2014 Fall Training Conference.  This two day event will be taking place on November 5th – 6th at the Ronald Reagan Building and JW Marriott.

We would like to thank our first committed sponsor to each event: BDO USA, LLP will be one of our GOLD SPONSOR at our Anniversary Gala and EIPs, and AvKARE will be our exclusive TITLE SPONSOR at our Fall Training Conference!  Thank you for your early commitment and ensuring these events are a great success.

Want to make sure your organization doesn’t miss out?  Check out the list of numerous sponsorship opportunities for these two events here.  We are counting on your support!


Healthcare Spotlight

Another Representation (and Likely More False Claims Act Liability) in the Future for Contractors

By: John Horan, Partner, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP 

Contractors will have to provide another written representation to do business with the government.  On July 31, 2014, President Obama issued an Executive Order called Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces intended to ensure that contractors comply with the following labor laws:

  • Fair Labor Standards Act;
  • Occupational Safety and Health Act;
  • Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act;
  • National Labor Relations Act;
  • Davis-Bacon Act;
  • Service Contract Act;
  • Equal Employment Opportunity requirements (Executive Order 11246);
  • Rehabilitation Act (Section 503);
  • Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act;
  • Family and Medical Leave Act;
  • Civil Rights Act (Title VII);
  • Americans with Disabilities Act;
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act;
  • Federal Contractor Minimum Wage Requirements (Executive Order 13658); and
  • any equivalent State laws.

The less than stellar showing of government contractors in a Government Accountability Office study on whether contractors comply with labor laws likely provided at least some motivation for the President.  See FEDERAL CONTRACTING: Assessments and Citations of Federal Labor Law Violations by Selected Federal Contractors, GAO-10-1033 (Sep 17, 2010).  After reviewing Federal labor law actions from 2005 through 2009, GAO found that the Department of Labor made 25 of the 50 largest wage assessments against 20 contractors and OSHAassessed eight of the 50 largest workplace health and safety penalties against seven other contractors.  In addition, the government awarded fifteen contractors cited for violations of wage and hour determinations, OSHA laws, and National Labor Relations Board requirements over $6 billion in government contracts in 2009.

The President justified his Order by finding that complying with labor laws will “increase efficiency and cost savings in the work performed by government contractors” because compliant contractors are more likely to have “workplace practices that enhance productivity and increase the likelihood of timely, predictable, and satisfactory delivery of goods and services to the Federal Government.”  He determined that his Order would also help agencies “avoid distractions and complications that arise from contracting with contractors with track records of noncompliance.”

New Requirements for Contractors, Subcontractors, and Agencies

The Executive Order imposes the following additional requirements for contracts exceeding $500,000, currently without an exception for commercial items (GA and VA FSS) contracts:

Pre-award Representation with Updates

A contractor will have to provide a representation prior to award of any contract exceeding $500,000 that, to the “best of the offeror’s knowledge and belief,” it has not had an administrative merits determination, arbitral award or decision, or civil judgment, within the preceding three-year period, for violations of labor laws listed above.  Where there has been a violation, the CO will provide the contractor with an opportunity to disclose any steps taken to correct the violations or improve compliance with the labor laws.  The CO must consider the violation and mitigation information provided by the contractor in making the responsibility determination required for award of the contract.  In addition, the contractor must also represent that it will require the same representation for subcontracts exceeding $500,000 (except subcontract for COTS items) and consider disclosure and any mitigating information prior to making any subcontracting decision.

A contractor must update its representations and information every six months for the duration of the contract.  Upon receiving an update of a violation, the CO must consider whether to require remedial measures and provide compliance assistance, and whether to exercise an option, terminate the contract, and refer the contractor to the agency suspension and debarment official.  In turn, the contractor must consider taking action against a subcontractor that has had a violation whether disclosed by subcontractor or “obtained through other sources.” Likely to ensure that contractors and subcontractors are providing accurate representations and to provide another source of information to COs, the Department of Labor must inform contracting agencies of its investigations of contractors and subcontractors.

Referral to Suspension and Debarment Officer

In addition to taking action under the contract, the CO must forward any adverse information of compliance with labor laws by contractors and subcontractors to the agency suspension and debarment officer.

“Transparency” Requirements

The Order also imposes two requirements on contractors that have a potential for significantly affecting a contractor’s exposure to litigation based on labor laws, which the Order describes as “transparency” requirements.  First, contractors must provide employees covered by any of the wage rate labor laws with a weekly statement of hours worked, overtime hours, pay, and any additions made to or deductions made from pay.  These disclosures ensure that covered employees have the information required to assess the contractor’s compliance with the wage rate requirements.

Second, for contracts exceeding $1 million, contractors are precluded from obtaining an agreement from employees or independent contractors to arbitrate claims arising under Title VII or any tort related to or arising out of sexual assault or harassment until after the claim arises.  Thus, contractors that view arbitration as a protection from costly litigation or verdicts will have a much more difficult time obtaining arbitration agreements from employees.

Flow Down Requirement

The Order also imposes representation requirements on subcontractors.  Prime contractors must include the pre-award representation requirement in subcontracts exceeding $500,000 (except subcontracts for COTS items).

Labor Compliance Advisor

The Order requires each agency to designate a senior agency official as a Labor Compliance Advisor.  The Labor Compliance Advisor has the responsibility to support the agency, COs, and contractors in complying with the Order, coordinating with the Department of Labor, assist in the development of regulations, send information to the agency suspension and debarment officer, and publicly report annually a summary of “agency actions taken to promote greater labor compliance.”

Regulations to Follow

The Order requires the FAR Council to propose “regulations, rules, and orders” required to carry out the requirements of the Order.  In addition, the FAR Council must “propose to amend the [FAR] to identify considerations for determining whether serious, repeated, willful, or pervasive violations of the labor laws . . . demonstrates a lack of integrity or business ethics.”  In short, the Order is placing primary responsibility on the FAR Council to ensure a uniform consideration of the effect of labor law violations on responsibility determinations government-wide.

What Does this Mean?

Although the Order does not create new labor law compliance obligations, it imposes obvious additional administrative obligations for contractors and subcontractors.  In addition, these requirements will likely create new, fertile grounds for False Claims Act cases.  31 U.S.C. §§ 3729 – 3733.  The required representations and potential for submission mitigation information (and continual updates) create new opportunities for contractors to make errors that will be subject to attack as false information submitted to the government knowingly, recklessly, or with deliberate ignorance of its accuracy under the False Claims Act.  Moreover, the explicit requirement that COs consider this information in award and administration decisions, such as responsibility determinations, option exercises, and terminations, will provide qui tam relators and the government with a basis to argue that this “false information” was material to the government’s decision to award the contract, permit the contractor to continue performance, and to pay the contractor for its performance.


Legal Corner

When Does an Agency Cross the Line from Clarifications to Discussions?

By Michelle E. Litteken, Associate, Mayer Brown LLP and Luke Levasseur, Counsel, Mayer Brown LLP 

Originally Posted in Claims and Disputes (Mayer Brown Meaningful Discussions Blog) on August 19, 2014

Editor’s note: This is the first post in a series of posts focused on protest allegations related to discussions with offerors. Planned future posts will cover what qualifies as meaningful discussions, what constitutes unequal discussions, and a round up of recent protests involving discussions.

In a bid protest, the disappointed offeror often alleges that the agency failed to conduct meaningful discussions or engaged in unequal discussions. A threshold inquiry is whether the agency engaged in discussions. The CFC and GAO approach the question of whether agency communications constitute discussions differently, and a protester may want to consider that difference when selecting a protest forum.

FAR 15.306 defines clarifications as “limited exchanges, between the Government and offerors, that may occur when award without discussions is contemplated.” The FAR does not expressly define “discussions,” but it explains that “discussions” include negotiations that “are undertaken with the intent of allowing the offeror to revise its proposal.” The FAR used to limit clarifications to communications about relatively small matters, such as eliminating clerical mistakes or minor irregularities. However, the rules were revised in 1997 to allow a free exchange of information without requiring discussions. Decisions from the GAO and CFC reveal that the two protest forums apply the FAR provisions differently, with the CFC appearing to embrace a more substantial exchange of information that can still be characterized as clarifications.

Both GAO and the CFC recognize that, if an offeror is given an opportunity to revise its proposal, the agency has engaged in discussions. Several GAO and CFC cases refer to this as the “acid test.” The tough cases come when either (i) questions (often called “clarifications” by the agency) seek information that is necessary to determine technical acceptability of the proposal, or (2) the agency seeks a substantial amount of “clarify[ing]” information and an offeror’s response approaches (or crosses) the line of changing the proposal.

GAO has ruled that, when an agency uses information received from an offeror after submission of a proposal to determine the technical acceptability of a proposal, “discussions” occurred. For example, in Evergreen Helicopters of Alaska, Inc., GAO analyzed the “acquisition of fixed-wing aircraft services in the central region of Africa,” and considered an EN requesting information about the aircraft type and tail numbers. Such a request could be seen as soliciting information inadvertently omitted from the proposal, but GAO ruled that the communications constituted discussions because the information was necessary to determine technical acceptability. In contrast, in Tetra Tech, Inc., GAO held that the agency’s email to the awardee asking the awardee to confirm that it was accepting the end-state performance objective (as opposed to the technical approach) qualified as a clarification because the awardee was confirming information already in the proposal, not providing information that constituted a modification or revision of its proposal in response to the email.

Importantly, GAO doesn’t necessarily accept the agency’s characterization of the communications—but, instead, analyzes the parties’ actions. This lack of deference is illustrated in Evergreen Helicopters, in which GAO rejected the agency’s characterization and argument that the evaluation notices were clarifications because the offerors were not allowed to revise their proposals. Similarly, in Kardex Remstar, LLC, the agency sent an offeror a spreadsheet with spaces for the offeror to explain how its proposal satisfied the agency’s requirements. The agency characterized the communications as “clarifications” and expressly prohibited the offeror from changing its proposal. GAO rejected the agency’s characterization because the information was used to determine technical acceptability–even though the offeror could not revise its proposal.

In contrast, CFC decisions generally find that discussions occur only when an offeror is given the opportunity to revise its proposal, and the court is less likely to characterize the provision of information related to a technical acceptability determination as “discussions.” For example, in Mil-Mar Century Corp. v. U.S., the protester argued that an email asking the awardee to substantiate its proposed price, clarify its costs for an item, address a discrepancy in its labor hours, and clarify the adequacy of its proposed labor hours qualified as discussions. Although the agency included a disclaimer on the emails that the communications did not constitute discussions, the protester argued that the exchanges were discussions because the information the awardee provided was required by the RFP and essential to determine acceptability. The court deferred to the agency’s characterization and found the information was not a material requirement. The court also noted that “an exchange can constitute a clarification, and not a discussion, even whe[n] the information provided was ‘essential to evaluation criteria.’”Evergreen Helicopters and Kardex suggest that GAO would have agreed with the protester because the agency used the information to determine technical acceptability. 

With respect to the amount of deference the CFC should give to an agency’s characterization of the communications, the Federal Circuit has held that the court should defer to the agency’s interpretation of the FAR’s definition if the agency’s interpretation is permissible. In Davis Boat Works, Inc., the CFC applied that reasoning to hold that a 7-page letter with a 25-page “process guide” the awardee submitted during the first round of evaluation constituted clarifications because neither the letter nor the guide substantially revised the offeror’s proposal. Instead, the court found that the Process Guide explained how the offeror would satisfy the RFP’s management approach requirements. The court was not concerned with the amount of information that the offeror provided, observing “any clarification must necessarily convey new information to the agency.” The court further stated: “in close cases, it is well-established that the government’s classification of a particular communication as a clarification or a discussion ‘is entitled to deference from the court,’ as long as that classification is permissible and reasonable.”  In contrast, GAO has stated: “the agency’s characterization of the exchange is not controlling, as it is the actions of the parties that determine whether discussions have been held.”

Although there are many issues to consider when deciding where to file a bid protest, contractors might not sufficiently consider the different approaches that GAO and CFC take to determining whether discussions occurred. If a contractor anticipates that a discussions-related issue may become important in a protest being considered, subtle differences between the way the CFC and GAO evaluate these issues should be analyzed carefully.


DHA’s $20B IT Support IDIQ

The Defense Health Agency (DHA) is currently conducting market research for a new 10-year, $20 billion indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract that it plans to finalize by March 2016. The contract will be the follow-on to the Defense Medical Information Systems/Systems Integration, Design, Development, Operations, and Maintenance Services (D/SIDDOMS III), an IT support contract set to expire at the end of 2015. The contract will provide Information Technology (IT) Services including those services relating to Biomedical Research and Health Sciences. Additionally the follow-on will include imaging products, integration services, critical infrastructure protection and information assurance and software development.

According to Federal News Radio, the contract vehicle will be available to the entire government and mostly mandatory for DHA’s internal buys. DHA acting procurement director Col. Scott Svabek supports the mandatory use of the IDIQ for the DHA. “It’s basically going to be a mandatory source. I won’t allow my program offices to go off the reservation without getting a waiver,” Svabek said at a local event this week. Moving forward, the acquisition strategy will utilize two “gates.” The first gate will qualify vendors without going through a formal competitive process. The agency does not plan to place a ceiling on the number of companies that can be awarded to the contract. If enough companies qualify through the first gate, DHA will then move to a competitive source selection at the second gate. As the acquisition strategy develops, the Coalition will provide members updates on DHA’s upcoming IDIQ through the Healthcare Committee.


Cybersecurity and CDM on Off the Shelf


This week on “Off the Shelf”, Brad Medairy, senior vice president with Booz Allen Hamilton, joined host Roger Waldron for an engaging and timely discussion of cybersecurity and Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM).

Medairy assessed the current cyber threat environment and addressed how CDM can meet the cybersecurity challenges customer agencies are facing every day. He also outlined Booz Allen Hamilton’s CDM roadmap explaining how it supports customer CDM implementations. Medairy also tackled the key features or functional areas of a robust CDM including asset management, vulnerability management and predictive intelligence.  Finally, he highlighted CDM best practices including how it is a shared responsibility across government and industry.  To listen to the program, visit Off the Shelf.


Recovery Act Spend Data to be Removed

Information regarding American Recovery and Reinvestment Act spending, as well as information about how Hurricane Sandy funds were spent are set to disappear from the website The Washington Post reports that the data will disappear from the site because the government board that oversees the Web site and ensures the stimulus money is spent properly is not renewing its license with Dun & Bradstreet.  Dun & Bradstreet is a major U.S. financial firm that assigns corporate identification numbers, known as DUNS numbers, to all entities doing business with the federal government.

According to Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board chief Nancy Dipaolo, the rationale for allowing the information to disappear is that it was not fiscally prudent to renew the license. Consequently, the board will be forced to take down the recipient data. The Washington Post reports that the cost to renew the license would be between $900,000 and $1.4 million. Recently, Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Elijah Cummings (D-Md), the chairman and ranking members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform wrote to the Office of Federal Procurement Policy and GSA with concerns about the government’s overdependence on Dun & Bradstreet. This concern was also raised by the GAO in a 2012 report.  At that time, the GAO noted that Dun & Bradstreet “effectively has a monopoly for government unique identifiers that has contributed to higher costs.”


GSA OIG on Contractor Team Arrangements

The General Service Administration (GSA) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) published an audit report this week on the use of Contractor Team Arrangements.  The OIG assessed how well GSA contracting officers followed existing guidance and regulations on team arrangements and whether they were aware of the risks involved in improperly administering them.  For an analysis of the OIG’s findings and GSA management’s response, look for Jonathan Aronie’s Legal Corner article in next week’s Friday Flash.  Jonathan Aronie is Partner with Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP.


GAO Contractor Cyber Controls

In a report released this week, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said that agencies still need to improve their oversight of contractors’ information security controls. GAO was asked to evaluate how well agencies oversee contractor operated systems since agencies so often rely on contractors to operate them. In order to conduct the study, the GAO reviewed the implementation of the controls at the Departments of Energy (DoE), Homeland Security (DHS), State, and Transportation (DoT), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). While the GAO found that all the agencies generally established security requirements and assessments for contractor implementation of security controls, five of the six agencies lacked the required oversight of the assessments. The GAO maintains the inconsistencies led to security lapses. The table below explains the implementation of oversight activities at selected agencies:

GAO Cyber controls

According to the GAO, these agencies had not documented procedures for officials to follow in order to effectively oversee contractor performance. GAO recommends that agencies develop, document, and implement specific procedures for overseeing contractors. Additionally, GAO recommends that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) clarify reporting instructions to agencies. Should agencies fail to do this, the GAO warns that they will have reduced assurance that contractors are adequately securing and protecting agency information.


National Industries for the Blind to Host Roger Waldron


Coalition president Roger Waldron will speak at the National Industries for the Blind (NIB) annual conference and expo on the morning of Wednesday, Oct. 8 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, VA.  NIB, a Coalition member, is the nation’s largest employment resource for people who are blind, and employs thousands of people who are blind through the federal government’s AbilityOne Program.  The event features an all-day expo on Tuesday, Oct. 7, where sales and business development are the focus.  The expo showcases hundreds of products made by people who are blind for government and commercial customers.  Click here for an agenda and registration information.


Training – GSA Schedule Contracting for In-House Counsel, Sept 17

This class is a “must attend” for lawyers and corporate officials with significant contract management and compliance responsibilities in companies that have GSA Schedule contracts.

GSA Schedule contracts offer a huge market opportunity. The GSA Schedule, including the delegated VA Schedules, is a $50 billion contracting program that all federal agencies use to acquire commercial services and products. In some instances, state agencies can place orders against their contracts. These multiple year, government-wide contracts cover professional services, information technology, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and a vast array of commercial products.

Thousands of companies including both Fortune 500 companies and a vast number of small businesses have GSA/VA Schedule contracts.

Of particular interest to in-house counsel and corporate executives, Schedule contracts have a pricing methodology, and disclosure requirements that are unique in federal government contracting. The contracts provisions must be correctly understood, managed, and monitored to assure that your commercial enterprise realizes anticipated profits. Failure to do so can result in significant monetary, administrative, civil and even criminal penalties.

This seminar will provide information and tools to help you understand the GSA/VA Schedule contracting program and provide insightful advice to your in-house clients and business partners.


  • Carolyn Alston, General Counsel and Executive VP, Coalition for Government Procurement
  • John Horan, Partner, McKenna, Long & Aldridge
  • Jason Workmaster, Partner, McKenna, Long & Aldridge

Who Should Attend

  • In-house counsel for current GSA/VA Schedule contractors
  • In-house counsel for companies considering becoming a GSA/VA Schedule contractor
  • Government attorneys that advise clients who evaluate or buy against Schedule contracts
  • Outside counsel interested in learning more about GSA/VA Schedule contracting
  • Compliance Officers
  • Non-lawyers with extensive MAS experience
  • Contract Managers
  • Contracting Officers

What you can Expect

After attending this seminar you will:

  • Earn 6 hours VA CLE!
  • Understand GSA/VA’s most favored customer pricing policy and major requirements of the government solicitation
  • Understand current audit/oversight procedures
  • Understand current GSA Schedule Price Negotiation Priorities
  • Understand how the GSA Schedule can impact your company bottom line

Be able to advise your in-house clients regarding:

  • Disclosure of company records
  • Establishing management and compliance processes
  • Establishing ethics programs and mandatory disclosure
  • Avoiding penalties
  • Identifying resources to assist with continuing legal support of your internal GSA/VA Schedule programs

Registration Fees and Details – Register Here!

  • Registration opens at 7:15am
  • Training will begin at 8:00am
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