Friday Flash 06.25.21

Welcome Administrator Robin Carnahan!

It is with great pleasure that the Coalition for Government Procurement recognizes the Senate’s confirmation of Robin Carnahan this past Wednesday to serve as Administrator of General Services.  A former Missouri Secretary of State, Ms. Carnahan is no stranger to the federal market or to GSA.  Indeed, she served in leadership of the innovative technology consulting initiative at 18F for four years beginning in the Obama Administration.  In that role, she advised government entities on modernizing and digitizing systems and procuring those systems efficiently.

Ms. Carnahan’s confirmation brings great hope for the government contracting community.  In addition to her understanding of technology, Ms. Carnahan possess a great appreciation of the role of GSA in supporting the agencies that serve this nation.  As she said in her testimony,

[N]o program passed by this Congress can be fully effective without smart investments in an effective, secure digital infrastructure to deliver it. GSA is uniquely positioned to support that delivery mission across government.

She also recognized that, “GSA is about much more than technology,” and she envisions the opportunity to improve service delivery to partners in real estate and acquisition.  In short, Ms. Carnahan brings a refreshing perspective on the positive role GSA can play in facilitating efficiency across government.

The Coalition shares that perspective.  For instance, we see the tremendous good derived from the Multiple Award Schedules Program (Schedules), which GSA has determined is the largest purchasing program on the planet.  As a purchasing channel, the Schedules accounted for more than $32 billion in spending in GFY2019, i.e., before the significant jump in spending arising from the pandemic. Furthermore, the program has played an essential role in helping agencies meet their socioeconomic goals (a critical Biden Administration agenda item), with more than 38 percent, or $12.7 billion, of Schedule spending going to over 12,000 small businesses.  Indeed, small business spending under the Schedules exceeds the government-wide small business spending goal of 23%.

GSA also plays a critical role in providing Governmentwide Acquisition Contract (GWAC) vehicles for agencies to meet their mission fulfillment needs.  In this regard, GSA has led in facilitating competition under these vehicles, focusing on providing best value solutions to meet complex customer agency IT and professional services requirements.

No agency or program, however, can rest on its laurels, especially in a dynamic global market.   Organizations should be reevaluating themselves, investigating ways to improve the fulfillment of their missions as the needs of their customers evolve in response to the market.  Even the successful efforts identified above should be tested to assure they maintain their level of success in meeting the needs of their stakeholders.

In her testimony, Ms. Carnahan effectively offers an opportunity for this kind of review and improvement.  She stated,

In acquisitions, I look forward to working with stakeholders, including agency partners and companies, to streamline and simplify how they interact with GSA. I want to provide easy access and outstanding value to those buying through GSA and an easier on-ramp for businesses, especially small businesses, interested in selling through GSA.

Coalition members appreciate this enlightened, positive perspective on serving agencies and the nation’s citizens.  They appreciate GSA’s unique position to support agency mission fulfillment across government, and they stand ready to assist GSA in that support effort.  To that end, we say, “Welcome Administrator Carnahan!”

 

GSA IG Releases Audit of TDR Pilot

On June 24, the GSA Office of Inspector General (OIG) released an audit of the current status of the Transactional Data Reporting (TDR) pilot under the Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) program.  The purpose of the audit was to determine whether the pilot was meeting its originally stated objective of “improving taxpayer value” as described in the 2016 TDR final rule.  The GSA OIG found that although the pilot has been in place under GSA’s Schedules program for over 4 years, the pilot has yet to achieve this objective.  According to the OIG, the collection of TDR data “is not being used to make decisions that affect pricing.”  In addition, the audit finds that the TDR data is inaccurate and unreliable and that GSA’s contracting personnel are not using the data.  As a result, the OIG recommends that GSA end the TDR pilot.  More specifically, the OIG recommends that the FAS Commissioner:

  1. Take immediate action to mitigate the risks associated with the TDR pilot by:
  2. Restricting additional contractors from opting into the TDR pilot;
  3. Restricting access to, and use of, the TDR pilot data.
  4. Develop and implement an exit strategy for the TDR pilot and transition participating contractors out of the TDR pilot.

In response, the Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) agreed with some, but not all, of the audit’s findings.  FAS agreed that “corrective actions are needed to address how contracting personnel access, understand, and use relevant data.”  However, FAS believes that the TDR pilot is beginning to achieve its original objective of “improving taxpayer value” and that the TDR data is accurate and reliable based on specific actions that GSA has taken since 2018 to improve data accuracy.  In the FAS response to the audit, FAS also describes the various pricing strategies that the Schedules program has used since its inception and its transition from vertical to horizontal pricing over time.  Despite the audit findings, FAS continues to believe that advancing the TDR pilot supports taxpayer value.  To read the full report, click here.

 

Chris Inglis Confirmed as First White House National Cyber Director

On June 17, the Senate unanimously confirmed Chris Inglis, former National Security Agency (NSA) Deputy Director, as the first White House National Cyber Director reports The Hill. The White House Cyber Director position was established in the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The creation of the position was recommended by the Cyberspace Solarium Commission.

Inglis is responsible for coordinating federal cybersecurity policy and is the key federal leader on cybersecurity tying together agencies.  He also serves as the point contact between Congress and the White House. Biden proposed a $15 million budget for the National Cyber Director office which is awaiting approval from Congress.

 

DHS and CISA Continue Work on Cybersecurity Hiring System

Federal Computer Week reported that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) are working to advance a series of policy changes to streamline the hiring of cybersecurity professionals. The agencies are looking to reduce the time it takes to hire cybersecurity professionals, redefine how the Government evaluates cybersecurity skill sets, and facilitate competitive pay rates. The project is known as the Cybersecurity Talent Management System (CTMS). Before it goes live, DHS will need to make any potential changes to the current general schedule available for public commentwhich is expected to be published in September 2021. According to DHS’s fiscal year 2022 budget justification documents, the agency has a goal of hiring 150 cybersecurity professionals in fiscal year 2021 and an additional 150 in fiscal year 2022. DHS plans for the first set of hires to onboard by the end of 2021. The CTMS will emphasize the skills employees need to perform well, and during the hiring process, candidates will have to demonstrate these skills in a work simulation setting rather than self-rating their expertise as is common in the standard Federal hiring process. 

 

ITVMO Request for Input on How to “Improve IT Vendor and Government Communication and Collaboration”

This week, GSA’s IT Category met with the Coalition’s IT/Services Committee to introduce the new IT Vendor Management Office (ITVMO). Established in October 2020 by OMB and the IT Category (with support from GSA, NASA SEWP and NIH NITAAC), the ITVMO serves as a trusted independent advisor and advocate to help agencies buy common IT goods and services. For more on the ITVMO, see the slides from this week’s meeting.

During the meeting, GSA shared a link to their page on IdeaScale where they are collecting input from industry. (Please note that registration is required to view the content.) Their current campaign is about how to improve industry and government collaboration. They are very interested in members’ suggestions.  More details can be found in the following announcement from GSA-

The ITVMO is interested in learning from the federal government and industry community about how to improve communication channels and collaboration opportunities. Specifically:

  • What mechanisms (i.e., tools, practices) can be used or created to engage industry in open, ongoing, and transparent dialogue about procurement issues and challenges?
  • How can the federal government effectively co-create requirements with industry?
  • How can we strengthen vendor and supplier relationships?
  • How can we improve communication with industry?
  • How can we promote a diverse federal IT marketplace?

Submit your innovative ideas on the IdeaScale platform and upvote, comment, and follow any ideas or suggestions you think would improve government and IT vendor communication and collaboration. The ITVMO and OMB will consider ideas based on community voting and comments, feasibility, and alignment to Administration priorities and governmentwide vendor management initiatives.

To submit your recommendations and vote on other’s ideas, register at IdeaScale here: https://ofpp.ideascalegov.com/a/campaign-home/1160?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govDelivery

The Coalition is also considering submitting input.  If you’d like to share your ideas through the Coalition, send them to Aubrey at awoolley@thecgp.org by noon on Thurs., Jul. 1.

According to the ITVMO, the campaign will remain open through the July 4th holiday.

 

VA to Supplement Budget Request with Transformational Fund

Fedscoop reported that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will supplement its $4.8 billion request for the Office of Information Technology’s fiscal 2022 budget with $670 million in additional funds, known as the VA’s Transformational Fund (TF). The TF was created by legislation in 2016 and allows the VA to use unobligated balances of expiring discretionary funds for infrastructure improvements at existing Veteran Health Administration (VHA) medical facilities and for IT improvements. According to a budget document, $477.5 million will be used for IT infrastructure, $122.9 million will be used for the enhancement of financial management systems, and $69 million will be used for modernization and sustainment of human resources IT systems.  Funding for the VA’s electronic health records program implementation are not included in the VA’s Transformational Fund. The EHR has a $16 billion budget to modernize IT system medical staff uses when working with patients.

 

MHS GENESIS Leaders Share Insights from Recent Expansion

The Military Health System (MHS) website reported on a June 10th virtual roundtable held by the Program Executive Office for Defense Health Care Management Systems Modernization (PEO DHMSM). The meeting highlighted the lessons learned from the expansion of MHS GENESIS, which plans to create a common electronic medical records system for the MHS by the end of 2023.  According to Holly Joers, acting program executive officer for the Office for Defense Health Care Management Systems Modernization, “MHS GENESIS is now operational across 16 states, with more than 600 locations and approximately 42,000 active users, which accounts for 30% of [the] total deployment.”

Insights from the deployment so far were highlighted by the PEO, stating that they gained valuable experience by implementing GENESIS across 12 states simultaneously. Some of the lessons learned related to how to best leverage virtual support and the Pay-It-Forward campaign which asks those familiar with GENESIS to help new users. The PEO also noted the joint benefits shared by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the DOD, and Homeland Security with the Coast Guard all going live on GENESIS during the pandemic. Finally, the PEO reiterated the benefits of GENESIS implementation, including process standardization and “reducing follow-on visits to manage prescriptions and ensuring medications are re-stocked in a timely manner.” Standardization has provided continuity and higher quality of care for patients since the medical staff is not learning different procedures in different locations.

 

Accuracy of Non-VA Records in VA EHR System Needs Improvement

On June 17, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report that evaluated if records from non-VA appointments in the community were properly uploaded in the VA’s electronic health record (EHR) system. Community care providers support the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) in providing veterans with access to timely and quality services. During fiscal year 2019, 1.2 million veterans had over 23.7 million non-VA community care appointments. To provide the best care to veterans, VHA physicians must have prompt and proper access to the medical records from appointments with community care providers.

VHA medical facility Health Information Management (HIM) staff are responsible for records management.  For appointments at non-VA facilities, each VHA medical facility director may delegate records management to the facilities’ community care staff. In August 2019, the OIG found deficiencies with the HIM staff scanning and indexing. The audit released is June 2021 reviewed whether facilities’ community care staff are accurately scanning and indexing medical records for non-VA services and the processes and procedures that encapsulate non-VA medical records for all non-VA services. The OIG found that VHA medical facilities that used community care staff to complete indexing of medical records did not adequately comply with VHA requirements. The OIG found that:

  • community care staff did not always accurately enter non-VA records into VHA’s system;
  • VHA facilities lacked standard operating procedures with defined processes and staff responsibilities;
  • training, quality checks, and quality assurance monitoring were inadequate for community care staff performing scanning; and
  • lack of adequate procedures, training, quality checks, and monitoring adversely affected VHA operations.

The OIG recommended that the VA improve non-VA medical records scanning and indexing by ensuring that VHA facilities create and completely implement standard operating procedures. Another recommendation is that HIM leaders provide or formally delegate training, quality checks, and quality assurance monitoring for facility community care staff responsible for medical records management. The VHA agreed with the recommendations and has developed corrective action plans to implement the recommendations.

 

Legal Corner: New CIO-SP4 Modification – An Undue Restriction on Competition and a Violation of SBA Regulations?

The Legal Corner provides the legal community with an opportunity to share insights and comments on issues of the day. The comments herein do not necessarily reflect the views of The Coalition for Government Procurement.

By: Isaias “Cy” Alba, IV, Meghan F. Leemon

On June 22, 2021, the National Institutes of Health Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center (NITAAC) issued its third modification to the Chief Information Officer-Solutions and Partners 4 (CIO-SP4) Request for Proposals (RFP). Among other things, NITAAC made significant changes to how subcontractors and mentors in Small Business Administration (SBA) approved mentor-protégé programs are treated for purposes of the evaluation. The RFP appears to disallow the use of any subcontractor experience, past performance, or other qualifications, including from small businesses, and it severely limits the use of mentor experience. This 180-degree turn from the latest version of the RFP will impact small businesses seeking to use subcontractors and SBA-approved mentors when submitting their proposals.

Talking with many in the industry, companies all around the country shifted their CIO-SP4 strategies by forming prime / subcontractor relationships, shifting away from the use of joint ventures, and working more closely with their SBA-approved mentors. Now, however, all of those prime / subcontractor teaming relationships are effectively rendered useless, sending small businesses scrambling to reform joint ventures or give up pursuit of CIO-SP4 altogether. Unfortunately, because the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) has been taking between 20 and 30 days right now to issue Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) codes, many firms may not have sufficient time to create the joint ventures and secure the necessary CAGE code to successfully bid the work under this revised RFP. We have seen no rationale for these changes other than speculation that this is NITAAC’s attempt to artificially limit competition on CIO-SP4 in violation of the Competition in Contracting Act (CICA).

Specifically, Section L.3.7.1 of RFP was revised to remove language stating that “the experience and abilities of the prime’s subcontractors may be used in the offeror’s proposal,” to now state that “only the prime will be considered in the evaluation for award of the GWAC except as specified under M.4.3 Contract Team Arrangement (CTAs).” Looking at M.4.3 (which is Factor 3 – Past Performance), however, NITAAC revised that provision as well to remove the language that allowed past performance from affiliates and subcontractors (although it remains in Section L.5.7). As such, the RFP now eliminates an offeror’s ability to rely upon subcontractors. There does not appear to be any legitimate justification for this restriction, even though CICA, as interpreted by the Government Accountability Office requires that all federal agencies “specify [their] needs in a manner designed to achieve full and open competition, and may include restrictive requirements only to the extent they are necessary to satisfy the agency’s legitimate needs.”[1] Without any legitimate justification for why this is a necessary restriction, it arguably violates the law.

Further, this restriction makes no allowance for SBA’s new November 16, 2020, regulations, which require that “[w]hen an offer of a small business prime contractor includes a proposed team of small business subcontractors and specifically identifies the first-tier subcontractor[s] in the proposal, the head of the agency must consider the capabilities, past performance, and experience of each first-tier subcontractor that is part of the team as the capabilities, past performance, and experience of the small business prime contractor if the capabilities, past performance, and experience of the small business prime does not independently demonstrate capabilities and past performance necessary for award.”[2] Clearly, the RFP directly contradicts this mandate, as it provides no exception for a FAR 9.601(2) arrangement where the subcontractor is a small business, and, as such, violates the law.

Doubling down on this impropriety, the Q&A released by NITAAC also states that they purposefully amended the solicitation “to clarify that the Government will not consider the members of a CTA defined under FAR 9.601(2) [simply another way to say “subcontractors”] for evaluation purposes except in the limited context of evaluating an Offeror’s proposal under L.5.6.2 [Management Approach – Resources] . . .” Again, this makes it clear that NITAAC is purposefully disallowing subcontractor experience, past performance, and other qualifications from being used in the evaluation. Additionally, it means that subcontractors cannot be used to meet any of the evaluation factors except for Management Approach: Subfactor 2 – Resources. Specifically, subcontractors cannot be used to show Capability Maturity Model Integration certification levels, Earned Value Management Systems, Acceptable Estimating Systems, International Organization for Standardization certifications, Approved Purchasing Systems, or any other requirement of the RFP.

The RFP does seem to allow “partnerships” under FAR 9.601(1). However, as we have said in all our CIO-SP4 resources, SBA does not really recognize a “partnership” as some independent offeror “form” used to bid small business contracts. In our view, a “partnership” under SBA regulations is nothing more than a joint venture in the form of a partnership, instead of a limited liability company (LLC). Worse, it could be viewed by SBA as simply an affiliate, which would mean you lose all the beneficial rules and protections that apply to joint ventures. Thus, it creates concerns regarding affiliation of the partners with each other, negative treatment of the revenues the “partnership” receives from CIO-SP4, at least for the controlling partner, and possible limitations on subcontracting violations depending on how the work is performed by the partners within the “partnership.” So the idea of a non-joint venture “partnership” raises a host of other concerns which may raise their heads in the form of post-award size protests. To avoid this, we recommend that everyone treat these “partnerships” as joint ventures and be sure to follow all applicable SBA regulations that relate to joint ventures.

Given that many companies are now considering a joint venture (i.e., FAR 9.601(1) CTA), there may be another way for joint ventures to bid CIO-SP4 without the need of an independent CAGE code (although the RFP still requires the Data Universal Numbering System number of the CTA). SBA’s joint venture regulations do have rather odd provisions, which we have never actually seen used in practice, but which may be beneficial here for “joint ventures” who are unable to form a partnership or LLC and secure a CAGE code in time for proposal submission. Specifically, 13 C.F.R. § 125.8(f) states that “[t]he procuring activity will execute a contract set aside or reserved for small business in the name of the joint venture entity or a small business partner to the joint venture, but in either case will identify the award as one to a small business joint venture or a small business mentor-protégé joint venture, as appropriate.” Similar language is found in other joint venture regulations. Again, we are not aware of any time this has been used by an agency, and we have not seen cases that address how this is to work in practice. But on its face, it seems to indicate that the “joint venture” could use the CAGE code of the managing member instead of a separate CAGE code for the “partnership” or LLC and still be awarded a contract that would be treated as an award to the joint venture under SBA regulations and FAR 9.601(1). Thus, this could be another way for firms to get around the DLA delays in issuing CAGE codes for CIO-SP4 if a pivot to a joint venture is now required. However, this approach is certainly not without risk. Back in 2018, the requirement that offerors must be registered and active in the System for Award Management (SAM) prior to proposal submission was clarified. A question regarding joint ventures was specifically raised and a commenter asked for an exception to this requirement for joint ventures. In response, the government explained that this was “not practicable” and explained that all offerors, including joint ventures, “should apply for registration [in SAM] immediately upon issuance of the solicitation so that there should be time . . . to be registered in SAM at the time of the submission of an offer.” If you proceed as a joint venture but submit using the managing member’s CAGE code, you run the risk of not complying with FAR 4.1102(a) as well as being viewed as a prime / subcontractor 9.601(2) CTA, rather than a joint venture. Further, please be aware of the added requirement that offerors must be added to the “interested vendors list” in SAM. It is critical that you follow the instructions in Attachment J.7 to submit a proposal.

The RFP also restricts mentor-protégé teams’ ability to rely on the mentor’s experience. Indeed, the RFP notes that “large business” mentors may only provide “one [corporate experience] example for each task area.” The remaining two references per task area must now come from the protégé itself. However, there is not a similar restriction for instances where the mentor is a small business or where the joint venture is comprised of all small businesses and, thus, is not required to have a mentor-protégé agreement. This added language by NITAAC can be viewed as unduly restrictive against small / large business mentor-protégé joint ventures. Indeed, as SBA explained, “it is unreasonable to require the protégé concern itself to have the same level of past performance and experience (either in dollar value or number of previous contracts performed, years of performance, or otherwise) as its large business mentor.” However, SBA did clarify that it “disagrees that a procuring activity should not be able to require a protégé firm to individually meet any evaluation or responsibility criteria.” Accordingly, and given that the RFP is not a bar – only a limitation – on mentor experience, this restriction might be upheld in the event of a protest. Although, limiting the mentor references to one per task area as opposed to two may be too restrictive and inconsistent with SBA’s regulations. The stronger argument, though, is that, as written, the RFP treats joint ventures between a small business protégé and a large business mentor differently from joint ventures between all small businesses where the mentor is a small business. There is no logical basis for this.

Lastly, NITAAC has attempted to clarify what a “clear relationship” means for purposes of claiming corporate experience. Several questions were submitted asking for clarification as to what the term “clear relationship” means. NITAAC responded that the “solicitation will be amended to clarify.” In reviewing the amended solicitation, NITAAC has added that each example “shall convey the offeror’s specific role in their experience example.” In our read, we view the solicitation as requiring offerors to explain how the company whose experience is being claimed participated in the experience example provided.

As is easy to see, the new CIO-SP4 RFP unduly restricts competition and violates federal law. Unfortunately, because NITAAC is looking to exclude as many small businesses as possible from the competition and – it seems – limit competition generally, companies will be forced to protest the solicitation or lose their ability to compete for one of the most important RFPs to be released in recent history.

PilieroMazza’s recent webinar on the CIO-SP4 RFP can be viewed here.

If you have questions about the CIO-SP4 RFP modification or the impact of CIO-SP4 for the government contracting community, please contact Cy Alba and Meghan Leemon, the authors of this client alert, or a member of PilieroMazza’s Government Contracts Group.

[1] Innovative Refrigeration Concepts, B-272370 (Sept. 30, 1996).

[2] 13 C.F.R. § 125.2(g).

Isaias “Cy” Alba, IV

Partner

202.857.1000

ialba@pilieromazza.com

Meghan F. Leemon

Associate

303.501.1300

mleemon@pilieromazza.com

 

Healthcare Spotlight: Another Update on the MSPV Program Transition to DLA

This week, the Court of Federal Claims issued its opinion further expanding on its decision to deny the Government’s request that the Court remand the protests of the VA’s planned transfer of its medical/surgical vendor program (MSPV) to the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA).

In denying the Government’s request for remand, the Court applied a 3-factor test for determining when an agency has a “substantial and legitimate” concern that warrants a remand.  According to the Court, remand is proper where (1) the agency provides a compelling justification for its remand request; (2) the need for finality does not outweigh the justification for voluntary remand presented by the agency; and (3) the scope of the agency’s remand request is appropriate.  The Court here determined that the Government failed to carry its burden on all three elements.

First, the Court determined that the Government failed to provide a compelling justification for remand because it only presented conclusory representations and the Government failed to support its motion with statements from the agency representatives.  The Court also noted that it found the Government’s timing for its remand motion—the Friday afternoon before a three-day holiday weekend and mere days before the deadline to file its own merit responses to the plaintiffs’ opening briefs—“suspect” and potentially a mere “litigation tactic.”

Second, the Court found that remand was improper because the need for finality was “overwhelming”, where the Government had already confessed agency error in open court and conceded that the agency lacked a rational basis for the transfer.  The Court determined that it could provide a remedy that grants finality and clarity to all parties and that there was no need to wait months “for the agency to acknowledge [the] error itself, or worse yet, paper the current record to obscure what is apparently obvious to the Department of Justice today: that there is no ‘adequate support for the planned transfer’ in the Administrative Record and thus ‘it is not appropriate for [the United States] to continue to defend this action.’”

Finally, the Court found that the scope of the remand requested was inadequate mainly because the remand request excludes reconsideration of the transfer of VISN 6, which the Government has already conceded is unsupported by the Administrative Record.

The Coalition will continue to monitor this matter as the Court moves forward with addressing the merits of the protestors’ arguments.

 

DoD Releases New OCONUS Cloud Strategy

Federal News Network reported on the Department of Defense’s (DoD) newly published Outside the Continental United States (OCONUS) cloud strategy. This document updates DoD’s 2019 cloud strategy to acknowledge unique challenges that overseas users face. Notably, the new OCONUS strategy does not mention the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud computing contract. DoD had previously seen JEDI as central to enabling cloud connectivity. The OCONUS strategy instead envisions many different cloud environments working in tandem in order to access data. The new strategy also values centralized governance and management for the future systems that serve OCONUS users. This will help to ensure that new cloud services get approved as quickly as possible. Also included in the document is a range of goals for DoD to achieve before it can deliver effective cloud services to the field.

 

Off the Shelf: Effective Capital Structure For Contractors

This week on Off the Shelf, David Cole, Partner with Holland & Knight’s corporate and securities group, shares his thoughts and insights on how government contractors should think about their capital structures.

Effective capital structure is foundational to the success of government contractors.  Cole addresses the major inflexion points along the life cycle of a government contractor and how decisions affecting capital structure can promote growth. He explains the stages a government contractor goes through along the path from inception to exit of the market and the corresponding considerations regarding capital structures along the timeline.

Cole addresses early-stage financing, finding the right mix of equity and debt, and planning for an exit which could be a sale, merger or an IPO, for example.

He also explains the nexus between capital structures and all the stakeholders who hold an interest in a firm and why that structure must balance interests to enhance growth opportunities.

Click here to access the podcast.

 

July 8 – Webinar: GSA Schedules – What Every Schedule Holder Needs to Know

On July 8 from 12:00 – 1:00 pm EDT, we will be hosting a webinar: GSA Schedules – What Every Schedule Holder Needs to Know.  Our presenter will be Jason Workmaster, Member, Miller & Chevalier Chartered. This session is for anyone who administers a GSA Schedule or who uses the Schedules as a contract vehicle. Focusing on the key compliance and risk issues associated with the Schedules, the topics to be covered include:  (1) GSA Schedule pricing under both the Commercial Sales Practices (CSP) and Transactional Data Reporting (TDR) approaches; (2) the Price Reductions Clause; (3) Trade Agreements Act (TAA) compliance; (4) selling through resellers vs. holding your own Schedule; and (5) how to prepare for and respond to GSA IG audits. You can register for this webinar HERE.

 

July 15 & 22 – Webinar: Government Contracts Compliance Update: Do Your Internal Controls Address Recent Changes and Key Risks? Webinars Part I & II

On July 15 and July 22 from 12:00 – 1:00 pm EDT, we will be hosting a two-part webinar series, Government Contracts Compliance Update: Do Your Internal Controls Address Recent Changes and Key Risks?  Our presenters will be David Black and Eric Crusius, both Partners at Holland & Knight LLP.  FAR 52.203-13 advises Federal contractors and subcontractors to conduct periodic review of company business practices and internal controls for compliance with the “special requirements of government contracting.”  Each year, several new government contracts-related statutes, regulations, and case law developments create new obligations and compliance risk and 2020/2021 have been no different.

David and Eric will help federal contractors issue-spot and identify key risk areas arising from government contracting that might warrant updates to their compliance programs by focusing on revised policies and procedures, tailored employee training, internal reporting and response, employee discipline, and mandatory disclosure. They will also provide a checklist of issues to consider according to business function, including: 1) operations, contract performance and subcontracting/purchasing; 2) business development; 3) enterprise-wide information technology; 4) intellectual property management; 5) human resources and employment; and 6) compliance program and internal controls. Specific changes and risks that will be addressed include the Section 889 (Chinese telecommunications products and services) prohibition; cybersecurity requirements; small business program requirements; proposal preparation; Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS); changes and requests for equitable adjustment (REAs); Federal Supply Schedules; gifts and gratuities; teaming agreements; subcontract flow downs; and intellectual property management. You can register for this two-part webinar (only one registration required) HERE.

 

Oversight Review of DCMA OIG

On June 21, the Department of Defense (DoD) Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a memorandum announcing an external peer review of the Defense Contract Management Agency Office of Internal Audit and Inspector General that will begin in June 2021. The objective is to determine whether the quality control system was designed to provide reasonable assurance that the policies and procedures related to the system of audit quality are operating effectively and the office is complying with the policies and procedures. The audit will cover a three-year period ending with May 31, 2021.

 

Annual Joseph P. Caggiano Memorial Golf Tournament, August 18 

We are excited to announce our Annual Joseph P. Caggiano Memorial Golf Tournament will take place at its normal time again this year – August 18th!  The tournament will once again be held at the beautiful Whiskey Creek Golf Club in Ijamsville, MD.

The Coalition hosts this charity tournament in honor of our good friend and colleague, Joe Caggiano, whose career in the government marketplace spanned 25 years, including serving seven years as COO of the Washington Management Group/FedSources, eight years of service in the Navy, and as a principal at Reznick Government, a business advisory firm now known as CohnReznick.

As you may recall from previous years, tournament proceeds will once again support the Coalition’s endowment for a qualified veteran concentrating their studies in the field of US Government procurement and pursuing the JD/LLM degree or the interdisciplinary Masters degree at The George Washington University. Additionally, remaining proceeds will be shared with another soon-to-be announced organization that proudly supports veterans.

Joe would be very proud to know that the Coalition has raised over $125,000 for the scholarship. We cannot thank the procurement community enough for its generosity and support in helping us support veterans and honor our dear friend’s legacy.  

Announcing The CGP Cornhole Tournament 

Not a golfer? No problem! You can still join the fun by registering for the Veranda Club and participating in a cornhole tournament. Contact Matt Cahill at mcahill@thecgp.org for more info.