This week’s “Comment” was to begin a series on “urban myths” regarding GSA’s multiple award schedule program. Instead, this week’s “Comment” focuses on the ongoing reforms of GSA’s operations.
On Wednesday, Acting Administrator Dan Tangherlini testified before the Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs on “Moving from Scandal to Strategy.” Acting Administrator Tangherlini outlined the steps taken as part of the “Top to Bottom” review and reform of GSA operations to prevent waste of taxpayer dollars, increase accountability and make GSA a more efficient organization. Specific reforms include centralizing oversight of spending, hiring and information technology (IT) decisions. As a result, oversight of regional budget functions will be consolidated from the regional offices to the Chief Financial Officer. IT functions will be consolidated under the Chief Information Officer. Hiring responsibilities will be consolidated under the Chief People Officer. In addition, Acting Administrator Tangherlini indicated that GSA is working to determine the appropriate reduction to current Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) fees to create more savings for customer agencies across the Federal Government. Finally, Acting Administrator Tangherlini outlined the core outcomes that GSA needs to achieve for long term reform:
- increase GSA’s ability to achieve savings for the federal agencies it serves
- simplify and streamline the delivery of core services
- ensure consistency in how GSA operates across the country
- establish clear lines of authority, and
- make the most of the talent at GSA
The Coalition understands and appreciates these important efforts to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and accountability of GSA operations. GSA’s procurement programs not only support and serve customer agency missions and the taxpayer, GSA’s programs provide business opportunities for contractors that support hundreds of thousands of jobs across America. In particular, the GSA and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) multiple award schedule (MAS) programs account for $50 billion annually in contract purchases by customer agencies. Indeed, the IT Schedule alone accounts for close to $16 billion in annual purchases, by far the biggest governmentwide IT contract vehicle. It is a testament to the enduring strength of the MAS program that customer agencies continue to recognize the value of commercial solutions. At the same time the MAS program accounts for approximately 10 percent of the federal market place reflecting the untapped potential of the program to further meet customer agency needs, reduce costly contract duplication, and provide greater access and opportunity for commercial firms. To that end, the Coalition provides the following recommendations to achieve the core outcomes outlined above for the MAS program.
- Consolidate management of the MAS program in a single office within FAS. Currently, the MAS program is managed across three, perhaps four separate business units with FAS. As a result, policies, procedures, solicitations, and contracting strategies differ across the MAS program and its contracts. These differences increase complexity, uncertainty and costs for customer agencies, GSA, and contractors. Uncertainty and complexity increase risk and operational costs for all. A centralized management team will provide an opportunity to enhance consistency and reduce duplication of functions across FAS business lines. It will create the necessary organizational structure to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the MAS solicitations, contracts and etools which comprise the vital framework for customer agencies and contractor interaction. It will also provide a platform maximizing GSA’s talent base.
- Implement “Other direct costs” on MAS contracts consistent with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). As the Coalition has consistently highlighted, the current FAR authorizes ODCs and indirect costs as well as the acquisition of materials at cost in task orders under commercial item contracts. (See FAR Clause 52.212-4, Alternate I). FAR 52.212-4, Alternate I is already in most, if not all, MAS contracts; however GSA has not authorized customer agencies to effectively use the clause. Authorizing use of the clause will allow agencies to acquire complete solutions, whether service or product based, through the MAS program. The failure to use this statutory and FAR based authority increases contract duplication as customer agencies seeking comprehensive solutions to their requirements find that the MAS contract structure will not meet their needs. As a result, agencies are creating their own contract vehicles. Implementing the FAR 52.212-4, Alternate I will enhance MAS order competition, increase efficiency and transactional cost savings while reducing incentives to create unnecessary, duplicative contracts.
- Empower the MAS “consolidated” or “corporate” contract option. The current consolidated or corporate contract option allows a MAS contractor to combine several MAS contracts into a single comprehensive cross-cutting MAS contract covering all its services and/or products. Although currently available, the consolidated contract option has not been embraced by FAS. The current process is unduly burdensome and time consuming. FAS etools are not structured to encourage migration to, or use of, consolidated contracts. As part of the “Top to Bottom” review and reform, streamlining the consolidated contract process provides a wonderful opportunity to reduce contract duplication costs within the MAS program, increase efficiency and enhance competition.
- Put commercial back into commercial item contracting. The MAS program is the largest commercial item contracting program in government, which is a testament to GSA’s stewardship of the program. However, across government and within the MAS program, commercial item contracting has been hampered by the layering on of additional requirements and clauses that are inconsistent with commercial practice. These requirements add costs to MAS contracts—costs that are ultimately passed on to the taxpayer in some form. The “Top to Bottom” review provides an opportunity to conduct a review of all MAS solicitations to remove unnecessary, burdensome requirements that are inconsistent with commercial practice. The focus of the review should be to identify and remove processes, procedures and requirements that increase contractor costs while adding no value to the customer. GSA also has an opportunity to reform the commercial pricing practices and policies governing the MAS contract negotiations to better reflect the commercial market place and the statutory/regulatory task order competition requirements that now drive pricing under the program. Such reform can increase efficiency, save time, and improve access to the latest commercial services and products.
These changes can have a profound impact on reducing costs and improving program performance for GSA, its customer agencies and its contractors. As a final note, with regard to any future reduction of the industrial funding fee, the Coalition believes that review and analysis of the background information, documentation and lessons learned from the last fee adjustment provide a foundation for smooth implementation of any future adjustments.
The Coalition looks forward to working with Acting Administrator Tangherlini and the entire GSA team on these reforms.
On Tuesday, September 11, the Coalition for Government Procurement hosted a morning forum featuring the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Administrator, Joe Jordan. Mr. Jordan focused on a number of critical procurement issues and detailed his top priorities for federal procurement in the coming year. They include “buying smarter”, building the right supplier relationships, and developing the acquisition workforce. As a part of his buying smarter plan, Jordan discussed how strategic sourcing can leverage the Federal Government’s spend and drive savings in a number of areas. He clarified that he did not necessarily mean that federal strategic sourcing initiative (FSSI) BPAs are the right fit for all agencies and that some may have unique needs. The challenge is to find the right balance between the two.
Administrator Jordan also touched on how data collection and analytics should be improved to better facilitate procurement decision-making. Jordan would like to see the Government have more information about the prices it pays on individual goods and services to help drive better pricing.
Finally, Jordan sees great opportunity in building the right supplier relationships by increasing small business utilization, achieving the right oversight balance, establishing certification processes, and applying prompt and fair enforcement practices.
Members addressed strategic sourcing with Administrator Jordan in light of the recently released Presidential Management Advisory Board’s recommendations. When asked if strategic sourcing would become mandatory, Jordan simply replied, “stay tuned.”
The Coalition is releasing a letter this week to the membership from Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Chief Procurement Officer Nick Nayak. The letter describes the recent OMB memo Providing Prompt Payment to Small Business Subcontractors that establishes a one-year initiative to temporarily accelerate Federal payments to prime contractors. The purpose is to expedite payments to small business subcontractors. According to DHS, faster payments to small business subcontractors benefit their cash flow and may provide capital resources necessary to expand business opportunities. DHS explains in the letter that this can lead to a stronger supplier base that supports Federal prime contractors in meeting the needs of their Federal customers in a timely and cost-effective manner.
DHS is urging Coalition members to take appropriate steps to accelerate payments to small business subcontractors whenever possible. In addition, DHS would like to notify members that it has issued a Federal Acquisition Regulation deviation to allow DHS contracting officers to insert a new contract clause into DHS contracts, solicitations and resultant contracts. The new clause requires prime contractors, upon receipt of accelerated payments from the Government, to make accelerated payments to small business contractors to the maximum extent practicable after receipt of a proper invoice and appropriate documentation from their small business subcontractors.
DHS looks forward to working with contractors to implement the small business contracting policy. Should you have any questions, please contact Robert Namejko at 202-447-0894, or by email at email@example.com.
On Thursday, the House approved temporary funding for the Federal Government for the first six months of FY 2013. The continuing resolution, HR 117, will fund Federal agencies through March 27, 2013. According to an announcement by the House Appropriations Committee, an increase of 0.6 percent over the base rate is included for operations at $1.047 trillion. In total, the annual rate of the continuing resolution is $26.6 billion less than FY 2012. House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said, “The legislation reflects the bipartisan agreement by the House and Senate leadership and the White House to prevent a government shutdown, maintain the programs and services critical to the American people, and provide certainty and stability to ensure our continued economic recovery.” It is expected that the Senate will vote on the bill next week and that the President will sign it into law before the end of the fiscal year September 30.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has steadily increased its use of strategic sourcing over the past several years according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released this week. In FY 2008, the Department spent $1.8 billion on strategic sourcing contract vehicles. This amount increased to almost $3 billion in FY 2011, which was about 20% of DHS $14 billion in procurement spending for that year. The Chief Procurement Officer at DHS, Nick Nayak, has identified strategic sourcing as a major priority. In GAO’s report, other DHS procurement officials cited a number of benefits associated with strategic sourcing contracts including quick time to award once the contract is in place, economies of scale, and lower prices in some areas. To date, the Department has implemented 42 strategic sourcing efforts, including indefinite-deliver indefinite-quantity contracts and blanket purchase agreements for goods and services ranging from ammunition to engineering services.
DHS currently operates under a “mandatory for consideration” policy— meaning that components must consider strategic sourcing vehicles, though they are not required to use them. However, according to GAO, DHS is taking steps to strengthen their use of these contracts. They have drafted, but not issued, a management directive that would make use of strategic sourcing vehicles mandatory with some exceptions.
On Tuesday, the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) announced reverse auctions as the preferred method for price negotiations of all competitive contracts over $150,000. The announcement was first made to DLA’s primary-level field activities in June. The reverse auction tool used by DLA is Procurex. DLA is using Procurex to help reach its goal of saving $8.6 billion in material costs by the end of FY 2018. According to Charles Howerton, a procurement and systems analyst with the DLA Acquisition Programs and Industrial Capabilities Division, DLA has saved more than $34 million through reverse auctions since FY 2010. Howerton also said that “enabling contractors to see the amount others are bidding often leads to tough decisions on the contractor’s end. For example, a contractor that’s been doing business with DLA for several years and sees another contractor bidding for the same business at a lower cost will have to reconsider everything from production processes to prices.
Exceptions for use of the tool are only permitted by commanders and directors of primary-level field activities. According to DLA, reverse auctions are best suited for commercial and competitive items such as pens, but also for new long-term contracts because of the economies of scale they produce.
On September 4, GSA launched the Sustainable Supply Chain Community of Practice on data.gov. The community of practice is designed to bring together government, industry, associations, non-profits and academic institutions to achieve more sustainable supply chains. The community’s goal is to share practical information, such as checklists, tutorials and other supplier engagement tools that businesses can use to cost effectively improve the efficiency of their operations and increase the sustainability of their supply chain.
The Sustainable Supply Chain Community of Practice covers 7 market sectors: apparel, building materials, food concessions, furniture, information technology, professional services, and waste management. The community is currently seeking champions from industry, academia and non-profits to lead each of these market sectors. Coalition members interested in serving as a market sector champion can find further details and a nomination form on data.gov.
Nancy Gillis, who is coordinating the Sustainable Supply Chain Community of Practice, will join the Coalition’s Green Committee meeting on October 4 at 1:30pm to walk members through the community on data.gov. Please contact Aubrey Woolley at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information if you’d like to attend.
The Department of Veterans Affairs Federal Supply Schedule (VA FSS) Service launched the VA Schedule Sales Query this month. Currently, quarterly sales data is available for the past five Fiscal Years. This includes details on the 1,771 active contracts which add up to $10,376,110,224 dollars in total sales. The agency hopes that prospective offerors will use the information to decide if a VA Schedule contract is right for their firm. Additionally, current contractors would use the information to ensure that their line items are competitive with current market competition.
This week founding director of the Veterans Affairs Center for Innovation, Jonah J. Czerwinski, discussed the transition from the VA’s former Veterans Affairs Initiative (VAi2) to the new Veterans Affairs Innovation Center with Government Executive. In early 2010, VAi2 was launched to bring fresh thinking to Departmental challenges. VAi2 sourced ideas from employees, entrepreneurs, and industry, and has received around 18,800 ideas from VA employees, the private sector and academia. Today the department has funded 120 innovations. “The move to transition VAi2 into the VA Center for Innovation (VACI) this year reflects a commitment to fostering a culture of creativity and determination to make life better for our Veterans, their families, and their survivors,” said Jonah J. Czerwinski.
According to Government Executive, the new VAIC will allow the VA to:
- Create an enabling environment: This will provide the VA with the necessary authority, priority and capability for the programs and people to become successful innovators.
- Develop mechanisms that create implementable solutions: VA will then be able to implement solutions through a “framework for systematic ideation, piloting, measurement, and diffusion of innovation.
- Deliver real value to VA’s organization and community: The goals of the program are to impact the VA’s mission, realizing better, faster, ore more affordable products and services.
The House passed a bill on Tuesday designed to improve Federal agencies’ level of customer service. The Government Customer Service Improvement Act, introduced by Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX), would:
- require the Office of Management and Budget to establish customer service standards
- require Federal agencies to identify a customer relations representative responsible for issuing guidelines for customer service
- enhance access to Federal information and services
According to a 2011 Federal Customer Experience Study, only 31% of Americans are very satisfied with federal service and 79% of Americans believe that it can be improved. A companion bill in the Senate, sponsored by Senator Mark Warner (VA), is pending consideration by the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
The Budget Control Act of 2011, Sequestration, and Government Contractors
Jim Schweiter, Partner, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP
Last August, Congress passed the Budget Control Act of 2011 (“BCA”)(Pub. L. 112-25). This law authorized raising the debt ceiling, established caps on discretionary spending, and put a process in place to reduce the federal deficit. The provisions to raise the debt ceiling have been triggered, so that the federal borrowing limit now stands at $16.4 trillion. In brief, the BCA:
- Imposed caps on discretionary spending beginning in October 2011 that will generate $917 billion in savings over the next ten years. The Department of Defense (“DOD”) portion of these savings is approximately $487 billion.
- Created a bipartisan, bicameral committee to identify up to $1.5 trillion of additional deficit reduction (the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction). This “Super Committee” failed to reach agreement.
- Required Congress to vote on a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. The amendment failed in both houses.
- Imposed a budgetary process known as sequestration to implement a total of $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts through fiscal year 2021 which will begin January 2, 2013, unless Congress passes a bill which the president signs to avert such a result.
Senior Executive Branch officials, members of Congress and industry leaders all predict catastrophe if sequestration is implemented. For companies doing business with the federal Government, it is therefore important to understand what sequestration is and how it would operate. Congress recently passed and President Obama signed the Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012. Although this law requires the Administration to report to Congress within 30 days about how sequestration would be implemented by federal agencies, few expect this report to provide much useful detail.
Sequestration is a process of automatic, largely across-the-board spending reductions under which budgetary resources are permanently canceled to enforce certain budget policy goals. This process was first established in the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (BBEDCA). Sequestration involves the permanent cancellation of budgetary resources by a uniform percentage, which is applied to all non-exempt programs, projects and activities within a budget account in order to achieve required savings.
Under the BCA, there are two situations in which sequestration could occur—
- If Congress appropriates more money in any year than is allowed under the annual discretionary spending limits established in the BCA, the automatic process of sequestration would result in the cancellation of the excess amount. The President would issue an order canceling any excess budget authority.
- Because Congress failed to enact legislation developed by the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to reduce the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion by January 15, 2012, the BCA provides for a series of automatic spending reductions in both discretionary and direct (mandatory) spending to make up for the shortfall in savings.
Sequestration is thus a budget enforcement mechanism that is intended to prevent enactment of legislation that would increase the federal deficit. Under the BCA, the automatic sequestration procedures will affect both mandatory and discretionary spending programs, and the reductions will affect defense and non-defense spending categories equally in each of fiscal years 2013 through 2021.
Under the BCA, the Department of Defense (DoD) would have to absorb half the cuts required by sequestration, a total of $492 billion. Non-defense accounts would absorb an equal share. Because the cut would be spread over nine years (2013-2021), both the defense and non-defense portions of the federal budget would be subject to annual reductions of about $54.7 billion.
Implementation of Sequestration
The process by which sequestration would be implemented is different in 2013 than in 2014 and the out years. In 2013, there would be across-the-board, proportional reductions in programs, projects and activities funded by annual appropriations and in non-exempt mandatory programs. In 2014 through 2021, the required sequestration cuts would be achieved by reducing the statutory spending limit specified in the law for each year. How this “top line” cut would be implemented at the agency level would be governed by the appropriations process. The Office of Management and Budget would direct agencies to implement cuts to available appropriations based on apportionment guidance issued pursuant to OMB Circular A-11.
Sequestration would not begin until January 2, 2013, so the funding reductions would be spread over only three quarters of that fiscal year. Appropriated funds that have been obligated to contracts are not subject to the sequestration process. Appropriated fund balances that remain unobligated as of January 2, 2013 may be subject to sequestration. If, as now appears likely, the federal government will be funded by continuing appropriations resolution (a “CR”) during the first half of fiscal year 2013, the ability of agencies to enter into new contracts, issue new task orders on existing multiple award contracts or exercise contract options that would obligate funds before sequestration begins will be constrained. Guidance from OMB also could limit agency spending in advance of sequestration. Because the baseline for fiscal year 2013 funding has not been established, and because there are so many variables that may affect how sequestration would be implemented, contractors of all stripes must closely examine their contracts and funding status in making judgments about how to prepare for sequestration.
“The president [and] the secretary of Defense said it would be catastrophic to our national defense, but we still haven’t found a way through it,” Arizona Senator John McCain said recently about sequestration. “Everybody says it’s not going to happen, but so far, it’s going to happen.” If the worst occurs, it is imperative to understand the magnitude of the funding cuts that would occur if sequestration as provided in the Budget Control Act is implemented and for contractors to plan accordingly.
 H.R. 5872 was signed into law by President Obama on August 7, 2012.
 OMB Circular A-11, sec. 20, at 8 (Aug. 2011); see also 2 USC 900(c)(2).
 Title II of Pub. L. 99-177, sometimes referred to as the Gramm, Rudman, Hollings Act.
 See 2 USC 906(k)(2); Under the BCA, many mandatory spending programs would be exempt from sequestration cuts, including Social Security, other federal retirement programs, Medicaid, and other programs benefiting low-income people. Medicare cuts would be limited to no more than two percent. See sections 255 and 256 of the BBEDCA (codified at 2 USC 905, 906).
 “Discretionary spending” refers to outlays from budget authority that is provided and controlled
by appropriation acts. “Mandatory spending” refers to outlays from budget authority that is provided
by laws other than appropriation acts. Congressional Budget Office, Estimated Impact of Automatic Budget Enforcement Procedures Specified in the Budget Control Act, n. 2, at 1 (Sept. 12, 2011).
 For the mechanics of the calculations, see BBEDCA sec. 251A(3), as added by BCA, Pub. L. 112-25, sec. 302(a), (Aug. 2, 2011).
 The Budget Control Act provides that certain programs are exempt from sequestration funding cuts. These include Social Security, Medicaid, certain Medicare payments, federal retired pay, and VA programs. In addition, the White House recently announced that the President has decided to exempt the military personnel accounts from sequestration, although this will mean a proportional increase in the size of the cuts to other non-exempt defense accounts in order to achieve the required level of deficit reduction.
 See OMB Circular A-11, Part 4, sec. 120.1 et. seq. (Nov. 2011). As of this writing, OMB has not yet issued apportionment guidance to federal agencies regarding sequestration.
 A continuing resolution is “an appropriation act that provides budget authority for federal agencies to continue in operation when Congress and the President have not completed action on regular appropriation acts by the beginning of the fiscal year.” Government Accountability Office (GAO), A Glossary of Terms Used in the Federal Budget Process, GAO-05-734SP, September 2005, pp. 35-36.
 See, Rosalind S. Helderman, John Boehner, Harry Reid Reach Early Deal to Avert Shutdown, Wash. Post, July 31, 2012, at http://www.washingtonpost.com/boehner-reid-reach-early-deal-to-avert-shutdown/2012/07/31/gJQAKVLENX_story.html.
 Nancy Cook, High Anxiety, National Journal, June 30, 2012.
Join the Coalition on September 26, 7:15 a.m., at the Grand Hyatt in Washington DC for a forum featuring high level officials from the Department of Homeland Security. The event will provide insight into how DHS plans to meet contracting goals over the next three years.
- Anne Terry, Director of Procurement Policy & Oversight
- Kevin Boshears, Director Office Small Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU)
- Daniel McLaughlin, Executive Director, Office of Procurement Operations
- Tim Shaughnessy, Technical Advisor, Chief Procurement Officer
- Michael Smith, Director, DHS Strategic Sourcing
The panel discussion will be followed by a networking session that will allow members to meet with panelists and directly discuss acquisition issues that impact their federal business.
- Registration: 7:15 am
- Panel Discussion: 8:00 am
- Networking Session: 8:45 am – 9:15 am
- Wrap-Up and Questions: 9:15 am – 10:00 am
The Department of Homeland Security plans to highlight a number of upcoming initiatives affecting industry including:
1. Industry and Government Communication
2. Acquisition Policy and Workforce Initiatives
3. Strategic Sourcing
4. Small Business
5. Quality Contracting
Who should attend:
- Industry Contract and Program Managers
- Business Development
- In-house Counsel
Do not miss this opportunity for an engaging dialogue about DHS procurement priorities, processes and procedures. Space is limited, so please register today!
The EIP Awards honor acquisition officials who have made significant strides in promoting and utilizing multiple award contracting vehicles. Awards will be given to individuals, organizations and contractors involved in procurement with GSA, VA, DHS, DoD and other government agencies. Take this opportunity to recognize an individual or organization that is deserving of an EIP Award. A list of nomination categories along with links to submit your nominations can be found here. Nominations along with a short rationale of approx. 100 words is sufficient. Nominations will be accepted through October 1. If you have any trouble with the system, please email email@example.com.
Contractor Savings Award
Presented to a contractor for delivering significant savings to the government and taxpayer through sound acquisition planning and development, and well defined contracting requirements.
Government Savings Award
Presented to a government agency for delivering significant savings to the government and taxpayer through sound acquisition planning and development, and well defined contracting requirements.
Presented to an individual or office for facilitating open communication between government and industry during the acquisition process and effectively breaking down communication barriers to create a collaborative procurement environment.
Lifetime Acquisition Excellence Award
Presented to an individual in the procurement community for delivering best-value solutions for the taxpayer and has demonstrated a long-term commitment to improving the federal acquisition system.
Best Veteran Hiring Program (Government)
Presented to a government agency for promoting and executing a robust and successful veteran hiring program to the benefit of our brave men and women in uniform.
Best Veteran Hiring Program (Industry)
Presented to a government contractor for promoting and executing a robust and successful veteran hiring, teaming or subcontracting program to the benefit of our brave men and women in uniform.
The Coalition for Government Procurement presents the Advanced MAS Training program for experienced professionals and in-house counsel with significant responsibility for MAS contracts. Join our panel of experienced practitioners for an interactive discussion based on a hypothetical scenario that presents many of the common wrinkles in MAS contracting. Our panelists will address the current critical issues for MAS contractors and provide practical advice regarding the major challenges in MAS contracting.
Among other topics, our panelists, David Dowd from Mayer Brown and Jason Workmaster from McKenna Long & Aldridge will address:
- Pricing – CSP: Getting your pricing disclosure correct as well as Price Reduction Clause compliance
- Audits – Laying the groundwork for an audit and surviving the process
- Pitfalls and Problems – Mandatory Disclosures, False Claims Act – Risks and Consequences
Registration – Coming Soon!
Small Business Forum – New Strategies for a Changing Environment
As you know, increased small business utilization is a high a priority of the Federal Government. Regulatory, legislative and agency level changes are all possible. On October 30, the Coalition will host a small business forum to gain insight from senior government officials on significant changes to the small business rules and how they impact your strategies for selling to federal agencies. A panel of small and large businesses will discuss their current and changing experiences.
A. John Shoraka, Associate Administrator of Government Contracting and Business Development, SBA will discuss small business priorities and regulatory changes including the proposed rule implementing set asides on multiple award contracts.
A panel of successful small and large businesses will examine the topic Small and Large Business Collaboration in the Federal Market – What Works and Doesn’t Work
Panel Moderator – Joseph Hornyack, Partner, Holland and Knight
James Connal, Vice President, Red River Computer
Tom Walker, Government Manager, Nucraft Furniture
Wayne Pizer, Vice President, L-3 National Security Solutions
Who Should Attend:
- Small Businesses that sell or want to Federal Agencies
- Large businesses that team with, subcontracts to or sells indirectly through small business concerns
- Federal Buying Official
Keystone Member: FREE
Premier Member: $65
Regular Member: $75
The Coalition regularly provides public comments on rules that impact the membership. The following is a list of upcoming rules. We ask that members note the proposed rule on Basic Safeguarding of Contractor Information Systems which was published in the Federal Register last week. The Coalition plans to submit comments on this proposed rule and will provide further analysis on it in an upcoming edition of the Friday Flash.
Summary: DoD, GSA, and NASA are proposing to amend the FAR to add a new subpart and contract clause for the basic safeguarding of contractor information systems that contain information provided by or generated for the Government that will be resident on or transiting through contractor information systems.
Due October 23, 2012. If you have any comments regarding this proposed rule, please contact Aubrey Woolley.
Summary: On September 6, a proposed rule was published to the Federal Register that corrects the preamble to a proposed rule published in the Federal Register of June 14, 2011, regarding Prioritizing Sources of Supplies and Services for Use by the Government.This document adds an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis which has been determined to be necessary since the initial publication of the proposed rule. As first published, the rule amends FAR part 8, which requires Federal agencies to satisfy their requirements for supplies and services from or through a list of sources in order of priority.
Due October 9, 2012. If you have any comments regarding this proposed rule, please contact Aubrey Woolley.
Summary: DoD, GSA, and NASA are proposing to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to clarify the use of a price analysis technique in order to establish a fair and reasonable price.
Due September 10, 2012. If you have any feedback on this proposed rule, please contact Carolyn Alston.
Notice of Request for Comment
Summary: The Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) has developed a Request for Comment asking whether changes to current regulations and other guidance might improve contracting officers’ access to relevant information about contractor business ethics in the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS).
Due September 17, 2012. If you have any feedback on this notice, please contact Carolyn Alston.
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
Summary: DHS is proposing to amend its Homeland Security Acquisition Regulation to require contracts for time and material or labor hours to include separate labor hour rates for subcontractors and a description of the method that will be used to record and bill for labor hours for both contractors and subcontractors.
Due October 22, 2012. Please contact Carolyn Alston if you would like to contribute to the Coalition’s comments on this issue.
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
Summary: The Department of the Treasury is proposing to amend the Department of the Treasury Acquisition Regulation (DTAR) to include a contract clause on minority and women inclusion, as required by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (the Dodd-Frank Act).
Due October 22, 2012. Please contact Carolyn Alston if you have any feedback on this notice.