I hope you all had a wonderful long weekend. Labor Day marks the end of summer, the beginning of school (at least in Virginia) as well as the final countdown to the end of the fiscal year. This means one thing for all of us. Things are going to get really busy! The next few months at the Coalition will be no exception. We are pumped up to provide a Fall/Winter schedule of events and training for our members and the procurement community as a whole.  These events will focus on key procurement policy issues, market trends and budget outlook as well as training on MAS contracting compliance.  Here’s a look at what we have on tap.

As you know, next Tuesday we are holding a morning forum featuring the OFPP Administrator Joe Jordan sponsored by Staples. Administrator Jordan will outline his priorities including buying smarter through strategic sourcing, building the right supplier relationships and strengthening the acquisition workforce.   Also next Tuesday the Coalition will launch the first in a series of educational webinars on key contracting compliance procedures and issues.  This webinar will be presented by Cherry Bekaert & Holland and will focus on Limited Scope Audits and will highlight contractor personnel compliance with labor category qualification requirements.

On September 26 the Coalition will host a forum with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  The program will outline DHS’s strategic plan for acquisition over the coming years.   In addition to the strategic plan, the event will comprehensively cover strategic sourcing, small business, procurement operations and DHS plans to enhance government-industry communication. This event is a great opportunity for a “Myth-Busters” dialogue regarding DHS procurement processes, procedures and priorities.

On October 9th and November 13th Baker Tilly will be presenting a two-part educational webinar series on negotiated contracting under FAR Part 15.  This webinar series will address the key contracting and pricing compliance issues and requirements when agencies conduct FAR Part 15 procurements.  On October 16th, the Coalition will present our half day Advanced MAS Training seminar focusing on MAS pricing, audits and the Civil False Claims Act.   This seminar will be presented by McKenna Long and Aldridge LLP and Mayer Brown LLP.

The week of October 22nd highlights our 2012 Fall Training Conference,    “Understanding Federal Acquisition – Understanding the Federal Market – Honoring Excellence in Partnership,” will provide training on the MAS ordering procedures including teaming arrangements, an update on GWACs and MACs including OMB’s new business case policy for creation of contract vehicles;  training on MAS compliance issues for in-house counsel,  analysis and commentary on the budget and what it means for contractors.  Also as part of the Fall Conference we will be holding our traditional, Myth-Buster breakout sessions providing an opportunity for attendees to discuss key operational contracting issues with their GSA counterparts—demonstrating the importance of partnership in providing best value to customer agencies and savings for the taxpayer.  I also want to direct you to our website for the submission of nominations for this year’s Excellence in Partnership Awards.  Now more than ever, given the budgetary and operational challenges the federal government faces, it is vital to identify and honor those outstanding individual and organizations in the procurement community (government and industry) who are supporting the mission and making a positive difference for the taxpayer!

On October 30th, the Coalition will launch our Small Business Committee with a Small Business Forum featuring speakers from both SBA and GSA have been invited to address their initiatives and priorities for utilization of small business concerns.

On November 8th and 9th, the Coalition will be presenting our MAS Basic Training course hosted by McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP.  This introductory course presents the fundamentals of MAS contracting.  In November the Coalition will also host a post-election event focusing on what the outcome means for federal procurement policy and the federal marketplace—the date and time are to be determined so watch for an announcement!  Finally, the first week in December will mark the launch of our MAS Training for In-house counsel presented by Carolyn Alston, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of the Coalition and Jason Workmaster from McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP.  This training reflects the unique challenges in-house counsel deal with regarding MAS contracting.

The Coalition has a great line up for the Fall and we look forward to seeing you at our event!  Next week I will begin a series of blog posts that will debunk acquisition policy “Urban Myths” regarding GSA’s MAS program. For a full list of our events please link here!