February 3, 2014 by cs
On February 24, 2014 small businesses are invited to obtain free training on HUBZone Certifications and the Mentor Protege Program. This event will include matchmaking with the GSA Acquisition Workforce and representatives of GSA’s Mentor Protege Program. There also will be opportunities for counseling, on-site Mentor Protege applications, and a walk through the Forecast of Contracting Opportunities.
The event is being held at the General Services Administration, 1800 & F Street, NW, Room 1460, Washington, DC 20405.
GSA believes this conference will best benefit businesses in the following industries:
- Utilities and housekeeping
- Construction services
- Maintenance, Repair and Rebuilding of Equipment
- Professional Administrative and Management Support
- Architect and Engineering Services
- Information Technology Services including Telecommunication Services
The agenda for the event is as follows:
- Small Business Vendor training 9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
- Lunch on your own 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
- Contracting and Mentor Matchmaking 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
- Closing Remarks 3 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
The registration deadline is February 10, 2014. Register on-line here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1nTS9NHlpHUiT6X6xfXZsvLyIrM94mFEddwmzeh9sL9c/viewform
For questions, please contact Lucy Jenkins via email at: email@example.com.
The Marine Corps Logistics Command Small Business Program Office, along with the City of Albany and Dougherty County, held a “Coffee Break” on January 28, 2014, for Albany-area small businesses interested in doing business with the government sector. The Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC) hosted this second in a series of quarterly Coffee Breaks.
The event was designed to help small businesses network, in an informal setting, with small business specialists and acquisition professionals from local, state, and federal agencies.
Marine Corps Logistics Command speakers included John P. McHugh, Senior Contracts Attorney, Office of Counsel; Hattie Mosely, Director, Small Business Program Office; and Sabrina Caldwell, Head, Policy Branch, Contracts Department.
Representing local governments at the event were: Joshua Williams, Buyer, City of Albany Central Services Department; Lori Farkas, Assistant General Manager for Customer Relations and Marketing, Water Gas and Light Commission; and Mike Trotter, Materials Manager, Water Gas and Light Commission.
Topics included information on the small business programs utilized at Marine Corps Logistics Command (LOGCOM) and how LOGCOM purchases from small businesses. Also discussed was the Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS) and Past Performance Information Retrieval System – Statistical Reporting (PPIRS-SR). Upcoming bid opportunities in city/county government and the water-gas-light commission also were discussed.
Approximately 50 small and large contractors from the area attended the two-hour event.
If you would like more information on how to do business with LOGCOM, or services offered in Albany, Georgia by GTPAC, go to: http://www.logcom.usmc.mil/sbpo/sba.gov or contact GTPAC’s Bridgett Bennett at 229-430-4189.
Seminars on government contracting topics are being scheduled at locations throughout the state of Georgia in 2014. These training seminars are free of charge and are sponsored by the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC).
The complete list of GTPAC seminars can be found at: http://gtpac.ecenterdirect.com/Conferences.action
Below are highlights of upcoming topics to be covered:
- Need a solid introduction — or a refresher – to government contract fundamentals? Then plan to attend our 3-hour ”Introduction to Government Contracting.” This is GTPAC’s most popular training class — and most frequently offered! You’ll receive an update on all the basics, plus learn how to sign-up for GTPAC’s free services. In addition, GTPAC offers a 1-hour orientation on this same topic called “Fundamentals of Working with the Government.”
- Unsure if you are properly registered in the federal government’s vendor database? Our webinar entitled ”Fundamentals of Navigating SAM and Working with the Government” is the event for you. You’ll learn all about the System for Award Management (SAM) and how it’s used to identify prospective contractors.
- Want to learn about preferences given to women and other groups such as veterans in federal contracting? Consider attending our seminars such as ”Women-Owned Small Business Programs” and ”Small Business Certification Programs.” Both of these workshops provide solid orientations to all the federal contracting preference programs, including how to qualify.
- Don’t know how to find or approach small business specialists? ”Working with Small Business Specialists” is the class for you. We explain the role Small Business Specialists play within government agencies, how to find them, how to present your credentials, and what to expect.
- Interested in contracting opportunities at the state and local government levels? Then ”Marketing to State and Local Governments” is the workshop you should attend. You’ll learn about how to find contracting jobs right in your neighborhood, how to get registered as a vendor, and how to pursue local government contract work.
- Curious about what resources are available to you on the Internet? Our workshop entitled ”Using Your Computer to Win Government Contracts” will teach you all about the free resources and information available on the web that will help you identify government contracting opportunities, conduct market research about upcoming government buying needs, submit bids on-line, communicate with governments, and get paid.
- Need help preparing a bid or proposal? GTPAC offers multiple workshops on ”Preparing a Successful Bid or Proposal” where we cover downloading a solicitation, initial preparation steps, analyzing the evaluation criteria, building a bid or proposal, following submittal instructions, and obtaining a debriefing.
- Trying to figure-out whether a GSA Schedule is right for you? Our ”Understanding the GSA Schedule Process” is your ticket to learning whether there is a GSA Schedule that matches your business and, if so, the fundamentals of how to submit a proposal.
- What about all the other things you need to know? GTPAC has regularly scheduled seminars on topics like: ”Selling to the Military,” ”Wide Area Work Flow,” ”How to Create a Great Elevator Speech,” “What is a Capabilities Statement and Why You Should Have One,” and much more.
Be sure to visit http://gtpac.ecenterdirect.com/Conferences.action today for a complete list of classes, locations, dates and other details.
Raytosha Elliott, a former contracting official with the Georgia Department of Defense, has been indicted for allegedly awarding contracts in exchange for illegal kickbacks.
“Ms. Elliott took advantage of the trust her job afforded her to award no-bid contracts by giving them to her friends,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “The defendants pocketed nearly $75,000 from their scheme for work that was never completed, and denied services meant to maintain facilities supporting those who serve this country.”
Ricky Maxwell, Acting Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated: “This case is a direct result of government personnel detecting criminal financial irregularities and reporting them to the proper authorities. The FBI will continue to dedicate significant investigative resources to ensure that federal money is spent appropriately and as intended.”
Special Agent in Charge John F. Khin, Southeast Field Office, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, said, “In partnership with other law enforcement agencies, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service aggressively pursues all allegations of fraud and corruption impacting the Department of Defense and our warfighting mission, to ensure that American taxpayer dollars are not wasted or stolen.”
“The prosecution of individuals who manipulate normal business transactions in an effort to enrich themselves has always been a priority of IRS and our law enforcement partners”, stated Veronica F. Hyman-Pillot, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation. “We are proud to have contributed our financial expertise in order to ensure that those who engage in these illegal activities are vigorously investigated and brought to justice.”
“This case is an excellent example of federal and state law enforcement working together to fight corruption,” said Vernon M. Keenan, Director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Interim Inspector General Deb Wallace of the State of Georgia Office of Inspector General said, “Our office is dedicated to strengthening the trust between the citizens of Georgia and their public officials by continuously pursuing fraud, waste, abuse and corruption within the executive branch of state government. We would like to thank and recognize the Georgia Department of Defense for its vigilance and willingness to report irregularities within its contracting process. We appreciate the many investigative agencies who assisted on this case through countless hours of hard work to bring it to resolution.”
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: From May 2007 through April 2012, Elliott worked for the Georgia Department of Defense, the state agency charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the Ga. National Guard. Elliott worked as an Engineering Operations Manager out of the Clay National Guard Center, located at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, in Marietta, Ga. In that position, Elliott worked with engineering firms to develop bid-ready construction projects, prepared bid documents, and oversaw no-bid purchase orders. Under the rules governing the contracting process that Elliott oversaw, projects that cost less than $5,000 did not need to go through a competitive bidding process, allowing Elliott to award the contracts. She then certified that the work had been completed for those projects, and facilitated payment to the vendors who allegedly completed such projects.
In that position, Elliott awarded numerous contracts under $5,000 to vendor companies created by her friends and associates, including co-defendant Lakeysha Ellis. In return, the friends and associates paid Elliott kickbacks, equal to 50% of the value of the contracts, for steering the contracts to them. Elliott falsely certified that work had been completed when, in fact, it had not been in order to facilitate payment. One of the vendor companies was Total Source Solution, LLC, owned by co-defendant Ellis. Elliott awarded Total Source Solution 17 contracts with a total value of approximately $75,000. Those contracts were for a variety of services supposedly to be performed by Total Source Solution, including electrical work, landscaping, and HVAC work. But the work was never done. Instead, the defendants split the money awarded under these contracts and spent it on personal items, including travel, meals, merchandise, and even liposuction treatment for Ellis. As part of the scheme, Elliott owned a company named Tech Group Investments, LLC. Ellis took money she had obtained from the Georgia Department of Defense contracts, and paid kickbacks to Elliott through this company.
The indictment also alleges that Ellis and Elliott conducted a similar fraud scheme from January 2009, through May 2011, when Ellis was an accountant at Baumueller-Nuermont Corporation, an industrial equipment company with offices in Atlanta. Her job responsibilities included payroll and paying vendors.
While employed as Baumueller-Nuermont’s accountant, Ellis fraudulently funneled money to the defendants’ two sham companies, Total Source Solution and Tech Group Investments. Ellis wrote corporate checks to Total Source Solution, signed her name on the checks, and forged the signature of the Vice President on the checks, to ensure that the checks could be negotiated. Ellis recorded these payments in the check registry to reflect falsely that the checks had been issued to true vendors (such as American Express) when in fact they went to Ellis’ company.
As part of the scheme, Ellis also falsified employee records in the corporation’s payroll system to disguise payments to the defendants’ two companies. Ellis created at least two phantom employees by altering the names of real employees (by switching their first and last names) and slightly changing their Social Security numbers. She then caused the payroll system to make fraudulent salary payments to Total Source Solution and Tech Group Investments for these new, non-existent employees.
Baumueller-Nuermont lost about $85,000 from this scheme.
The ten count indictment charges Elliott, 33, and Ellis, 36, both of Atlanta, Ga., with two counts of conspiracy and seven counts of wire fraud. Elliott is also charged with accepting a bribe or kickback as a public official.
Members of the public are reminded that the indictment contains only allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
This case is being investigated by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Georgia Bureau of Investigation; the U.S. Department of Defense, Office of Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service; Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation; the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command; and Deputy Inspectors General of the State of Georgia Office of the Inspector General.
January 30, 2014 by cs
The General Service Administration laid out a plan for fiscal 2014 public buildings spending that includes more than $1 billion in repair and maintenance for about 9,000 federal buildings across the country.
The GSA can spend $9.4 billion out of the Federal Buildings Fund to repair federal buildings, pay rent for leased buildings and consolidate offices under the compromise omnibus spending bill (H.R. 3547) signed into law Jan. 17 by President Obama. That amount increases the GSA’s buildings budget by $1.3 billion more than last year.
Due to reduced funding prior to fiscal 2014, GSA has failed to make $4 billion worth of repairs and maintenance, GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini said in a Jan. 21 statement. Now, with the added funding, GSA can make headway on those repairs, Tangherlini said.
Keep reading this article at: http://www.fiercegovernment.com/story/gsa-allots-1-billion-maintenance-federal-buildings-across-country/2014-01-21
January 29, 2014 by cs
What is Emerging Leaders?
The Emerging Leaders is an intensive training initiative to accelerate high-potential small businesses’ growth in America’s inner-cities. This comprehensive curriculum provides the tools to catapult participating companies to the next level and help them emerge as growing, self-sustaining businesses in their community. In Atlanta, the Emerging Leaders initiative is supported by a coalition of local economic and business development entities.
What does the Emerging Leaders advanced training entail?
Over seven months, participants are required to participate in approximately 60-80 hours of classroom instruction, generally two three-hour sessions per month. The method used is primarily instructor-facilitated discussion of the training curriculum. Outside subject matter experts are included as guest speakers to bring a “real world” perspective. Additionally, class participants meet and work in smaller CEO Peer Mentoring Groups for an additional 15-20 hours during the training period.
- Business & Leadership Assessment
- Marketing & Sales
- Business Development Resources
- Growth Action Plan
Eligibility and Requirements
The Emerging Leaders advanced training series is open to the President, Managing Partner, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, or Chief Operating Officer of small businesses that:
- Are located in Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, and Rockdale counties
- Have been in active operation at least three years
- Have generated for the past three years an average annual revenue of at least $400,000 not to exceed $10,000,000
- Have at least one employee besides the owner(s)
In order to successfully complete and graduate from the program, participants must not have more than two unexcused absences from classroom or CEO Peer Mentoring Group sessions. They must also prepare and give a 15-minute presentation at the last class session on a three-year strategic growth plan for their business developed from their learning experience before a panel of business and economic development experts.
There will be up to fifteen small businesses accepted for the 2014/Emerging Leaders program. This program is provided at NO COST to participants.
For more information, please contact SBA’s Dorothy Atkins (404) 331-0100 ext. 305 or Charlotte Johnson, (404) 331-0100 ext. 405. Formal “Expressions of Interest” to participate must be received by midnight, March 21, 2014. The 2014 Emerging Leaders class begins on April 21, 2014.
January 29, 2014 by cs
In a rule (79 Fed. Reg. 2084) scheduled to go into effect on Feb. 12, 2014, the Small Business Administration (SBA) is modifying its Surety Bond Guarantee Program to incorporate certain provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2013 (NDAA). This includes provisions that increase the contract amounts for which SBA is authorized to guarantee bonds, grant SBA the authority to partially deny liability under its bond guarantee, and prohibit SBA from denying liability based on material information that was provided as part of the guarantee application in the Prior Approval Program.
The rule also makes changes to the Quick Bond Guarantee Application and Agreement, the timeframes for taking certain actions related to claims, and the dollar threshold for determining when a change in the Contract or bond amounts meets certain criteria or requires certain action. Finally, the final rule eliminates references to the provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) that has expired.
The new rule can be downloaded here: 79 Fed. Reg. 2084
January 28, 2014 by cs
Budgets cuts, contracting reforms and the military drawdown in Afghanistan have pushed government contract spending to its lowest level in more than seven years.
Government spending on contracts plunged almost $58 billion – 11 percent – to about $460 billion in fiscal 2013, according to the Office of Management and Budget and preliminary estimates from the Government Accountability Office.
Spending has fallen three of the past four years, from a peak of $550 billion in fiscal 2009 — and administration officials say more declines lie ahead.
“For fiscal 2014, we expect agencies to continue these smarter buying practices to deliver even more value to the taxpayers,” said Office of Management and Budget spokesman Frank Benenati.
Rob Burton, former deputy administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy at OMB and a government contracts attorney at Venable, said the steep drop in procurement spending is the result of numerous factors and policies.
Sequestration, the continued drawdown of military operations in Afghanistan, along with OMB policies to encourage spending cuts such as strategic sourcing, all played a role, he said.
Keep reading this article at: http://www.federaltimes.com/article/20140115/ACQ02/301150007/Sequestration-cuts-contract-spending-58-billion-2013
January 27, 2014 by cs
The Veterans Affairs Department plans to tap veteran-owned firms for management expertise and business support services through a five year contract starting in June.
VA said its Agile Delivery of VA Imminent Strategic and Operational Requirements — or ADVISOR — indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract will cover four service groups: oversight, improvement, data and analysis, and training.
Keep reading this article at: http://www.nextgov.com/defense/2014/01/va-eyes-vet-owned-firms-management-contracts/77435/
The presolicitation is at: https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=a7869f47077b956ed05172ed9095fd9a&tab=core&_cview=0
The original sources sought announcement (february 2013) is at: https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=296cfbf4dd83ffafe2491b7ebfa12366&tab=core&_cview=1