Contractors and subcontractors can no longer receive reimbursement from the government for the costs of defending themselves against whistle-blower lawsuits deemed legitimate.
The fiscal 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L.112-239) called for the change. On Oct. 22, the Defense Department, the General Services Administration and NASA published an interim rule, which was effective Sept. 30, to implement the law.
The Federal Acquisition Regulation previously only forbade contractor reimbursement for legal costs incurred in proceedings brought by a government–federal, state, local or foreign. The new rule amends the FAR to include legal costs from proceedings brought by a contractor or subcontractor employee “submitting a whistleblower complaint of reprisal.”
The rule also broadens the scenarios that render the whistle-blower complaint legitimate. Previously, the FAR said the contractor would have to be found liable or fined in a civil proceeding in order to disqualify it from reimbursement. In the case of a criminal proceeding, it would have to be convicted.
Keep reading this article at: http://www.fiercegovernment.com/story/contractor-costs-whistle-blower-cases-no-longer-reimbursable/2013-10-22
The interim rule can be found in the Federal Register at: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/09/30/2013-23702/federal-acquisition-regulation-allowability-of-legal-costs-for-whistleblower-proceedings. Comments are due by Nov. 29, 2013.
Georgia’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (GaMEP), with help of regional partners, is launching innovative events in November, December and January, in three areas across Georgia.
These two-hour events will include networking, a one-hour training presentation on a specific topic, and a case study.
Meetings in Lawrenceville, Savannah, and Douglas, GA are scheduled as follows:
- Where Lean Meets Green: Building a roadmap to sustainable solutions – Nov. 13, 2013 – Douglas, GA – Learn how to include energy and environmental wastes into your lean systems–a strategy proven to maximize your return on investments.
- What’s New With OSHA? – Dec. 5, 2013 – Lawrenceville, GA – Learn how new special emphasis programs will impact Georgia manufacturers.
- Effective Problem Solving: 6 Essential steps to solve problems in your organization – Jan. 16, 2014 – Savannah, GA – Learn to develop a problem solving methodology that focuses on processes, not people, and build problem solving skills at all levels of your organization.
Cost of each event is $10 – $15, and breakfast or lunch will be provided.
For more information or to register, visit: http://gamep.org/events-training/all-events-training/manufacturing-growth-educational-series/
Contractors could, and did, complain plenty during the government shutdown — but what they couldn’t do was lodge those complaints formally.
Bid protests, which allow government contractors to contest a lost contract with the Government Accountability Office, have become an increasingly significant part of the federal procurement process. In fiscal 2012, companies filed nearly 2,500 protests, up from about 1,650 in 2008.Typically, contractors argue that some part of their evaluation for a bid wasn’t fair — that the agency’s contracting officer didn’t give them enough credit for the good work they did in the past or unfairly judged the technical merits of their proposal, for example.
But after the GAO was forced to close Oct. 1, contractors couldn’t officially file new protests and couldn’t get responses to the ones they’d already filed. (The GAO allowed companies to e-mail their protests, but said the protests would be marked as filed the day the government reopened.)
Keep reading this article at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/shutdown-leaves-gao-with-massive-backlog-of-contractors-bid-protests/2013/10/18/75783a20-375a-11e3-80c6-7e6dd8d22d8f_story.html
Now that it looks like a deal to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling is upon us, I’ve been thinking about where this leaves the government services industry. If the shutdown ends today, we’ll all get back to work, assess the damage, and begin digging out of the hole this lost time has dug. In a month or so, it might seem like we’re back to normal, but I think that’s a bit of a leap.
At the beginning of the shutdown, I posited that this kind of instability in budgeting and appropriations might be the new normal. We’ve had essentially the same debate between Republicans and Democrats since 2010 about entitlement spending and government revenue/taxes with no resolution. The fundamental positions have not changed despite many skirmishes and an election. All signs now point to a 2014 mid-term that might tweak at the margins but will still likely result in a Republican controlled House and a Democratically controlled Senate.
Keep reading this article at: http://www.govexec.com/excellence/promising-practices/2013/10/do-contractors-need-take-out-government-shutdown-insurance.
Total known and unclassified federal information technology spending will hover around $70 billion annually through fiscal 2019 when measured in today’s dollars, predicts the TechAmerica Foundation in its annual near-term forecast.
The forecast, based on federal budget data and interviews with federal IT executives, assumes an overall discretionary topline lower than the Office of Management and Budget’s projections but slightly greater in out-years than Budget Control Act caps. TechAmerica Foundation conducted the research before the House of Representatives reached an impasse with present year funding bills and so doesn’t take into account the government shutdown, now in its third week. The foundation is the nonprofit arm of technology firm lobbying group TechAmerica.
For fiscal 2014, the research finds (.pdf) that IT spending will add up to $70 billion, down considerably from the $86 billion (adjusted for inflation to be in today’s dollars) spent during fiscal 2009. This year’s figure will stay more or less steady through fiscal 2009, when it’ll reach $72.2 billion in constant dollars, or $78.5 billion in a number unadjusted for inflation.
Keep reading this article at: http://www.fiercegovernmentit.com/story/federal-it-spending-plateau-next-5-years-says-techamerica-foundation/2013-10-15
The U.S. General Services Administration’s Regional Office of Small Utilization invites you to attend an informative online webinar:
Learn the federal business ropes, from marketing to promoting sustainability!
GSA’s Office of Small Business Utilization advocates for small, minority, Veteran, HUBZone, and Women business owners. This webinar will focus on the steps to “Doing Business with GSA” including contracting options, sustainability, and more:
- GSA’s procurement policies and methods
- Accessing government solicitations
- Marketing your products/services
- GSA Schedules Program Pros and Cons
- GSA Mentor Protégé Program
- GSA and Sustainability
This is a two-hour webinar. It is scheduled to be held on Wednesday, October 30, 2013, from 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM EDT.
To register for this no-cost event, go to: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/511417079
The Veterans Affairs Department will decide status protests for all service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses and veteran-owned small businesses and not cede that authority to the Small Business Administration, a Sept. 31 interim rule says.
The rule doesn’t change the fact of self-certification for SDVOSB status by companies bidding on contracts at agencies other than the VA.
The VA’s director of the Center for Veterans Enterprise will initially adjudicate all SDVOSB and VOSB status protests, but those businesses can appeal to the VA’s executive director of small and disadvantaged business utilization, the rule says.
The VA says it considered reaching an interagency agreement with the SBA for it to review and decide status protests, but determined that SDVOSB and VOSB status protest adjudication should remain within VA.
Keep reading this article at: http://www.fiercegovernment.com/story/va-sole-decider-sdvosb-status-protest-decisions-rule-says/2013-10-16
See the new interim rule at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-30/html/2013-23759.htm
The U.S. Defense Department awarded several hundred contracts last month in a fiscal year-end surge of activity as officials raced to ink deals before the government shutdown.
The Pentagon in September announced almost 730 awards potentially worth about $47 billion, according to a Military.com analysis of the Pentagon’s daily contract announcements.
The value doesn’t include tens of billions of dollars in previously announced Army alternative-energy contracts, or reflect what is actually spent, or obligated, because many deals are only partially funded at first.
Keep reading this article at: http://www.dodbuzz.com/2013/10/11/pentagon-contracting-surged-before-shutdown/
The U.S. government shutdown may hurt contractors long after Congress and President Barack Obama find a way to open federal offices and resolve the debt ceiling dispute.
Federal agencies award more than $500 billion a year, or a rough average of $1.4 billion a day, to tens of thousands of contractors. With each day of the partial shutdown, the pipeline gets more clogged by late payments, halted work and canceled solicitations for new contracts. That bottleneck may affect contractors’ fourth-quarter results.
“Even if the government suddenly opens for business, we can’t expect everything to get back to normal right away,” said Larry Allen, president of Allen Federal Business Partners, a McLean, Virginia-based consulting company. “This is going to be a wave that makes its way through the government’s operational infrastructure probably at least until the end of the calendar year.”
If the shutdown continues through the end of the week, it will be difficult for big contractors to make up for lost revenue before the end of the year, said Michael Lewis, managing director at McLean, Virginia-based Silverline Group LLC, a strategic consulting firm for aerospace and defense.
Keep reading this article at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-10-09/federal-contractors-pain-won-t-vanish-after-shutdown-end.html.