Head of SBA steps down

February 14, 2013 by

Karen Mills, head of the Small Business Administration, told agency staff Monday she is stepping down after four years at the helm.

Mills will continue to lead the agency until her successor is named, according to a notice posted on SBA’s web site.

She said small businesses have won more than $286.3 million in federal contracts over the last three years of reporting, $32 billion more than the previous three years.

The agency also supported more than $106 billion in loans to more than 193,000 small businesses and entrepreneurs, including two record years of delivering more than $30 billion annually in loan guarantees, she said.

SBA brought more than 1,000 community banks into SBA lending and secured $20 billion commitment from 13 banks to increase their small business lending over three years, Mills said.

Georgia Tech launches course on cost-price analysis for government contracts in May

February 13, 2013 by

Starting in May 2013, The Contracting Education Academy at Georgia Tech will offer a new course focusing on the Fundamentals of Cost & Price Analysis in government contracting.

This comprehensive, two-week course begins with an in-depth review of the market research process, and provides instruction to help students understand and analyze contractor pricing strategies.

Attendees will learn to accomplish cost-volume-profit analysis, calculate contribution margin estimates, and develop cost estimating relationships in order to accomplish an effective price analysis pursuant to FAR Subpart 15.4.

After learning the basic elements of price and cost analysis, students will build and defend a pre-negotiation objective, including a minimum and maximum pricing objective with a weighted guidelines assessment. After successfully defending their pricing objectives, the students will practice face-to-face negotiations.

This course is targeted toward new hires to the contracting career field.   For government contractors, this course also provides valuable insights into the government contracting decision-making process.

Student performance is assessed by graded exams on math fundamentals and applied course material as well as an exercise for student participation and completion of negotiations.

CON 170 – Fundamentals of Cost & Price Analyis is Defense Acquisition University-equivalent training that satisfies the FAC-C and DAWIA certification programs.

For more information or to register, please visit: http://www.pe.gatech.edu/courses/con-170-fundamentals-cost-and-price-analysis

DoD issues rules for notifying contractors of in-sourcing decisions

February 11, 2013 by

The Department of Defense (DoD) issued a memorandum on February 7, 2013 entitled “Private Sector Notification Requirements in Support of In-sourcing Actions.”

The memorandum provides implementing direction on the notification of private sector providers (contractors) when making a determination to in-source a contracted service for civilian or military performance.

This guidance can be found at: Memorandum – Private Sector Notification Requirements in Support of In-sourcing Actions (29 January 2013)

Challenging contracting conditions hurt consultancy’s revenues

January 31, 2013 by

Consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton reported a 3.5 percent decrease in revenues in the third quarter of its 2013 fiscal year, citing lower demand and challenging market conditions for government contractors.

The company reported revenues of $1.39 billion in the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2012, down from $1.44 billion during the same period in the previous year. Net income for the quarter was $56.2 million, down from $62.8 million the previous year. The company’s fiscal year begins in April and runs through March.

Booz Allen Hamilton was focused on increasing productivity in the “uncertain federal budget environment,” said Chairman, CEO and President Ralph W. Shrader. “At every level in our company, we are making changes to ensure our cost competitiveness to win and perform work,” Shrader said in a statement.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.govexec.com/contracting/2013/01/challenging-contracting-conditions-hurt-consultancys-revenues/60989/?oref=govexec_today_nl.

Procurement Opportunities Guide now available at no cost

January 30, 2013 by

The 2013 edition of Braddock’s Procurement Opportunities Guide, An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Selling to Governments and Corporations, is now available to GTPAC clients at no charge!

Braddock’s Procurement Opportunities Guide is a primer designed to help small business owners and decision makers understand the government procurement and private sector procurement spaces.  The Guide provides an overview of government and corporate markets with an emphasis on who buys and how buying decisions are made.  The Guide also presents “next step” resources for federal and state governments and the private sector.

Topics covered by the Guide include:

  • Selling to the federal government/state governments
  • Selling to large corporations
  • Selling to foreign governments and international organizations
  • “Green” procurement
  • Special resources for Women-, Minority, and Veteran-owned businesses
  • A glossary of procurement related terms, a procurement preparation checklist, information about teaming agreements and joint ventures, and more.

Braddock’s Procurement Opportunities Guide is published and copyrighted by Braddock Communications, Inc.  This special PDF edition of Braddock’s Procurement Opportunities Guide is available at no charge to you thanks to the generous support of Microsoft Corporation.

Download the Guide here: https://netforum.avectra.com/eWeb/DynamicPage.aspx?Site=APTAC&WebCode=PUBPOG


Looking for help with government contracts, but not located in Georgia? There’s help available

January 29, 2013 by

The Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center provides help to businesses located in Georgia.  But what if your business is loacted in another state — is there help available for you, too?

The answer is yes!   There are what are known as Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) located in all 50 states, and each one is in business to provide assistance to businesses on how to identify, compete for, and win government contracts.

You can find the complete list of PTACs nationwide at http://www.aptac-us.org/new/Govt_Contracting/find.php.  On this web site, just select a state or click on the map to find complete details on the PTAC nearest you.

Changes to GSA Schedules program likely in 2013

January 29, 2013 by

Anyone monitoring government contracting in the last few years has noticed a surge in U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Schedule contracts. As of fiscal year 2012, GSA had over 19,000 Schedule contracts. According to GSA, approximately 10% of federal procurement dollars went through GSA Schedule contracts last year representing nearly $50 billion in spending.  Considering 80% of GSA Schedule contracts are with small businesses, proposed changes to the GSA Schedule program in 2013 will surely impact small businesses.

The first of these changes, spearheaded by SBA, intends to ensure more small businesses reap the benefits of the GSA Schedule program. While small businesses represent 80% of GSA Schedule contract holders, only 36% of contract sales go to small businesses.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.pilieromazza.com/includes/content/downloads/download.php?id=750.


More contractors see decline in federal revenue

January 29, 2013 by

For the first time in a long time, more federal contractors reported decreases in their government contracting revenue last fiscal year than those who saw increases, according to a Grant Thornton survey of about 100 contractors.

Thirty-eight percent of contractors suffered reductions in revenue over the past year, compared with 36 percent that saw revenue increases and 26 percent that experienced no significant change, according to the annual Government Contractor Survey released last week. Professional Services Council sponsored the survey.

“This year’s survey shows more revenue shrinkage than growth and a plunge in net profit, with the majority of contractors seeing a tiny profit or none at all,” the survey said. “This despite reducing headcount and overhead, holding wages at generally the same level as in the last two years, cutting [general and administrative expenses] and benefits, and doing just about all a company can do to sustain profits. Contractors are up against costs that can’t be slashed and must be absorbed: indirect, health care, overtime and, for many, out-of-scope work.”

Keep reading this article at: http://blogs.federaltimes.com/federal-times-blog/2013/01/24/more-contractors-see-decline-in-federal-revenue/.

Deloitte’s Tom Davis pushes for contractor accountability

January 28, 2013 by

Deloitte & Touche director and former U.S. Rep. Tom Davis asked former colleagues on Capitol Hill Tuesday to adopt a procurement model that delivers profits to contractors only when they make good on promised cost savings to government agencies.

Typically dubbed performance-based contracting, it’s a buying strategy that has gained and lost appeal over the years: Companies get paid when certain business results are achieved. To Davis, a Virginia Republican who testified at a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, those business results are cost savings.

“The formula is simple – [companies] bear the risk of actually delivering on what they say they can do,” Davis said in prepared remarks. “If they are successful, they make money; if not, they don’t. A criticism of this approach often is that the government ends up giving away too much of the saved revenues, but that misses the point entirely. There would have been no savings at all had the share‐in‐savings approach not been used.”

Keep reading this article at: http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/blog/fedbiz_daily/2013/01/deloittes-tom-davis-pushes-for.html?page=all.

New responsibilities placed on contractors subject to the Service Contract Act

January 23, 2013 by

Pursuant to a rule finalized by the the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council, effective January 18, 2013, contractors who win the right to take over a previous federal service contract now must make a first-right-of-refusal employment offer to workers on the earlier contract.  The new rule applies only to contracts that are subject to the Service Contract Act (SCA).

The new rule implements Executive Order 13495, Nondisplacement of Qualified Workers Under Service Contracts, dated January 30, 2009. The FAR has been amended to add subpart 22.12 and a new clause at FAR 52.222-17.

The new requirement applies when the successor contract is for same or similar services at the same location as the predecessor contract.  29 CFR 9.2 defines “same or similar service” to mean “a service that is either identical to or has one or more characteristics that are alike in substance to a service performed at the same location on a contract that is being replaced by the Federal Government or a contractor on a Federal service contract.”

An exception to the right-of-first-refusal requirement involves the successor contractor’s current employees, who would otherwise face termination themselves, are qualified for the new contract and subject to SCA.  Another exception is for predecessor employees with documented past unsuitable performance. In addition, if the successor contractor will be working with a smaller workforce than the predecessor contractor to achieve greater efficiency, the successor is only required to offer employment to those eligible employees who would be qualified to fill the positions that will exist on the new contract.

If a successor wins a contract award due to a contract terminated for performance reasons, the successor contractor is not to assume it was the fault of the service employees; the assumption to be made is that the employees were performing suitable work in support of the contract and the fault lay with management. If the Government determines that the poor performance of the predecessor contract was due to the entire predecessor workforce, then the new SCA rules may be waived.

FAR 52.222-41(n) already requires the predecessor contractor to provide to the contracting officer a certified list not less than 10 days prior to completion of an existing contract of the names of all service employees on the contractor’s or subcontractor’s payroll during the last month of the contract performance.  This list must contain the anniversary dates of employment on the contract. Under the new rule, this list will be required no less than 30 days prior to completion instead of 10. If the list is not provided, the Government will have the right to suspend contract payments until it is provided.