January 16, 2014 by cs
[Note: Contractor compensation, the acquisition process, personnel security, cloud computing, and cyber security are five issues recently identified by The Washington Post as especially significant to government contractors. The following article provides details.]
With the military policy legislation known as the National Defense Authorization Act signed by the president over the holidays, contractors are looking for the changes that matter to them. We’ve singled out five measures that will be of interest to companies that work with the federal government.
Keep reading this article at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/five-provisions-in-the-new-defense-policy-legislation-for-contractors-to-watch/2014/01/03/f6dd00ec-6c10-11e3-a523-fe73f0ff6b8d_story.html
January 15, 2014 by cs
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released its annual report to Congress on bid protests filed and acted upon during fiscal year 2013 (FY13).
The report reveals that during FY13, the GAO received 2,429 cases, including 2,298 protests, 56 cost claims, and 75 requests for reconsideration. A total of 2,538 cases were closed during the fiscal year.
Notably, the most prevalent reasons for sustaining protests were: 1) failure on the part of federal agencies to follow their stated bid or proposal evaluation criteria; 2) inadequate documentation of the record by agencies; 3) unequal treatment of offerors; and 4) unreasonable price or cost evaluation.
Further details can be seen on the following chart.
A copy of the complete GAO report can be accessed here: GAO Bid Protest Annual Report to Congress FY 13 – Jan. 2 2014
January 10, 2014 by cs
The Justice Department announced on Jan. 9, 2014 that two related entities, Michigan-based Cadillac Asphalt LLC (Cadillac) and Michigan Paving and Materials Co. (MPM), have agreed to pay $3.8 million to resolve allegations that they falsely claimed Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) credits on a number of federally funded transportation projects. Both Cadillac and MPM are subsidiaries of Oldcastle Materials Inc., a construction material and services provider based in Atlanta.
“The Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program helps businesses owned by minorities and women to work on federally funded projects,” said Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Division Stuart F. Delery. “Those who falsely claim credits under the program to obtain federal funds victimize both the taxpayers and the businesses that the program is designed to assist.”
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office works with the Civil Division in Washington to use civil enforcement to recover funds for taxpayers,” said U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Barbara L. McQuade. “In this case, civil attorneys were able to recover more than $3 million that was obtained through false claims.”
The settlement announced today resolves allegations that Cadillac and MPM knowingly and falsely claimed DBE credit for asphalt purportedly supplied by a DBE known as BN&M Trucking Inc. As a condition of federal funding, contractors, such as Cadillac and MPM, working on a federally funded project must make a good-faith attempt to meet DBE participation goals. For the contractors to meet their DBE participation goal, a DBE employed by the contractors must be independently responsible for performing a portion of the work with its own employees and equipment. Allegedly, BN&M Trucking was merely a pass-through company that did not supply any asphalt or perform any other commercially useful function.
“We remain steadfast in our commitment to maintaining the integrity of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program,” said regional Special Agent-in-Charge of USDOT’s Office of Inspector General Michelle T. McVicker. “Working with the Secretary of Transportation, other DOT leaders and our law enforcement colleagues, we will continue to protect the taxpayers’ investment in our nation’s infrastructure from fraud, waste, abuse and violations of law.”
The allegations resolved by the settlement involved numerous federally funded transportation projects in Michigan between 2006 and 2010, including a project to construct a new runway at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport in 2008 and 2009. In November 2010, two other entities, John Carlo Inc. and Angelo Iafrate Construction Co. Inc., paid more than $1 million to resolve similar allegations related to the airport runway project.
This case was handled by the Justice Department’s Civil Division, Commercial Litigation Branch, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan and the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General. The claims settled in this case are allegations only; there has been no determination of liability.
January 9, 2014 by cs
The General Services Administration wants industry feedback to help develop a new governmentwide program to maintain federal buildings.
GSA issued a request for information Dec. 18 tasking the private sector with providing best practices to assist in creating a new comprehensive building maintenance and operations services program that includes HVAC, elevator maintenance, janitorial services, grounds maintenance and utilities, the RFI says.
The federal government holds more than more than double the square footage of the top five commercial real estate companies in the United States combined. Federal Acquisition Service Commissioner Tom Sharpe said in the RFI that the new program “has the opportunity to significantly change the way the government approaches the services used to maintain and operate its buildings and structures, saving money and streamlining processes.”
January 8, 2014 by cs
President Barack Obama signed on Dec. 26, 2013 two key pieces of legislation that detail the Defense Department’s budget for fiscal year 2014 and the federal government’s budget for fiscal years 2014 and 2015, detailed in a Reuters report.
Ros Krasny writes the signed defense authorization bill gives the Pentagon $526.8 billion in fiscal 2014, but the two-year budget compromise reached by congressional budget committee chairs Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Paul Ryan allocates $498 million in Pentagon spending.
A final defense budget number will need to be reconciled early in the new year, Krasny reports.
Under the government-wide budget deal, spending will increase by $63 billion over sequester levels in fiscal years 2014 through 2015, Reuters reports.
Keep reading this article at: http://www.executivegov.com/2013/12/defense-2-year-budget-bills-paint-fy-2014-15-spending-picture/
January 6, 2014 by cs
CGI Federal, the company responsible for building the problem-plagued Web site for the Affordable Care Act, won the job because of what federal officials deemed a “technically superior” proposal, according to government documents and people familiar with the decision.
Not considered in the 2011 selection process was the history of numerous executives at CGI Federal, who had come from another company that had mishandled at least 20 other government information technology projects more than a decade ago. But federal officials were not required to examine that long-term track record, which included a highly publicized failure to automate retirement benefits for millions of federal workers.
By 2011, CGI Federal already had been cleared to do government work at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the agency overseeing the rollout of the new health-care law.
The company had been included in a pool of pre-screened, approved contractors in 2007, during the George W. Bush administration, and only firms in that pool were later allowed to bid for the Affordable Care Act work. It was at that earlier time that the problems at American Management Systems, the Fairfax County IT contractor acquired by CGI, would have figured into the assessment of CGI Federal, contracting experts say.
In hindsight, one former CMS official said, the AMS record “could well have knocked [CGI Federal] out of the competition, and probably should have.”
Keep reading this article at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/healthcaregov-contract-politics-not-a-factor-but-neither-were-firms-ties-to-failed-projects/2013/12/22/61728fca-6753-11e3-a0b9-249bbb34602c_story.html
January 3, 2014 by cs
For two years, it has been the policy of individual agencies of the federal government to encourage prime contractors, upon receipt of progress payments from an agency, to accelerate payments to small business subcontractors. Now, this policy has been formalized by publication of a rule and contract clause in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), effective December 28, 2013.
Here is the background. The Department of Defense (DoD), the General Services Administration (GSA), and the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) originally published a proposed rule in the Federal Register at 77 FR 75089 on December 19, 2012, to implement OMB Memorandum M–12–16 that would provide for the acceleration of payments to small business subcontractors. OMB released Memorandum M–12–16, Providing Prompt Payment to Small Business Subcontractors, on July 11, 2012. This policy memorandum outlined the steps agencies should take to ensure that prime contractors pay their small business subcontractors as promptly as possible. OMB released Memorandum M–13–15, Extension of Policy to Provide Accelerated Payment to Small Business Subcontractors, on July 11, 2013. This policy memorandum extended the OMB
Memorandum M–12–16’s expiration date by one year to July 11, 2014.
With the publication of a formal rule in the FAR, the accelerated payment policy is now in effect, government-wide. Below is the clause that is to be placed in all federal contracts containing subcontracting opportunities:
FAR Part 52.232–40
Providing Accelerated Payments to
Small Business Subcontractors (Dec.
(a) Upon receipt of accelerated payments
from the Government, the Contractor shall
make accelerated payments to its small
business subcontractors under this contract,
to the maximum extent practicable and prior
to when such payment is otherwise required
under the applicable contract or subcontract,
after receipt of a proper invoice and all other
required documentation from the small
(b) The acceleration of payments under this
clause does not provide any new rights under
the Prompt Payment Act.
(c) Include the substance of this clause,
including this paragraph (c), in all
subcontracts with small business concerns,
including subcontracts with small business
concerns for the acquisition of commercial
December 31, 2013 by cs
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said Friday that he expected more damning revelations about the way the service conducts business to come out of the ongoing investigation of the alleged fraudulent activities of Glenn Defense Marine Asia and its chief executive, Leonard Glenn “Fat Leonard” Francis.
“It’s fair to say there will be more disclosures coming” and more top officers coming under suspicion in the contracting for port services for Navy ships worldwide, Mabus said at a Pentagon briefing. “I certainly don’t think we’ve seen the end of it.”
“I expect to continue to see headlines” in the felony fraud case involving bribes and prostitutes in which Francis currently is out on bail and under house arrest in San Diego, Mabus said.
“I would rather get bad headlines than let bad people get away,” Mabus said.
While condemning the fraud, Mabus hailed the Navy’s response. He said the Naval Criminal Investigative Service began to suspect that one of its agents, John Beliveau II, was tipping off Francis about Navy inquiries on his firm in exchange for luxury trips and prostitutes.
Keep reading this article at: http://www.dodbuzz.com/2013/12/20/more-heads-to-roll-in-fat-leonard-navy-scandal/