Peanut butter and other spending highlighted in analysis of FY14 federal contracting

October 28, 2014 by

Would you be interested to know that federal agencies spent $27.3 million last year on peanut butter and related products?  Contracts for peanut products were among the 50,000 procurements, with a total award value of $272 billion, that the government awarded in FY14, the 12 month period ending Sept. 30, 2014.

Those facts, among others, are presented in a report released a few days ago by GovTribe, a small, Arlington, VA company whose mission is to make federal contracting information more accessible.

Among the highlights in GovTribe’s report are:

  • Contracts for services — as opposed to products — made up 35 percent of the contracts and 65 percent of the total dollar value.
  • 40% of procurements were closed in October 2013 or September 2014. The total value of contracts closed in just these two months was $103 billion – 38% of the dollars awarded for the year.
  • Second only to the Defense Department units, the Dept. of Health & Human Services awarded the highest dollar value of contracts.  Third-ranked was the VA.
  • 11% of contract awards were small business set-asides, amounting to $30.3 billion.
  • Total obligated dollars for the fiscal year will likely be closer to $400 billion, once all accounted.

To see the full report, visit:

Subcontractor wants out of shipping contract; hearing set for Oct. 30

October 27, 2014 by

A key subcontractor wants to stop shipping troops’ privately owned vehicles for the Department of Defense, further threatening a system that has been plagued by long delays and complaints from troops.

A U.S. District Court on Sunday enjoined Liberty Global Logistics of Lake Success, N.Y., to stick to its agreement to ship vehicles to and from Europe. Liberty is a subcontractor to Brunswick, Ga.-based International Auto Logistics, which in May took over a DOD contract to ship the personal vehicles of servicemembers and DOD civilian employees.

The temporary injunction will be the subject of a Thursday hearing at the U.S. District Court for the Southern of Georgia, Brunswick Division.

Liberty, of Lake Success, N.Y., has questioned whether International is financially capable of servicing a contract it won in May to ship the personal vehicles of DOD personnel when they transfer duty stations. In documents filed with the court by International, Liberty said that International had taken out an $8 million line of credit last year, which expired in July.

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Huge bidder pile-on for VA’s $22.3 billion tech deal

October 23, 2014 by

The number of companies that have expressed interest in bidding on the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Twenty-One Total Technology Next Generation contract — known as T4NG — hit 635 vendors Tuesday, according to a VA spreadsheet.

The list of interested bidders ranges alphabetically from A1C Partners LLC to Yakshna Solutions and is dominated by small-business hopefuls. VA plans to award up to 20 indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts.

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Contractors, expect 72-hour rule for disclosing corporate hacks

October 22, 2014 by

Look for the whole government to take a page from the Pentagon and require that firms notify their agency customers of hacks into company-owned systems within three days of detection, procurement attorneys and federal officials say.

Right now, vendors only have to report compromises of classified information and defense industry trade secrets. The trade secret rule is new and covers breaches of nonpublic military technological and scientific data, referred to as “unclassified controlled technical information.”

That new reporting requirement kicked in Nov. 18, 2013 and applies to all military contracts inked since.

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GAO task order protests: Protester’s price does not establish jurisdiction

October 21, 2014 by

The Government Accountability Office’s jurisdiction over task order protests turns on whether the award price of the task order exceeds $10 million–not whether the protester’s proposed price exceeds $10 million.

GAO-GovernmentAccountabilityOffice-SealIn a recent bid protest decision, the GAO held that it lacked jurisdiction over a task order protest because the award price was under $10 million, even though the protester had proposed a price of approximately $11.4 million.

The GAO’s decision in Goldbelt Glacier Health Services, LLC, B-410378, B-410378.2 (Sept. 25, 2014) involved an Army National Guard task order solicitation for psychological health services.  After evaluating competitive proposals, the agency issued the task order to National Sourcing, Inc. in the amount of $9,620,556.42.

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As the Army’s future takes shape, so does the Defense market

October 20, 2014 by

For two years, the U.S. Army has been pitching new ways it could stay relevant and play a more prominent role in the Pentagon’s pivot to the Pacific, a region where the Navy and Air Force are expected to play a more prominent role. Now, after a turbulent year in which Russia invaded Ukraine over land and Army soldiers have deployed on high-profile missions to Iraq and Africa, there is a wider-spread recognition that the ground service will have a significant role to play after Afghanistan.

But despite this resurgence in missions, that doesn’t mean work will be easy to come by for defense companies. Defense firms descend on Washington this week for the Association of the United States Army, or AUSA, annual convention and arms exposition. This year’s gathering comes after the Army announced major changes to its makeup, including cutting tens of thousands of soldiers from its ranks. But it lands right when a leader like Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno has signaled he will revisit those plans to shrink the force – and the budget — thanks to ISISand Russia.

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DOL releases final rule raising minimum wage for employees working on covered federal contracts

October 14, 2014 by

On October 1, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced its final rule raising the minimum wage for employees working on covered federal government contracts from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour.  The final rule implements Executive Order 13658, which was issued by President Obama last February.

The final rule applies to a wide range of contracts issued for solicitations on or after January 1, 2015, including (1) procurement contracts for services or construction; (2) service contracts exceeding $2,500 covered by the Service Contract Act; (3) contracts for concessions; and (4) contracts that are both (a) entered into the with the Federal Government in connection with Federal property or lands and (b) covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act, Service Contract Act, or Davis-Bacon Act.  The rule also applies to (1) individuals with disabilities who were previously paid below the minimum wage because their disability affects their productivity; and (2) tipped employees, whose minimum hourly pay will be raised from $2.13 to $4.90.

Keep reading this article at for details on employees covered, impact on employers, and next steps.

A quarter century later, Pentagon’s test program for small businesses still untested

October 9, 2014 by

During its approval of the defense budget back in 1989, Congress added a new test program intended to simplify the subcontracting process for large defense contractors. In theory, proponents said, the tweak would lead large prime contractors to pass more work along to small businesses.

A quarter century later, some of the world’s largest defense contractors are still taking advantage of the program — which, oddly enough, remains in “test” mode. Odder still, the test has yet to be evaluated.

Called the Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program, the initiative allows large defense contractors to establish company-wide or division-wide subcontracting plans that outline how the US DoD logocompany or each of its units generally intends to partner on any work awarded by the federal government. Any time one of the participating companies competes for work, it can present the general subcontracting strategy.

Normally, prime contractors are required as part of the bidding process to submit a specific subcontracting plan for each individual project, which details how much of the work they plan to outsource and to what type of companies.

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NASA awards SEWP V IT contracts

October 8, 2014 by

The awards are for Group A — value-added resellers and computer system manufacturers — and Group D — value-added resellers. The number of companies is almost double the 23 that held contracts in those groups in SEWP IV.

Of the 23 companies awarded contracts under SEWP IV, 15 were awarded SEWP V contracts under the same group. Four others under Groups B and C in SEWP IV were awarded Group A and/or D contracts under SEWP V.

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SBA data show large firms are nabbing contracts reserved for small businesses

October 7, 2014 by

Federal procurement data show that large companies, including leading defense contractors, last year received millions of dollars in contracts intended for small and disadvantaged businesses. The data was obtained last week by the American Small Business League, which fought a multi-year court battle to obtain the information from the Small Business Administration.

The group, based in Petaluma, Calif., and run by software entrepreneur Lloyd Chapman, has been a thorn in the side of SBA for years. It accuses the agency of catering to large companies that misrepresent themselves as small businesses to win government contracts.

Last week the league obtained from SBA an Excel file containing nearly 107,000 entries of vendors that received $83 billion in small business contracts in fiscal 2013. While SBA annually releases analytical information about small business contracting, it took a lawsuit from the league to force the agency to release its list of vendors who receive small business contracts.

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