August 15, 2012 by cs
The General Services Administration has officially ordered IBM to fix the troubled System for Award Management (SAM).
Sources confirmed GSA issued IBM a letter of concern Aug. 7. In the official notice, GSA told the company to develop a plan of action and milestones for how they will make SAM work more smoothly. Under the program, GSA wants to consolidate eight acquisition databases, including the Central Contractor Registration, the Past Performance Information Retrieval System and six others.
A letter of concern is a step before a cure letter, saying there are problems with the system but it’s not as bad as a cure letter.
GSA hired IBM under an eight- year, $74.4 million contract in 2010.
Keep reading this article at http://www.federalnewsradio.com/65/2988217/GSA-issues-letter-of-concern-for-problems-with-procurement-system.
- For the latest news involving SAM, please visit: http://gtpac.org/tag/sam
Lawmakers question VA’s SDVOSB reviews as too strict, GAO pushes for more rigorous process, and DOJ continues prosecutions
August 14, 2012 by cs
Lawmakers questioned whether a Veterans Affairs Department process to keep ineligible companies from winning service-disabled veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) contracts goes too far and squeezes out legitimate firms.
Members of the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittees on Oversight and Investigations and Economic Opportunity Thursday zeroed in on the requirement that veterans maintain 100 percent control over their companies’ decision-making. Legislators said the rule is too strict and discourages companies from participating in the set-aside program.
VA implemented the provision to create a “bright line” and remove subjectivity from the process examiners use when deciding whether a business qualifies for the SDVOSB set-aside program, said Thomas Leney, executive director of VA’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization.
Keep reading this article at: http://www.federalnewsradio.com/?nid=538&sid=2977475.
August 13, 2012 by cs
On August 7, 2012, Tony Edmund Weekes, salesman for V.V.S.S. Co., Inc. (VVSS), was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Central Islip, New York, for his role in a $21 million Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) fraud scheme.
Mr. Weekes was sentenced to serve three years of probation, pay a $1,000 fine and a $100 special assessment. In addition, he was ordered to cooperate with the IRS in calculating the amount of unpaid taxes, interest, and penalties he owes. The judge also barred him from participating in any municipal construction contracts during his period of probation.
Mr. Weekes pled guilty in 2001 and admitted that VVSS, a certified DBE, acted as a DBE “front” on approximately 35 public works construction projects for numerous general contractors in the New York City area. He further admitted that he helped negotiate some of these fraudulent subcontracts between VVSS and the general contractors.
The investigation was conducted by the Federal Construction Fraud Task Force for the Eastern District of New York, whose members include the U.S. Dept. of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General; the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division; the U.S. Department of Labor’s OIG Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations; and the New York City Department of Investigation.
August 7, 2012 by cs
The federal government could lose approximately 270,000 employees, or about 13 percent of the federal workforce, if automatic budget cuts—called sequestration—occur, according to a recent industry group report. Because federal contract officers’ positions are not protected from those cuts, the possibility of agency hiring freezes and layoffs of such essential staff is a distinct possibility. If this happens, agencies could see increased litigation and cost overruns and contractors could see more bundled federal contracts.
Keep reading this article at: http://news.agc.org/2012/07/27/looming-budget-cuts-could-impact-federal-acquisition-workforce/
August 2, 2012 by cs
A new website linking companies with former federal workers is set to launch in September.
Exfederal.com will match companies looking to quickly hire workers for contracts with former feds in search of a job. The site was founded by Ginger Groeber, a former human resources official in the Pentagon, and by Lockheed Martin Corp. The site is currently undergoing beta testing, but already lists many open positions.
Keep reading this article at: http://www.govexec.com/contracting/2012/07/new-website-links-government-contractors-former-feds/57103/?oref=govexec_today_nl.
August 1, 2012 by cs
Federal contractors should not send warnings of impending layoff notices to their employees in advance of a potential budget sequester in January, the Labor Department ruled Monday.
Such notices are not required under the 1988 Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification Act, and in fact are “inconsistent” with the law, according to a policy letter to state workforce agencies issued by Labor officials.
July 30, 2012 by cs
The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) is conducting a seminar on Aug. 14, 2012 on how you can cultivate opportunities in the biobased marketplace.
By participating, you can learn about federal programs that may assist you in meeting your business goals.
The good news is that this USDA siminar is being conducted on the web, so no travel is necessary!
This seminar will provide:
- an introduction to biobased products and the Bioeconomy highlighting several growth industries
- the Federal Procurement Preference to encourage Federal government purchase of biobased products
- a voluntary certification and labeling program to make biobased products more recognizable in the consumer market
- Federal resources available to support businesses
The goal is to encourage the development of new biobased products and to explain federal resources available to the businesses that bring biobased products to market.
The seminar is being held on Tuesday, August 14, 2012, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM (ET) by live streaming on your computer or by satellite downlink.
To register for this seminar, go to: http://seminar.us.com/course/seminar_registration.php?orgCode=USDABIO&courseID=201202.
For more information, click here.
July 27, 2012 by cs
The number of security clearances held by contractors slightly declined in 2011 compared to 2010, according to Fierce Government.
Citing a report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Molly Bernhart Walker wrote 4.86 million individuals held a clearance as of Oct. 1, 2011, with nearly 1.17 million of them contractors.
The previous year, 1.07 million contractors out of 4.71 million held a clearance.
Keep reading this article at http://www.executivegov.com/2012/07/report-slight-decline-in-2011-contractor-clearances-from-previous-year/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+execgov+%28Executive+Gov%29.
July 23, 2012 by cs
Small businesses are called the engine that drives the American economy—they provide more than half of the nation’s workforce. Billions of your tax dollars are set aside to help small businesses survive. But the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit discovered hundreds of millions of dollars set aside for small businesses, instead go to huge corporations. Dozens of those companies are here in Silicon Valley.
Nationally, $422 billion worth of federal contracts in 2011 were meant to give small business a shot at servicing one of the largest clients in the world—the federal government. The government’s goal is to give at least 23 percent of all federal contracts to small businesses. Instead, year after year, the NBC Bay Area investigation found the government falling short of that goal.
Keep reading this article at: http://www.nbcbayarea.com/investigations/Large-Firms-Land-Small-Business-Set-Asides-163194546.html.
SBA proposes increases to size standards in utilities, construction, arts, entertainment and recreation categories
July 19, 2012 by cs
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is seeking comment on three proposed rules published in the July 18, 2012 Federal Register that would revise the size definitions for small businesses in the Utilities; Construction; and Arts, Entertainment and Recreation sectors. The proposed revisions reflect changes in marketplace conditions.
The proposed rule for the Utilities sector will revise the size standard for nine industries. The rule proposes changing six of the industries dealing with electric power generation, distribution and transmission from revenue-based size standards to an employee based size standard of 500 employees.
It would also increase the size standards for the remaining three industries in the Utilities sector from $7 million to $25.5 million for water supply and irrigation systems, $7 million to $19 million for sewage treatment facilities, and $12.5 million to $14 million for steam and air conditioning supply. SBA estimates as many as 400 additional firms in this sector would become eligible for SBA programs as a result of these revisions.
SBA also proposed increases in size standards for one industry and one sub-industry in the Construction sector. Specifically, SBA proposed to increase the size standard for Land Subdivision from $7 million to $25 million and from $20 million to $30 million for businesses engaged in Dredging and Surface Cleanup activities. SBA estimates that more than 400 additional firms will become eligible for SBA’s programs and services, if adopted.
The SBA’s third proposed rule would increase the small business size standards for 17 industries in the Arts, Entertainment and Recreation sector. As many as 1,450 additional firms could become eligible for SBA’s programs and services if the proposed increases are adopted.
Comments can be submitted on these proposed rules on or before September 17, 2012, at www.regulations.gov, identified by the following RIN numbers:
1. Proposed Rule: Small Business Size Standards; Utilities (NAICS Sector 22) (RIN 3245-AG25)
2. Proposed Rule: Small Business Size Standards; Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation (NAICS Sector 71) (RIN 3245-AG36)
3. Proposed Rule: Small Business Size Standards; Construction (NAICS Sector 23) (RIN 3245-AG37)
You may also mail comments to Khem R. Sharma, Chief, Size Standards Division, 409 3rd St., SW, Mail Code 6530, Washington, DC 20416.
As part of an ongoing review of all size standards, the SBA takes into account the structural characteristics within individual industries, including average firm size, the degree of competition, and federal government contracting trends to ensure that small business size definitions reflect current economic conditions within those industries. Under provisions in the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, SBA is expected to be conducting a comprehensive review of all size standards for the next several years.
The SBA says the revisions to the size standards in these sectors will:
- enable more small businesses to retain their small business status,
- give federal agencies a larger pool of small businesses to choose from for small business procurement opportunities, and
- help eligible small businesses benefit from SBA’s loan programs.
An SBA-issued White Paper entitled, “Size Standards Methodology”, which explains how the SBA establishes, reviews and modifies its receipts-based and employee-based small business size standards can be viewed at http://www.sba.gov/size. For more information about SBA’s revisions to its small business size standards, click on “What’s New with Size Standards” on SBA’s Web site at: http://www.sba.gov/size.