Contracting officer’s death didn’t waive claim requirement

August 12, 2014 by

A Contracting Officer’s death did not waive the requirement that a contractor file a claim with the agency before bringing its claim to federal court.

In a recent decision, the Court of Federal Claims held that a contractor was not entitled to forego the claim requirement because of the Contracting Officer’s death–even though the agency did not appoint a replacement.

The Court’s decision in Delaware Cornerstone Builders, Inc. v. United States, No. 10-588C (Fed. Cl. 2014) involved a contract between Delaware Cornerstone Builders, Inc. and the VA.  Under the contract, DCB was to replace a VA health care facility in Maryland.

The project reached substantial completion in June 2004.  In 2004, DCB and the Contracting Officer began discussions about additional payments DBC believed to be due and owing.  The parties never reached a resolution, and communications apparently ceased for a period of years.  In September 2006, the Contracting Officer died.

Keep reading this article at: http://smallgovcon.com/claims-and-appeals/contracting-officers-death-didnt-waive-claim-requirement/

Large business’s unmet subcontracting goals result In “marginal” score

August 11, 2014 by

A large business was appropriately awarded a “Marginal” score for small business participation based on the large business’s history of failing to meet its small business subcontracting goals.

In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO held that the procuring agency properly assigned the large business a low score based on the large business’s history of unmet subcontracting goals, even though the large business apparently pledged to subcontract a significant amount of work to small businesses under the solicitation in question.

The GAO’s decision in Cajun Constructors, Inc., B-409685 (July 15, 2014) involved an Army Corps of Engineers solicitation for the construction of a concrete-covered canal in Louisiana.  The solicitation was issued in an unrestricted basis.  Award was to be made to the offeror presenting the best value to the government, considering price and four non-price factors: past performance, technical approach, key personnel and project management plan, and small business participation plan.

Keep reading this article at: http://smallgovcon.com/gaobidprotests/large-businesss-unmet-subcontracting-goals-result-in-marginal-score/ 

These are the Georgia firms who won federal contracts in July 2014

August 1, 2014 by

Ever wonder who’s winning federal contracts in Georgia?

Wouldn’t this information be helpful if you are looking for subcontracting prospects?  Or when you’re trying to figure out who your competitors are?  Or when considering who might be a good partner on an upcoming bid proposal?

Each month, the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC) publishes a list of federal contracts awarded to Georgia businesses.  The list comes complete with point-of-contact information on the awardees, the name of the awarding agency, the dollar value of the contract, and much more.

Download details on the award winners for July 2014 right here:  FEDERAL CONTRACT AWARDS IN GEORGIA – JULY 2014

Winners of federal contracts earlier this year may be found at the links below:

For information on Georgia businesses that won federal contracts in 2013, click here.

Agency properly considered joint venture partners’ past performance, says GAO

July 31, 2014 by

A procuring agency properly considered the past performance of a joint venture’s two partners, even though the solicitation prohibited the consideration of subcontractors’ past performance.

In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO held that where a solicitation only allowed past performance references for the “prime offeror,” the agency was permitted to consider the past performance of two joint venture partners–the entities comprising a “prime offeror.”

The GAO’s decision in System Integration and Development, Inc., B-408865.2, B-408865.3 (July 10, 2014) involved a Department of Labor solicitation for information technology systems operation and maintenance.  The solicitation provided for award on a best value basis, including consideration of offerors’ past performance.

With respect to the past performance factor, the solicitation called for offerors to submit up to five references for contracts completed in the last five years.  The solicitation stated that DOL would evaluate past performance “for the prime offeror only” and that “past performance for any proposed subcontractor will not be evaluated.”

Keep reading this article at: http://smallgovcon.com/gaobidprotests/agency-properly-considered-joint-venture-partners-past-performance-says-gao/

Subcontracting uncertainty means no HUBZone price preference required, says GAO

July 28, 2014 by

An agency properly refused to apply the HUBZone price preference when the agency determined HUBZone company’s proposal was unclear as to whether the company would comply with the subcontracting limits set forth in the Federal Acquisition Regulation’s HUBZone price preference clause.

In a recent bid protest decision, the GAO held that the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) reasonably refused to apply the HUBZone price preference in a procurement for supplies because the HUBZone company’s proposal suggested that HUBZone companies might perform less than 50% of the manufacturing costs.

The GAO’s decision in Wakan, LLC, B-408535.2 (June 19, 2014) involved a DLA procurement for chicken products.  The procurement included a small business set-aside portion and an unrestricted portion.  The unrestricted portion of the procurement was to be awarded on a lowest-price, technically acceptable basis.

Keep reading this article at: http://smallgovcon.com/gaobidprotests/gao-subcontracting-uncertainty-means-no-hubzone-price-preference-required/#more-3158

45-minute bid confirmation deadline ruled unreasonable by GAO

July 25, 2014 by

A procuring agency acted unreasonably by leaving a voicemail for a winning bidder requiring confirmation of the bid within 45 minutes of the voicemail.

In a recent GAO bid protest decision, the GAO found that the winning bidder had already confirmed its bid by responding to a Bid Validation request sent by the FedBid electronic reverse auction system.  Under these circumstances, the agency’s second request for a bid validation – with a very short response time – was improper.

The GAO’s decision in AeroSage LLC, B-409627 (July 2, 2014) involved a Bureau of Prisons (BOP) request for quotations for the next-day delivery of 6,000 gallons of fuel for the FCC Coleman Federal Prison in Coleman, Florida.  The RFQ was issued as a small business set-aside and was posted on the FedBid website as a reverse auction.  The RFQ called for award to the lowest-priced, technically acceptable quotation.

Keep reading this article at: http://smallgovcon.com/gaobidprotests/gao-45-minute-bid-confirmation-deadline-was-unreasonable/

Protester’s scores could be lower than in original evaluation

July 24, 2014 by

When a procuring agency re-evaluates proposals in response to a protest, the agency need not stick with the results of the original evaluation.

As demonstrated in a recent GAO bid protest decision, when an agency re-evaluates proposals, it is expected that the re-evaluation could result in different findings and conclusions–including new conclusions that are not favorable to the protester.

The GAO’s decision in All Points Logistics, Inc., B-407273.53 (June 10, 2014) involved the Department of Homeland Security’s solicitation for Enterprise Gateway for Leading-Edge Solutions II (EAGLE II).  The EAGLE II solicitation offered different tracks in which offerors competed for awards under three functional categories.

Keep reading this article at: http://smallgovcon.com/gaobidprotests/proposal-re-evaluation-protesters-scores-could-be-lower/

Beware of ‘government vendor registration’ websites that charge a fee

July 22, 2014 by

We’ve previously alerted you to the existence of websites which unnecessarily lead businesses to pay a fee to be registered in government databases such as SAM, the System for Award Management (see, for example, http://gtpac.org/?p=7326).

Now, we want to make you aware of other websites that purport to get businesses registered to do business with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) — for a hefty fee, of course.

Please be aware of the fact that commercial websites (.com websites, in other words) are just that — commercial.  When a commercial website advertises to help you with the process of registering to do business with the government, there’s almost always going to be a fee involved.  On the other hand, government websites (designated as .gov) offer free advice and registration.

One commercial website — currently running an aggressive advertising campaign directed at businesses — solicits vendors to fill out a “FEMA Contract Registration Form.”  Once the form is filled out and submitted on-line, applicants receive the following message: “Thank you for submitting your information. We will be in contact with you shortly. Click below to make a payment of $500.00 for this service.”   By clicking on the “Buy Now” button, you’ll be directed to a site to pay $500.00 via a PayPal account for “FEMA Registration.”

Please know that FEMA does not charge any money to register as a vendor to do business with them.  And neither does any other federal agency.

In order to register as a potential vendor to FEMA, we recommend you:

  1. Visit FEMA’s official website at http://www.fema.gov/doing-business-fema.  There, you are given instructions to register in SAM (www.sam.gov) and then download FEMA’s Vendor Profile Form at http://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/29748?id=6679.
  2. Read the instructions for submitting FEMA’s Vendor Profile Form for free.  The instructions are located at: http://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1858-25045-7342/ilp_factsheet.pdf.

To receive assistance with any aspect of vendor registration with any government agency at no cost, please feel free to contact the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center.  Our contact information is at: http://gtpac.org team-directory.

If your business is located outside the state of Georgia, you can get free help from the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) nearest you.  For a map of locations and complete contact information for PTACs nationwide, please visit: http://www.aptac-us.org.

 

The top 3 biggest mistakes small and minority firms make in government contracting

July 15, 2014 by

The Unites States federal government is the world’s largest single buyer of products and services spending billions of dollars annually. And when the federal market procurement dollars are combined with State and local government agencies procurements then the overall government market is an ideal market for minority businesses to generate revenue and grow. This is especially the case with our tax dollars are involved and given the goals that government agencies have in making contract awards to small and minority businesses.

Many minority firms have enjoyed eating at the government procurement trough, but based on government agency data from all levels, a substantial number of minority firms are unsuccessful in government procurement and miss in winning contract awards. There are many cited causes for this contract award gap, but from my many years of being successful in winning government contracts and from my observations, below are the three biggest mistakes that minority firms make in government contracting.

  • Mistake #1: Not conducting research and learning about how to do business with a targeted government agency.
  • Mistake #2: Failing to attend pre-bid and pre-proposal meetings to build relationships.
  • Mistake #3: Not consistently marketing and staying top of mind with agency procurement staff.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/helen-callier/the-top-three-biggest-mis_b_5515912.html

Family ties plus business ties may equal affiliation

July 14, 2014 by

The SBA affiliation rules are not always intuitive, and perhaps no SBA affiliation rule is as little understood as the so-called “identity of interest” rule under 13 C.F.R. 121.103(f).

Identity of interest affiliation can arise in several ways, including when close family members also have business ties.  As demonstrated in a recent SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals decision, a close family relationship between two business owners, plus significant business ties, may cause affiliation between the businesses.

SBA OHA’s decision in Size Appeal of Knight Networking & Web Design, Inc., SBA No. SIZ-5561 (2014) involved a Navy procurement for ship and shore satellite communications support services.  The solicitation was issued as a small business set-aside under NAICS code 541330.

After evaluating competitive proposals, the Navy announced that Knight Networking & Web Design, Inc. was one of several awardees.  An unsuccessful competitor subsequently filed a size protest, claiming that Knight was affiliated with various other entities.

Keep reading this article at: http://smallgovcon.com/sbaohadecisions/sba-affiliation-rules-family-ties-plus-business-ties-may-equal-affiliation/