Here are the Georgia firms who won federal contracts in October 2013

November 4, 2013 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?

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 the award winners for October 2013 right here: FEDERAL CONTRACT AWARDS IN GEORGIA – OCT. 2013

Copies of earlier reports are listed below:

VA sole decider in SDVOSB status protest decisions, rule says

October 21, 2013 by

The Veterans Affairs Department will decide status protests for all  service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses and veteran-owned small  businesses and not cede that authority to the Small Business Administration, a  Sept. 31 interim rule says.

The rule doesn’t change the fact of self-certification for SDVOSB status by  companies bidding on contracts at agencies other than the VA.

The VA’s director of the Center for Veterans Enterprise will initially  adjudicate all SDVOSB and VOSB status protests, but those businesses can appeal  to the VA’s executive director of small and disadvantaged business utilization,  the rule says.

The VA says it considered reaching an interagency agreement with the SBA for it  to review and decide status protests, but determined that SDVOSB and VOSB status  protest adjudication should remain within VA.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.fiercegovernment.com/story/va-sole-decider-sdvosb-status-protest-decisions-rule-says/2013-10-16

See the new interim rule at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-09-30/html/2013-23759.htm

7 apps for government contractors

October 15, 2013 by

It is widely accepted that smartphones and tablets are vital business tools.   But are there any apps built just for Government contractors?   The answer is yes, and below you will find the best apps for companies active in Federal contracts.  The title of each app is hyperlinked to the place on the Internet where you can download it.

Hord

Quickly understanding the competitive world of federal contracting is hard.  Too much information in too many places makes for a frustrating and overwhelming experience.  Not anymore.  hōrd by GovTribe lets you easily subscribe to, or hōrd, the things you care about.  The combined activity of these things is delivered to your iPhone in real time, letting you quickly evaluate opportunities, competitors, COs, and more.

GovConTrack

GovConTrack provides the ability to easily search for government contracts and grants from your iPhone or iPad device. Data can be pulled directly from the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS-NG) using public data feeds, or from USASpending.gov. Network connection (WiFi, 3G, or Edge) required.

iFar

Now the entire Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) can be in the palm of your hand ready to email or reference. Completely searchable and indexed.

GovExec

Read what government executives read.  This mobile resource  features all the updates and tools to help you understand how Government works.

USA.gov

USA.gov is government made easy. USA.gov — the U.S. government’s official web portal — is now available as a free app for your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch. It allows you to search tens of millions of web pages from federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal governments and to contact your government by phone or email.

Per Diem

This app allows travelers to look up Federal government per diem rates by city/state and ZIP code in locations throughout the United States and its territories. (Per diem is the daily allowance for lodging (excluding taxes), meals and incidental expenses. These rates are established by the General Services Administration for destinations in the lower 48 contiguous United States, and by the U.S. Department of Defense for locations in Alaska, Hawaii and the U.S. territories. The U.S. Department of State sets rates for foreign travel locations.)

GSA Focus

This web app keeps you up-to-date on the General Services Administration, with news topics, compliance, and other information. There are YouTube videos and descriptions of GSA’s programs and services.

SAM.gov registration is free, and SAM help is available at no charge, too

October 8, 2013 by

Businesses interested in Federal contracting must, as an initial step, register in the Government’s database known as System for Award Management (SAM).   Registration at the official SAM site — www.sam.gov – is free.

SAM replaced another database — Central Contractor Registration (CCR) — with which many people inside and outside of Government were familiar.  SAM is a better technology solution because it actually consolidates what once were several stove-pipe, stand-alone databases.  Because of the migration of records from CCR to SAM last year, all vendors now must re-validate and update their records.  And vendors new to the Government sector must establish a vendor record in SAM for the first time.

The good news is that SAM registration is something that any vendor can master by themselves.  And if any vendor needs instruction, help is readily available free of charge.  Here are three important tips:

    1. Don’t be confused by look-alike websites.  There is only one SAM database, and it’s a secure website operated by the Federal Government.  It’s located at https://www.sam.gov.  You also can navigate to SAM by simply typing sam.gov or www.sam.gov in your web browser.  Either of these variations will redirect to the secure site.  The key thing to know is that the official Federal SAM website is a “.gov” website, not a commercial website, so SAM.com is not an option if you’re trying to navigate to a Government website.
    2. There are helpful videos now available on-line to help you with the SAM registration process.  If you need to migrate an old CCR record over to SAM, you can view the instructional video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuFGM9H0gPI&feature=c4-overview&list=UUGYKiouhiBpijT51CplQZ-w.    If your business was never registered in CCR, then your starting point is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VPGVYPvch4&list=UUGYKiouhiBpijT51CplQZ-w.
    3. If you need advice on how to organize your records in order to register in SAM — or you need help with the SAM registration process itself – expert assistance is available free of charge to all vendors, small and large.  Just contact the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) nearest you.  PTACs have produced a SAM instructional video, too, and it’s available here:  https://netforum.avectra.com/eWeb/DynamicPage.aspx?Site=APTAC&WebCode=SAM.  A complete list of all PTACs across the nation is available at http://www.aptac-us.org/new/Govt_Contracting/find.php.    In Georgia, you can contact any of the nine PTAC offices located across the state — all contact information can be found at: http://gtpac.org/team-directory.

Remember, SAM registration is necessary if you want to do business with Federal agencies.  Remember, too, SAM registration is something you can tackle yourself.  There is never a charge to register at sam.gov, and help with the SAM registration process is readily available, at no charge, from your nearest PTAC.

’10,000 Small Businesses’ program now offered nationwide

October 7, 2013 by

Goldman Sachs has announced that its 10,000 Small Businesses initiative will now be offered to small businesses nationally, enabling small business owners from across the country to participate in the program. Small business owners in all 50 states can now apply to 10,000 Small Businesses, and accepted small business owners will receive intensive training and advice from business experts and peers at Babson College in Massachusetts.  To date, the program had been open to businesses in 15 markets across the United States.

10,000 Small Businesses offers qualified business owners:

  • The opportunity to create a customized growth plan that includes financial management, people management, negotiations and marketing.
  • One-on-one business counseling and a network of support from other small business owners as well as leaders in the business world.

The national program will be delivered through two, four-day sessions held at Babson College, the leading entrepreneurial school in the country for the last 17 years according to U.S. News and World Report, and 8 hours of coursework and interactive sessions per week delivered online for a total of 10 weeks. The costs will be covered by 10,000 Small Businesses.

“When you give small businesses owners the tools they need to grow their businesses, they create jobs and strengthen both the local and national economy,” said Lloyd C. Blankfein, Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs. “We are pleased to be able to expand the reach of this program to help small businesses grow in every community in the country.”

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is a $500 million program that aims to unlock the growth and job-creation potential of 10,000 small businesses across the United States through greater access to business education, financial capital and business support services. The program is based on the broadly held view of leading experts that greater access to this combination of education, capital and support services best addresses barriers to growth for small businesses.  10,000 Small Businesses is guided by an Advisory Council co-chaired by Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd C. Blankfein, Warren Buffett, and Dr. Michael Porter of Harvard Business School. The National Urban League, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Babson College are also represented on the Advisory Council, among other groups.

“Babson is proud to extend the innovative entrepreneurship curriculum we designed for 10,000 Small Businesses to small businesses across the country,” said Babson President Kerry Healey. “The model we have created brings together Babson’s unique methodology, our experience working around the world with people growing businesses and our knowledge of how best to deliver effective blended learning programs. This educational experience is tailor-made for small businesses seeking to grow and create much needed jobs.”

The program is designed for small business owners with limited resources who have a business poised for growth. Business owners interested in applying must demonstrate a commitment to growing their business and creating jobs in their community. Businesses must be in operation for at least two years, have revenues of at least $150,000 in the most recent fiscal year and have a minimum of four employees.

Across the United States, initial results have seen that just six months after graduation approximately 63% of participants reported an increase in revenues, 47% have reported creating net new jobs and 76% are doing business with each other. The program also has a 99% completion rate.

Identification and selection of qualified businesses is led by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC).

“The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program provides the training, tools, and relationships to help local entrepreneurs and their businesses grow and create a self-reinforcing cycle of economic opportunity,” said Michael E. Porter, founder of ICIC and Bishop William Lawrence University Professor at Harvard Business School.

The program currently offers education and capital in nine sites including Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Long Beach, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia and Salt Lake City. Business owners based in, or near, one of these cities may be referred to the local program. Capital is also provided by local nonprofit lenders to businesses in six additional sites: Kentucky, Montana, Oregon, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington.

Applications to participate in 10,000 Small Businesses at Babson College are due October 18, 2013 and can be found at http://www.10ksbapply.com/.

Here are the Georgia firms who won federal contracts in September 2013

October 2, 2013 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?

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 the award winners for September 2013 right here: FEDERAL CONTRACT AWARDS IN GEORGIA -SEPT. 2013

Copies of earlier reports are listed below:

How to manage a Federal contract during the Government shutdown

October 2, 2013 by

In the wake of the Government’s October 1, 2013 shutdown, clients of the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC) have been asking our counselors a lot of questions about the implications.  Here is a summary of the advice we are giving:

  • Generally, if you are competing for a Federal contract, everything is on hold.  Watch FedBizOpps (www.fbo.gov) where a majority of Federal solicitations are posted to see updates on the status of anything you are bidding on, or have bid on recently.  Don’t expect up-to-the-minute information since so many Federal employees are on furlough, but that’s the best place to check on the status of most Federal procurements.  If you discover that the procurement official assigned to managing the solicitation in which you are interested is not on furlough, an inquiry by email is permissible.  Be patient in waiting for a reply — remember that literally hundreds of thousands of Federal employees are on furlough status at the moment.
  • Some procurements, related to essential Government functions, are proceeding with minimal disruption, but expect delays.
  • If you have an active Federal contract, it is imperative that you comply with all contractual terms and conditions, and that accurate records of shutdown-related impacts be maintained.  Knowing the terms and conditions of your contract inside-out will pay-off right now.  Be sure to read the rest of this article for tips on managing an active Federal contract.

Specific contractual actions to protect your company’s interest will vary by contract type and contract terms.  All have to do with the specific provisions contained in your contract.   Some things to consider include:

Cost-Type/Fixed Price-Type (incrementally funded) Contracts

  • Ensure compliance with the notification requirements of the “Limitation of Cost” or “Limitation of Funds” provision of the contract (cost-type contracts).
  • Develop plans to minimize the impact to the customer (the end-user within the Government) and your firm (i.e., curtail non-essential program elements to stretch program funding) and request a Stop Work be issued by the Government’s Procurement Contracting Officer (PCO or just CO) for the non-essential elements.
  • If a Stop Work is not issued, notify the PCO/CO of potential delays under “Government Delay” and/or “Excusable Delay” provisions. (fixed price-type contracts).
  • Provide direction to your supplier base consistent with the PCO/CO’s direction.
  • Ensure Government payments reflect any adjustments due you under “Prompt Payment” provisions.
  • Segregate costs as documentation for a potential delay and disruption under the Request for Equitable Adjustment (REA) provision of your contact.

Fixed-Price Type Contracts (fully funded)

  • The Government shutdown does not have an immediate impact on contract performance but, over time, the unavailability of Government inspectors or support could lead to delays and disruptions and should be documented for future Request for Equitable Adjustment (REA) consideration.
  • Ensure Government payments reflect any adjustments due you under “Prompt Payment” provisions.

Other Items to Consider

  • Proposals and unexercised options could expire during an extended shutdown period.  If it is in the best interest of your firm, a non-solicited proposal extension/option exercise date extension could be provided to the Government.
  • The Government may not be able to provide inspectors (e.g., Defense Contract Management Agency) under a shutdown and delay, so disruption impacts should be captured and documented for a future Request for Equitable Adjustment (REA).
  • The Anti-Deficiency Act (ADA) does not allow the government to spend money that is not obligated, therefore and firms should be leery of      non-warranted individuals requesting you to work and get paid later; e.g., contracting officer representatives (CORs) or other Government officials.  Only COs and PCOs can make binding commitments.
  • Be mindful of mission creep, where the Government requests you to perform additional contract tasks due to Government personnel unavailability.
  • The Government shutdown potentially impacts to your rates and long-range plans based on prolonged funding gaps and/or stop work orders, so alert your accounting staff to document all impacts of the shutdown.

As always, feel free to contact a GTPAC procurement counselor if you have questions or need guidance.  All contact information is posted at: http://gtpac.org/team-directory.

 

New guidebook reveals how government and industry select small businesses

September 12, 2013 by

There’s a brand new resource available to you — free of charge — courtesy of the national community of procurement technical assistance centers (PTACs).

Braddock’s The Winning Edge: How Government and Corporate Buyers Select a Small Business Supplier – 2014 Edition is a practical guide designed for small to medium sized businesses that provides important insights into the decision-making process within the government and large corporations, with an emphasis on the evaluation and selection stages.

Topics include:

  • Overview of the government procurement process
  • How government procurement officers evaluate a small business supplier
  • How small businesses can identify and win subcontracting opportunities
  • Characteristics that corporate buyers are really looking for in a small business supplier
  • Next step resources

A special electronic edition of Braddock’s The Winning Edge is available at no charge to PTAC clients thanks to the generous support of Microsoft Corporation.  Download your free copy today by clicking right here.

We hope you find this resource useful.   As always, we at the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC) stand ready to answer any questions you may have and help you take the next steps in your government contracting pursuits.

Nondisclosure of higher profit on fixed price contract does not violate False Claims Act

September 11, 2013 by

Last week, a U.S. District Court judge in Florida held that a government contractor working under a fixed-price contract is not liable under the federal False Claims Act (“FCA”) for higher than expected profits and “failing to notify the Government that the work could be performed less expensively and charged at a lower price” than the contract price.   U.S. ex rel. Prime v. Post, Buckley, Schuh & Jernigan, Inc., and Parsons Corporation, No. 10-cv-1950 (M.D. Fl. Aug. 23, 2013).

The nature of the contract was critical to the outcome of the case. In U.S. ex rel. Prime, two contractors, Post, Buckley, Schuh & Jernigan, Inc. (“PBS&J”) and Parsons, formed a joint venture for the project (the “JV”). The JV entered into a fixed price indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract with the Government, under which fixed price task orders would be placed. Prices on the individual task orders were lump-sum, determined in accordance with the agreed-upon labor rates multiplied by the number of days required to complete the work, and included a profit component. The labor rates and lump-sum task order prices were a product of lengthy negotiations between the JV and Government representatives. During those negotiations, which were transcribed, the Government noted the potential for the JV to increase its profit margin by injecting greater efficiency into its performance.

Keep reading this post at http://www.mckennalong.com/publications-advisories-3378.html.

New video offers expert instruction on registering in SAM

August 28, 2013 by

As you may know, one of the prerequisites for doing business with the federal government is registering in SAM — the System for Award Management.  Among other things, SAM is the government’s vendor data base — a way for government buyers (and prime contractors) to find you and pay you once you’re under contract.  The SAM database also serves many other purposes, all important to the acquisition process.

When SAM was created about a year ago, it aggressively combined several large, stand-alone databases and merged them into one.  The “data migration” challenge was great, and glitches emerged.  As a result, many vendors have experienced problems both in getting existing vendor files to move over to SAM (i.e., migrate) as well as with creating a new vendor registration from scratch.

Since SAM’s launch, the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC) and GTPAC’s counterparts across the country have spent countless hours assisting businesses with SAM.  Our professional development association, the Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (APTAC), has drawn upon what we’ve learned nationally and has created a new video that explains the SAM registration process.

The SAM instructional video is now available for viewing at: https://netforum.avectra.com/eWeb/DynamicPage.aspx?Site=APTAC&WebCode=SAM.

If you are tackling SAM anytime soon, you’ll want to view the video for many helpful hints and tips.  For further help, contact a GTPAC counselor.  If you are located outside Georgia, contact a counselor with a procurement technical assistance center (PTAC) near you.  To find the nearest PTAC, please visit: http://www.aptac-us.org/new/Govt_Contracting/find.php.