When an agency acquires manufactured products or supplies, the agency need not set aside the solicitation for small businesses under the FAR’s “rule of two” unless the agency has a reasonable expectation of receiving offers from small businesses offering the products of two or more small manufacturers.
A recent GAO bid protest decision highlights a little-known provision of the FAR, which provides that the “rule of two” does not apply to acquisitions for manufactured products over $150,000 where two or more small business nonmanufacturers are likely to submit offers, but the small business nonmanufacturers will not offer the products of two or more small business manufacturers.
GAO’s decision in Latvian Connection, LLC, B-412701 (Apr. 22, 2016) involved an Air Force solicitation for the acquisition of fitness equipment for gyms at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. The anticipated dollar value of the contract exceeded $150,000.
Before issuing the solicitation, the Air Force conducted market research to determine whether to set aside the acquisition. The Air Force’s market research included online research (such as reviewing the SBA’s Dynamic Small Business Search system) and the issuance of a Sources Sought. The Air Force also reviewed the history of prior solicitations for similar gym equipment.
Keep reading this article at: http://smallgovcon.com/gaobidprotests/small-business-set-asides-two-small-manufacturers-required/#more-5189
You just learned your company is one of several winners of a multiple-award IDIQ contract. You also learned one of your competitors, which should have been ineligible, is also an awardee. So, as things stand, you’ll have to split the contract — and compete for orders — with that competitor.
Can you file a protest challenging the improper award to your competitor? Until last week, the answer was “no.” Now the answer is “maybe” — but only if you go to the Court of Federal Claims (COFC).
To pursue a protest, the protester must establish that it is an interested party, by showing that (1) it is an actual or prospective offeror; and (2) its direct economic interest would be affected by the award of, or failure to award, the contract in question. (31 U.S.C. § 3551(2)(A); 4 C.F.R. § 21.0(a)(1)) Since its decision in Recon Optical, Inc., et al., B-272239, July 17, 1996, 96-2 CPD ¶ 21, GAO has consistently held that winners of multiple-award IDIQ contracts are not interested parties for purposes of a protest, but it has typically done so while implying that, in rare circumstances, an awardee might be able to show it has an economic interest sufficient to make it an interested party.
GAO’s most recent decision, however, articulated what appears to be a categorical prohibition on awardee protests.
Keep reading this article at: https://www.insidegovernmentcontracts.com/2016/05/hope-for-awardee-protesters/
In REB ROWE Services, LLC; General Services Administration–Reconsideration, B-410001.6; B-410001.7 (Apr. 4, 2016), the Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently denied a request for reconsideration and clarified that protest grounds are interpreted broadly for timeliness purposes.
This decision is a reminder for protestors and intervenors alike that seemingly untimely protest grounds may still be revived if they involve “the same essential elements” as timely filed protest allegations.
In the underlying procurement, the agency’s evaluation had determined the protestor’s price was unrealistic and assessed performance risk based upon the unrealistically low price. The initial protest was timely filed, and the protestor filed comments on the agency report 11 days after the agency report was filed. The protestor did not specifically invoke price realism until it filed its comments.
GAO sustained the protest based on the agency’s unreasonable price realism analysis, holding that the agency failed to evaluate the protestor’s unique staffing approach during the price realism analysis; “instead [the agency] simply compared [the protestor’s] price to the government estimate and other offerors’ prices.”
Small businesses need to be aware of the fact that the link between the System for Award Management (SAM) and the Small Business Administration’s Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS) is broken. SBA estimates that repair of this link may make as much as six weeks.
The link between SAM and DSBS is important because it is the means by which many small businesses create and maintain a complete profile of their capabilities in SBA’s database. Government contracting officers and large prime contractors use the DSBS database to identify small businesses for possible consideration as contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers.
Right now, registrants in SAM who try to use the link there to SBA’s DSBS (also known as “Supplemental Pages”) receive an error message.
There is a work-around for small businesses wishing to create or edit a file in DSBS. Small businesses can access DSBS via SBA’s Global Login System (GLS). To update your SBA Supplemental Pages via SBA’s GLS:
- Go to https://eweb.sba.gov/gls/dsp_login.cfm.
- You will need to register and set up an account in the GLS system if you haven’t already.
- In GLS, you will request access to PRO-NET/DSBS and click SBA Supplemental Pages.
- Once you are granted access to PRO-NET/DSBS, you can then click the link to update your SBA Supplemental Pages in DSBS.
Counselors with the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC) are familiar with these systems and will assist any Georgia business with the SAM and DSBS registration processes. Like all other services provided, GTPAC charges no fee for this assistance.
If you are located outside the state of Georgia, you can obtain help with registrations from the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) nearest you. To search for a nearby PTAC, use the map at: http://www.aptac-us.org/find-a-ptac/
Federal and state laws contain many construction-related requirements that are routine for traditional government contracts and contractors. Not routine, however, are applications of these requirements outside the realm of traditional “public works” projects. Private developers, contractors and quasi-governmental entities often are surprised to learn that these public contracting requirements invade projects not thought to be typical government contract projects.
This happens most often where private development projects contain one or more public incentives. Examples include tax credits, special development districts, tax exemptions, tax abatement, and development bonds. Additionally, governments often condition land use approvals of private development projects on the developer’s agreement to make public improvements (often in the nature of traffic-related improvements such as road widening, turn-lane construction, and signalization). Depending on the structure of the incentive or the improvement, the law may impose one or more of the following requirements.
Keep reading this article at: http://www.mondaq.com/article.asp?articleid=485218
Instead of reading this column, you really should be reading Steve Case’s new book, The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur’s Vision of the Future (Simon and Schuster, 2016). Seriously. It’s not only a fascinating view of his experience at the dawn of the Internet age, it’s also a blueprint for how organizations must form partnerships with governments and others if they’re going to succeed in this age of technological innovation.
But since you’re here, I’ll try to make this synopsis worth your while. The wave of which Case writes is one in which the “Internet of Everything” is giving rise to ideas and companies that have the potential to totally disrupt the way we do things. He describes it as “a phase where the Internet will be fully integrated into every part of our lives—how we learn, how we heal, how we manage our finances, how we get around, how we work, even what we eat.”
Case calls it the Internet of Everything instead of the Internet of Things, because the Internet is impacting nearly every aspect of our lives. And it can do so much more. Real time tracking of vital signs, fitness and nutrition has the potential to transform health care and our relationships with our medical care providers. Monitoring student achievement more closely can help us tailor teaching to each student’s needs. And the agriculture industry, already a voracious consumer of data, is on the precipice producing food and ensuring safety in new ways.
Keep reading this article at: http://www.govexec.com/excellence/promising-practices/2016/04/entrepreneurs-guide-future/127899/
Getting paid in the private construction business — whether it involves a particularly evasive general contractor or an owner who’s in a tight financial spot — can be a challenge. Fortunately, no matter the size of their legal budgets, contractors have an alternative to waiting out a check indefinitely, and it’s called a mechanic’s lien.
Mechanic’s liens, usually the collection tool of last resort, protect a contractor’s interests by creating an encumbrance, or monetary claim, on the project property, be it commercial or residential. The lien is public record, and, much like a loan on a vehicle or a mortgage, it must be satisfied — paid— before the owner can provide clear title to a buyer or another lender in case of a refinance. Unlike a home or auto loan, however, mechanic’s liens exist specifically to ensure that those who provide services and materials to a construction project are paid.
Steps to filing a lien
In most states, the right for contractors to file a mechanic’s lien is not automatic, as there are some legal hurdles to jump. Usually within a certain timeframe, contractor must let the owner know in writing that they are providing services to the project, and notice has to be given in a way that can be proven down the road — such as certified mail, overnight delivery or hand delivery with a signed receipt.
Keep reading this article at: http://www.constructiondive.com/news/how-contractors-can-use-mechanics-liens-to-avoid-getting-burned/418037/
The Defense Department (DoD) has put a lot of emphasis lately on the importance of cyberspace, electronic warfare and new technologies, and that emphasis is reflected in its 2017 budget request for research and development (R&D).
DoD as a whole is asking for $72 billion in R&D to, in Defense Secretary Ashton Carter’s words, “make sure that we retain the qualitative edge in capabilities — advanced capabilities.” He mentioned, specifically by name, “undersea capabilities, electronic warfare, space, cyber, new kinds of strike systems, increasing the lethality of our fleet of aircraft and … ships, and so forth.”
The individual service branches also are investing in R&D in those areas, according to budget documents released recently.
Keep reading this article at: https://defensesystems.com/articles/2016/02/18/dod-research-development-spending-2017.aspx
When you’re a small government contractor, some business activities you can bootstrap and some you can’t. One area where you can’t afford to skimp on is legal counsel. At its core, contracting with the federal government is a complex legal exercise with its own vernacular, laws, and regulations. Large federal contractors have Law Departments dedicated to negotiating, drafting, executing contracts and managing legal risk. While small government contractors don’t require dedicated Law Departments, they do require a great attorney with expertise in government contracts.
GovBizConnect recently had the opportunity to connect with Steven Koprince, Managing Partner of Koprince Law, LLC, a law firm specializing in small government contractors, and publisher of the very popular government contracting blog, SmallGovCon. Steven is a major thought leader in the government contracting community. This is Part I of our discussion with him.