December 31, 2012 by cs
With the deadline bearing down, Congress and the White House have floated desperate plans to reach an agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff and prevent sequestration cuts from gouging the Defense Department and other federal agencies. Each day that passes means the prospect becomes more and more likely the nation goes over the cliff on Jan. 2.
The Defense Department stands to absorb a 10 percent across-the-board cut to planned defense spending over the next decade that amounts to roughly $500 billion. Every branch of the military will suffer. The individuals who might suffer the most are the contractors either working directly for the Defense Department or the ones working within the defense industry.
Industry execs like Bob Stevens, Lockheed Martin’s CEO, have stood up and warned Congress and the White House that the sequestration cuts mean his company, like many other defense firms, will have to lay off waves of employees. Those prognostications drew headlines in the presidential campaign when it appeared the defense contractors would receive notices warning of massive layoffs just days before the election. The issue drifted when the White House informed the defense industry that they notices would not be needed.
Keep reading this article at: http://www.dodbuzz.com/2012/12/28/fiscal-cliffs-leaves-contractors-guessing/.
December 28, 2012 by cs
The Pentagon is pretending the threat of the “fiscal cliff” doesn’t exist when it comes to the Defense Department’s 2014 budget.
Budget planners are preparing their 2014 budget as if lawmakers will avoid the spending cuts known as sequestration that are scheduled to hit the Pentagon in January.
“We are still hopeful that Congress will pass a balanced deficit reduction plan that the president can sign, and sequestration is averted,” Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. Elizabeth Robbins said.
Keep reading this article at: http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/budget-appropriations/274707-pentagon-budget-moves-forward-despite-fiscal-cliff
December 10, 2012 by cs
The 2013 defense authorization bill passed last week by the Senate includes a provision that would remove caps on contract set-asides for women-owned small businesses.
The Senate-passed bill also includes an amendment approved on Monday, Dec. 3, 2012 to remove current limits on the dollar value of federal contracts awarded to women-owned small businesses. The bill also calls for the Small Business Administration to conduct a study every five years to examine disparities in the North American Industry Classification System code.
Advocates for women in contracting had for nearly a decade argued that the cap of $4 million for goods and services contracts and $6.5 million on manufacturing contracts discouraged contracting officers from taking the trouble to solicit women-owned businesses.
November 26, 2012 by cs
A federal judge on Monday sentenced a Blue Springs businessman who claimed to be a war hero to more than seven years in prison for taking federal contracts meant for disabled veterans.
Warren K. Parker pleaded guilty in April in Kansas federal court to two counts of fraud, one count of money laundering and one count of making a false statement, admitting he had falsely claimed to be a disabled veteran who had received three Silver Stars and three Purple Hearts.
Parker used a false resume to secure more than $6.7 million in contracts for his company, Silver Star Construction LLC, with the Department of Veterans Affairs and more than $748,000 in Defense Department contracts, according to the Kansas U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Investigators found that Parker served in the Missouri National Guard from 1963 to 1968. He never left Missouri while assigned to the guard or in the six months he spent on active duty, prosecutors said.
October 26, 2012 by cs
The Obama administration’s efforts to reach a congressional goal of steering 5 percent of federal contracting to women-owned small businesses were showcased Wednesday at an unusual forum that brought together Small Business Administration officials; a female contractors advocacy group; and specialists at the Pentagon, the largest awarder of federal contracts.
After two years, SBA’s Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program has fallen short of the 5 percent goal, awarding about 3.4 percent of contracts to women-owned contractors, according to Antonella Pianalto, vice president for government affairs at American Express. The company joined with the advocacy group Women Impacting Public Policy to sponsor the event held in Alexandria, Va., at the Defense Department’s new Mark Center.
Of 205,000 women-owned small businesses, she said, only 1.8 percent gross more than $1 million a year compared with 5.3 percent of all small businesses. But in federal contracting, as many as 42 percent top $1 million, which is a reason she helped launch a “Give me 5 percent” campaign in 2008 to educate women in small business and to make sure they register in a federal database and certify themselves as qualified women-owned entities.
Keep reading this article at: http://www.govexec.com/contracting/2012/10/sba-and-pentagon-join-forces-boost-women-contracting/59019/?oref=dropdown
October 1, 2012 by cs
In late July 2012, the federal government consolidated several of its massive databases … and there have been problems ever since.
The new database is known as SAM — System for Award Management — and it combines several previously stand-alone databases, including Central Contractor Registration (CCR), Federal Agency Registration (FedReg), the Online Representation and Certification Application (ORCA), and the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS)
From the start of the conversion, vendors trying to do business with the government reported that they cannot establish a file or make changes to their records in SAM. And federal contracting officials have devised work-arounds in order to award contracts to deserving vendors.
Because of the new database’s functionality problems, no less than the Dept. of Defense announced that in order to avoid delays in ”the timely processing of awards,” it is temporarily suspending the rules requiring vendor registration.
If you’re tried to register as a vendor with the federal government — or change your existing registration records — there’s little doubt you have encountered difficulties.
To address this issue, the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC) has developed a webinar that is designed to assist businesses with the SAM registration process. This free webinar will be conducted on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, from 10:00 am until noon.
You must register in advance in order to participate in this live webinar. Please click here for more information and to register.
- For the latest news involving SAM, please visit: http://gtpac.org/tag/sam.
August 29, 2012 by cs
Defense contractors wouldn’t feel the full effect of automatic budget cuts for three or four years as weapons programs are facing only a 3.5 percent reduction next year, according to an independent research group.
While most defense programs would be reduced by 10.3 percent under the cuts, known as sequestration, they would take time to implement, budget analyst Todd Harrison said in a report released today by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.
“It will be three or four years before defense companies feel the full impact of sequestration,” Harrison said. “This gives industry more time to adjust employment levels through natural attrition and early retirements, rather than forcing immediate layoffs.”
Keep reading this article at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-24/defense-cut-s-full-effect-years-away-analyst-finds.html.
August 24, 2012 by cs
In order to avoid delays in “the timely processing of awards,” the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has ordered the temporary suspension of rules requiring vendor registration in the System for Award Management (SAM).
SAM replaced Central Contractor Registration (CCR), the government’s long-standing vendor database. SAM was launched during the last weekend in July 2012 when CCR vendor data was migrated to the new system.
SAM’s late July implementation included not only CCR but Federal Agency Registration (FedReg), the Online Representation and Certification Application (ORCA), and the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) as well. “Performance issues” involving the new SAM database prompted DoD’s action to suspend for “a brief period” the requirement that vendors be registered in SAM before being eligible for a contract award.
Keep reading this article on The Contracting Education Academy at Georgia Tech’s web site at http://contractingacademy.gatech.edu/2012/08/dod-temporarily-alters-vendor-registration-rule-due-to-sams-launch-shortcomings.
- For the latest news involving SAM, please visit: http://gtpac.org/tag/sam.
August 22, 2012 by cs
Contracting officers within the Department of Defense (DoD) have been ordered to modify existing contracts and establish new contracts in such a way that small business subcontractors are paid on an accelerated basis.
Richard Ginman, director of defense procurement and acquisition policy, issued this order on Aug. 15, 2012 in response to a policy announced by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in mid-July.
The DoD directive sets forth a “class deviation” so that all new solicitations and contracts contain a clause that requires prime contractors to pay small business subcontractors on an accelerated timetable. In addition, existing solicitations and contracts are to be modified, if possible, to include the new accelerated payment clause.
To facilitate the prompt payments to subcontractors, DoD is to provide accelerated payments to its prime contractors after receipt of a proper invoice and appropriate documentation.
The OMB policy is a temporary, one-year policy.
A copy of DoD’s Aug. 15, 2012 class deviation can be found here: DoD Class Deviation – Accelerated Payment to SB Subs 08.15.2012
A copy of OMB’s July 11, 2012 policy memorandum can be found here: OMB Policy Memo – Prompt Payment to SB Subs 07.11.2012
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.