For government procurement officials, right about now is when the rubber meets the road.
The fiscal year follows a predictable — but not easy — pattern for procurement officials. Early in the year, they face significant uncertainty about how much money Congress will appropriate for them and when.
And then over the course of the year, program managers may hold back on sending in requirements and contracting officials at times hold back on purchases. Politicians may argue over funding.
By the fourth quarter, there’s pent-up demand and a rush to spend. One-third of government spending typically happens in the fourth quarter.
Keep reading this article at http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/deltek-fourth-quarter-spending-rush-may-be-larger-than-last-year/2012/08/05/3da818c4-d81d-11e1-b8ce-16e9caa8b86a_story.html.
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.
With every passing moment, agencies inch toward automatic spending cuts totaling more than $1 trillion. But a leader for one of the largest federal contractors is urging the government to act as if sequestration will not happen.
Uncertainty about how much money agencies will end up with in 2013 has prompted them to delay contract awards in the current year, said SAIC executive Debbie James in an interview with Federal News Radio as part of the week long multimedia series, Inside the World’s Biggest Buyer.
Keep reading this article at: http://www.federalnewsradio.com/146/2904861/Vendors-start-to-see-contracts-slowing-down-with-sequestration-looming-
If you want to find out how your business can apply for federal HUBZone certification status, then Macon State University is the place you need to be on Tuesday, May 1, 2012.
The Small Business Administration’s HUBZone Program promotes economic development and employment growth in distressed areas of the country by providing preferential access to federal contracting opportunities. These preferences go to small businesses that maintain a principal office in one of these specially designated areas, employ staff who live in a HUBZone, and apply for and obtain HUBZone certification.
In order to qualify for the HUBZone program, your business must be located in an area designated as a Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Zone. You may determine if an address or a particular area is designated as a HUBZone by visiting http://map.sba.gov/hubzone/maps and typing-in the address of your principal place of business. If the resulting map indicates that your business is located in a HUBZone, you may be eligible to receive a preference in the award of federal contracts, but you must first become HUBZone certified.
In addition to being located in a HUBZone, there are additional requirements you must meet in order to be certified. (For instance, at least 35% of your employees also must live in a HUBZone.) Certification is a complex process, but the process could well be worth your time because of the resulting federal contracting preferences.
In order to guide you through this process, the Georgia District Office of the SBA is hosting an all-day workshop on May 1st that is designed to help you understand the details of HUBZone eligibility, the step-by-step application process, and much more.
In addition, the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC) will be conducting a session at this event to help you understand the fundamentals of government contracting, including how to identify and take advantage of HUBZone set-aside contracting opportunities.
Advance registration is required to attend. You can register by clicking on this link: http://events.sba.gov/eventmanagement/EventRegistration.aspx?id=e0148925-cc87-e111-b0b2-02bfa56e2a24.
The SBA’s HUBZone Boot Camp will be held from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at Macon State University, 100 College Station Drive, Macon, GA 31206. A map and directions are located at http://www.maconstate.edu/maps.
More details on the SBA’s HUBZone Program and the certification application process may be found at https://eweb1sp.sba.gov/hubzone/internet/general/application-guide.cfm#Welcome.
A flyer describing the May 1 event can be downloaded by clicking here.
Here’s what the schedule for the day looks like:
HUBZone Boot Camp Agenda – May 1, 2012
9:00 – 9:15 Welcome and Opening Remarks
9:15 – 10:15 HUBZone 101 and Q and A
10:15– 10:30 Break
10:30 – 11:15 How to complete a HUBZone application session
11:15 – 12:15 Panel Discussion on best practices
12:15 – 1:30 Lunch break
1:30 – 2:30 Doing Business with the Federal Government
2:30 – 2:45 Break
3:00 – 3:45 Other Certifications
3:45 – 4:00 Close out
Under a new bill, a department that misses a set goal to contract with small businesses could lose 10 percent of its budget as a penalty.
Rep. Bill Owens (D-N.Y.) introduced the Small Business Growth and Federal Accountability Act (H.R. 3779) Jan. 18, saying the government’s annual 23-percent small-business contracting goal is regularly ignored by agencies.
He said his bill would “ensure that Washington lives up to its promise to foster an environment of success for small businesses.”
Owens, a member of the Small Business Committee, said federal agencies typically fail to meet their small-business contracting goals and they currently face no penalties for the shortfalls.
Under his bill, if an agency misses the set small-business contracting goal, their budget would decrease by 10 percent in the following fiscal year, with that percentage of funds going to pay down national debt.
“It is critical that federal agencies be held accountable,” Owens said.
The bill also would offer agencies more authority to give “preference” to small companies when awarding contracts. The term “preference” is not defined in the bill.
The bill has been sent to the Small Business Committee for consideration.
It is true that the government struggles to meet its annual 23-percent contracting goal. In the most recent scorecard from the Small Business Administration, the government reached 22.7 percent in fiscal 2010.
That year, agencies awarded a total of nearly $100 billion in contracts to small businesses. However, it was an increase in prime contract dollars going to small businesses for the second year following four years of decline.
SBA gave the government a B on the scorecard for its efforts in contracting with specific types of small businesses, such as those owned by a service-disabled veteran or located in an economically depressed area.
Owens’ bill could have several repercussions though.
In a post on the Government Contracts Legal Forum blog, Tiffany Wynn, an associate at the Crowell and Moring law firm, said agencies may decide to reduce their contracting goals to avoid the 10-percent penalty.
As a result of the bill, officials would have to weigh the penalties for missing the small-business goal against awarding a contract to a large company if the agency could save money.
Wynn also questioned whether this legislation would lead to penalties on companies that don’t meet their own annual small business subcontracting goals.
In response to reader requests to count down the top 10 single federal contract awards, we bring you the biggest contracts of fiscal 2011 that were won by just one company.
In the countdown, we have one joint venture and one company that won three of the top 10 contracts.
There also are five contracts worth over $1 billion each. It’s hard to have a bad year if you capture one of those all to yourself.
Washington Technology created the countdown based on research provided by Deltek.
So starting with No. 10, the 2011 countdown begins….
10. Boeing Co.
Army Enhanced Medium Altitude Reconnaissance and Surveillance System
Value: $323 million
Purpose: The Army is using the contract to develop a government-owned, contractor-operated manned aerial reconnaissance, intelligence, surveillance and target acquisition system that will be deployed worldwide.
9. Noblis Inc.
FAA Enterprise Communications Support Services Full and Open
Value: $350.2 million
Purpose: Noblis is providing support services to the FAA’s Air Traffic Control Communications Services Directorate. Tasks involve systems engineering, acquisition and program management support, operations management and support, business and financial management, information systems development and support, and studies, analysis and evaluations.
8. Lockheed Martin Corp.
Navy Joint Counter Radio Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare Technologies
AKA: JCREW 3.3
Value: $455 million
Purpose: Lockheed Martin is supporting the development and demonstration of technologies to improve work on improvised explosive devices. Services include antennas, receivers and transmitters, signal generation, communications equipment, scalable open architectures, and other technical services.
7. Science Applications International Corp.
Defense Logistics Agency Tire Successor Initiative
Value: $725.5 million
Purpose: SAIC manages the supply chain and materiel support for the government’s aircraft and ground tires. The company will be involved in demand planning and forecasting, order processing and fulfillment, purchasing, inventory management and other services.
6. Lockheed Martin Corp.
Navy Technology Insertion Hardware
AKA: TI Hardware
Value: $758.2 million
Purpose: Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Sensors is providing program management, engineering, design, development, logistics and other support for the Team Submarine Common Production Hardware project. The project involves the continuous evolution of display, processor and network systems associated with Navy combat control, sonar and imaging systems.
5. Orbital Sciences Corp.
Missile Defense Agency Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile Target Class
Value: $1.1 billion
Purpose: Orbital is providing logistics support to the Missile Defense Agency including inventory storage and maintenance management, pre- and post mission analysis, launch preparation and execution and engineering services.
4. Forfeiture Support
Drug Enforcement Administration Asset Forfeiture Program Administrative Support Services
Value: $1.7 billion
Purpose: FSA, a joint venture of L-3 and Aecom Government Services, provides administrative support for the government asset forfeiture program. Services include personnel management and supervision, recruitment and retention, training, data analysis, legal process support analysis, and other services.
3. QinetiQ Group
NASA Kennedy Space Center Engineering Services Contract
Value: $2 billion
Purpose: QinetiQ provides a variety of services such as development of ground support systems, processing launch vehicles and payloads, flight systems sustaining engineering, ground systems engineering and other technical services.
2. Lockheed Martin Corp.
Navy Acoustic Rapid Commercial Off the Shelf Insertion
Value: $2.1 billion
Purpose: Lockheed is supporting the Naval Sea Systems Command integrate a sonar system that integrates and improves towed array, hull array, sphere array, and other ship sensor processing. The work includes the rapid insertion of COTS based hardware and software.
And the largest contract of fiscal 2011 went to….
1. Hewlett-Packard Co.
NASA Agency Consolidated End User Services
AKA: I3P ACES
Value: $2.5 billion
Purpose: NASA has hired HP to consolidate management of end-user services, devices and products. Services include a customer contract center, email, calendaring, systems administration, and integrated hardware and software maintenance.
About the Author: Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Published Dec. 14, 2011 at http://washingtontechnology.com/Articles/2011/12/14/top-single-award-contracts-2011.aspx?s=wtdaily_151211&Page=4.
The Small Business Administration’s HUBZone program helps small businesses gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities, both prime contracts and subcontracts. If your business is located in a HUBZone — a Historically Underutilized Business Zone — you could benefit.
Whether you are familiar with the HUBZone program or this is the first time you’ve heard of it, you need to know there are changes that have just taken place potentially affecting your eligibility.
On October 1, 2011, the areas of the country designated as HUBZones changed. These changes are based on census tracts and the 2010 census data recently issued by the Commerce Department. Contracting preferences can go to small businesses that maintain their “principal office” in one of these specially designated areas and employ people who live in a HUBZone. After meeting these and other standards, a firm must apply for and be granted formal HUBZone certification by the SBA.
The SBA used to maintain a web site where businesses could view a map that displayed HUBZone locations across the country. However, since census-based HUBZone designated areas just changed on October 1st, the on-line maps are not presently available. Instead, a new on-line tool has been put in place where businesses can look up addresses to see if they are in a HUBZone. The new look-up tool is located at: http://map0.sba.gov:82/gis/esri/hubzone/index.html.
With changes in the geographic areas that are and are not HUBZone eligible, many firms no longer qualify while presumably others will now qualify. Whether you were previously HUBZone qualified or not, you should use the look-up tool in the previous paragraph to determine whether you potentially qualify. Remember, a business address located within a designated HUBZone is only one step toward qualifying for HUBZone certification. In order to qualify, at least 35 percent of a company’s employees also must live within HUBZones. Thus, businesses should use the look-up tool to check employee home addresses as well. A full description of all HUBZone certification requirements can be found at http://www.sba.gov/content/applying-hubzone-program.
The SBA currently is in the process of sending out letters to all HUBZone-certified companies asking them to re-verify their eligibility. The SBA is telling these firms to use the look-up link and check addresses to determine whether they still qualify for the program.
Results from using the on-line look-up tool can be confusing. For instance, if the look-up result shows that an address will be qualified “at least until June 1, 2011″ then the address is in a HUBZone that expired on October 1, 2011. The reason for this is that the SBA originally projected the U.S. Census data release date to be June 1, 2011 and this date still appears within SBA’s HUBZone look-up tool.
While complex, participation in the HUBZone program could be worth your while. If your business qualifies for the program, and you pursue SBA’s certification for HUBZone status, you could be the beneficiary of a restricted-competition HUBZone set-aside contract.
More information about all this is at http://www.sba.gov/content/notice-expiration-redesignated-hubzones-october-1-2011. As always , if you need assistance at any point along the way, please contact the GTPAC Procurement Counselor nearest you; all contact information can be found at http://gtpac.org/team-directory.
– Compiled by the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center from information available through several SBA sources.
Lockheed Martin Corp. topped all Defense Department contractors with about $12.5 billion in 6,334 contracts and contract modifications in 2010, according to an exclusive Aviation Week Intelligence Network analysis.
Boeing Co. came in second with about $8.3 billion for 1,756 transactions, while General Dynamics Corp. ranked No. 3 with about $6.7 billion in 5,604 transactions.
Rounding out the top 10 DOD contractors were:
- Northrop Grumman Corp.
- Oshkosh Truck Corp.
- BAE Systems.
- Bechtel Corp.
- Kellogg, Brown and Root.
- Bell-Boeing Joint Project team.
- Raytheon Corp.
Lockheed Martin Corp., of Bethesda, Md., ranks No. 1 as well on Washington Technology’s 2011 Top 100 list of the largest federal government contractors.
– by Washington Technology staff, Sept. 26, 2011, at http://washingtontechnology.com/articles/2011/09/26/agg-aviation-week-survey.aspx?s=wtdaily_270911
Make room on the bulletin board near contractor coffee makers and break rooms.
The Defense Department now requires its defense contractors to post the DOD inspector general’s fraud hotline posters in common work areas. The rule took affect Sept. 16, according to a notice in the Federal Register the same day.
The DOD IG didn’t think the old rules went far enough because the Federal Acquisition Regulation allowed a contractor to not post any other agency’s hotline numbers other than those of the Homeland Security Department if the company had its own business ethics program with a means of reporting fraud or waste.
However, the DOD IG believes the FAR might be limiting the use of its own hotline. Without a poster, an employee wouldn’t know the IG’s phone number.
“According to the DOD IG, some contractors’ posters may not be as effective as the DOD poster in advertising the hotline number, which is integral to the fraud program,” the notice explained. The DOD IG is also revising its poster to tell employees of federal whistleblower protections.
The rule amends the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement, or DFARS.
In response to the proposal in May, some experts were concerned that the new hotline posters could replace the contractor as the first line of defense against waste and fraud. It would also get the IG involved in what often turns out to be human resource issues or concerns about day-to-day activities that may need immediate attention.
But the IG said its staff knows the difference between an urgent matter about a defense contract and a routine personnel issue.
The rule applies to contracts and subcontracts that exceed $5 million. It does not apply to purchases of commercial items or for work that will be performed entirely outside the United States if the contract exceeds $5 million.
Federal agencies must accelerate their payments to small business contractors, according to an Office of Management and Budget memorandum released Wednesday.
The new guideline cuts the recommended payment time in half. Previously, under the 1982 Prompt Payment Act, agencies had to make payments within 30 days from when an invoice was received. Now, agencies should make payments within 15 days, or as soon as practicable.
With the government spending nearly $100 billion a year in small business contracts, OMB predicts this will boost cash-flow for small businesses and help create economic growth.
“This will benefit tens of thousands of small businesses by getting money into their hands faster,” Jeff Zients, deputy director for management and chief performance officer, said in a blog post for OMB. The late payment interest penalty will not change, however. A provision in the Prompt Payment Act, the penalty is triggered when an agency does not pay within the 30-day mark.
Initial reaction from the National Small Business Association is positive.
“We’re supportive of it conceptually. Expediting the payment time is a good thing,” said Molly Brogan, vice president of public affairs for the group.
Agencies are expected to notify OMB by Nov. 1 when they can begin making accelerated payments.
– by Caitlin Fairchild - Government Executive – September 15, 2011 at http://www.govexec.com/story_page.cfm?articleid=48808&dcn=e_tma.