Critical steps a contractor can take to foster E-Verify compliance

June 5, 2013 by

“Yes, we use E-Verify.” “Of course, our company is in compliance, we did an I-9 audit a few years ago – isn’t that the same as E-Verify?” “I know this is not an issue, because I remember being told we addressed all I-9 and E-Verify issues.” “No, the General Counsel’s office doesn’t handle immigration issues.”

You get the picture. Many companies simply do not take immigration compliance seriously. This failing usually does not come from a disinterest in compliance, but rather from a threshold failure to understand the intricacies involved in immigration issues or the potential exposure that could result from noncompliance. Only when faced with government investigations, public scrutiny, or other negative impacts on the business do the right people in the right places start to pay attention. When they learn that federal contractors can be suspended or debarred for failing to adhere to immigration and E-Verify related issues that attention is heightened.

It has been almost three years since the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) E-Verify clause (FAR 52.222-54) for federal contractors went into effect in September of 2009.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.natlawreview.com/article/federal-contractors-federal-acquisition-regulation-far-e-verify-clause-revisited-cri

Most top contractors increased business with federal government in 2012

May 28, 2013 by

A majority of the top 200 government contractors made more money on federal awards last year than in 2011, despite major budgetary cutbacks, according to a report released Wednesday.

Overall, the federal government spent $516.3 billion on contracts in fiscal 2012, down 3.1 percent from fiscal 2011’s total of $532.6 billion, the largest year-over-year decline in inflation-adjusted dollars since 1997, the analysis said. Sixty-four percent of that total went to the top 200 companies doing business with the government.

Bloomberg Government, which published the report, analyzed data from 24 agencies and departments, and in 20 categories of federal purchases. Bloomberg found that many contractors were able to maintain or increase business by focusing on sectors that were not subject to “budget pressures,” such as space vehicles, drones, health information technology and cybersecurity.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.govexec.com/contracting/2013/05/most-top-contractors-increased-business-federal-government-2012/63049/?oref=dropdown 

DoD unlikely to cancel contracts for savings

February 25, 2013 by

Defense Department Controller Robert Hale says he does not foresee DoD canceling contracts if sequestration takes effect. Instead, DoD is more likely to deal with budget pressures by declining to pick up contracts’ option periods and simply not awarding new contracts.

“I would like to say, to reassure them, if you’ve got a contract with us, we’re going to pay you,” Hale said. Even under sequestration and with employees taking furloughs, he added, DoD will keep making payments on time.

A contract option period allows agencies to buy additional quantities of supplies or work without further negotiation between the agency and company.

Defense officials are delving into specifics on what the department really needs to buy and what projects to continue.

Keep reading this article at: http://fcw.com/articles/2013/02/21/sequestration-contracts.aspx.

Challenging contracting conditions hurt consultancy’s revenues

January 31, 2013 by

Consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton reported a 3.5 percent decrease in revenues in the third quarter of its 2013 fiscal year, citing lower demand and challenging market conditions for government contractors.

The company reported revenues of $1.39 billion in the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2012, down from $1.44 billion during the same period in the previous year. Net income for the quarter was $56.2 million, down from $62.8 million the previous year. The company’s fiscal year begins in April and runs through March.

Booz Allen Hamilton was focused on increasing productivity in the “uncertain federal budget environment,” said Chairman, CEO and President Ralph W. Shrader. “At every level in our company, we are making changes to ensure our cost competitiveness to win and perform work,” Shrader said in a statement.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.govexec.com/contracting/2013/01/challenging-contracting-conditions-hurt-consultancys-revenues/60989/?oref=govexec_today_nl.

Procurement Opportunities Guide now available at no cost

January 30, 2013 by

The 2013 edition of Braddock’s Procurement Opportunities Guide, An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Selling to Governments and Corporations, is now available to GTPAC clients at no charge!

Braddock’s Procurement Opportunities Guide is a primer designed to help small business owners and decision makers understand the government procurement and private sector procurement spaces.  The Guide provides an overview of government and corporate markets with an emphasis on who buys and how buying decisions are made.  The Guide also presents “next step” resources for federal and state governments and the private sector.

Topics covered by the Guide include:

  • Selling to the federal government/state governments
  • Selling to large corporations
  • Selling to foreign governments and international organizations
  • “Green” procurement
  • Special resources for Women-, Minority, and Veteran-owned businesses
  • A glossary of procurement related terms, a procurement preparation checklist, information about teaming agreements and joint ventures, and more.

Braddock’s Procurement Opportunities Guide is published and copyrighted by Braddock Communications, Inc.  This special PDF edition of Braddock’s Procurement Opportunities Guide is available at no charge to you thanks to the generous support of Microsoft Corporation.

Download the Guide here: https://netforum.avectra.com/eWeb/DynamicPage.aspx?Site=APTAC&WebCode=PUBPOG

 

SBA to remove dollar limits on WOSB set-asides

January 18, 2013 by

Women-owned small businesses will have greater access to federal contracting opportunities as a result of changes included in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 (NDAA) to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program.

“This new law is a prime example of how the Obama Administration is embracing a more inclusive view of entrepreneurship, helping small businesses and America succeed,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills. “Today, women own 30 percent of all small businesses up from just 5 percent 40 years ago. As one of the fastest growing sectors of small business owners in the country, opening the door for women to compete for more federal contracts is a win-win.”

The NDAA removes the anticipated award price of the contract thresholds for women-owned small businesses (WOSB) and economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSB) to allow them greater access to federal contracting opportunities without limitations to the size of the contract.
Prior to the new law, the anticipated award price of the contract for women-owned and economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses could not exceed $6.5 million for manufacturing contracts and $4 million for all other contracts.

The Women’s Federal Contract Program allows contracting officers to set aside specific contracts for certified WOSBs and EDWOSBs and will help federal agencies achieve the existing statutory goal of five percent of federal contracting dollars being awarded to WOSBs.

The law also requires the SBA to conduct another study to identify and report industries underrepresented by women-owned small businesses. As a result, more eligible women-owned businesses may be able to participate in SBA’s Women’s Federal Contract Program and compete for and win federal contracts.

These changes have not yet taken effect.  The SBA is working with the Office of Federal Procurement Policy under the President’s Office of Management and Budget on the implementation including changes to the Federal Acquisition Regulations.

Every firm that wishes to participate in the WOSB program must meet the eligibility requirements and either self-certify or obtain third party certification. There are four approved third-party certifiers that perform eligibility exams: El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, National Women Business Owners Corporation, U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce, and the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. Additional information and links about approved third-party certifiers are available at www.sba.gov/wosb.
To qualify as a WOSB, a firm must be at least fifty-one percent owned and controlled by one or more women, and primarily managed by one or more women. The women must be U.S. citizens and the firm must be considered small according to SBA size standards. To be deemed “economically disadvantaged,” a firm’s owners must meet specific financial requirements set forth in the program regulations.

The WOSB Program identifies eighty-three four-digit North American Industry Classification Systems (NAICS) codes where WOSBs are underrepresented or substantially underrepresented. Contracting officers may set aside contracts in these industries if the contract can be awarded at a fair and reasonable price and the contracting officer has a reasonable expectation that two or more WOSBs or EDWOSBs will submit offers for the contract.

For more information on the Women-Owned Small Business Program or to access the instructions, applications or database, please visit www.sba.gov/wosb.

Agencies, contractors chafe at cliff deal’s uncertainty on sequestration

January 3, 2013 by

The freshly passed legislation designed to avoid the fiscal cliff kicked the proverbial can of sequestration down the road by two months, worsening already existing uncertainty about agency spending levels, according to contractors and budget analysts.

By postponing but not replacing the across-the-board automatic cuts that the 2011 Budget Control Act slated to go into effect on Wednesday, lawmakers who crafted the primarily tax-oriented bill that cleared the House late Tuesday night ratcheted up the pressure on agency managers and private providers of services to government.

“What the press tended not to explain is that the size of the sequestration was reduced by 22 percent or two-ninths,” said Richard Kogan, a senior fellow at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. “So instead of squeezing a sequestration of size X into nine months, you would be squeezing a sequestration that is two-ninths smaller into seven months.”

Keep reading this article at: http://www.govexec.com/management/2013/01/agencies-contractors-chafe-cliff-deals-uncertainty-sequestration/60434/?oref=govexec_today_nl.

Judge upholds service contractor campaign donation ban

November 12, 2012 by

A federal judge has ruled a law banning government contractors from contributing to political candidates, parties and their committees should stand, Courthouse News Service reports.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg issued a 19-page ruling against the three plaintiffs, two of which hold contracts with the U.S. Agency for International Development and the other with the Administrative Conference of the United States.

According to Fierce Government, the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1972 bans contributions from individuals with whom a federal agency has directly contracted with for personal services.

Personal services contractors also cannot donate to any super political action committee and must avoid in-kind contributions to super PACs, Geoff Whiting writes for Fierce Government.

More details at: http://www.fiercegovernment.com/story/court-no-political-contributions-personal-service-contractors/2012-11-07

Robins AFB holds annual requirements symposium in Perry on Nov 7-8, 2012

October 15, 2012 by

Warner Robins Air Force Base is holding its 10th annual symposium for contractors and other professionals involved in acquiring products and services to fulfill Air Force needs.

The 10th annual Requirements Symposium will be held November 7 and 8, 2012 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter in Perry, GA.

The Requirements Symposium is a unique 2-day event where senior leaders and managers at Robins Air Force Base share their current and future requirements and organizational vision of the future. This insight into requirements at Robins AFB and the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex allows aerospace industries and businesses to appropriately plan for capabilities to meet the needs at Robins AFB and the Warfighters they service, today and tomorrow.

Click here to see the preliminary agenda: http://www.wrcoc-aic.org/RS/Agenda.aspx

Click here for registration information: http://www.wrcoc-aic.org/RS/Register.asp

Visit the Requirements Symposium web site for updates: http://www.wrcoc-aic.org/Page8.aspx

 

 

 

 

 

Oct. 10 webinar will de-mystify SAM

October 1, 2012 by

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.