SBA moves to ban firm from government contracting work

January 7, 2014 by

The Small Business Administration is moving to ban one of the government’s most prominent small-business contractors from new federal work, saying that the firm provided false information about its ownership and operations, documents show.

The SBA said it has information showing that Tysons Corner-based MicroTechnologies LLC and its founder, Anthony R. Jimenez, submitted “false and misleading statements” in order to receive preferential treatment, according to a Dec. 20 letter from the agency to the company. The company and Jimenez are effectively suspended from receiving new government work.

The agency said the false statements included one that “appears to be a complete fabrication” to hide the extensive role of two investors who apparently worked with Jimenez to launch, bankroll and operate MicroTech, according to a copy of the letter obtained by The Washington Post.

The SBA notice is the first step in a civil process that could lead to the banning of both Jimenez and MicroTech “from future contracting with any agencies of the Executive Branch of the United States Government,” the SBA said.

MicroTech did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

The company has 30 days to respond to the claims in the SBA’s regulatory action, which immediately makes the company and Jimenez ineligible for contracting work or any government assistance, such as loans, and proposes the “debarment” of the firm from future federal contracts.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/sba-moves-to-ban-microtechnologies-llc-from-government-contracting-work/2013/12/27/a83ede02-6f02-11e3-b405-7e360f7e9fd2_story.html 

SBA presents Jan. 22 webinar on reasons 8(a) applicants are rejected

January 2, 2014 by

The U.S. Small Business Administration will present The Top Reasons Why SBA Returns and Declines an 8(a) Application on Jan. 22, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. EST.

The hour-long webinar will cover:

  • Eligibility requirements for 8(a) certification;
  • How to present a clean 8(a) application to the SBA to enhance the potential for acceptance into the  8(a) program; and
  • The top reasons why an 8(a) application is declined or returned.

The Jan. 22 webinar will cover basic “must have” requirements and the top reasons why an 8(a) application is declined or returned.

Click on this link to register: http://ems.intellor.com/index.cgi?p=204873&t=71&do=register&s=&rID=432&edID=293

Affordable Care Act webinar to be repeated Jan. 14th

December 20, 2013 by

The Georgia District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and SCORE Atlanta are hosting another informational webinar for small businesses on the Affordable Care Act.   The next webinar for small businesses will be held on Tuesday, January 14, 2013 from 10:00 am until 1:00 pm. In this webinar, you’ll learn about the ACA and your business, including:

  • Small Business Health Care Tax Credit
  • Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP)
  • Shared Employer Responsibility

Presenters include:

  • Ms. Amanda Ptashkin, Outreach and Advocacy Director, Georgians for a Healthy Future,
  • Ms. Kim Agah, Vice President for CBIZ Benefits & Insurance Services, Inc.

Online Registration is at: http://events.sba.gov/eventmanagement/EventRegistration.aspx?id=a891c1d2-3767-e311-9695-02bfa56e2a24

For questions regarding registration please contact Ms. Patrice Dozier at 404-331-0100 ext. 411.

GAO says agencies need to comply with Congressional requirements for bundled contracts

December 17, 2013 by

Federal agencies sometimes can achieve savings by consolidating requirements from separate, smaller contracts into fewer, larger contracts.  However, consolidation may negatively impact small businesses.  Generally, when consolidation makes a contract unsuitable for small businesses, the contract is considered bundled, which is a subset of consolidation. Agencies must justify their actions for both consolidated and bundled requirements.

In a new report issued by the U.S. General Accountability Office (GAO), it’s noted that the Department of Defense (DoD) and the General Services Administration (GSA) — which accounted for more than 80 percent of the consolidated contracts reported by all federal agencies in fiscal years 2011 and 2012 — do not know the full extent to which they are awarding consolidated contracts.  This is the result of contracts being misreported in the federal procurement data system (FPDS).

GAO reviewed 157 contracts — more than half of all DOD and GSA contracts that were reported as consolidated — and found that 34 percent of the DoD contracts and all of the GSA contracts in fact were not consolidated. GAO also identified four DoD contracts with consolidated requirements that were not reported as such.

GAO’s study found that DoD generally justified contracts with consolidated requirements in accordance with existing regulations, but DOD and GSA have not yet implemented 2010 changes in the law.   Eighty-two percent of the 100 DoD contracts confirmed as consolidated followed existing regulations pertaining to conducting market research, identifying alternatives, and justifying decisions. Most of the contracts that did not comply were justified, but the determinations were not made by an official at a level senior enough to meet defense regulation requirements.

The study also found that the Small Business Administration (SBA) does not collect complete information on bundled contracts and has not reported to Congressional committees as required by federal law.

To read the full GAO report, please visit: http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-36

GSA updates strategic sourcing tool for office supplies

December 6, 2013 by

The General Services Administration in late November published a draft update of its seven-year-old strategic sourcing initiative aimed at reducing the costs of agency office supply purchasing.

The new statement of work titled “Office Supply Third Generation,” or OS3, is “the agency’s latest effort to cut costs and increase efficiencies by buying everyday supplies like pens, paper and printing items from a list of vendors with negotiated low prices,” GSA said in a release. It is expected to save $65 million a year in reduced administrative costs and $90 million through lowered prices, with 76 percent of purchasing contracts going to small businesses. Since 2006, the program has saved agencies $350 million, according to GSA.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.govexec.com/contracting/2013/12/gsa-updates-strategic-sourcing-tool-office-supplies/74702 

VA must pay attorneys’ fees in SDVOSB ownership transfer case

December 5, 2013 by

The U.S. Court of Federal Claims has ordered the VA to pay attorneys’ fees to Miles Construction, LLC stemming from the Court’s February decision that the company’s  ”right of first refusal” provision did not render it ineligible for the VA’s SDVOSB program.

In ordering the VA to pay attorneys’ fees, the Court held that the VA’s defense of its broad interpretation of “unconditional ownership” was not substantially justified–but also suggested that the Court might not reach the same result under the SBA’s SDVOSB rules.

The Court’s decision in Miles Construction, LLC v. United States, No. 12-597C (2013) involved Miles Construction’s request for reimbursement of its attorneys’ fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act.   Under EAJA, a qualifying small business may recover its attorneys’ fees for prevailing in litigation against the government, but only if  the government’s litigation position was not “substantially justified.”

Opposing the request for attorneys’ fees, the VA argued, in part, that it had been “substantially justified” in taking the position that the SDVOSB program’s “unconditional ownership” requirement prohibited right-of-first-refusal provisions.  The VA primarily relied upon SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals decisions holding that right-of-first-refusal provisions defeat “unconditional ownership” under the SBA’s SDVOSB regulations.

Keep reading this article at: http://smallgovcon.com/service-disabled-veteran-owned-small-businesses/sdvosb-program-va-must-pay-attorneys-fees-in-ownership-transfer-case/ 

Little guys complain they’re tossed aside as big contractors absorb cuts

November 22, 2013 by

Computer Frontiers Inc.’s owner thought she’d gotten a break when Stanley Inc. agreed to team up with the small technology company in the U.S. government market.

Instead, Barbara Keating says she feels betrayed. Canada’s CGI Group Inc., after buying Stanley, touted the relationship to win orders in the past three years under a State Department visa-processing contract valued at as much as $2.8 billion. Then it mostly cut the small business out of the deal, sending some work overseas, according to a federal lawsuit.

“We were a big part of winning the contract,” Keating said in a phone interview. “We definitely thought we’d all grow together because of this relationship. But that obviously didn’t happen.”

Large companies are increasingly reducing subcontractors’ roles to help cope with $1.2 trillion in automatic federal spending cuts that began in March, according to attorneys and contracting specialists. Those grievances have reached U.S. officials, who want to know when vendors won’t be working with small businesses that helped them get the work.

“We went to many different parts of the country and met with companies, and in almost every city there was someone that said this was an issue,” said Ken Dodds, director of policy, planning and liaison for the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 demanded that the government start requiring contractors that operate under a subcontracting plan to notify agencies when they’re not using small businesses that were part of their bids, Dodds said. A regulation to implement that part of the law hasn’t been approved.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-07/little-guys-said-tossed-aside-as-contractors-absorb-cuts.html

Affordable Care Act for small business webinar is Dec. 5

November 21, 2013 by

The Georgia District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)  and SCORE Atlanta are hosting an Affordable Care Act informational webinar for small businesses on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 1:00 p.m.

In this webinar, you’ll learn about the ACA and your business, including:

  • Small Business Health Care Tax Credit
  • Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP)
  • Shared Employer Responsibility

Presenters include:

  • Ms. Amanda Ptashkin, Outreach and Advocacy Director, Georgians for a Healthy Future,
  • Ms. Kim Agah, Vice President for CBIZ Benefits & Insurance Services, Inc.

Online Registration is at: http://events.sba.gov/eventmanagement/EventRegistration.aspx?id=1efa91b3-6851-e311-9914-02bfa56e2a24This is a Tele-Conference/Webinar. Instructions will be mailed to the e-mail address used for registration for dial-in and webinar instructions.

If you would like to submit a question in advance that you would like answered during the Q&A session, please e-mail your question(s) to: vog.absnull@aigroeg with ACA Seminar Question in the subject line.

For questions regarding registration please contact Ms. Patrice Dozier at 404-331-0100 ext. 411.

Workshop on women’s and veteran’s contracting programs to be held on Nov. 14

November 4, 2013 by

The Georgia District Office of the Small Business Administration (SBA) is holding an orientation to the SBA’s Women and Veteran Federal Contracting Programs on Nov. 14, 2013.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Eligibility requirements for service disabled veteran-owned small business concerns.
  • Patriot Express Loan Program
  • Eligibility requirements for the Women Owned Small Business  Contracting Program
  • How the WOSB Program can provide significant opportunities for women entrepreneurs.

Event Details:

  • Thursday, November 14, 2013
  • 10:00 AM –  12:30 PM EST
  • Location: SBA Georgia District Office, Peachtree  Center – Harris Tower, 233 Peachtree Street, NE – Suite 1900, Atlanta, GA, 30303

Register at: http://events.sba.gov/eventmanagement/EventRegistration.aspx?id=39e916df-5f24-e211-b354-02bfa56e2a24

SBA holds 8(a) and HUBZone eligibility workshop Nov. 13

November 4, 2013 by

The Georgia District Office of the Small Business Administration is holding a workshop on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013 to provide an overview of the eligibility requirements for 8(a) and HUBZone certifications, and other procurement related information.

Event Details:

  • Wednesday, November 13, 2013
  • 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM
  • Location: 233 Peachtree Street NE, Ste. 1900, Harris Tower-Peachtree Center, Atlanta, GA, 30303

Register at: http://events.sba.gov/EventManagement/EventRegistration.aspx?id=8627e5fb-a22a-e211-aa20-02bfa56e2a24