June 13, 2012 by cs
Just as the General Services Administration was announcing a new effort to modernize office supply purchasing schedules, a set of small business contractors were complaining to lawmakers that GSA’s changes were dealing too many vendors out of federal eligibility.
Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C.., chairman of the House Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce, brought GSA’s top acquisition executive on Thursday to a hearing to listen to the concerns of a panel ranging from architects to office furniture vendors who feel left out from some of the agency’s recent efforts to economize on behalf of taxpayers.
May 30, 2012 by cs
On Wednesday, June 13, 2012, the General Service Administration’s Region 4 (GSA R4) Leasing Division will host an Industry Day at the Martin L. King, Jr Federal Building in Atlanta, GA. The purpose of this event is to inform and educate current and potential lessors of relevant policy, administrative changes and of the National Lease Reform effort as a whole.
In addition to networking with peers and GSA subject matter experts, attendees will also have the opportunity to participate in the following breakout sessions:
- Advanced Automated Acquisition Program (AAAP)
- Small Business Requirements & Opportunities
- Lessor Duties
- Property Management
- Green Leasing
As there is limited seating and conference room availability, and pre-registration is required in order to attend Industry Day.
The exact location of this event is the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Building (1st Floor), Atlanta Conference Rooms 1 – 3, 77 Forsyth Street, Atlanta, GA 30303. Visitors must enter the meeting location at the Forsyth Street Entrance. Attendees/visitors must bring photo identification and provide that identification to the security guard before entering the Martin L. King, Jr Federal Building. Visitors may not to bring weapons of any kind to this Federal Building: Pocket knives, box cutters, fingernail files, glass containers, guns, etc. will be confiscated and donated to a charity.
To see the agenda, click here.
The Industry Day will be held from 7:30 am until 4:35 pm on June 13, 2012. Go to this website to register: http://gsa.gov/portal/content/132863.
May 25, 2012 by cs
In threatening a veto of the Defense authorization bill the House passed on Friday, the White House mentioned a host of budgetary reasons, but it also cited a little noticed provision on agency contracting to small businesses.
The fiscal 2013 National Defense Authorization Act faces an uncertain future in the Senate mostly because of its controversial provisions to restore cuts in weapons programs already accepted by the Pentagon.
But a package of eight contracting reform bills long sought by the House Small Business Committee also was included in the larger bill, which passed by a substantial majority, 299-120.
May 20, 2012 by cs
Get your company in shape to take advantage of procurement opportunities with Federal, State and Local governments as well as the private sector. Learn from expert presenters about certifications such as 8(a), WBE, and MBE, that give your company the competitive edge in landing contracts. Participants will also learn best practices from Georgia small business owners that have successfully navigated the procurement process. There will be concurrent sessions for certified and non-certified businesses.
As a small business owner, you could be missing out on sales opportunities without even realizing it. Small businesses everywhere have learned how to tap into the well-kept secret of selling to the government. The U.S. General Services Administration offers excellent ways for small businesses to partner with them by way of procurement opportunities. Join the Kennesaw State University’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for Procurement Boot Camp on Friday, June 1st, to learn how to utilize this great resource to gain sales for your business.
Already selling to the government? This workshop is still for you. Procurement Boot Camp has two tracts: one for those businesses already selling to the government and one for those interested in getting started selling to the government.
To see the day’s program, click on this link: Procurement Boot Camp Agenda 2012
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Katie White at 770-423-6450, or gro.cdbsaigroegnull@etihwk.
When: June 1, 2012
Where: KSU Center, Room 400, 3333 Busbee Drive, Kennesaw, GA 30144
Time: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Cost: $49 (before May 25); $79 (after May 25) – Light breakfast and lunch included.
1) Online — Click here: Register Now
2) Mail Cash or Check to:
1000 Chastain Road, #3303
Kennesaw, GA 30144
3) Call 770-423-6450
May 17, 2012 by cs
Eighty business people participated in a half-day workshop at Georgia Tech on May 16th, taking advantage of expert instruction on how to market to the federal government.
The workshop was led by Denise Rodriguez-Lopez, an American Express OPEN Advisor on Government Contracting. She provided practical guidance to participants on how to put together both a two-minute elevator speech as well as a written Capabilities Statement. When put to use, both of these marketing techniques are designed to effectively convey an entrepreneur’s experience and expertise. Attendees also received a sample Capabilities Statement, written instructions for constructing an elevator speech, and worksheets for creating a marketing strategy.
A panel, consisting of successful business leaders and government decision-makers, provided workshop attendees with insights into how the government contracting process works. The panelists included Tina Baker, president and CEO of the Cadence Group; Lesa Adeboyé, CEO and founder of The Alliance Group, Inc.; JoAnn Braxton, Business Development Specialist with the Georgia District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration; and Gwen Miles, Small Business Specialist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The panelists interacted with the audience, providing feedback on marketing techniques that work and crtitiques of individual elevator speeches that were crafted by workshop participants.
Information also was provided to participants on the services provided by the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center and the professional education courses offered by The Contracting Education Academy at Georgia Tech.
To see photos from this event and to download presentation materials, please visit: http://contractingacademy.gatech.edu/2012/05/government-contract-marketing-workshop-a-success/.
May 4, 2012 by cs
If you are a Georgia manufacturer, May 8 could be your once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Hundreds of millions of government dollars are coming available to help fund the building of future rail transportation. The Next Generation Rail Supply Chain Forum wants to develop 100% American-made supply chains for next generation rail cars.
Your company can check into being part of the action by attending this Forum during the Manufacturing Innovations 2012 convention in Orlando, Florida. The Forum will address rail industry product needs, and the requirements and considerations of manufacturers, both traditional rail and non-traditional.
Admission to the Forum is free for the first 150 to register — use the discount registration code RAIL. To access the one-on-one business meetings, you must provide your DUNS number. After these first 150, registration will cost $300.
The day-long event features a keynote address, discussion panels, one-on-one meetings with OEMs, and a networking reception. To date, the following OEMs/Tier Ones have confirmed attendance: Bombardier, ElectroMotive Diesel, Talgo, Knorr Brake Corp, and Wabtec. Other major manufacturers are expected to attend.
The rail supply chain needs you. Don’t miss out on this chance to discover how you can innovate, expand, and profit from an industry that is building the future of American rail transportation.
The Next Generation Rail Supply Chain Forum is a great value for companies interested in opportunities in the rail industry because you will have the opportunity to speak with contract purchasing agents across the industry.
May 3, 2012 by cs
When it comes to the final details of the General Services Administration’s new professional services contract, One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services, or OASIS, “everything is in play,” said Jim Ghiloni, GSA’s OASIS program manager.
Although he provided few concrete details about OASIS, he did unveil its timetable for the first time.
Keep reading this article at: http://washingtontechnology.com/articles/2012/04/26/oasis-update.aspx?s=wtdaily_270412.
May 3, 2012 by cs
Here’s your chance to gain insights — from experts — about how to market to the government.
In partnership with American Express OPEN, the Contracting Education Academy at Georgia Tech is proud to offer a three-hour workshop entitled “Victory in Procurement: Marketing to the Federal Government.”
Designed for small business owners, this event will teach you how to effectively pitch your business to the government and provide:
- Insights into how to select which government agencies to target and how to get meetings with them,
- Tips and tactics for improving your elevator pitch and capabilities statement,
- Sample elevator pitches and capabilities statements,
- Advice from a panel of government buyers and successful small business owners,
- Interactive, roll-up-your-sleeves round-table exercises where you’ll hone your new-found skills.
The event will be held on Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at the Tech Square Research Building (TSRB), located at 85 Fifth St., NW, Atlanta, GA 30308. The workshop will take place from 9:00 am until 12 noon.
Pre-registration is required. Click here to pre-register. Due to space limitations, walk-ins on the day of the event will not be allowed.
A flyer describing this event can be downloaded by clicking here.
May 2, 2012 by cs
The National Veteran Small Business Coalition (NVSBC) will be hosting their second annual Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Seminar (VETS) June 11-14, 2012 in Reno, Nevada.
A combination of practical training sessions, an expo, and one-on-one business meetings, VETS 2012 is intended to create opportunities for future and currect Veteran business owners to make meaningful connections with potential mentors, partners, clients and each other.
Complete details may be found at: http://www.veterantrainingsymposium.com/
May 2, 2012 by cs
The final Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS), released in February, is an improvement over its predecessor, but its withholding clause could cause problems and payment delays for many Defense Department contractors, experts say.
An April 25 cross-industry panel of contracting experts agreed that the new DFARS is the most comprehensive change in federal contracting in several years.
But they centered their attention on assessing the new withholding clause, which calls for withholding a percentage of the contract payment if the Defense Contracting Management Agency finds “significant deficiencies” in any of six business systems cited in the new rule.
Timothy Callahan, executive director for contracts at DCMA, said the old rule had a variety of regulations, no consistent language in determining whether a contractor’s work was adequate or inadequate, and what and how corrective actions were to be taken.
“Under the way we were operating if a contractor had a deficiency with a business system, they put forward an adequate corrective action plan; that submittal of an adequate action plan oftentimes was sufficient to change the status from a disapproved system to an approved system,” Callahan said.
“And there really wasn’t the follow-through on either the contractor’s part or our oversight to ensure that that corrective action plan was put into place,” he added.
The new DFARS business system clause normally does not apply to small businesses, competitive fixed price contracts or contracts less than $7.5 million, he said, adding that the agency will issue a withhold assessment on contracts valued at more than $50 million.
Callahan said DCMA now will use a four-phase program to determine if any of six contract business systems are judged to contain “significant deficiencies.”
“If it’s one business system, the withhold [amount] is 5 percent. If it’s two or more business systems that are being disapproved, the maximum is 10 percent,” he said.
“The withholds are against the financing arrangements of the contract,” Callahan explained, including progress payments, performance-based payments and interim cost vouchers.
The contractor then has 45 days to turn in its corrective action plan.
“If it’s an adequate corrective action plan the withhold will be reduced by 2 percent,” Callahan said. “We’re trying to minimize the hurt but still keep the pressure on to get this corrective action implemented.”
When the contractor notifies the government of the implementation, the government has 90 days to validate that corrective action has indeed occurred and that the deficiencies have been corrected.
“If we don’t get out there within 90 days, it’s another automatic reduction in the withhold [penalty] of 50 percent,” he said.
Participants at the Compusearch-sponsored panel “Contracting in a Time of Change” agreed there was a definite need for a new DFARs rule.
But Robert Burton, partner at Venable law firm and former deputy administrator in the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, called the business system clause draconian and hard to implement.
Alan Chvotkin, executive vice president and counsel at the Professional Services Council, said there is a lot of mythology surrounding the rule.
However, he praised DFARS for providing “contractor engagement and response at every opportunity. So it’s really moved to a compliance rule rather than a withholding rule.”
Chvotkin said the attributes in each of the six business systems are more clearly defined now than they were early on in the drafting process “But there’s still a lot of ambiguity and a lot of room for interpretation,” he said.
Addressing the ambiguity and need for interpretation, Chvotkin offered several steps contractors need to take even before winning a contract affected by the rule.
He said contractors should always document their own business systems, be aware proactively of the contract clauses and the risks inherent in DFARS.
Robin Schulze, director of the Government Contractor Advisory Services at accountants Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP, said she believed the strength of the new DFARS was its peer review requirement.
But she said, “I believe that when you get the initial determination [of a deficiency] if you were able, in your response to that, provide an action plan you could start at 2 percent [withhold] instead of the 5 percent. And the same thing should be true if you voluntarily disclose a deficiency that you’ve identified and have already started working of it.”
Defending the clause and the remediation process, Callahan suggested that if a contractor knows there is a problem and takes corrective action right away, “we can start out with a withhold of 2 percent, it doesn’t have to be 5 percent,” he added.
“We would like this to be a collaborative operation,’ Callahan said, “where we’re communicating as we go along.”
About the Author: David Hubler is senior editor of Washington Technology. This article was published on Apr. 25, 2012 at http://washingtontechnology.com/articles/2012/04/25/panel-on-dfars.aspx?s=wtdaily_260412.