Jackson Kelly PLLC

Government Contracts Monitor

GSA and FSS Schedules

Exemption 4: Protection of Confidential Information - The Ground May be Shifting

The Supreme Court recently granted a petition for writ of certiorari over (that is, agreed to review) an Eight Circuit decision involving Exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”).  What is Exemption 4?  It is the exemption that protects from public disclosure “trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential.” Why is this…

Will DoD Change How It Procures "Readily Available" Commercial Items?

The Section 809 Panel has recommended some drastic changes that would impact government contractors doing business with the Department of Defense (DoD).  What is the Section 809 Panel? It is a panel created in Section 809 of the FY 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) with goals outlined in the NDAA such as: (i) reviewing DoD’s acquisition regulations with a view toward improving the…

Mindful Negotiation and Consistency in Quoting Can Help Fend Off Misguided Evaluators on FSS Procurements

For many contractors, the process of obtaining or renewing a Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) contract is a loathsome chore only slightly less painful than repeatedly sticking needles in one’s eyes. Firms with this attitude often “go along to get along”, choosing the path of least resistance between them and their coveted Schedule contract. As a result, they might get their contract sooner but they…

GAO’s Jurisdiction Over Task Order Protests, Revisited

At the beginning of the fiscal year, Jackson Kelly reported on the expiration of GAO’s jurisdiction to hear protests based on task order awards over $10 million by civilian agencies. GAO’s jurisdiction over civilian agency Task Orders was initially conferred in 2008 and reinstated in 2012. In 2012, Congress established a sunset date of September 30, 2016, for GAO’s jurisdiction over these Task…

Short Take: GSA Cyber SINs Up and Running

Jackson Kelly recently reported on the General Services Administration’s (GSA) solicitation for four new Special Item Numbers (SINs) for Highly Adaptive Cybersecurity Services (HACS). The new HACS SINS cover four areas:  Penetration Testing, Incident Response, Cyber Hunt, and Risk and Vulnerability Assessment. 

The HACS SINs are now available under GSA’s Schedule 70, which covers IT services. GSA…

Short Take: GSA Expands Cybersecurity Opportunities under Schedule 70

The General Services Administration (GSA), a central procurement source available for all federal agencies, has released a draft solicitation for four new Special Item Numbers (SINs) for Highly Adaptive Cybersecurity Services (HACS). The new HACS SINs will be available under GSA’s Schedule 70 Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (ID/IQ) contract, which covers IT services. Federal agencies can…

New GSA Transactional Reporting Rule Substantially Changes FSS and GWACs Contracting

The General Services Administration (GSA) has issued its final rule significantly revising the General Services Acquisition Regulation (GSAR) to add the new transactional data reporting requirement.  The rule imposes new reporting requirements on contractors holding certain Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) contracts, Government-wide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs) and Government-wide Indefinite…

Don’t Win the Battle but Lose the War – Remember to Demonstrate Prejudice

“Prejudice is an element of every viable protest.” No matter how many times the Government Accountability Office (GAO) intones this phrase in its protest decisions (and it’s in many GAO decisions), the concept of prejudice and the need to prove it to win a protest remain all too easy to forget in the heat of “battle.” The GAO’s decision in Data Recognition Corporation, B-411767.7, (January 20,…

Play the Hand You Dealt Yourself: FSS Schedule Holders Cannot Change Their Labor Category Descriptions to Meet Specific Task Order Procurements

Procurements based on federal supply schedule (FSS) contracts can be tricky -- for the Government agencies conducting them as well as the contractors hoping to win a contract. The ease with which such contracting efforts can go sideways is particularly evident in the recent decision in AllWorld Language Consultants, Inc., B-411481.3 (January 6, 2016). The decision makes clear a fundamental rule…

Exactly What Does the Solicitation require? Know it and Meet it

Companies assessing and working to respond to solicitations need to be careful not to fall prey to “aspirational analysis” – finding what they want to find in the stated requirements instead of understanding and accepting what those requirements actually say. Of course, contractors sometimes decide to ignore the solicitation terms and pursue the contract anyway, either confident that they have a…

 

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