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Government Contracts Monitor

Short Take: GAO Refuses to Read Limitations on Subcontracting Clause into Solicitation

Small businesses and their teaming partners often spend a significant amount of time figuring out how best to comply with FAR 52.219-14, Limitations on Subcontracting. This should come as no surprise, since the clause imposes strict requirements concerning the amount of set-aside contract work that must be performed by the prime contractor and failure to comply can render a proposal…

Short Take: SBA Confirms Last Year’s Monetary-Based Size Standards Inflation Increases

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has published a Final Rule, effective January 25, 2016, adopting, as issued, SBA’s 2014 Interim Final Rule, previously discussed here, increasing SBA’s monetary-based size standards to account for inflation since 2008.  These adjustments, which resulted in size standard increases of approximately 8.73% (rounded to the nearest $500,000), were made…

FAR Proposed Rule Would Bar Contractor Confidentiality Agreements Restricting Employees and Subcontractors from Reporting Fraud, Waste & Abuse

The FAR Council has published a new Proposed Rule implementing Section 743 of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (Pub. L. 113-235), and anticipated successor provisions in future appropriations acts and continuing resolutions, prohibiting the use of appropriated or otherwise available funds for any contract, grant or cooperative agreement with an entity that requires…

Showing a “Clear Fracture” Does Not Rebut Presumption of Affiliation Based on a Common Investments Identity of Interest

Small Business Administration (SBA) rules relating to the concept of “affiliation” can render an entity “other than small” for a wide variety of reasons. Unfortunately, as demonstrated by the recent decision of SBA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) in Size Appeal of Tenax Aerospace, LLC, SBA No. SIZ-5701 (December 23, 2015), these rules are complex and often difficult to apply.  The …

Sole Source Awards to WOSBs Are Finally Here, But Certification Questions Remain

Year-end 2015 brought two important developments for Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSBs), that provide new business opportunities, as well as some uncertainty, as we start 2016. First, the FAR Council issued its eagerly-awaited Interim Rule authorizing sole source awards to WOSBs in appropriate circumstances. This new authority, which is effective immediately, levels the playing field between…

Opposition Research Has Its Limits – Knowing the Facts May Not Be Enough

In order to make good decisions about whether and how to protest an award decision, disappointed bidders must, among other things, have good information about the awardee. This is particularly true where the protest grounds being considered include the argument that the winner’s proposal violated the applicable limitation on subcontracting requirement, an attack that requires a showing that the…

Short Take: Treasury Increases Prompt Payment & Contract Disputes Interest Rates, Effective 1/1/16

The Treasury Department has announced that the Prompt Payment Act interest rate is being increased to 2-1/2% per annum for the period of January 1, 2016 through June 30, 2016. Federal Register Notice.  This interest rate is used to calculate the interest penalty paid by the Government when it fails to timely pay contractors for goods and services, as well as interest due under the Contract…

DoD Gives Contractors More Time to Comply with Data Security Rules

On December 30, 2015, the Department of Defense issued a new interim rule (80 FR 81472) amending the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to give contractors additional time to implement security requirements specified by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication (SP) 800-171. This second interim rule amends DFARS 252.204–7008, Compliance…

Words Matter: Your Proposal Must Be Clear and Convincing

If you want to win contract awards, your proposal needs to clearly and persuasively explain why you are the right choice. The words you choose matter, as does the way you arrange them. Indeed, as the recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) decision in Federal Acquisition Services Alliant Joint Venture, B-411842.2 (November 9, 2015) starkly demonstrates, sloppy syntax, grammar, and…

2016 New Year’s Resolutions

Reassess Your Size Status, Update Your DSBS and SAM Listings, Check Your Past Performance Ratings, and Update Your Employment Policies, Handbooks and Postings

Happy New Year! The start of a new year is a time for New Year’s Resolutions.  Here are several we strongly urge you to follow-through on early in 2016.

1.    Reassess Your (and Any Subcontractors’) Small Business Size Status: Most…

Happy Holidays!

The Government Contracts Monitor will be on vacation for the rest of 2015. We will resume blogging in January 2016.

Until then, we wish you Happy Holidays and a Joyous New Year!

Short Take – FAR Final Rule Implements E.O. 13672 on Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity.

On December 4, 2015, DOD, GSA and NASA adopted a Final Rule, effective immediately, amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to implement (i) President Obama’s Executive Order (EO) 13672, and (ii) the Department of Labor (DOL), Office of Federal Contract Compliance Policy (OFCCP)’s implementing Final Rule (previously discussed here).  EO 13672 amends EOs 11246 and 11478 to add…

 

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