Jackson Kelly PLLC

Government Contracts Monitor

Short Take - Minimum Wage Increases to $10.60, Effective January 1, 2019

The Department of Labor (DOL) recently published a Notice [83 Fed. Reg. 44906 (9/4/18)] announcing that, effective January 1, 2019, the minimum hourly wage required to be paid to workers performing work on or in connection with covered federal contracts, per Executive Order 13658, will increase from the present $10.35 to $10.60. The minimum hourly tipped wage will increase from $7.25 to $7.40.

By…

The Cardinal Change - A Dramatic But Important Remedy

All experienced government contractors know that it is often impossible to predict (and therefore to price), the wide range of risks involved in performing federal government contracts. When a dramatic change occurs, it can sometimes be compensable as a cardinal change - a change that occurs when a contractor is directed to perform additional work beyond the scope of the contract. Case in point: …

Are there Cybersecurity Risks in Your Supply Chain?

By now we all know that the Federal Government has dramatically increased its efforts to reduce threats to cybersecurity: witness a case in the Court of Federal Claims (COFC) where the Social Security Administration (SSA), in acquiring new printers, was determined to avoid supply chain risks it suspected were present in a bidder’s offer. The bidder protested, but the COFC agreed with the agency.

OFCCP On the Move ...

On September 7, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued 750 courtesy scheduling letters to federal government contractors, notifying them that their affirmative action plans (AAPs) could be audited. The OFCCP published the list of federal contractors that received this “courtesy”. 

The letters let contractors know, 45 days in advance, that…

The "Close at Hand" Rule Applies to Past Performance, but Not Technical Matters

Sometimes, offerors leave important information out of their proposals in the mistaken belief that agency evaluators already know—and will take into account--the facts in question. In other cases, disappointed bidders who think their ratings are too low rely on similar thinking and argue point to the agency’s supposed knowledge and argue that it improperly failed to take that information into…

Short Take: Fall Is the Season for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and OFCCP Audits

In addition to changing leaves and cooler temperatures, some federal contractors will soon also face Affirmative Action Plan (“AAP”) audits by the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”). Last week, the OFCCP sent out 750 Courtesy Scheduling Announcement Letters (“CSAL"s) to notifying specific federal contractors that they had been selected to…

Sometimes Less Than Complete Information Is Enough, but Don't Count on It

As a general rule (and best practice), offerors should always strive to ensure their proposals provide complete and accurate information that strictly complies with the solicitation requirements--and gives the procuring agency what it needs to make a favorable award decision. To do otherwise is to flirt with an agency determination that the proposal is nonresponsive or otherwise insufficient. In…

When it Comes to the 90-Day Window to Appeal a Final Decision, Don't Play With Fire or You Might Get Burned

The Contract Disputes Act provides 90 days to appeal a Contracting Officer decision to the appropriate authority. While that might seem like a long window, it is one that must be given the utmost attention because missing it robs the Board of its jurisdiction over the matter. The decision in Aerospace Facilities Group, Inc., ASBCA No. 61026 (“Aerospace Facilities”) provides a good reminder of…

Pay Attention to What the Solicitation Says

The recent decision in Distributed Solutions, Inc., B-416394 (August 13, 2018) serves as another reminder of the importance of strict adherence with all solicitation requirements. Just as contract interpretation strives to ensure that every provision in the agreement is given meaning, an offeror’s review of--and response to--a solicitation cannot ignore any of its terms.

In Distributed Solutions,…

Friendly Reminder: Protest Grounds Cannot Be Based Solely on Supposition and Speculation

There can be a huge difference being “knowing” something is true and being able to prove it. The same is true when it comes to articulating protest grounds before the Government Accountability Office (GAO). It’s not enough to simply tell a good story that “makes sense” to yourself. No matter how sound the reasoning, protest claims must be based on more than mere supposition and speculation.…

Don't Count on Enhanced Debriefing Rights to Extend Protest Filing Deadlines Indefinitely

Disappointed bidders usually want an explanation of why they lost. The bid protest regulations recognize as much and provide unsuccessful offerors an opportunity to receive a debriefing that explains the basis for the agency’s decision. The Department of Defense (DoD) recently decided to provide enhanced debriefing rights to its unhappy offerors, which is generally considered a good thing, at…

An Inaccurate SAM Registration Is Not Always a Fatal Flaw

Most government contractors recognize the importance of scrupulously maintaining their registration in the System of Award Management (SAM). Given the numerous reasons to ensure that a company’s SAM registration is accurate, complete, and up-to-date, many contractors understandably obsess over making sure that the contents of their registration are absolutely correct. Such attention to detail…

 

© 2021 Jackson Kelly PLLC. All Rights Reserved.