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Government Contracts Monitor

If You're Looking for Protest Grounds, Look Early and Often for Agency Deviations from the Solicitation

While an agency’s failure to follow the terms of the solicitation stands as one of several basics grounds for a successful protest, such deviations are not always easy to spot. Often they do not become evident until the protest is well under way. The decision in the recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) case of East Coast Utility Contractors, Ltd., B-415493, B-415493.2 (January 16, 2018)…

If an "Exact Product" Is Required, Make Sure You Clearly Offer One

Faithful readers of the Government Contracts Monitor have been repeatedly reminded of an offeror’s responsibility to submit a well-written quotation clearly demonstrating its ability to comply with the solicitation’s requirements. (Here, for example.) Unfortunately, protesters continue to lose protests because of the failure to submit adequate offers. The recent Government Accountability Office…

New Year's Resolutions, 2018

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 the time for New Year’s Resolutions.  Here are several we strongly urge you to follow-through on early in 2018.

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

Happy Holidays!

The Government Contracts Monitor will be on vacation for the rest of 2017. We will resume blogging in January 2018.

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

 

If You’re Terminated for Convenience, Don’t Put Off Submission of Your Termination Settlement Claim

Busy contractors focused on day-to-day issues and future opportunities sometimes put other matters off to the extent they miss contractual deadlines. The recent decision of the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA) in Black Bear Construction Company, ASBCA No. 61181 (November 14, 2017) serves as a reminder of the potentially high cost of excessive procrastination.

The matter involved an…

If the Agency Throws You a Lifeline, Grab It!

Most contractors are familiar with the Far Part 15 discussions process during which the procuring agency identifies significant weaknesses and deficiencies in the proposals of the offerors in the competitive range. The procedure is intended to help those offerors improve their proposals so that the Government has the best possible options to choose from. In order to take advantage of the…

Short Take: It’s All in a Day’s Work, but Remember the “Day” Is a “Calendar” Day Unless Otherwise Specified

When interpreting and performing contracts, it’s important to remember that unless the contract language specifies otherwise, the FAR provides a default definition of the word “day” to mean a “calendar day.” The contractor in Family Entertainment Services, Inc., ASBCA No. 61157, learned this lesson when the Government deducted $81,692.34 from the Contract amount in a firm-fixed price contract to…

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Jackson Kelly Government Contracts Monitor wishes you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving. We’ll be taking a break next week and hope you’ll be join us in taking time with friends and family to remember all that we have to be thankful for.

The Government Contracts Monitor will return again the week of November 27.

  

GAO Bid Protests – FY17 Protest Statistics (Overall Effectiveness at 47%; Sustains at 17%) and a Look Ahead

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) this week issued its Annual Report to Congress on bid protests during Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17; 10/1/16-9/30/17). The total number of bid protests filed (including supplemental protests, cost claims & reconsideration requests) declined (for the first time in three years) by 7% (2,596 vs. 2,789 protests in FY16).  GAO closed 2,672 protests during the year,…

Sometimes the Agency Must Consider the “Best” Tool Even If It Doesn’t Meet the Solicitation Requirements

Contractors sometimes read solicitations and think, “I’ve got just the thing for this contract”, without paying sufficient attention to what the government purchaser actually wants to buy. Usually, that failure is fatal to the contractor’s chances of winning an award. As the recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) decision in Global SuperTanker Services, LLC, B-413987; B-414987.2 (November…

When Relying on Technology, Trust but Verify

Usually, the failure to timely submit a proposal to a procuring agency results from poor planning, administrative error, or a lack of proper attention to detail on the part of the offeror. But sometimes the “failure” to meet the proposal submission deadline is largely beyond the offeror’s control. As the Government Accountability Office (GAO) decision in the recent case of ManTech Advanced…

Beware: The DoD Prohibition against Binding Arbitration for Employees Has Teeth

For the past seven years or so, procuring agencies within the Department of Defense (DoD) have been precluded from expending funds on contracts in excess of $1 million unless the contractor agrees not to require its employees to agree to binding arbitration as a condition of employment. To the extent that anyone is still clinging to the notion that the prohibition was toothless and essentially…

 

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