A new report by the Congressional Budget Office says that sequestration is not required for fiscal year 2015 as budget appropriations for defense and nondefense programs do not exceed caps on discretionary budget authority.
CBO said Monday that the enacted defense funding for fiscal 2015 is equal to the limit of $585.8 billion, while the nondefense budget of $513.8 billion is slightly below the cap of $514.1 billion.
The caps have been adjusted to include a total of $86.3 billion for overseas contingency operations, disaster relief, Ebola outbreak emergency requirements as well as Medicare, Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income program integrity initiatives, CBO noted.
The report states that if Congress later adds appropriations that breach the budget caps before the end of the fiscal year, CBO will reduce its estimated limits on discretionary spending for fiscal 2016.
CBO also said that automatic spending reductions included in the Budget Control Act of 2011 will reduce the discretionary budget caps for fiscal years 2016 through 2021, but the amount will still gradually increase from $1.02 trillion in fiscal 2016 to $1.14 trillion in fiscal 2021.Reference Article
RICHMOND - Sen. Mark Warner says Virginia needs to diversify the economy in the wake of sequestration cuts, which have hit the military-heavy commonwealth hard.
"Sequestration was about the stupidest option possible, and Virginia, we bore the brunt of sequestration cuts more than virtually any other state," he said. The 2011 Budget Control Act's spending cuts could take nearly 3,000 Army and civilian jobs at Fort Lee.
Warner appeared via Skype at Wednesday's AP Day at the Capital program, a gathering of journalists sponsored by the Associated Press Media Editors, Capitol Correspondents Association and Society of Professional Journalists Virginia Pro Chapter.
"We're asking our military to do more abroad, as we see threats from ISIL, when we see our troops deployed to Africa for Ebola," Warner said. The trouble will be finding additional funding for defense.
"The idea that that's going to come at the cost of cutting education, infrastructure and research isn't a good business plan for the country," he said. He thinks reform of the national tax code, and entitlement reform, are key to the budget issue.
The Army is in the planning process of downsizing from a wartime peak of 526,000 to about 420,000 troops. Under the latest Army report, Fort Lee would lose 2,794 troops - including 879 already cut in the deactivation of the 49th Quartermaster Group - and 746 civilians. That worst-case scenario would ding the region's economy by an estimated $338.4 million in sales and $243 in income, for a total of $581 million.
Warner also discussed Virginia's dependence on defense spending, highlighted in recent years locally by sequestration and the government shutdown. He thinks Virginia can take a prominent role in the areas of cybersecurity, unmanned aerial systems, commercial space operations and advanced manufacturing.
"I concur with the governor and others… we've got to think about diversification of Virginia's economy," Warner said.
"We have assets in Northern Virginia, Central Virginia and Hampton Roads. We've got expertise at Virginia Tech," for cybersecurity. Read Full Arrticle.
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration today announced the federal government reached its small business federal contracting goal for the first time in eight years, awarding 23.39 percent in federal contracts to small businesses totaling $83.1 billion of eligible contracting dollars. SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet made the announcement at a press conference held at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and U.S. Senator Ben Cardin,
“When we hit our small business procurement target, it’s a win. Small businesses get the revenue they need to grow and create jobs, and the federal government gets the chance to work with some of the most responsive, innovative and nimble companies in the U.S. while the economy grows,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. “Thanks to the President’s leadership and a team effort among all federal agencies, we were able to meet this goal.”
Performance in four out of five of the small business prime contracting categories showed significant improvement, with increases in performance against statutory goals. While contract dollars have gone down in all categories as a result of overall reduced federal spending, small businesses still secured a greater percentage of the contracting dollars. The SBA has worked with federal agencies to expand opportunities for small businesses to compete for and win federal contracts.
“This is big news for our region especially,” remarked SBA mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Natalia Olson-Urtecho. “We have a large concentration of government contracting opportunities in the DC corridor, and that wealth spreads outward and benefits citizens and businesses throughout the country.”
Alongside the announcement, the SBA released the FY 2013 Small Business Procurement Scorecard, which provides an assessment of each federal agency’s yearly small business contracting achievement against its goal with 20 agencies receiving an A or A+. Overall, the federal government received an “A” on the government-wide Scorecard.
The individual agency scorecards released today by the SBA, as well as a detailed explanation of the scorecard methodology, is available online at http://go.usa.gov/Nxxd. Reference Article.
Do federal strategic sourcing initiatives put price ahead of good business relationships -- and hurt both small businesses and the agencies seeking their services in the process?
Wiehle-Reston East Ceremony and Open House on July 19
Proposed changes to the Federal Acquisition Regulations for 2014 include a rule that would encourage agencies to set aside contracts for small businesses.
From shutdowns to changed buying methods, the federal contracting market is evolving. Smart contractors will not only face down these changes, but find the best ways to take advantage of them.
The business impact of the OASIS program is huge. A reasonable estimate of the potential value of contracts resulting from OASIS could be $80 billion over the 10-year life of the program. The IT component is significant enough that GSA is using the program to promote other government IT goals, such as promoting the use of open source solutions and open technology where practicable.Anytime the U.S. government signals it is embarking on a program to invest tens of billions of dollars, potential vendors take notice -- especially during a time of spending restraint.
The federal government, through the General Services Administration, has launched a new program for the procurement of a wide range of professional support services. GSA has branded it the "One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services," or OASIS. The idea is for government agencies to use a common contracting vehicle for support services, versus individual agency-by-agency procurement programs, to make such contracting more efficient.
The OASIS initiative represents GSA's solution to reducing contract proliferation and duplication across government.
"This is a problem for both government and for contractors, and when we look at what the government spends annually on professional services, the numbers are significant. GSA uses the buying power of the federal government to bring down costs and reduce duplication," says GSA Public Affairs Officer Cara Battaglini in a blog post. Read full article.
Berry Aviation Inc., San Marcos, Texas, has been awarded a $10,725,000 fixed-priced, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract for Trans-Sahara short take-off and landing (STOL) services. The contract provides for casualty evacuation (CASEVAC), personnel airlift, cargo airlift, and air drop services. Services will be performed throughout the recognized political boundaries of Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, South Sudan, Tunisia, and Uganda, with an expected completion date of June 27, 2017. The value, including the base period and three one-year option periods, is $49,092,472. The contracting activity is U.S. Transportation Command, Directorate of Acquisition, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., (HTC711-13-D-C013)
Table A-2. Past Performance Evaluation Ratings
Based on the offeror’s performance record, the Government has a reasonable expectation that the offeror will successfully perform the required effort, or the offeror’s performance record is unknown.
Based on the offeror’s performance record, the Government has no reasonable expectation that the offeror will be able to successfully perform the required effort.
ASHBURN, VA — As the festivities come to a close, small business leaders return home to put what they have learned into practice. From June 17th to the 21st, small business employees and entrepreneurs traveled from across the country to participate in the 50th anniversary of National Small Business Week.
National Small Business Week is a major event held annually for all existing and potential (future) small businesses, as the Small Business Administration (SBA) dedicates an entire week to celebrating and educating small businesses and their entrepreneurs.
Throughout the week, small businesses had the opportunity to learn from seminars, gain advice from successful entrepreneurs and business leaders, attend informational workshops, and were given the chance to participate in hands-on experience led by experts in the field. The Small Business Administration (SBA) conducts this week-long culmination of events every year with the goal of educating people on the importance of small businesses, as well as assisting these businesses (present and future) to be successful.
For a promising end to the celebration, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced on Friday June 21, that the National Prime Contractor of the Year and National Subcontractor of the Year were awarded to a service-disabled veteran-owned small business contractor and to a woman-owned mapping technology company, (source: www.sba.gov).
“When federal contracts get into the hands of small businesses, it is a win-win for the federal government, small businesses, the economy and the job market,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills. “The federal government awarded nearly $100 billion in federal contracts to small business like the ones being honored today. These businesses and the industry leaders who contract with small businesses help boost the nation’s economy and they are stellar models of how to successfully navigate the federal contracting arena.”
The main events were held in Seattle, Washington (June 17th); Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas (June 18th); St. Louis, Missouri (June 19th); Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (June 20th); and Washington, D.C. (June 21st). With the exception of St. Louis, all of these events were sold out. Small business gathered their forces and came together to help educate each other in hopes of learning and growing for the future. People who could not attend the events could access a live stream, as well as media/news articles and coverage, on the SBA official website. More information about the events, awards, and news throughout National Small Business Week, can be found at http://www.sba.gov/nsbw/.
25 June 2013 -- Written By: Christine Ray
DoD, GSA, and NASA are proposing to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to implement a uniform Procurement Instrument Identification (PIID) numbering system, which will require the use of Activity Address Codes (AACs) as the unique identifier for contracting offices and other offices, in order to standardize procurement transactions across the Federal Government. This proposed rule continues and strengthens efforts at standardization accomplished under a previous FAR case. Reference Article.
The U.S. Small Business Administration's Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) Program helps small businesses gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities. The shaded area on the map below is the Leesburg HUBZone - the only HUBZone in Loudoun County.
To qualify for the HUBZone program, a business must meet the following criteria:
Benefits of the HUBZone Program include:
Is your company eligible for HUBZone? Contact us for assistance.
President Obama this week will propose legislation that would reduce payments for executive compensation tied to cost reimbursment contracts, Federal Procurement Policy Administrator Joe Jordan said in a May 30 blog post.
WASHINGTON — Despite budget cuts requiring most federal agencies to furlough workers, the State Department says it will not have to force any of its employees to take unpaid leave.
The automatic budget cutting set for March 1 would hamper the government’s ability to protect the public in a range of areas, according to several warnings that were sounded Wednesday.
If there was ever any question about the course correction the federal contracting market has been going through over the past three years, a new survey from Grant Thornton puts it all to rest.
Not only is revenue down, but profits are down too. Grant Thornton found the percentage of vendors making less than 5 percent profit or no profit grew in 2012 by 31 percent over 2011.
Federal procurement spending down $20 billion. Read Full Article.
A bipartisan group of United States Senators led by Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) and Mary L. Landrieu (D-Louisiana) were successful in adding an amendment to bolster contracting opportunities for women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) to the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2013 (S. 3254). The measure would eliminate a current-law restriction on the dollar amount of a contract that women-owned small businesses can compete for, putting them on a level playing field with the other federal small business socio-economic contracting programs. The federal government has consistently failed to meet its annual women's contracting goal of five percent, and this provision will assist in satisfying, if not exceeding that goal. The amendment was cosponsored by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York), Scott P. Brown (R-Massachusetts), Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland), Mark Kirk (R-Illinois), and Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania).
"Simply put, women-owned small businesses have yet to receive their fair share of federal contracting dollars, and as the fastest growing segment of our economy, women-owned small businesses will play a critical role in helping our nation recover from the recent recession," the Senators said. "This inequity was the impetus behind the women's contracting program that Congress authorized on December 21, 2000, and over a decade later, the program was finally implemented by the SBA. While we applaud this Administration's efforts to finally put in place a functioning program, the unfortunate fact is that women-owned small businesses will still face a disadvantage when compared to HUBZone, 8(a), and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses. Our amendment will help put women-owned firms on a level playing field with these other socio-economic groups to ensure their maximum participation in the federal contracting process."
Women-owned small business advocates and leaders praised the news.
"This is a very important step toward bridging the gap for women entrepreneurs who wish to do business with the world's largest consumer - the federal government," said Barbara Kasoff, President of Women Impacting Public Policy. "We would like to thank Senator Olympia Snowe and her colleagues for their commitment to building a better partnership between government and the women-owned small business community."
"Implementing a women-owned small business procurement program but limiting the size of the awards was akin to opening the door of opportunity only part-way," said Julie R. Weeks, chair of the board of the Association of Women's Business Centers and president & CEO of Womenable. "This amendment not only will provide more opportunities for WOSB contractors, it will increase competition and provide greater value to federal agencies."
"We congratulate this bipartisan group of Senators on their leadership moving forward the first of the several modifications that are needed to improve the effectiveness of the Women's Procurement Program," said Margot Dorfman, Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce. "Removing the cap on federal contracts for women is an important first step to bring parity to the set aside programs. We hope that Congress will build on the Senators' efforts to bring the rest of the needed changes to provide fair access to federal contracts for women-owned firms." Read full article.
Major U.S. companies including General Dynamics and Medtronic have received billions of dollars in federal government contracts that were supposed to go to small businesses.
A panel composed of the director of the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, a Vice President and General Manager from Computer Sciences Corporation, and a Founder and CEO of a telecommunications company held a discussion early in November at the Tysons Tower Club.
When speaking about how his agency determines the specifications of upcoming solicitations, Kevin Boshears, Director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization said that his agency “looked at all the tools that we have in the toolbox in order to craft the solicitation, based on the market research results that we receive." It's very important for small companies to respond to Sources Sought notices, as they allow government agencies to get a better understanding of what products and services are available in the market place, as well as what sort of businesses are capable of providing such services. For example, if enough Veteran owned or woman-owned firms respond to the Sources Sought notice, it's possible that the solicitation may mark the solicitation as a Set-Aside for that particular business.
From a large prime contractor's standpoint, Patrick Schambach, Vice President and General Manager of Computer Sciences Corporation’s DHS Division, advised that small businesses that want to become subcontractors to a contract should approach Prime Contractors "as a prime". By that, he means that small businesses should initiate conversation with a specific deal and agenda in mean. That means identifying the capabilities that you have as an organization, as well as doing research on the Prime Contractor and their requirements prior to coming in and making a pitch. More specifically, potential subcontractors should establish an intimacy with the client, have a proven past performance with the services being provided, and understanding your organization and how it fits into the big picture.
Meanwhile, Joe Fergus, the Founder and CEO of Communications Technologies, Inc., advised that small businesses must be able to bring a value proposition to the table. Mr. Fergus advised that relationship building was the key to get the ball moving. Subcontracting is a means through which a small business can participate and get their foot through the door on a contract. Constructive dialogue is a must when seeking to participate on a contract with a prime as a subcontractor.
What happens once you become a subcontractor?
Mr. Schambach notes that one of the major keys to continuing work participation is by continuing to build the relationship between the Prime and the subcontractor. As a subcontractor, you must continue to excel in performing according to the contract requirements.
In terms of protecting yourself as a subcontractor, and that you receive the amount of work that was promised to you, Mr. Schambach advised that you should hold a kickoff meeting with the senior team involved with the contract. In this meeting, both the subcontractor and the prime have an eyeball-to-eyeball discussion, and they should make sure that they hold the person who agreed to the amount of work guaranteed to the subcontractor accountable.
Other methods of acquiring government contracts.
It should be noted that the opportunities that are released on FedBizOpps.gov only comprise 20-25% of all business opportunities within the government. The rest of that government business is being conducted on a task order basis.
Task orders are a way of acquiring government business. A small business that is in the process of acquiring such business should ask themselves, “is our organization in a position to prime one of these task orders?” or “how do we get ourselves on a team that would allow us to get into one of these task orders?”
Presidential Debates – On Sequestration
Sequestration is set to take place a little more than two months from now. Both President Obama and Mitt Romney have gone on the record with their intent to prevent sequestration from occurring. Here’s what each of the candidates said regarding the topic on the third and last presidential debate held on October 22, 2012.
President Obama: “First of all, the sequester is not something that I've proposed. It is something that Congress has proposed. It will not happen. The budget that we are talking about is not reducing our military spending. It is maintaining it.”
Governor Romney: “Former chief of the -- Joint Chiefs of Staff said that -- Admiral Mullen said that our debt is the biggest national security threat we face. This -- we have weakened our economy. We need a strong economy. We need to have as well a strong military. Our military is second to none in the world. We're blessed with terrific soldiers, and extraordinary technology and intelligence. But the idea of a trillion dollar in cuts through sequestration and budget cuts to the military would change that. We need to have strong allies.”
“Our Navy is old -- excuse me, our Navy is smaller now than at any time since 1917. The Navy said they needed 313 ships to carry out their mission. We're now at under 285. We're headed down to the low 200s if we go through a sequestration. That's unacceptable to me.”
It remains to be seen how the result of the election, if any, will factor into the impending January 2, 2013 sequestration.
Agency chief acquisition officers are not playing a big role in planning for sequestration or even future budget cuts.
Prospective contractors won't have to register online to sell goods and services to the Defense Department, as required by the Federal Acquisition Regulation, because of technical problems with the government's newly launched procurement system.
An Aug. 21 memo from Richard Ginman, director of defense procurement and acquisition policy, pointed to issues with the System for Award Management in announcing that contractors would not have to adhere to the registration requirement before bidding on government work. Read full article.
A proposed a rule could result in more set aside solicitations for research and development being awarded to small business, when capable and willing companies exist. Currently, the wording of a provision of the Federal Acquisition Regulation regarding research and development procurements might be an impediment to smaller firms.
The FAR states:
"In making R&D small business set-asides, there must also be a reasonable expectation of obtaining from small businesses the best scientific and technological sources consistent with the demands of the proposed acquisition for the best mix of cost, performances, and schedules."
Acquisition officials at the DoD, NASA, and the General Services Administration have proposed a revision that removes the phrase: "consistent with the demands of the proposed acquisition for the best mix of cost, performances, and schedules."
The phrase would add additional and unique condition that contracting officers have to establish before they can proceed with small-business set-asides, the SBA has noted.
The proposed new wording makes clear that the contracting officer need only determine that there are small businesses capable of handling the specialized work based on market research, in order to justify the set-aside.
The proposed rule is intended to remove potential barriers for small businesses, comments are being accepted through Oct. 9. Reference NAGC Article.
Small businesses that have been federal contractors for more than 10 years, or that have won more than $1 million in government contracts, tend to invest more time and money in seeking work, and submit more bids than their less active counterparts, a new survey shows.
The American Express OPEN survey found, on average, these so-called “procurement leaders” leaders spent $233,457 in preparing their bids for federal contracts in 2010, both in terms of staff time and direct expenditures. “Casual” contractors — those that have been contracting for less than three years and have won less than $1 million in federal contracts — only spent $31, 278 over the same period.
Women are changing the face of America's economy, the Bureau of the Census has reported. Women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) are increasing in number, range, diversity and earning power. As women business owners expand their companies, they contribute to the growth of our national economy.
Annually, the DoD awards nearly $2 billion in prime contracts and $2.4 billion in subcontracts to WOSB concerns. All DoD subcontracting plans are required to have a separate goal for awards to WOSBs. The DoD considers the extent of participation by small business concerns when awarding contracts.
The focus of the DoD WOSB program is the provision of effective outreach, training and technical assistance in order to increase the accessibility of WOSB concerns to DoD procurement opportunities. Reference Article.
The companies will compete for task orders to provide services for testing, scientific, engineering, logistics, administrative, purchasing and ancillary support.
The seven companies are:
CGI’s win came through Oberon Associates, which was acquired by Stanley Associates, which in turn was acquired by CGI.
The services under the contract will include operation and maintenance of test tools, labs, networks, infrastructure and administration.
Each company is guaranteed $100,000. The contract has a one-year base and four one-year options. There is a phase-in period from July 30 to Oct. 28. The first year of the contract then begins on Oct. 29.
Work will take place at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., and Indian Head and Forte Meade, Md.
DISA received seven proposals for the contract. Reference Article.
Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), chairman of the Small Business Committee, is sponsoring the Government Efficiency Through Small Business Contract Act of 2012 (H.R. 3850).
If this bill is approved, it will raise the small business contracting goal to 25 percent from the original 23 percent. It would also seek to make senior leadership in each agency accountable in attaining those goals. Rep. Graves has attached this bill to the 2013 Defense Authorization bill.
By: Ira Evangelista, GovPartners Market Analyst
5/10/2012 - GovPartners attended the The IT Budget Battle: Achieving Savings from Year One, Session One hosted by MICRO FOCUS. Below is a summary of what we learned.
Government agencies are bogged down by legacy systems that were first created before most of the programmers and software developers currently utilizing them were even born.
By 2015, 70% of application modernization projects will entail fundamental and complete shifts in technologies and infrastructure. In an effort to cut down on costs, paperwork, for example, is going cloud. As long as you have ubiquitous mobile connectivity, cloud technology will allow firms and agencies to scale up and down according to their needs.
The big drivers of IT will be mobile, social, and big data. According to the panelists below, the next ten years in IT will be huge.
An IT Summit sponsored by Micro Focus in May included a panel of industry insiders from both the Federal and Commercial sectors:
· Dorothy Aronson, Acting Director, Division of Information Systems, National Science Foundation
· Susan Drennan, Vice President of Channel Sales, North America, Micro Focus
· Bob Ellsworth, Director, Platform Modernization and Application Platform Compete, Enterprise & Partner Group, Microsoft
· Amy Northcutt, Chief Information Officer, National Science Foundation
The panelists cited examples as to what steps agencies and commercial companies alike could implement to modernize their aging legacy systems. Below are the examples cited:
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has always been one of the agencies which adopted new technologies early on. In 1997, it created Fast Lane, a tool which automated processes which were originally composed of data entry flows. At the time, it was a big deal for a Federal Agency to become paperless.
At this point, the NSF is moving towards a strategic planning phase in regards to how to modernize its legacy systems, followed by a governance process while simultaneously undertaking a performance review.
The NSF has always sought to evolve in a way in which it predicts the market to be evolving. The experts from the NSF gave the following advice on how to position an agency or firm in regards to modernizing a legacy system:
A Ferry ticketing company in Spain was able to modernize their systems seamlessly, investing in new IT infrastructures while simultaneously reducing their operating costs. They moved forward with modernizing their legacy systems. Their operating costs went from $1.2MM per year to $150,000 per year. However, the cost was $2MM to implement. Microsoft allowed the company to finance the modernization program so that they paid their usual operating costs for two years.
Another company in Richmond, VA first rehosted their mainframe application, which allowed them to save up to $6MM per year. They then used those savings to reinvest in a modernization/ rewrite project.
Starting Points to Modernization of Legacy Systems:
Have knowledge of the environment
Make sure that you employ personnel which possess the right kind of skills
Identify what it will take to modernize the system as well as when the opportune time to act is
A poignant observation from Dorothy Aronson, is that companies must be able to discern what action is sustainable and what is not. NSF began virtualization early in the process, but it is only recently, after the technology and cost became affordable that modernization made sense for the organization.
A majority of the initiatives GAO reviewed (26 of 30) met, or expected to meet, the Department of Defense’s (DOD) expectation for fielding a capability in response to joint urgent operational needs within 2 years. However, performance in meeting schedule estimates varied, and more than half of the initiatives experienced schedule delays.
On April 10, 2012 US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the launch of a DOT Mentor-Protégé Pilot Program during DOT’s Small Business Day: Moving Forward. This pilot program was created to enhance the capability of minority and small business owners to successfully compete for and perform in federal procurement opportunities. Managed by the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU), the program will provide an opportunity for small businesses to create strategic alliances with successful large or prime contractors to receive technical assistance and move their businesses to the next level.
Last week, the House Small Business Committee advanced six (6) bills aimed at reforming a wide range of contracting policies, all aimed at helping small businesses.
1.HR 3850, the Government Efficiency Through (GET) Small Business Contracting Act which raises the small business contracting goal from 23% to 25%.
2. HR 3851, the Small Business Advocate Act which improves the ability of small business advocates (OSDBUs) to increase agency contract awards to small businesses.
3. HR 3893, the Subcontracting Transparency And Reliability (STAR) Act, which improves enforcement of subcontracting plans and increases small business teaming opportunities.
4. HR 3980, the Small Business Opportunity Act, which requires a greater role for procurement center representatives in reviewing acquisition plans for barriers and advocating for increased use of small businesses.
5. HR 4118, the Small Business Procurement Improvement Act, which requires federal agencies to include small businesses in multiple award contracts.
6. HR 4121, the Early Stage Small Business Contracting Act, which sets aside certain contracts ranging from $3,000 to $75,000 for small business startups.
Companies would lose the opportunity to respond to performance reviews written by government officials under a new contracting bill. The reviews often play a major role in winning future contracts.
The Comprehensive Contingency Contracting Reform Act (S. 2139), which was introduced Feb. 29, would revise language in the Federal Acquisition Regulation that gives companies 30 days to comment, provide additional information or rebut a contracting official’s assessment of their work. The same FAR provision requires agencies to provide companies with a copy of the work performance evaluation. Read full article
During the past year, revenue from government contracts has grown for 50% of survey participants, while 21% experienced no significant change and 29% experienced reductions in revenue. The fact that the highest percentage of companies experienced revenue growth continues a long-term trend reported in previous surveys, indicating that government contractors are far less vulnerable than commercial companies to recessions or slow growth in the overall economy. However, the 29% of companies experiencing revenue reductions is the highest percentage reported in several surveys, indicating that government efforts to reduce deficits are adversely impacting government contractor revenue. Read Full Report.
Forty-eight companies will vie for almost $6 billion in task orders as the Air Force unveils two indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity firm-fixed-price contracts for a variety of support services.
Twenty-nine companies have been named to two contractor pools worth a total of $4.7 billion: a full and open competition pool for large businesses and a small business pool. Both call for management and professional support services, studies, analyses and evaluations, and engineering and technical services, according to a Nov. 29 Defense Department announcement.
The task orders call for assistance for facilities at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, including Headquarters Air Force Materiel Command, Aeronautical Systems Center, Air Force Research Laboratory, Air Force Institute of Technology, and National Air and Space Intelligence Command.
The Acquisition Management Integration Center in Newport News, Va., is the contracting activity.
The large business awards go to:
Booz Allen Hamilton
CACI International Inc.
Computer Sciences Corp.
Cubic Applications Inc.
Jacobs Technology Inc./Tybrin Corp.
L-3 Services Inc.
Science Applications International Corp.
Spectrum Comm Inc.
The Analysis Group, L.L.C.
Small business awards go to:
Apogee Solutions Inc.
Avanco International Inc.
Blue Force L.L.C.
Catapult Consultants L.L.C.
ComCon Technologies Inc.
D3 Air and Space Operations
Object CTalk Inc.
Phantom Eagle L.L.C.
Pioneer Technologies Corp.
Sawdey Solution Services Inc.
Insignia Technology Services L.L.C.
R&K Enterprise Solutions
Under the second multiple-award contract, 19 companies will compete for a total maximum of $950 million in task orders.
These task orders also will provide support in the areas of management and professional support services, studies, analyses and evaluations; and engineering and technical services at the named facilities at Wright-Patterson AFB.
The Aeronautical Systems Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, is the contracting activity on this contract.
Array Information Technology Inc.
Centech Group Inc.
Enterprise Information Services, Inc.
Innovative Technologies Corp.
Leader Communications Inc.
MCR Federal L.L.C.
National Technologies Associates Inc.
Paragon Technology Group Inc.
Quantech Services Inc.
Spectrum Comm Inc.
This analysis is a first-ever, in-depth review of the characteristics of women-owned firms in federal contracting and a comparison of those characteristics with those of all women-owned firms. It will enable public-policy makers, government procurement officials, women business owners themselves, and other interested parties to gain a greater understanding of the women entrepreneurs who are providing products and services to federal government agencies. Reference article. Download analysis.
Most small businesses feel intimidated when competing with larger businesses. If you review the Top 100 Government Prime Contractors List, published by Washington Technology.com, majority of the companies are large businesses. If you are a small business reviewing a government solicitation, you may come to the conclusion that the requirement is tailored for a large business. You may ask yourself, why bid? In most cases, you would not bid. The truth is, the government encourages large and small business participation. The small business set-aside programs are not only used for small businesses to respond, but the subcontracting plans that mandate large businesses to respond to a solicitation also require a planned percentage to be subcontracted or set-aside for small businesses. This seems to be fair for the small businesses, but the question is, is it fair to large businesses? Why are they required to share a piece of their pie with small businesses?
The federal government has an overall goal of setting aside 23% of prime contracts flowing to small businesses. Every federal government purchase anticipated to be valued from $2500 to $100,000 is automatically set-aside for small businesses as long as there are at least 2 companies that can provide the product/service. Contracts over $100,000 can be set aside if enough small businesses are qualified to do the work. Contracts over $500,000 have to include a small business subcontracting plan ensuring small businesses an opportunity to obtain work under these large contracts.
Without these set-aside programs, large companies would continue to dominate the federal market and the small businesses would go out of business, never get off the ground, or never be created due to the lack of projected demand. For years, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Boeing, and other prime contractors continued to capitalize on the federal marketplace. Without the small businesses set-aside programs, the small businesses would not be able to participate, gain financial stability, or grow into a medium to large size business. If the government had to choose between a Top 100 prime contractor and a small business, they would most likely pick the large prime. The set-aside programs ensure that the government gives the little guy a chance. This also benefits the government in the long run because the small guy is enabled and expanded to become a contender for other contract vehicles. This promotes efficient and effective competition. It also provides the government with competitive and responsible buying options.
The 8(a) program is a good example of a fair set-aside program, when properly executed. There is a certain time allotted for the small business to take advantage of set-aside contracts, learn the ropes, gain financial stability, capture commercial business to off-set the government revenue, and grow into a medium to large size company. This opens up a new slot for another small business, and enables your company to subcontract and help other small businesses. I guess you could call this the government’s small business circle of life. If rules are followed, it works for all parties involved.
Contact GovPartners to find out how your organization can join the government's circle of life.
On 14 Nov 2011, OMB and SBA issued a memorandum to Procurement officials regarding the improvement of small business data. Quality and timely Federal procurement data are essential to increasing Federal small business contract awards and achieving the agencies small business contracting goals. Actions are being taken to improve the quality of procurement data on small business contract awards.
As a result of these changes separate processes related to small business data quality are being aligned to increase awareness and attention on small business contracting data. Integrating small business data quality reviews into routine agency processes and procedures is expected to reduce burden on the acquisition workforce, facilitate improved acquisition planning, and increase data accuracy of awards made to small businesses.
Accordingly, OMB and SBA asks all procurement officials to increase the attention given to small business data quality as part of their ongoing data validation efforts. Reference memorandum.
OSDBU is pleased to make the Fall DOT Biz Journal available for download. This issue is chock full of highlights on several small business programs and events that have been held recently by the OSDBU across the country, as well as important information on planned and potential procurement opportunities for federal and state transportation-related contracts. Recent and ongoing programs highlighted include several DOT Safety Days hosted by the OSDBU’s Small Business Transportation Centers and the continuation and expansion of the hugely successful Bonding Education Program in its second year into several cities around the nation.
With the beginning of the fiscal year on October 1st, OSDBU released its FY 2012 Procurement Forecast and we provide an overview of how to search the online system for potential opportunities with the Department in the next 12 months. This edition also discusses some of the key transportation infrastructure proposals that are included in President Obama’s American Jobs Act presented to Congress in September. Also included are articles on the states of Illinois and Maine multi-year transportation plans which provide key insight into planned highway, bridge and transit projects in their states in the coming years as part of the regular Follow the Money feature. (Reference DOT electronic notifications 31 Oct 2011)
Click the following link to download the DOT Biz Journal [Download]
The Defense Information Systems Agency has a new director: Air Force Maj. Gen. Ronnie Hawkins will succeed Lt. Gen. Carroll Pollett as the agency's leader, according to a release from the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
Hawkins returns to DISA after a brief stint at the Pentagon as the Joint Staff's deputy director, command, control, communications and computer systems, a role he has filled since July. Prior to his Joint Staff assignment, Hawkins was DISA's vice director under Pollett.
He will be based at DISA's Ft. Meade, Md., headquarters. Reference Article
A proposed rule to curb agencies’ little used capacity to offer higher payments to needier contractors “will have no impact on the government’s ability or commitment to drive contracting opportunities for small disadvantaged businesses,” Dan Gordon, administrator of the White House Office of Federal Procurement Policy, said Friday.
In a blog post for the Office of Management and Budget, Gordon sought to reassure some in the minority business community that a proposed regulation issued in September by the Small Business Administration is a routine “housekeeping” tool designed to catch the law up with a 2008 court ruling that declared such price premiums unconstitutional.
“The proposed rule in no way changes the fundamental policies, practices or programs that agencies have been using in recent years to achieve strong SDB participation in the federal marketplace, including the goal of awarding 5 percent of federal procurement dollars to SDBs,” Gordon wrote.
The affected agencies — the Defense Department, NASA and the U.S. Coast Guard — have not used price premiums to attract disadvantaged small contractors in years, Gordon noted. But the administration has “been working with the Minority Business Development Agency to strengthen the bond between contracting, small business and program offices at every agency,” Gordon wrote. “Since the beginning of [fiscal] 2009, agencies have awarded more than $85 billion in contracts to SDBs, exceeding the goal of awarding at least 5 percent of contract dollars to SDBs.” In fiscal 2010, he added, contract awards to small disadvantaged businesses accounted for 7.95 percent of all eligible contract dollars, “well above the goal.”
Gordon’s clarification came as the Obama administration readied a new set of executive actions designed to spur job creation in large and small businesses while Congress debates the president’s larger proposed jobs package.
The perception among some that ending premium payments to disadvantaged businesses was a pullback in the administration’s commitment was rejected by Molly Brogan, vice president of public affairs for the National Small Business Association. “At the end of the day, small businesses just want a level playing field,” she told Government Executive. “Ensuring that small businesses — including SDB businesses — have a fair opportunity to compete for federal dollars ought to be the No. 1 goal. We don’t believe this new rule will change [that] in any way.”
Raul Espinosa, founder of a Jacksonville, Fla. – based university nonprofit called the Fairness in Procurement Alliance, which has been pressing for stronger rules on accelerating payments to small disadvantaged businesses, said he was grateful for the administration’s overall effort, but worries it might be “lip service.” Changes “will mean nothing unless they’re codified into the federal acquisition regulation and referred to in actual contracts,” he said. Reference Article
With Congress poised to slash spending to cut the deficit, more large companies are seeking an edge in the competition for federal dollars by acquiring small contractors.
Acquisitions of small government vendors rose by 22.4% last year to 71, the highest level since 2000, according to calculations by Houlihan Lokey, an investment bank in Los Angeles.
Last year was "the most transactions in this space ever," and this year's acquisitions are on pace to match it, said Jean Stack, a managing director at Houlihan Lokey. Read Full Article
Out go all the U.S. troops by year’s end, President Obama said Friday about Iraq. And in go the contractors, along with some familiar contracting problems, say other government officials and independent experts.
As the United States pulls out its remaining 50,000 or so troops after a decade of conflict costing around $1 trillion, many of the soldiers’ non-fighting functions will be pursued by a force of State Department-funded government contractors expected to near 15,000.
That preliminary estimate, now being circulated by the administration among lawmakers on Capitol Hill, would represent an overwhelming share of the official remaining U.S. presence in the unsettled country. But even after wide publicity about past contracting abuses and waste, new scandals may trail behind this persistent deployment, according to a commission created by Congress to study the missteps so far.
“After a decade of war, the government remains unable to ensure that taxpayers and warfighters are getting good value for contract dollars spent,” Dov S. Zakheim, a former Pentagon comptroller and a member of the congressionally-created Commission on Wartime Contracting, told the Senate Armed Services committee a day before Obama’s announcement.
In an August report, prepared after a three-year study of contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, the commission estimated that between $30 billion and $60 billion has been lost to waste and fraud so far in those conflicts, representing 15 to 30 percent of all that Washington has spent on contractor-provided security, civil reconstruction, training, and other nation-building work. Read Full Article
DoD, GSA, and NASA are proposing to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to address the impact of the decision in Rothe Development Corporation vs. the DoD and the U.S. Department of the Air Force (USAF) on small disadvantaged business concerns and certain institutions of higher education.
DATES: Interested parties should submit written comments to the Regulatory Secretariat at one of the addresses shown below on or before November 8, 2011 to be considered in the formation of the final rule.
ADDRESSES: Submit comments in response to FAR Case 2009-016 by any of the following methods: Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov. Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by inputting ``FAR Case 2009-016'' under the heading ``Enter Keyword or ID'' and selecting ``Search.'' Select the link ``Submit a Comment'' that corresponds with ``FAR Case 2009-016.'' Follow the instructions provided at the ``Submit a Comment'' screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and ``FAR Case 2009-016'' on your attached document. Fax: (202) 501-4067. Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat (MVCB), Attn: Hada Flowers, 1275 First Street, NE., 7th Floor, Washington, DC 20417. Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite FAR Case 2009-016, in all correspondence related to this case. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Karlos Morgan, Procurement Analyst, at (202) 501-2364, for clarification of content. For information pertaining to status or publication schedules, contact the Regulatory Secretariat at (202) 501-4755. Please cite FAR Case 2009-016. Reference notice.
Sep 08 2011: This Request for Offers (RFO) transmits the Filing Instructions (FI) for the submission of Emergency. Response rate offers on behalf of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other Federal civilian agencies that require transportation services for Federal disasters and emergencies. Rate offers filed in response to this RFO and its FI will be in accordance with the terms and conditions of the GSA Standard Tender of Service (STOS) and this RFO and its FI. Please note in some instances this RFO and its FI will deviate from and will supersede certain provisions and requirements published in the STOS. Rate offers accepted in response to this RFO and its FI are due by 10:00 PM Central Standard Time (CST), October 7, 2011. Rate offers submitted and accepted for the traffic identified in Section 9 will be for the time period November 1, 2011 through October 31, 2012. Rate offers submitted and accepted and for the traffic identified in Section 10 will be for the period November 1, 2011 through October 31, 2012 with the Government’s option to extend from November 1, 2012 through October 31, 2013.
Traffic to be included under this RFO and its FI will be freight-all-kinds (FAK) shipments moving via closed van for less than truckload and truckload, and for flatbed, single/double drop, lowboy and power only units. The transport of travel trailers and mobile homes is also included. Click here to request more information about this opportunity.
Hurricane Irene has left serious damage in its path from the caribbean to Maine along the East Coast that will require cleanup, repair and relief efforts. Government agencies will begin to release contracts for recovery in the days ahead as emergency crews and regional utilities require additional assistance to quickly restore power and essential services to areas affected by wind damage and serious flooding.
Government contracts can be found using the OnDemand Government Contract Leads System offered by the National Association of Government Contractors.
Construction and utility contractors will see a spike in contract availability as damage is assessed and reconstruction begins. Some estimates of reconstruction costs have exceeded $12 billion. Most of those dollars will be spent on cleanup and construction activity.
The Small Business Administration has deployed a team from the Office of Disaster Assistance in Puerto Rico, to assess the damage caused by Hurricane Irene. In addition to the 900 employees already on board, SBA has 500 reservists ready to be deployed immediately. The SBA team is already on the ground working with FEMA in Regional Communications Centers. Reference Article
Business owners in the affected areas can find advice and assistance with reopening their business from ReadyBusiness.gov
Are you ready to expand beyond America’s borders? Doing business in other countries will expand your potential customer base, but there are associated challenges you need to tackle first. SBA provides the following resources:
International Travel Resources, Tips and Advisories : Provides must-read resources if you are planning to go overseas to conduct business. Country-specific resources include current travel advisories, tips for international travel and document requirements.
International Business FAQs :Lists answers to frequently asked questions about doing business abroad, facilitating overseas investment, trade restrictions and assisting foreign companies.
Department of State Office of Authentications: Outlines the Department of State's Authentications Office, which is responsible for signing and issuing certificates under the Seal of the U.S. Department of State. The Authentications Office also verifies business documents that will be used overseas, including company bylaws, powers of attorney, trademarks, diplomas, transcripts, distributorship agreements, articles of incorporation, good standing certificates, home studies and letters of reference. The Office also ensures that the requested information will serve in the interest of justice and is not contrary to U.S. policy.
Guidelines for Foreign Business Travel: Offers guidelines for exporters, or those thinking of selling abroad. These individuals often visit foreign countries to research market conditions and understand cultural nuances. This checklist, including information ranging from "A Basic Guide" to exporting, details the required steps you should take when traveling abroad, and some practical tips as well.
Passports: Supplies information and services to American citizens who need to obtain, replace or change a passport.
Washington Technology's annual Fast 50 rankings is generally a celebration of the achievements of some of the best small businesses in the market.
This year is no exception. The companies making the list have had extraordinary growth, starting with No. 1 company, SAVA Workforce Solutions, which achieved a five-year compound annual growth rate of 326.05 percent.
The small businesses on this list have shown an ability to adapt and change with the market. Many are taking advantage of various small business programs to build businesses that will stand the test of time.
The types of companies that populate the Fast 50 range from resellers to consultants and IT services providers to research and development firms. The list is entrepreneur heavy with most companies having a founder or team of founders at the helm.
The aggregate value of 2010 revenue for the Fast 50 is $1.4 billion. The No. 50 company NextPoint Group, came in with a five-year compound annual growth rate of 62.49 percent. Not too shabby. Read More.
Research is the first key to success. When you are on the outside looking in, you might often wonder what it takes to get from where you are (Point A) to where those, say, on Washington Technology’s annual Top 100 and Fast 50 lists are (Point B). All companies, large and small, have to start somewhere, but you don’t start out on any of those lists.
When you boil it down to its basic elements, there are Three R's that are the keys to success in this government market: research, resources and relationships. While this may be over-simplifying things, the three remain basic building blocks for the market. I’ll devote this article to the first R — research.
Regardless whether you are just getting started or bidding on your 100th contract, research is critical.
The problem for the novice is where to start. Although there are both paid and free research tools, some better than others, some harder to find, and most who are new to the market are overwhelmed by how many tools there really are. They often don’t know which to use or how to use those they select. So it’s better to start with some good, free resources to determine some things about your company before you start paying for resources you may not need.
For the novice, the research must start with answering the question "Does the government buy what you sell?" Read full article.
Antonio Hunter, the director of D.C.'s Department of Small and Local Business Development, who was confirmed by the D.C. Council in April, is leaving for a job with a division of Magic Johnson Enterprises, the Washington Business Journal has learned. His resignation is effective at the end of July, an agency official said.
Hunter did not return calls and emails for comment.
I'm told his exit was simply a matter of a job opportunity he couldn't pass up, not one related to his job performance. That said, Hunter hadn't generated much momentum for small and local businesses in his brief stint, small business leaders say. How could he, in only seven months? Read Full Article
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) released the Small Business Procurement Scorecard for all agencies reflecting each agency’s contracting accomplishments for Fiscal Year (FY) 2010. The Department of Transportation (DOT) Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) is pleased to announce DOT received an “A” rating for its FY 2010 small business efforts. This is the second consecutive year DOT has received an “A” rating for its small business contracting achievements.
“We’re extremely proud to earn an “A” rating from SBA for small business contracting. It takes a dedicated team, led by Secretary LaHood, the modal administrators, small business specialists, and our regional staff to achieve this level of success,” remarked Brandon Neal, OSDBU Director.
The annual Scorecard is an assessment tool to (1) measure how well federal agencies reach their small business and socio-economic prime contracting and subcontracting goals, (2) provide accurate and transparent contracting data and (3) report agency-specific progress. The prime and subcontracting component goals include goals for small businesses, small businesses owned by women, small and disadvantaged businesses, service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, and small businesses located in Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZones). Reference article
The “A” rating reflects the Department’s ongoing commitment to providing the small business community the greatest access to federal contracting opportunities and to ensure that DOT’s procurement officers have the information and tools needed to connect with these innovative small businesses.
Contractors lured to task-order contracts by the promise of a big payoff...
In sports parlance, it’s known as going for the gold. The term also applies in government contracting, as more and more companies are seeking the gold to be found in the large federal indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract vehicles.
“Come July and August, the IDIQs light up like Christmas trees,” said Paul Strasser, senior vice president and general manager of Dynamics Research Corp.’s federal group. “There are task orders going out like crazy because, with the continuing resolutions, agencies are trying to spend the money they have allocated. The IDIQ has become by far the vehicle of choice. So you have to prepare.”
“The smarter smaller companies are looking at the vehicles earlier and seeing what resources it’s going to take to win,” said Mark Amtower, co-founder of the Government Market Master certificate program at the George Mason University School of Management and a Washington Technology contributor. “The large companies have two avenues. They can buy a company that owns the IDIQ or wait until the recompete and try to win it. However, there are no guarantees for the recompete.” Read full article.
Four companies have won parts of a $480 million Veterans Affairs contract to provide IT services.
The companies will compete for task orders under the Veterans Relationship Management IT Solutions and Support Services contract, according to a VA announcement on FedBizOpps.
The contract is a multiple-award, task-order contract.
The winners are:
Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Services
Insignia Technology Services
VetsAmerica Business Consulting Inc.
In its solicitation, VA said it would use the contract to improve communications between VA and veterans, no matter what technology they are using to reach the agency. This includes phone, web, e-mail and social media.
The contract has several “work streams” as VA calls them: voice access modernization, customer relationship management, unified desktop, Web/self service, knowledge management, and member and integration services. Read full article.
The Navy is awarding IDIQ multiple award contracts to 333 contractors that will compete for service requirements solicited by Naval Sea Systems Command; Naval Air Systems Command; Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command; Naval Supply Systems Command; Military Sealift Command; Naval Facilities Command; Strategic Systems Programs; Office of Naval Research; and the Marine Corps.
The 22 functional service areas within the scope of the contracts include: research and development support; engineering system engineering and process engineering support; modeling, simulation, stimulation, and analysis support; prototyping, pre-production, model-making, and fabric support; system design documentation and technical data support; software engineering, development, programming, and network support; reliability, maintainability, and availability support; human factors, performance, and usability engineering support; system safety engineering support; configuration management support; quality assurance support; information system development, information assurance, and information technology support; ship inactivation and disposal support; interoperability, test and evaluation, trials support; measurement facilities, range, and instrumentation support; acquisition logistics support; supply and provisioning support; training support; in-service engineering, fleet introduction, installation and checkout support; program support; functional and administrative support; and public affairs and multimedia support.
These contracts are in addition to the existing 2,212 contracts previously awarded under the SeaPort Enhanced (SeaPort-e) acquisition program for services procurements. The government estimates a maximum of $5,300,000,000 of services will be procured per year via orders issued under the SeaPort-e multiple award contracts. The awards have a three-year base period with one five-year award term. The award of these contracts is a result of the SeaPort-e Rolling Admissions solicitation. The SeaPort-e acquisition is comprised of seven regional zones in which task orders will be competed based upon the principal place of performance. These awards contain provisions to set aside requirements for small businesses, service disabled veteran owned small businesses, 8a business development program and historically under-utilized business zone small businesses. Under these multiple award contracts, each contractor will be provided a fair opportunity to compete for individual task orders solicited within their zone or zones of performance. These contracts were competitively procured via Navy Electronic Commerce Online, with 358 offers received and 333 contracts awarded. Contract funds will be obligated at the time of task order award and as such, multiple funding types (with varying expiration dates) may be used, consistent with the purpose for which the funds were appropriated. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division, Dahlgren, Va. is the contracting activity (N00178-11-D-6408-N00178-11-D-6740).
The list of contractors involved are: 1st American Systems and Services, LLC*, Proctorville, Ohio; 1st Choice Staffing, LLC, dba 1st Choice Government Solutions*, Silver Spring, Md.; 22nd Century Technologies, Inc.*, Somerset, N.J.; AASKI Technologies*, Ocean, N.J.; Abex Systems, LLC*, Vienna, Va.; About Web, LLC*, Rockville, Md.; Acquisition Logistics, LLC*, Richmond, Va.; Advance Career Development*, San Jose, Calif.; Advanced Facility Management Services, dba AFMS*, Greencastle, Pa.; Advanced Integrated Technologies, LLC*, Norfolk, Va.; Advanced Resources Technologies, Inc.*, Alexandria, Va.; AEG Group Inc.*, Grayslake, Ill.; Agile Business Concepts, LLC*, Reston, Va.; Agilis Group, Inc., dba AgilisIT*, San Diego, Calif.; Ahrens Consulting Group, LLC*, Dayton, Ohio; Airtec, Inc.*, California, Md.; Alainn, LLC*, Arlington, Va.; Alakai, LLC*, McLean, Va.; Alatec, Inc.*, Huntsville, Ala.; Allied Associates International*, Warrenton, Va.; Alpha Omega Technologies, Inc. *, Rockville, Md.; Alpha-Omega Change Engineering, Inc.*, Hampton, Va.; AMDEX Corp.*, Silver Spring, Md.; American Maritime International, Inc., dba AMI International*, Bremerton, Wash.; American Technology Solutions International*, Stafford, Va.; AMSEC, LLC, Virginia Beach, Va.; Amvet Technologies, LLC*, Las Vegas, Nev.; Anacapa Micro Products, Inc.*, Ventura, Calif.; Analycis, LLC*, Evansville, Ind.; Analysis Design and Diagnostics, dba AD&D*, Jacksonville, Fla.; Analysis, Integration and Design, Inc.*, Melbourne, Fla.; Analytical Services, Inc.*, Columbia, Md.; Apex Skills Group*, Virginia Beach, Va.; Applied Environmental, Inc.*, Herndon, Va.; Applied EnviroSolutions, Inc.*, Tempe, Ariz.; Applied Marine Solutions, LP*, Kailua, Hawaii; Applied Systems and Technology Transfer, LLC*, Youngstown, Ohio; Apprio, Inc.*, Highland, Md.; Arcata Associates, Inc., Las Vegas, Nev.; Ardent Management Consulting, Inc.*, Reston, Va.; ARES Solutions, Inc.*, Fredericksburg, Va.; Arete Enterprises*, Richmond, Va.; ARMEC Corp.*, Knoxville, Tenn.; Armed Forces Services Corp.*, Arlington, Va.; Arnold-Hanafin Corp.*, Boca Raton, Fla.; ASR International Corp., dba ASR Management and Technical Services*, Hauppage, N.Y.; Async-Nu Microsystems*, Fredericksburg, Va.; A-Team Solutions*, Fulton, Md.; Athena Consulting Group, LLC*, North Charleston, S.C.; Atlas North America, LLC, Virginia Beach, Va.; Atmospheric And Environmental Research, Lexington, Mass.; Atteloir, Inc.*, Germantown, Md.; Aveshka, Inc.*, McLean, Va.; Avitecture*, Sterling, Va.; Aviture, Inc.*, Irving, Texas; Aya Associates, Inc., dba COMP U FLOOR*, Maitland, Fla.; Azimuth Corp.*, Dayton, Ohio; Back Country Driving School, Inc.*, Roanoke, Va.; Bay State Computers, Inc.*, Bowie, Md.; Betis Group, Inc.*, Cape Charles, Va.; BizTech Fusion, LLC*, Laurel, Md.; Blanchard's Contracting, LLC*, Washington, D.C.; Blue Canopy Group, LLC*, Reston, Va.; Bluemont Technology & Research, Inc.*, Bluemont, Va.; Bluestone Logic, LLC*, McLean, Va.; BPC Group, Inc., dba BP Consulting Group*, Orlando, Fla.; Brayman Technical Services*, Alexandria, Va.; Brillient Corp.*, Reston, Va.; Bronico, Inc.*, Vacaville, Calif.; Burgos Group, LLC*, Albuquerque, N.M.; Business Integra Technology Solutions, Inc., dba Business Integra*, Greenbelt, Md.; CANA, LLC*, Gainesville, Va.; Capriccio Software*, Fredericksburg, Va.; Capricorn Systems, Inc.*, Tucker, Ga.; Cardinal Engineering, LLC*, Washington, D.C.; Cardinal Point Captains, LLC*, Carlsbad, Calif.; Carter Safety Consultants, Inc.*, Fayetteville, Tenn.; Celerity IT, LLC, McLean, Va.; CENTRA Technology, Inc., Burlington, Mass.; Centuria Corp.*, Reston, Va.; CET, LLC*, Earth City, Mo.; Cetacean Marine, Inc.*, Dania Beach, Fla.; CH2M Hill, Inc., Englewood, Colo.; Chaos Consulting, Inc.*, Fairfax, Va.; The Chigosi Co.*, San Diego, Calif.; Childs Engineering Corp.*, Medfield, Mass.; Chronos Systems, Inc.*, Camp Springs, Md.; Chugach Federal Solutions, Inc*, Anchorage, Alaska; Circinus, LLC, dba Circinus*, Fredericksburg, Va.; CKSolutions, LLC*, Solomons, Md.; Clarke House Technologies, Inc.*, Midland Park, N.J.; Client Network Services, Inc., dba CNSI, Gaithersburg, Md.; Compendium Federal Technologies, LLC*, Lexington Park, Md.; Component Sourcing Group*, Laguna Hills, Calif.; CompQsoft, Inc.*, Houston, Texas; Computer Systems Center, Inc., dba CSCI*, Springfield, Va.; Concept Analysis and Integration*, Silver Spring, Md.; Consolidated Networks Corp.*, Oklahoma City, Okla.; Consumer Management Solutions, LLC*, Dumfries, Va.; Consummate Computer Consultants Systems, LLC, dba C3 Systems*, Lusby, Md.; Costech Inc.*, Winter Springs, Fla.; CPN-Network, LLC*, Washington, D.C.; Craytek, Inc*, Arlington, Va.; Creoal Consulting*, Rockville, Md.; Critigen, LLC, Greenwood Village, Colo.; Croop-LaFrance, Inc.*, Vistor, N.Y.; Cyber Security Research and Solutions Corp., dba CSRS*, La Plata, Md.; Cyberdata Technologies, Inc.*, Herndon, Va.; DanSources Technical Services, Inc.*, Rockville, Md.; Datawiz Corp.*, Vienna , Va.; Davis Strategic Innovations, Inc., dba DSI*, Grant, Ala.; Dennis Millican & Associates, Inc.*, Coral Springs, Fla.; Dependable Global Solutions, Inc.*, Arlington, Va.; The Desilets Group, Inc.*, Bristow, Va.; Dfuse Technologies, Inc., dba Dfusetech.com*, Ashburn, Va.; DIGITALiBiz, Inc.*, Rockville, Md.; Diligent Consulting, Inc.*, San Antonio, Texas; DKJ Technologies, Inc.*, Beavercreek, Ohio; DMP Services*, El Cajon, Calif.; Donald L Blount and Associates*, Chesapeake, Va.; Driven Engineering, Inc.*, Semmes, Ala.; DSD Laboratories, Inc.*, Sudbury, Mass.; DSU Staffing, Inc.*, Raleigh, N.C.; Dunhill Personnel of Hawaii, dba Dunhill Professional Staffing of Hawaii*, Honolulu, Hawaii; Dyonyx, LP*, Houston, Texas; EclecTek, LLC*, California City, Calif.; EDC Consulting, LLC*, Washington, D.C.; Edwards Industries, dba Edwards Project Solutions*, Hanover, Md.; The Electronic On-Ramp, Inc.*, Rockville, Md.; Ellumen, Inc.*, Arlington, Va.; Elusive Solutions, Inc.*, King George, Va.; Emtec Federal, Springfield, N.J.; EnergySolutions Government Group, Inc., Oak Ridge, Tenn.; Engineering & Computer Simulations, Inc.*, Orlando, Fla.; ER Williams, Inc.*, Silver Spring, Md.; Escape Communications, Inc.*, Torrance, Calif.; ETSVETS, Inc.*, Enterprise, Ala.; Federal Program Integrators, LLC*, Indian Island, Maine; Financial Systems Consultants, Inc., dba FSC*, Cape Charles, Va.; Forwardyne Systems, Inc.*, San Diego, Calif.; FT Technologies, LLC*, Olney, Md.; Fulcrum Technology, LLC*, Bedford, Ind.; Fuse Integration, Inc.*, Long Beach, Calif.; Futech Technolgies, Inc.*, Baltimore, Md.; G2 Ops, Inc.*, Sierra Vista, Ariz.; Gale Force Software Corp.*, Indianapolis, Ind.; Gallup, Inc., dba The Gallup Organization, Washington, D.C.; Garud Technology Services, Inc.*, Ellicott City, Md.; GBTI Solutions, Inc.*, Herndon, Va.; Gella, LLC*, Johnstown, Pa.; Global Resource Management, Inc.*, Suwanee, Ga.; Global Resource Solutions, Inc.*, Olympia, Wash.; Government Technology & Business Services, Inc., dba GTBS*, Falls Church, Va.; GTANGIBLE*, Alexandria, Va.; The Hambrick Group, Inc.*, Los Angeles, Calif.; Hazard Management Solutions, Inc.*, Arlington, Va.; Hickory Ground Solutions*, Heathsville, Va.; Hi-Tec Systems, Inc., dba Hi-Tec Systems*, Egg Harbor Township, N.J.; Hooah, LLC*, Winter Park, Fla.; HVF West, LLC, Tucson, Ariz.; iAccess Technologies, Inc.*, Long Beach, Calif.; Icube Systems, Inc.*, Clifton, Va.; Ideogenics, LLC*, Washington, D.C.; iGouge, LLC*, Carlsbad, Calif.; Imagine Media Group, LLC, dba IMG Networks*, Chula Vista, Calif.; Impres Technology Solutions, Inc.*, Santa Fe Springs, Calif.; Infinity Technology, LLC*, McLean, Va.; Information Engineering Services, Inc., dba IES*, Alexandria, Va.; Information Technology Coalition, Inc., dba IT Coalition*, Alexandria, Va.; Information Technology Solutions & Consulting, LLC*, Falls Church, Va.; Ingenium Corp.*, Greenbelt, Md.; Integrated Technologies of Kansas, Inc.*, Wichita, Kan.; Integrity Management Consulting, Inc.*, McLean, Va.; IntellecTechs, Inc.*, Virginia Beach, Va.; Intelligence, Communications and Engineering, Inc., dba ICE-PS*, Sierra Vista, Ariz.; Intelligent Payload Solutions, Inc.*, Colorado Springs, Colo.; Intelligent Software Solutions, Inc., Colorado Springs, Colo.; Intelligent Systems Research, Inc.*, Agoura, Calif.; Intrinsyx Technologies Corp.*, Moffett Field, Calif.; iParametrics, LLC*, Alpharetta, Ga.; Ironhawk Technologies, Inc.*, Los Angeles, Calif.; Isomorphic Systems, LLC*, Trinidad, Colo.; IST Research, LLC*, Fredericksburg, Va.; IT Strategic Performance Firm*, San Antonio, Texas; ITCS, LLC*, Purcellville, Va.; ITechnology Group, LLC, dba ITGROUP*, Wayne, N.J.; J.L. Marshall & Associates, Inc.*, Virginia Beach, Va.; Jacer*, Fairfax, Va.; JRC Integrated Systems, Inc.*, Vienna, Va.; Kairos Consulting Worldwide, LLC*, Chicago, Ill.; Katmai Information Technologies, LLC*, Anchorage, Alaska; KEMA, Inc., Burlington, Mass.; KineTexas, Inc.*, Tempe, Ariz.; KNWEBS, Inc.*, Oklahoma City, Okla.; KORE Federal, Inc.*, Falls Church, Va.; Krozak Information Technologies, Inc.*, Silver Spring, Md.; La Jolla Logic*, San Diego, Calif.; Laxton Consulting, LLC*, Springfield, Va.; Level 4 Press, Inc., dba Level 4 Ventures, Inc.*, Jamul, Calif.; Levick Strategic Communications*, Washington, D.C.; Liberty Solutions*, Alpine, Calif.; Linium, LLC*, Albany, N.Y.; LinkVisum Consulting Group, Inc.*, Leesburg, Va.; Lion-Vallen, LP, dba LVI, Dayton, Ohio; Management Science and Innovation, Inc., dba 6 Sigma Technology Group*, Chantilly, Va.; Marc Enviro Services, Inc.*, Omaha, Neb.; The Mayvin Consulting Group, Inc.*, Alexandria, Va.; McNeal Professional Services, dba McNeal Wireless Services*, Kennesaw, Ga.; MedPacs, LLC*, Seattle, Wash.; Mega-Tech*, McLean, Va.; Metro Productions Government Services, LLC*, Hampton, Va.; MicroSys, LLC*, Manassas, Va.; Mission Assurance International, dba MAI*, Tampa, Fla.; Modus21*, Mount Pleasant, S.C.; MOSAIC Technologies Group, Inc.*, Fulton, Md.; Mustang Technical Services, LLC*, Fredericksburg, Va.; National Defense Advisors, Inc.*, Fairfax Station, Va.; The NAVSYS Corp.*, Colorado Springs, Colo.; Net Esolutions Corp.*, McLean, Va.; Neubrain, LLC*, Rockville, Md.; New River Systems Corp.*, Reston, Va.; Newmoyer Geospatial Solutions, LLC*, Mount Pleasant, S.C.; Nexus Technologies, Inc.*, Reston, Va.; Noise Control Engineering, Inc.*, Billerica, Mass.; Novus Origo, LLC*, Vista, Calif.; NucoreVision, Inc.*, Lanham, Md.; NVision Solutions, Inc.*, Bay St. Louis, Miss.; Occam Solutions, Inc.*, McLean, Va.; Occoquan Crew Technologies, Inc.*, Dumfries, Va.; Oceanit Laboratories, Inc., dba OCEANIT*, Honolulu, Hawaii; Octo Consulting Group, Inc.*, Vienna, Va.; Odyssian Technology, LLC*, South Bend, Ind.; Old Dominion University Research Foundation, Norfolk, Va.; Olusys, Inc.*, Camarillo, Calif.; Omitron, Inc.*, Beltsville, Md.; OmniPulse Technology Corp.*, San Diego, Calif.; Organon Advisors, Inc.*, Silver Spring, Md.; Osen-Hunter Defense Systems, LLC*, Madison, Va.; Ostari, Inc.*, Los Gatos, Calif.; OT Training Solutions, Inc.*, Orlando, Fla.; Performance Aircraft Services, dba Performance Aircraft Fuel Systems*, Grapevine, Texas; Phigenics, LLC*, Naperville, Ill.; Pierson Computing Connection, Inc..*, Mechanicsburg, Pa.; The Pierson Group, LLC*, Washington, D.C.; Precision Computing Intelligence, LLC*, Sierra Vista, Ariz.; Precision Task Group*, Houston, Texas; Premier Consulting & Management Services, Inc., dba PCMS*, Atlanta, Ga.; PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, McLean, Va.; Professional Solutions Delivered, LLC, Professional Services*, King Georga, Va.; Qi Tech, LLC*, Vienna, Va.; Quantell, Inc.*, Grantsville, Md.; Quantum Technology Sciences, Inc., dba QTSI*, Cocoa Beach, Fla.; R.H. Shackelford, Inc.*, San Antonio, Texas; R3 Strategic Support Group*, Coronado, Calif.; RedHawk IT Solutions, LLC, dba RedHawk IT*, Woodbridge, Va.; Reefpoint Group, LLC, dba Reefpoint Group*, Annapolis, Md.; RoundTurn, LLC*, Richmond, Va.; S. H. Huber and Associates, Inc.*, Oxnard, Calif.; SA Technical Services, Inc.*, Niceville, Fla.; Sabio Systems, LLC*, Albuquerque, N.M.; Saras America, Inc.*, Farmington Hills, Mich.; Schultz-Creehan Holdings, Inc.*, Blacksburg, Va.; Seawolf Solutions, Inc.*, McLean, Va.; Selsoft, Inc.*, Allen, Texas; Sensis Corp., East Syracuse, N.Y.; Sericore, LLC, dba Sericore Technologies*, Hanover, Md.; Shackleton Group, Inc.*, Lakewood, Colo.; Shipley, Inc., dba Isolated Ground*, Glendale, Calif.; Sierra Cybernetics, Inc.*, Anaheim Hills, Calif.; Sierra Infosys, Inc.*, Houston, Texas; Sierra Nevada Corp.*, Sparks, Nev.; SilverRhino, LLC*, Rockville, Md.; SNR Systems, LLC*, Leesburg, Va.; Software Professional Solutions, Inc.*, Farmingdale, N.J.; Sparc, LLC*, Charleston, S.C.; Spartan Management, LLC*, Manassas, Va.; Standard Technology, Inc.*, Warner Robins, Ga.; Statscom, Inc.*, Ashburn, Va.; Stealth Network Communications*, Scotts Valley, Calif.; Strategic Applications and Technologies, Inc.*, Columbia, Md.; Submergence Group, LLC*, Chester, Conn.; Superior Communication Solutions, Inc.*, Moultrie, Ga.; Swanson Services, LLC, dba Swanson Security Guard & Patrol Services*, Richmond, Va.; Symphony Consulting Group, Inc.*, Herndon, Va.; Synergy Technology Services, Inc.*, Eddystone, Pa.; Systems Software Solutions, Inc., dba 3S USA*, Bloomingdale, Ill.; TAF & Associates, Inc.*, Fairfax, Va.; Talentscale, LLC*, Lake Elsinore, Calif.; TeamStaff Government Solutions, Loganville, Ga.; Technical Automation & Management, Inc., dba TEAM*, Falls Church, Va.; Technology Blue, Inc.*, Cranberry Township, Pa.; Technology Concepts & Design, Inc.*, Reston, Va.; Telnet, Inc.*, Rockville, Md.; TeraLogics, LLC*, Ashburn, Va.; TeraThink Corp.*, Reston, Va.; Texeltek, Inc.*, Annapolis Junction, Md.; Thermopylae Sciences & Technology, LLC*, Arlington, Va.; Thor Solutions*, Annandale, Va.; Three S Consulting, Inc.*, San Francisco, Calif.; Tiber Creek Consulting, Inc.*, Farifax, Va.; Titanium Cobra Solutions, LLC*, San Diego, Calif.; Torknet, LLC*, Suitland, Md.; Total Computer Solutions, Inc.*, Arlington, Va.; TRAX International Corp., Las Vegas, Nev.; Tri Com Enterprises, Inc.*, Va Beach, Va.; Trinuc, LLC*, Buffalo Grove, Ill.; Tritus Technologies, Inc.*, Gainesville, Va.; Triune Solutions, LLC*, Washington, D.C.; Troika Solutions, LLC*, Arlington, Va.; Troy Networks, Inc.*, Lovettsville, Va.; Trusted Intelligence Support Services Corp.*, Scottssboro, Ala.; TurningPoint Global Solutions, LLC, dba TurningPoint*, Rockville, Md.; U.S. Information Technologies*, Chantilly, Va.; United Federal Systems, Inc.*, Reston, Va.; USmax Corp.*, Gambrills, Md.; Valicore Technologies, Inc., dba Valicore*, Irvine, Calif.; Vantage11, LP*, Tinton Falls, N.J.; Varilog Research, Inc.*, Beltsville, Md.; VariQ Corp.*, Washington, D.C.; Vetegrity, LLC*, Annapolis, Md.; Virsys, LLC*, Dunn Loring, Va.; VisionOnline.com, LLC, dba VOL*, Reston, Va.; Watershed Security, LLC*, Chesapeake, Va.; Web and Writing Solutions Co.*, Pasadena, Md.; Wight & Company, dba Wight Construction, Darien, Ill.; Windwalker Corp.*, McLean, Va.; Wittenberg Weiner Consulting, LLC*, Tampa, Fla.; Wolf Technical Services, Inc.*, Indianapolis, Ind.; Xeeto, Inc.*, Miami, Fla.; Yearround Accounting Taxes, LLC, dba McKinley Group*, Gaithersburg, Md.; Z and A Infotek Corp., dba Xeon Info*, Parsippany, N.J.; The Zanfer Group, LLC*, Lusby, Md.; Zantech IT Services, Inc.*, McLean, Va.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) recently made changes to the 8(a) certification program for socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses with hopes to increase the amount of opportunities awarded to small qualified and certified companies.
To qualify, a company can not exceed a certain size limit according to its industry, has to be able to meet certain economic criteria, and must be able to prove that is is socially disadvantaged, such as minority owned.
If you qualify, get your financial statements prepared. The SBA requires many supporting documents on every qualifying aspect of an 8(a) business and its owners.
The pre-solicitation notice helps government agencies determine if there are qualified vendors to perform the work scope. It provides a “heads up” that the solicitation will be released and solicits capability responses from responsible vendors. The pre-solicitation notice also helps the government determine if the requirement can be set-aside for a small business if capable small businesses respond. The pre-solicitation notice is valuable to a contractor for the same reason and it also provides the contracting office with information on the company if they have never done business with them before.
A database housing performance reviews of federal contractors is available to the public, beginning 15 April 2011. But the public won't find much there, at least initially.
D.C.-area firms will bid on range of IT services.
Three D.C.-area small-business IT contractors will vie for task-order work under a Defense Department contract that has a maximum value of $495 million.
Eight companies, including Lockheed Martin Corp., BAE Systems Inc., and L-3 Services, have been named to an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity, performance-based contract that includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of the individual contracts to an estimated $183 million.
3/9/2011 - SINDELFINGEN, Germany (AFNS) -- Members of the Defense Department's newest combatant command bid farewell to their inaugural commander.
Army Gen. William E. "Kip" Ward passed the reins of U.S. Africa Command to Army Gen. Carter F. Ham after nearly three years at the helm.
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates officiated at the ceremony and spoke to the audience at the Sindelfingen city hall near AFRICOM's headquarters in Stuttgart. Read full article.
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Politicians wrangle while pay, people and procurements hang in limbo
By: Matthew Weigelt
Source: Washington Technology, Feb. 23, 2011
While there is still optimism that a federal government shutdown can be averted, the threat is real and there is plenty of uncertainty over how government contractors will be affected.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) intends to bring a short-term measure before the Senate next week to keep the doors open for another 30 days but Republican leaders in charge of the House have promised to reject a move if the measure continues funding the government at current levels, which the GOP believes are excessive.
Still, the chances are small for a government shutdown on March 4 when the current continuing resolution expires, although the political situation has changed and the reasons for a shutdown have increased, said Barry Anderson, a former acting director of the Congressional Budget Office. He spoke this morning at a conference hosted by the Professional Services Council on the implications of a potential shutdown.
Meanwhile, federal employees and government contractors remain in limbo, on the edge of a rare event that has lots of twists and turns as many decisions depend on answers to other questions.
“You will find there is a maze here. There are no good answers,” said John Cooney, who was the general counsel at the Office of Management and Budget during the 1995 government shutdowns. He also spoke at the conference.
If the government closes, agencies would launch their plans required by OMB and downshift to a skeletal crew of employees. Only a few jobs would be exempt from stopping during a shutdown, for example, those jobs that protect government property, such as federal buildings, or those that protect life, such as health care services or troop support. Often, Social Security Administration offices remain open and operational, as well as offices related to Medicaid and Medicare services.
This time, IT will be a new problem for officials to deal with. During shutdowns in the past — even the most recent in 1995 — the government was not so dependent on the Internet for providing services.
Cooney said the IT function would be critical during the shutdown, even as officials try to draw a dividing line. For example, the same Web server may host a government website offering registration services for Medicare as well as public relations for the agency. Legal officials would have to decide if the server should operate and if the employee who operates it is a necessary employee.
“OMB is going to have to think long and hard about what to do when the same website might be supporting a portfolio of accepted and non-accepted functions,” Cooney said.
For government contractors some contracts may be exempt from the shutdown while others are not.
A company may have to shift employees to avoid working on a project that isn't funded. The government is banned from accepting voluntary work, Cooney said. In fact, agencies are required to keep people from working. He suggested giving employees training that they may need or having them work on another project that isn't affected by the shutdown.
Contracts paid for with fiscal 2010 money are still in operation, but invoices might be paid late because of a shutdown. The government might owe a little more if the payment is late. Yet the contractor would generally be required to continue working and to bill the government according to the terms of the contract, said Alan Chvotkin, executive vice president and counsel for the Professional Services Council said at today's conference.
Contracts providing products and services won’t be affected in the same way despite using fiscal 2011 money.
Product sellers wouldn't be hit in the same way as service contractors. Companies offering products will face changes in when and where they would make their deliveries, but the government likely will have already paid the companies for those products. However, services aren’t paid for when the contract is signed, Chvotkin said. Those companies may be paid a number of different ways, from quarterly payments for work to jobs done per day.
As a result, a shutdown would tear into service contractors’ pocketbooks, he said.
To deal with a shutdown, Chvotkin and Cooney both recommend that companies talk with their contracting officers about what’s ahead and share their concerns. In preparation, companies should analyze the possible circumstances and make plans in case of a shutdown. They should document if, for example, employees' job status were changed and account for how the shutdown affected the business, Chvotkin said.
“Make sure you can track the costs as best you can,” he said. “The stronger the documentation, the greater the likelihood of being able to demonstrate the costs incurred.”
Cooney said be patient with the contracting officer, especially if the shutdown goes on for many days.
He said, “The contracting officer may not know and may not have any answer because the decision being made is far above his pay grade and being made on very different grounds.”
The pain may be short lived, depending on whether the shutdown is "soft" or "hard." In a “soft shutdown,” federal employees would come to work but could not do anything “productive,” that is, anything to carry out the central duties of the agency.
“Basically they’re told the clean up their desks and consult with friends,” Cooney said, adding that it’s the flipside of a snow day, where employees come into the office or stay home.
The soft shutdown would occur if the president believes there’s a chance for a rapid compromise with Congress. "We designed it to give the president some other option besides Armageddon,” said Cooney, who helped draft guidance on shutdowns in the 1980s.
On the other hand, a “hard shutdown” would mean employees are furloughed from work.
BAE Systems Inc. has completed its acquisition of L-1 Identity Solutions Inc.’s Intelligence Services Group, which comprises SpecTal LLC, Advanced Concepts Inc. and McClendon LLC. The purchase price was approximately $297 million.
Fluor Corporation (NYSE: FLR) announced today that the company has reached a teaming agreement with Boeing (NYSE: BA) to pursue work from the United States Department of Energy (DOE) at its Sandia National Laboratories.
Sandia is a government-owned, contractor-operated facility that is
managed on behalf of the DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). Sandia has major facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., and an annual operating budget of approximately $2.5 billion. The current contract expires in September 2012.
President Barack Obama released a memo in January asking regulators to avoid imposing heavy burdens on small companies and to search for ways to minimize these burdens. Obama wrote in his memo, “Agencies must carry out the regulatory law by allowing small businesses more flexibility in meeting the compliance requirement. They should take into account the resource available to small entities.”
A couple days later Senator Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) said she plans to introduce a bill to require government regulators to consider small businesses as they draft new rules. “I intend to offer legislation in the coming weeks requiring the federal government to fully consider the economic impact on small businesses during the federal rulemaking process,” she said.
The legislation should be introduced in the next couple of weeks and small businesses should keep this on the radar.
On January 27, 2011 - U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced a final rulemaking that will help economically and socially disadvantaged businesses take advantage of opportunities to participate in federally funded highway, transit and airport projects. This final rule will also hold state and local agencies more accountable for including disadvantaged businesses into their transportation plans.
“When we help small businesses, we’re helping to get the economy going,” said Secretary LaHood. “This rule will help small and disadvantaged businesses get a fair shot at participating in state and local transportation projects.”
The rulemaking also included provisions to ensure that prime contractors fulfill commitments to use Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) subcontractors. Another major change with this rule is all states will be required to accept DBE certifications obtained in other states, unless the state finds good cause to not accept it.
The SBA will award $5 million in grant funding to assist undersized firms compete for large contracts. The grant recipients will be asked to find teaming partners to bid on large contracts with them. This will include identifying the team, preparing proposals and submitting the bids.
“The Small Business Jobs Act provides critical resources to help small businesses continue to drive economic recovery and create jobs,“ SBA Administrator Karen Mills said. “The teaming pilot program will help put contract dollars into the hands of small businesses, create job opportunities through the teaming arrangements, help drive innovation and promote economic growth for our nation’s economy.”
The SBA is projecting to make 10 – 20 grant award of $250,000 - $500,000 for FY 2011. The awards will have a base project period of one (1) year, with four (4) option 12-month extensions. Applicants must:
The organizations that are awarded the grants will be required to coordinator their own assistance with the agency’s district offices and other federal, state, local and tribal government small business development programs.
All grants proposals must be submitted through the federal website www.grants.gov by Friday, February 25, 2011.
The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) is hosting a half day conference on January 12, 2011. focused on helping women and minority businesses understand certifications and procurement tactics that work for them. Hear from several procurement experts including:
-Sharon Jackson, MBE Compliance and Outreach Manager, GOMA
-Shirley Williams, Chief of MBE/WBE Opportunity Office, Mayor's Office
-Gloria Larkin, President, TargetGov
-Liz Cullen, WBENC.
Enjoy multiple breakout sessions and a Lunch Panel with success stories and networking.
Location: Sheraton Columbia, 10207 Wincopin Circle, Columbia, MD 21044
Price: $50 NAWBO members/ $65 non-members
To learn more and register click here.
Department of Homeland Security Enterprise Solutions Office - EAGLE (Enterprise Acquisition Gateway for Leading Edge Solutions) contract – worth $22 billion. The EAGLE II solicitation will include two separate source selections – one unrestricted, and one specifically set aside for small businesses. The RFP for this contact is expected to come out during the first quarter of fiscal-year 2011.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) - Chief Information Office Solutions and Partners 3 (CIO-SP3) - worth $20 billion. The RFP for this contract is expected to come out during the first quarter of fiscal-year 2011.
US Army – Program Manager, Defense Communications and Army Transmission Systems (PM DCATS) – worth $19.5 billion. The RFP for this contract is expected to come out during the third quarter of fiscal-year 2011.
U.S. Coast Guard – Technical, Acquisition and Business Support Services (TABSS) – worth $11 billion. The RFP for this contract is expected to come out during the first quarter of fiscal-year 2011.
US Army - Computer, Hardware, Enterprise Software and Solutions (CHESS) – worth $5 billion, with a percentage designated as small business set-asides. The RFP for this contract is expected to come out during the third quarter of fiscal-year 2011.
The dollar value of some of these opportunities may be daunting. That’s where teaming comes in. As a small business in the government contracting world, some of your best opportunities will be through teaming arrangements.
The government has a contracting goal of 5% with women-owned companies and to date the federal government has never met this goal. Starting in early 2011, the Small Business Administration (SBA) will have procedures in place to help women-owned companies gain access to more federal contracts.
The program will allow contracting officers to restrict competition in 83 industry categories to women-owned small businesses. When the program was being defined 45 industries were deemed “underrepresented” and 38 industries were deemed “substantially underrepresented” by women-owned companies.
"Women-owned businesses are one of the fastest growing sectors of our nation's economy, and even during the economic downturn of the last few years, have been one of the key job creation engines in communites across the country," SBA Administrator Karen Mills said.
It is believed with this new program with federal government will achieve the 5% contracting goal with women-owned companies.
For more information click here.
Apple Corp is taking the beginning steps to formalize relationships with system integrator companies; Agilex Corp and Unisys Corp. Mobile technologies are stirring interest among government customers and Apple’s products can meet this demand. The iPad and iPhone are among the top mobile devices Apple will use in their authorize systems integrator program. To learn more click here.
On November 17th, 2010, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) hosted an event to develop stronger working relationship between OSDBU’s Financial Assistance Division, Participating Lenders and Small Business Transportation Resource Centers (SBTRCs).
“We are very excited to have our SBTRCs and Participating Lenders from all over the country here at DOT Headquarters to learn and share ideas to help small businesses obtain working capital. The energy and enthusiasm of today’s event will be channeled to each region, increasing opportunities for small businesses to grow,” remarked Brandon Neal, OSDBU Director.
DOT OSDBU’s Short-Term Lending Program (STLP) helps small businesses gain access to the financing they need to participate in transportation-related contracts. STLP provides certified DBE's and other certified small businesses short term working capital financing at competitive interest rates for DOT or DOT funded contracts and subcontracts. The loan guarantee provides a revolving line of credit for work on transportation-related contracts.
The military has tested many new technologies in the past and the most recent are iPads and e-books. The main reasons to test these specific types of technologies are for the field manuals. If there any updates in the manuals the iPads or e-books would directly receive the updates reducing printing costs and distribution time.
The military is also testing smart phones. Smart phones have lots of memory, reception, applications and new operating systems. The smart phones are used in during basic training as a learning tool. There are also military affiliated contests for new iPhone Apps. The top 5 winning Apps are: a physical training program, a telehealth mood tracker, a disaster relief application, a movement projection tool for mapping routes and a program to provide information to prospective soldiers.
A huge drawback is the potential risk that the iPads, e-book and Smart Phones could get hacked as other military equipment has in the past.
The Defense Department’s need for unmanned aircraft continues to increase but the technology to operate them is reaching its limitation.
The automation will increase the number of platforms and missions while minimizing the number of personnel. Fewer pilots will be able to manage several unmanned aircrafts on missions using autonomous fight software. The new technology will also allow large amounts of data to be transmitted to personnel in the US instead of needing onsite analysts.
Initial reports estimate total spending over the next 10 years to be approximately $80 billion.
There is a new Mobile Gov IT App. Designed by Winvale, this app has the latest Government IT news, CIO blogs, FY2011 IT budget forecasts and GSA’s IT Schedule 70 information. This FREE App is the first of its kind for Government Technology. Download it at the Apple’s App Store.
On Monday September 27 2010, President Barack Obama signed the small business bill into law! The law also sets up a lending fund for small business and $12 billion in tax breaks.
“It was critical that we cut taxes and make more loans available to entrepreneurs.” Obama said in remarks at the White House. “So today after a long and tough fight, I am signing a small business jobs bill that does exactly that.”
There is a small business dashboard which shows all government agencies and their contracting dollars with small businesses and socio economic companies. The dashboard is broken down further into eligible dollars, actual dollars, goal % and actual %. This is a great tool to see which agencies are not fulfilling their goals and if your company can help them.
To view the dashboard click here.
The government has a contracting goal of 5% with women-owned companies and to date the federal government has never met this goal. Starting in 2011, the Small Business Administration (SBA) will have procedures in place to help women-owned companies gain access to more federal contracts.
The program will allow contracting officers to restrict competition in 83 industry categories to women-owned small businesses. When the program was being defined 45 industries were deemed “underrepresented” and 38 industries were deemed “substantially underrepresented” by women-owned companies.
It is believed with this new program with federal government will achieve the 5% contracting goal with women-owned companies.
For more information click here.
It is first important to know the difference between prime contractor and subcontractor. A prime contractor sells to the government; whereas, a subcontractor sells to who sells to the government.
Some small businesses are not aware of what they are committing to when becoming a prime contractor for the government. The government views a prime contractor as the single point of contact, and is accountable for cost and schedule and performance.
One problematic area for a small company working as a prime contractor for the government is payment. A typical company invoices the government 30 days after starting a contract and the government has up to 90 days to respond to that invoice. The government pays a prime contractor when it sees fit so it could take at least four to five months. Most small companies do not have a cash reserve to put front so much money and wait months for payment.
Another problematic area is the language and clauses to a contract. Many small companies are unsure of all the terms, acronyms, clauses, references and requirements in a contract. These results in a poorly negotiate contract and the uncertainty of the contract itself.
In most instances it makes sense for a small business to be a subcontractor. The advantage is the business relationship with the prime contractor and the face to face time. The prime contractor can also pay invoices within days of receipt and as a subcontractor it will be easier to have access to the information you need to complete the job.
The Department of Defense is proposing to standardize the process of distributing orders electronically and posting them on a central site for all contractors to access.
Currently the DoD has this capability and the proposal would officially standardize the process. The benefit and belief is the new rule will help small businesses.
If there are any concerns from small businesses or other parties, officials are taking comments on this proposal until November 30 2010.
For more information click here.
Today, the Department of Transporation (DOT) released it's FY 2011 procurement forecast. To view and print the forecast please click here.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates today released a 23-point memorandum for reforming defense acquisition processes, aiming for increased efficiency and productivity and proclaiming a new era in defense spending and acquisition strategy.
To read the whole article click here.
WashingtonTechnology ranked the Top 100 Government Contractors who won nearly $130 billion in prime contracts last year.
1. Lockheed Martin Corp
2. Northrop Grumman Corp
3. Boeing Co
4. Raytheon Co
5. Science Applications International Corp
To see the entire Top 100 List please click here.
The Federal Government's fiscal year ends on September 30, which gives agencies a "use it or lose it" mentality regarding their budgets. If an agency has unspent dollars at the end of the fiscal year it loses the money and runs the risk of a reduced budget the following year.
Many buyers and credit card holders will spend impulsively to use up the rest of the funds. Procurement Officers have authorization to buy up to $25,000 without needing to put out a competitive bid, those needing to spend over $25,000 will issue a competitive bid.
How do you find these opportunities? Contact us. We will help you find these agencies and point you in the right directions to take advantage of these impulse buys.These opportunities can help you get your foot in the door to do more business with the government in the future.
Myth #1: More specific specifications are always better.
Fact: All suppliers get the same exact requirements in the RFP. The government is not looking for irrelevant information or minutia, so just stick to the facts.
Myth #2: Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) analysis is always the best method on which to base a supplier selection.
Fact: TCO is useful but Value Management (VM) may be more appropriate. VM has emerged as the leading financial analysis for the US Government. VM is especially popular witht he DoD and at one point was mandated.
Myth #3: Privately-held suppliers will never share their financial statements.
Fact: Privately-held suppliers are not required to disclose financial statements and are less visible than publicly-held suppliers. If disclosure of financial statements is a requirement or condition then accommodations must be made between the agency and supplier; this can include a confidentiality agreement or limited access to the statements.
Myth #4: Long-term contracts should always begin immediately after a sourcing process.
Fact: It is normal for a long-term contract to be awarded and for business to start quickly but this may not be the best way to do business. Just like most warranties and guarantees a 30-90 day trial period should be negotiated to make sure the agency and supplier is a good match.
DOD expects to spend $5.3B annually through program
The Navy has qualified 556 additional contractors to compete for task orders under the SeaPort Enhanced acquisition program.
The new indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract awards are in addition to the existing 1,675 contracts previously awarded under the SeaPort-e acquisition program that covers a wide array of technical and engineering services, the Defense Department said July 15. Each of the awards has a four-year base period.
About $5.3 billion in services will be procured per year via orders issued under the program, DOD said.
Under the SeaPort-e program, contractors provide services in 22 functional areas, including research and development, system engineering, modeling and simulation, information system development and information assurance.
Other areas involve support for analysis, prototyping, technical data, networks, software engineering, test and evaluation, training and logistics.
The services will support the Naval Sea Systems Command, Naval Air Systems Command, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, Naval Supply Systems Command, Military Sealift Command, Naval Facilities Command, Strategic Systems Programs, Office of Naval Research, and the Marine Corps.
The contracting activity is the Naval Sea Systems Command, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division, Dahlgren, Va. Reference Article.
Agencies do not outsource critical work, ODNI says
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has issued a rebuttal to a Washington Post report about the intelligence community’s seeming dependence on contractors to carry out its work.
In a story published 20 July, 2010 and headlined "National Security Inc.," Post reporters write that a two-year investigation concluded that contractors perform inherently government functions all the time and in every counterterrorism agency.
“What started as a temporary fix in response to the  terrorist attacks has turned into a dependency that calls into question whether the federal workforce includes too many people obligated to shareholders rather than the public interest — and whether the government is still in control of its most sensitive activities,” according to the Post.
Acquisition will cost defense giant $775 million in cash. The Boeing Co. will acquire Argon ST in an all-cash tender offer and merger for $34.50 per share, or approximately $775 million.
The agreement to acquire the developer of command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance and combat systems advances Boeing's growth strategy and expands the company’s capabilities to address the C4ISR, cyber and intelligence markets, according to a statement issued today by Boeing.
Founded in 1997 and based in Fairfax, Va., Argon ST develops sensors and networks designed to exploit, analyze and deliver information for real-time situational awareness. Read full article.
The GSA is preparing to launch FedSpace, its social media platform for federal agencies and contractors in late summer.
The secure intranet collaboration platform will be made available to federal employees and contractors, according to GSA's statement on USA.gov.
FedSpace will provide a usable and accessible platform for accessing resources that Federal employees and contractors need to do their work better, faster, and more efficiently. FedSpace will be "social" in terms of people interacting with other people through the use of social technologies and tools to enhance professional communication and relationships, not "social" in terms of personal social networking. FedSpace will provide netiquette guidelines to help people understand the kinds of behavior that contribute to a collaborative virtual workplace, as opposed to behavior more suited to personal activities. Find out more.
The Department of Energy (DOE) is working tirelessly to address the oil spill in the Gulf. At the request of President Obama, Secretary Chu traveled down to Houston to work closely with a team of top scientists from academia and the U.S. government, with support from more than 200 personnel from DOE's national laboratories, to analyze the response efforts and recommend additional options for stopping the leaking oil.
DOE would like you to share your ideas on how to stop or contain the oil spill and mitigate its impact on the environment. The Deepwater Horizon Response has an online form available to collect your suggestions here: http://www.horizonedocs.com/artform.php
As small business owners, you know that innovation comes from many sources. We need to tap into the spirit of American entrepreneurship to learn as much as possible. So far over 20,000 ideas have been sent to BP since the Gulf of Mexico incident from oil industry experts, small businesses, and everyday Americans.
The online form, entitled "Alternative Technology Response," collects detailed information about your idea, including the materials, equipment and resources required to put your idea into action. Your idea, once you fill out the form, will go to a team of 30 technical and operational BP personnel for evaluation
We encourage you to be part of the solution and submit any ideas you have to the Deepwater Horizon Response, and to share this message with others who might be able to help. For more information on the Deepwater Horizon Response suggestion form, visit this link.
Bill Valdez, Acting Director, Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization
The Department of Defense Mentor-Protégé Program assists qualifying small businesses (Protégés) to successfully compete for prime contract and subcontract awards by partnering with large companies (Mentors) under individual, project-based Agreements. http://www.
The US DOT/OSDBU ihas issued the Spring 2010 edition of the DOT Biz Journal and it is available for download. In this issue the DOT/OSDBU highlights the recent OSDBU Small Business Summit attended by over 700 individuals from across the nation who came together to learn strategies from industry and government leaders to meet the demands of the competitive small business environment in the transportation industry. Also included in this Spring edition is a summary of DOT's proposed funding under President Obama's 2011 budget.
You will also find information on the Small Business Administration's proposed rule to expand access to federal contracting opportunities for women -owned small businesses and will learn about a Short Term Lending Program success story on HydroTech, Inc, a Nevada based woman-owned 8(a), HUBZone certified company. In addition, the DOT includes their regular features including Follow the Recovery Money and the upcoming Calendar of Events.
Click the following link to download the DOT Biz Journal (PDF)
Comments are to be submitted no later than May 3, 2010.
After more than a decade of waiting, the SBA has finally published a set of Proposed Rules to implement the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program that, with some refinement, will serve to implement a strong program enabling restricted competition for certain women-owned small business on contracts within selected NAICS codes. This program should help the federal government to meet their mandate for providing a fair portion of Federal contracts to women-owned small businesses. LEARN MORE
President Barack Obama has formed two interagency working groups that will look for ways to award more federal contracts to small businesses.The president has created task forces to focus on small-business contracting problems and opportunities for companies owned by service-disabled veterans.
Obama signed an executive order April 26 that established an interagency task force that will seek to develop opportunities for veteran-owned small businesses. He also signed a memo establishing an interagency task force to help small businesses overall win more federal contracts.
In addition, the memo directs Federal Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra and Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra to build a Web-based dashboard by July that will illustrate how many contracts agencies award to small, disadvantaged businesses. FULL ARTICLE
The Air Force is looking to improve its acquisition activities, starting immediately with the impending contract awards for the KC-X tanker, the F-35 joint strike fighter and the Network-Centric Solutions-2 Enterprise Integration and Service Management program (NETCENTS-2), according to a top Defense Department official.
“Recapturing acquisition excellence in the Air Force is a top priority,” David Van Buren, Air Force assistant secretary for acquisition, said today at an AFCEA Nova luncheon. In particular, “our acquisition cycle times are horrible," he said. FULL ARTICLE
TeleCommunication Systems Inc., founded in 1987 as a small wireless systems provider, could be a role model for how to succeed in government business by really trying.
The company’s 23-year history includes a stint in the 8(a) certified small-business program, an initial public offering, conducting triage on a moribund government business, making several acquisitions and, last year, reaching $300 million in annual revenue.
TCS has more than 1,000 employees, and company executives say they expect TCS' combined commercial and government revenues to be between $430 million and $450 million this year, which would mean a 50 percent growth rate.
“We are a growth company. We’re not stopping,” said Drew Morin, TCS’ senior vice president and chief technology officer. As the third employee hired by company founder Maurice Tose, he knows TCS’ history first hand.
The Annapolis, Md., company’s first major contract came in 1989, the same year that TCS entered the 8(a) program. The $1.75 million award called for designing and building a local-area network for the Special Operations Command's headquarters at McDill Air Force Base, Fla.
That award led to further work from military special operations clients. Read Full Article.