Archives for August 14

Aug 1, 2014
PETALUMA, CA--(Marketwired - Jul 31, 2014) - In a statement released on July 30, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced they are finally going to release their fiscal year 2013 Small Business Federal Procurement Scorecard, as confirmed by the American Small Business League. The Scorecard will report on the specific dollar volume and the percentage of federal contracts awarded to small businesses.
New SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet will release the data in a press conference at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Senator Ben Cardin, D-Md.
A series of federal investigations and investigative reports have found the SBA continues to include billions of dollars in federal contracts to Fortune 500 firms and thousands of other large businesses in their small business contracting statistics.


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Aug 5, 2014

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 Reference Article.

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Aug 26, 2014

A little over two weeks ago GSA awarded the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI) Office Supply 3 (OS3) Indefinite-Quantity-Indefinite Delivery (IDIQ) contracts—the third generation FSSI for office supplies. These new OS3 IDIQ contracts duplicate the current GSA Schedule 75 for office supplies—so much so that the OS3 solicitation used GSA Schedule 75 pricing as a benchmark. Moreover, for those GSA Schedule 75 contractors who now have OS3 contracts—the OS3 contract terms require pricing consistency across both vehicles, essentially incorporating by reference the operative GSA Schedule 75 contract terms!
As a result of this effort, GSA and the firms competing OS3 together spent millions of bid and proposal dollars for a duplicative contract vehicle. Time and money could have been saved through the competitive establishment of BPAs under the GSA Schedule 75. More importantly, task order competitions using the GSA Schedule 75 would have leveraged individual agency requirements in a cost effective and efficient manner.  Read full article.

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Aug 26, 2014

A growing number of agencies no longer believe prices under the General Services Administration schedules program are "fair and reasonable."

Along with the Defense Department, NASA quietly issued a memo in March that requires its contracting officers to do additional research to ensure GSA schedule prices are the best value for the government. Industry sources say other agency memos could follow from the likes of the departments of Health and Human Services, Homeland Security and Energy.

And nearly five months after the Defense Department's Dick Ginman, director for procurement and acquisition policy (DPAP), created quite a stir by changing almost two decades of precedent around GSA schedule prices, Tom Sharpe, the commissioner of the Federal Acquisition Service, finally responded publicly to these major changes.
"I support what Dick Ginman has done in terms of telling his contracting workforce to go ahead and apply techniques to get the best price, value and other things important to the taxpayers when they raise orders or otherwise contract — that means getting competition and that means negotiating prices," Sharpe said in an interview with Federal News Radio. "I think where Dick was at, and I agree with him, is we didn't know how often contracting officers were receiving discounts. If you have any type of large volume at the order level, you should in fact be competing orders and negotiating discounts. The schedules were set up to enable that."
Sharpe said by standardizing part numbers and descriptions on the schedules, GSA will use the data to make decisions about how much price variability in the schedules make sense, and agencies can use the data to make better buying decisions. He said GSA also plans to propose a rule to require schedule contractors to provide prices paid data and all demographics around it.
Sharpe said FAS will put that data in a tool so buyers can use it to help them shape how they should price that order.
"I support the agencies getting the best prices they can," he said. "I'm in the process at FAS of setting the conditions, particularly on the multiple award schedule, such that possibly those deviations would no longer be needed, and I'll defer to those customers."
Despite Sharpe's support of DoD, and presumably NASA too, industry experts aren't happy with this growing trend. Several sources say DoD, and now NASA, aren't solving a problem with the schedules, but rather not addressing a problem with the training of contracting officers. Read Full Article.



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Aug 26, 2014

Transportation: Honoring the Past, Treasuring the Present, Shaping the Future

Ashburn, VA (August 20, 2014) – GovPartners, LLC (“GovPartners”, “Covert Travelers”) a leading provider of complete acquisition management support services, with Covert Travelers, today announced they will be holding the 1st in a series of breakfast events at the National Conference Center in Lansdowne, VA Oct. 22nd from 8:00 am to 10:30 am.  The theme of this event is “Transportation: Honoring the Past, Treasuring the Present, Shaping the Future”.   The aim of this Series will be to inform Leaders, Sponsors, and Clients in the Transportation Industry of current events and an inside track as to what the future may hold.

This event will include speakers of varying viewpoints and diverse backgrounds who can provide some insight into where the transportation industry is headed, how it can improve upon its past, and the issues affecting the present.  The keynote speakers for the Fall Breakfast are Bill Lanham Manager, Landside Contract Division of Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority - Dulles International Airport; David Dacquino President/ CEO of Skylink Air & Logistics USA; Ralign Wells, Director Office of Parking and Transportation of Maryland Aviation Administration, Baltimore/Washington International Airport; and Paul Mounier Transit and Commuter Services Division Manager, Loudoun County.

The speakers will focus their discussions on the expected changes within the transportation industry; where we started, how we have evolved, and where we expect to be in the future.  The presentation will include all areas of transportation—ground, air and sea.

“The future is delivered from the station of dreams to the destination of success, facilitated by various modes of transportation. We hope this event informs, enlightens, inspires, and cultivates innovations within the industry. GovPartners is honored to present such a prestigious panel of visionaries,” said Cynthia Karnik, GovPartners Customer Experience Officer™ (CEO).”

A portion of the ticket proceeds from the Fall Speaker Series will go to the Dulles Area Transportation Association (DATA). 

About GovPartners and Covert Travelers
Founded in 2009, GovPartners, a certified small woman & minority owned business and LDBE, provides complete acquisition management, contract compliance and performance evaluation services.  Their mission is to engage with clients to help determine what should be measured and how, advise on the most effective ways to analyze the data and provide reports with conclusions and recommendations.  Covert Travelers developed as the Customer Intelligence Analyst (CIA) Division, the clandestine arm of GovPartners.  Covert Travelers is comprised of an experienced team focused on providing clients with objective metrics to measure customer experience and operational performance, currently serves transportation industry clients that represent some of the most innovative and successful customer-focused organizations competing in the marketplace.  Their surveying and experience management solutions deliver value to customer-focused companies in an array of industries.  For more information about GovPartners and Covert Travelers, visit their websites at and
For more information please contact:
Meg Galvan / Creative Analyst
Phone:  (571) 252-3868 | Email:

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Aug 28, 2014

The General Services Administration will stop accepting new vendors on its professional services schedule in the coming months. The decision to temporarily close down the seven schedule contracts for services to new companies is part of how GSA is giving its entire program a facelift.
Tiffany Hixson, the GSA's Federal Acquisition Service's professional services category executive, said the suspension of new vendors getting on the schedules could last between three and six months.
"The other challenge for us is going to be if there is a federal agency that needs a contractor to get on schedule, we will have to accommodate that," Hixson said in an exclusive interview with Federal News Radio.
She said the decision to suspend new entrants on services schedules, including MOBIS, professional engineering and financial services, will not impact the current 3,500 schedule holders, nor how agencies use the schedules to buy services. Agencies spent about $11 billion on these seven schedules in 2013, with MOBIS and the financial service schedule leading the way.
Hixson is leading an effort to change how GSA provides services under the schedules program. She said the goal over the next 18 months is to make it easier for agencies to purchase integrated services and reduce the costs for GSA to administer these schedule contracts. Read full Article.

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