The Federal Government Contracts & Procurement Blog

https://governmentcontracts.foxrothschild.com/

To help clients avoid risks and perform successfully in the hyper-competitive environment of government contracting, The Federal Government Contracts & Procurement Blog addresses current and future issues affecting federal contractors and procurement professionals in both the Washington, D.C., area and throughout the United States. It provides insight on the complex web of rules and regulations that govern the procurement process.

Recent Blog Posts

  • COFC: HUBZones Are Responsible for Tracking 35% Employee Residency Requirement The Small Business Administration’s HUB Zone program seeks to encourage development in historically underutilized business (or HUB) zones.  Like the SBA’s other socio-economic programs, HUBZone contractors are eligible for certain set-aside contracting opportunities, as well as participation in the SBA’s new All Small Mentor Protégé Program. The HUBZone program is different from other SBA programs in that owning a HUBZone business depends less on who you are (unlike, for example, the SBA’s women-owned or service disabled veteran-owned programs) and more on... More
  • Eye on Affiliation: The Ostensible Subcontractor Rule Small business owners must always be mindful of what it means to be “small” in the world of government contracting.  After all, losing that small business size status means losing direct access to the lucrative world of set-aside contracts and the SBA’s socio-economic programs. In the past, we’ve discussed the SBA’s rules on affiliation – in short, the rules that determine whether you actually own and control your small business.  A finding of affiliation between two companies means that the firms... More
  • GSA Leasing: How to Recoup Operating Cost Escalations GSA leases include operating costs (for example, the cost of cleaning services, supplies, materials, maintenance, trash removal, landscaping, water, sewer charges, heating, electricity, and certain administrative expenses attributable to occupancy) that will rise year after year. The key question for leaseholders is how to position yourself to recoup those cost increases beginning with the second year of the lease and for each year thereafter. The typical GSA lease includes a clause that determines whether the rental rate remains firm throughout the term... More
  • Don’t Be Fooled by the Latest Example of Federal Small Business Contracting Fraud As I’ve covered extensively on this blog, the U.S. government is conducting a wide-spread and on-going crackdown on contracting fraud.  Under the Civil False Claims Act alone, the government clawed back $3.5 billion in 2015.  And 2016 is poised to be another banner year. One of the hot topics in fraud prevention of late is small business contracting fraud.  The government is investing heavily in making sure that there are optimum opportunities for small businesses to receive federal contracting dollars (for example,... More
  • Should I File a Claim or an REA on my Government Contract?   Government contractors are frequently faced with the situation where they are owed additional time or are entitled to damages from the government on a contract.  For example, the government might be responsible for delays to the project schedule.  Or it might direct changes to the contract that make it more expensive to perform. There are generally two methods for the contractor to pursue recovery – (1) filing a Claim under the Contract Disputes Act or (2) submitting a request for equitable... More
  • Slow March to SBA’s New Small Business Mentor-Protégé Program Continues – More Changes Coming November 1   If you’re a government contractor, you likely already know about the Small Business Administration’s new Small Business Mentor-Protégé Program (now also being referred to as the “All Small” Mentor-Protégé Program by the SBA).  If you’re playing catch-up, you can find our initial thoughts on the Program here, our summary of Program pros and cons here, and our strategies for effective mentor-protégé teaming here. The SBA started accepting applications for the Program on October 1, 2016.  During this early roll-out period, applicants initiated... More
  • Eye on Affiliation: Joint Venture Partner Not Small Due to Economic Dependence Under the Small Business Administration’s regulations, two firms may partner as a joint venture to perform a small business set-aside contract, provided that each partner is a small business under the size standard assigned to the contract.  But, a recent SBA decision highlights the fact that simply entering into a joint venture does not excuse each member of the joint venture from SBA scrutiny over affiliation. In this recent case, a U.S. Department of Defense, Missile Defense Agency contract for business... More
  • Contractor Compliance Update: Mentor-Protégé Agreement Must Be Approved to Avoid Affiliation For small business government contractors, the question of affiliation should always be at the top of the list of priorities.  A finding of affiliation between your business and another business (and, in particular, a large business) could be enough to lose your small business size status – and the ability to compete for those coveted set-aside contracts. One of the few recognized exceptions to affiliation is an approved mentor-protégé relationship under the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 8(a) business development program.  In... More
  • Bid Protest Corrective Action: You Can’t Always Get What You Want Every government contractor that files a bid protest has the same goal in mind – corrective action.  The agency made a procurement error and changes need to be made. But just because the agency takes corrective action does not mean it will be the corrective action your firm wants.  Contractors should take the time to consider the possible outcomes of a successful bid protest before filing. Take, for example, the recent U.S. Court of Federal Appeals decision denying a protest over corrective action.  In that... More
  • Update: GAO Previews New Electronic Protest Docketing System (EPDS)   The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is establishing a new system for filing bid protests – the Electronic Protest Docketing System (EPDS).  GAO promises that the new system will be both “secure” and “easy-to-use.” This week, GAO rolled out a new set of instructions that offers greater insight into the new e-filing process. The instructions include definitions of key terms, details on eligibility for bid protest filers, and some logistical information on how protests will be filed and processed under the new EDPS... More