The Federal Government Contracts & Procurement Blog

http://governmentcontracts.foxrothschild.com/

Nicholas contributes to the Federal Government Contracts & Procurement blog, addressing current and future issues affecting federal contractors and procurement professionals in both the Washington, D.C., area and throughout the United States.

Recent Blog Posts

  • House Bill Seeks LPTA Reform; Focus on Best Value Procurements For government contractors frustrated by Federal agencies’ use of Lowest-Price Technically-Acceptable solicitations on complex services contracts – help may be on the way. As I’ve discussed before, LPTA procurements can have a chilling effect on contractors that are able to provide increased technical benefits to the government – but at an increased price.  LPTA solicitations encourage contractors to get as lean as possible – focusing on price and only minimum technical competency. A Bill currently before the U.S. House of Representatives proposes... More
  • Government Contracting 101: GAO Requests for Reconsideration Government contractors usually find themselves appearing before the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on a bid protest for one of two reasons:  (1) you believe that the government erroneously did not award a contract to your business or (2) your business holds a contract award that is challenged by a disappointed offeror.  Either way, there is a contract on the line that likely means a great deal to you (and your business). In the past, we’ve discussed strategies for filing protests –... More
  • Fox Speaks: Unpacking the SBA’s All Small Mentor-Protégé Program Join me on Thursday, August 24, 2017 for lunch (11:30 am to 1:30 pm) and learn about the Small Business Administration’s All Small Mentor Protégé Program. The event is sponsored by Design-Build Institute of American Mid-Atlantic and will be held at Maggiano’s in Tysons Corner. For months, we poured over the proposed and final rules – speculating about how the Program would look and operate.  Now it is here.  With the SBA accepting and processing applications at a healthy clip, there... More
  • Contractor Alert: The Importance of Claim Certifications and Appeal Deadlines Contractors seeking to recover additional time and/or costs on government contracts typically choose to proceed with either a Request for Equitable Adjustment (REA) or a Claim.  These remedies fall under the general umbrella of the Disputes clause (FAR 52.233-1). Often times, REAs and Claims can be a study in contrasts.  From a procedural perspective, submissions to the government are the subject of numerous technical hurdles that require strict compliance.  For example, a Claim must be “certified” by the contractor if it... More
  • Size Protest Update: Can the SBA Rely on Tax Returns Filed After the Date of Self-Certification?   The baseline rule for SBA size protests is that a business’s size (for a receipts-based size standard) is determined by looking at the average annual receipts for the last three completed fiscal years.  But what if a contractor does not have a tax return on file for the most recent fiscal year? A recent Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Hearings & Appeals (OHA) decision answered that question in a remarkably succinct way:  It Doesn’t Matter. The decision arises out of the... More
  • GAO: Agency Reasonably Concerned Over Lack of Price Increases   We often discuss the need for government contractors to Read and React when responding to a solicitation:  (1) Read the RFP and understand all of the requirements and limitations and (2) React to the RFP’s evaluation scheme by playing the appropriate strengths and minimizing weaknesses.  And sometimes, the best reaction is knowing the value of beefing up your proposal in the right areas — even when it will increase your overall price. The best example when it comes to shifting proposal... More
  • Fox Speaks: Government Record Retention under the FAR This Thursday, June 29 (1:00 – 2:30 EST), I will be hosting a webinar to discuss document retention requirements for government contractors. Implementing corporate document retention policies is an essential business practice for two reasons: First, there is a legal duty for contractors to comply with contractual document retention requirements.  If the government requests to inspect your company’s records (for example, as part of a DCAA audit) and they are not available, it opens the door to some serious negative consequences (like... More
  • GAO Offers Insight into Winning (and Losing) Bid Protest Arguments Government contractors know the odds on GAO bid protests – are they are not all that good.  Even with a noticeable uptick, the statistics reveal that less than 1/4 (about 23%) of all bid protests were sustained in FY 16.  Even factoring in voluntary agency corrective action, the odds of a positive outcome are still worse than a coin flip (about 46%). So, the question is how can you make those odds work for your business? First, pick the right battle.  As I discuss... More
  • Late is Late: A Guide to Delivering Electronic Proposals on Time This is not a unique story – but there is still a lesson for Federal contractors to learn. A recent GAO decision considered an electronic proposal submitted by email just prior to the 4:00 p.m. deadline.  Although the contractor beat the clock, the proposal did not arrive in the contracting officer’s electronic mailbox until about two hours later – after the deadline. The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) takes a hardline (but easy to follow) position on untimely proposal submissions.  Late is Late.  With... More
  • FAR 52.204-21 and the Future of Federal Cybersecurity Enforcement   Earlier this month, we had the pleasure of opening the 2017 Associated General Contractors of America Federal Contractor Conference in Washington, DC with a presentation focused on the emerging issue of Cybersecurity in Federal contracting.  Data breaches are big news in the private sector, but the issue has remained somewhat under the radar for public contracts – until now. New rules and regulations (with the imminent promise of more on the way) are setting the stage for Cybersecurity to be the next big government... More