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

  • SBA Adjusts Size Standards Based on Inflation For the first time since 2014, the Small Business Administration (SBA) adjusted size standards for small businesses to keep pace with inflation.  Initially posted by the SBA for public comment back in June, the interim rule went into effect on August 19, 2019. According to SBA, the change “restores small business eligibility in real terms to businesses that have grown above the existing size standard due to inflation-led revenue growth rather than due to increased business activity.” For those readers in the... More
  • Contractor Alert: Protect Your Confidential and Proprietary Information From FOIA Disclosure It is common practice for contractors to provide the government with their confidential and propriety information – whether it comes in the form of a response to a solicitation, invitation for bid, or other materials provided during the course of contract performance. Since you provided the information on a public contract, does that mean the information is now available to anyone (including your competitors) through a simple Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request?  A recent decision from the U.S. Supreme Court... More
  • Accept No Imitations: Contractor Cannot Recover for Claim Based on Brand Name Products When a contractor delivers goods to the government that do not conform to the precise requirements of the contract, the results are usually . . . not good.  When the agency specifies certain products in the contract, the contractor should plan to satisfy the exact specifications (or prepare to suffer the consequences). A straightforward example arose recently on a GSA construction contract.  The contract called for the installation of products from specifically named manufactures (with limited sources identified).  The contract also... More
  • ASBCA Offers Latest Reminder that Plain Language Controls Government Contract Interpretation Two weeks ago, I presented on Common Issues in Government Contract Interpretation.  The course examined common issues encountered by government contractors in bidding on and performing government contracts – as well as the dispute resolution process under the Contract Disputes Act. One of the course’s major topics was the Plain Meaning Rule – the concept that Boards and Courts interpreting government contracts will look to the contract language first.  In fact, if the language is clear, the Judge will look at... More
  • Fox Speaks: Key Questions of Contract Interpretation in Government Contracts Join me today, Monday July 15, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. (Eastern) for Lawline’s Live Course: KEY QUESTIONS OF CONTRACT INTERPRETATION IN GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS. During the 90-minute course, I’ll cover the key principles of contract interpretation as they relate to government contracting.  To take best take advantage our my limited time and maximize value for those in attendance, I’ll be breaking our discussion down into three parts: Contract Formation – How the U.S. Government forms contracts with private contractors, including tips on avoiding common... More
  • Best Value Bid Protests: Sometimes, Better Really Is Better I’ve spent a good deal of time on this blog discussing practical strategies for Best Value procurements.  As the name implies, the goal of every Best Value proposal should be to  maximize the benefit your business can provide to the agency.  While price is always a consideration, Best Value RFPs present an opportunity to flex and show how you can do it better than anyone else (whatever it is). Today, we take a look at an instructive example of a Best Value protest and examine GAO’s... More
  • Contractor Update: Credit for Lower-Tier Subcontracts toward Small Business Subcontracting Goals It has been a long time coming, but it appears that the government will (finally) amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to align with prior changes by the Small Business Administration (SBA) concerning credit for lower-tier small business subcontracting. The proposed rule addresses changes to FAR 19.704 and 52.219-9 to marry the regulation up with SBA’s amendments. We first covered this issue back in 2016 when SBA issued a final rule amending the small business subcontracting plan regulations.  SBA’s amendment allows large... More
  • Update: SBA Proposes Final Rule for Size Determinations under the Runway Act Back in January, I commented on the lack of clarity associated with the the Small Business Runway Extension Act.   The Runway Act calls for calculating a business’s size by averaging its annual receipts over the five most recently completed fiscal years.  That, of course, is a change from the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) standard practice of calculating size under the same metrics, but for a three-year period. Should a business use the three- or five-year standard to measure its size when submitting a proposal?  It appears that... More
  • SDVOSB Protests: The Playbook for Proving Ownership and Control The essential elements of the government’s Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) program are ownership and control of the business by a qualifying service-disabled veteran of the U.S. military. A recent protest challenged a firm’s SDVOSB status on that precise basis – i.e., that a service-disabled vet did not control the day-to-day operations of the company.  The Small Business Administration’s Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) denied the protest in summary fashion.  In doing so, the decision provides a winning playbook for... More
  • Does Your Business Qualify as Small? The Answer Just Got More Complicated At the end of 2018, the President signed the Small Business Runway Extension Act.  Without much fanfare, the Act delivers a major shakeup to the Federal small business community. Before the Act, a business would determine its size by calculating its average annual receipts over the three most recently completed fiscal years.  With the stroke of a pen, those average annual receipts are now measured over a five year period. Perhaps predictably, lots of ink was promptly spilled on the internet both hailing... More