On Wednesday, May 10, 2017, I will be in Oak Ridge, Tennessee taking part in a Mentor Protégé & Joint Venture Speaker Panel Seminar. This interactive seminar will offer insights for small businesses and large prime contractors on assembling, marketing, and administrating joint ventures and teaming arrangements. It will address the unique challenges presented by teaming agreements and joint ventures while offering best practices for navigating these strategic alliances more effectively to win government contracts.

This program is sponsored by The University of Tennessee Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and the Oak Ridge Chamber.

Visit the SBDC website for more information and registration.

Last month, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released results from its investigation into the effectiveness of the Department of Defense (DoD) Pilot Mentor-Protégé Program. In accordance with the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2016, GAO reviewed DoD’s procedures for approving mentor-protégé agreements, its performance measures for the program, and the differences between its program and the new All Small Mentor Protégé Program established by the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Continue Reading GAO Review Calls for Greater Oversight of DoD’s “Pilot” Mentor-Protégé Program

I will be in Tampa, Florida on Friday, May 5 speaking at the 30th Annual Government Small Business Conference: Game Plan for Federal Contracting. I will speak on the topic of, “SBA Mentor Protégé Program” at 10:50 a.m. This session will provide an overview of the Mentor Protégé program and offer insights into how businesses of all types can take advantage of the program. This session is appropriate for businesses looking to develop their business and compete more successfully for federal government contracts.

Visit the Florida Small Business Development Center website for more information and registration.

On April 18, President Trump signed the “Presidential Executive Order on Buy American and Hire American” (the Order), which declares the Executive branch’s policy to buy American goods and rigorously enforce and administer laws governing entry into the United States of workers from abroad.  The Order is keeping with President Trump’s campaign promises regarding hiring American workers and promoting U.S. manufacturing, and signals a renewed focus on domestic sourcing requirements as well as the likelihood of greater restrictions on work visas for non-U.S. citizens.

Continue Reading Buy American Executive Order Means Renewed Obligations for Government Contractors

In an article published by Law360, I provided expanded insight on a U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) jurisdiction gap that occurred between October 1 and December 14, 2016, due to a legislative oversight. During this lapse, there was no venue with jurisdiction to hear protests of civilian agency task order awards. Congress has now given GAO permanent jurisdiction, but recent rulings dealing with the lapse have made clear that the legislation will not be applied retroactively. I suggest that now “that the GAO’s jurisdiction to hear protests of both civilian and DOD task order protests is permanent, albeit set at different thresholds, it is unlikely that such lapses will occur again anytime soon.”

The full article, “An Update On Aftermath Of GAO Jurisdiction Gap,” was published by Law360 on April 6, 2017, and is available online.

Additional insights can be found in my earlier blog post on the topic, “Timing is Everything – GAO Refuses to Apply Jurisdiction Retroactively,” published on March 20, 2017.

As we previously reported, Congress has taken its final steps in repealing Obama’s Fair Pay & Safe Workplaces rule, one of the most controversial rules enacted by the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council under President Obama. On February 6, the Senate gave the final vote of approval of the House Resolution overturning the rule, and on March 27, President Trump, unsurprisingly, signed the Resolution into law. At the same time, he also signed legislation overturning three other rules, including the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s land use planning rule and two rules issued by the U.S. Department of Education.  Though much of the Fair Pay rule had never been implemented due to a court injunction, this legislation formally revokes the rule and ensures that the FAR Council cannot enact a similar rule without Congressional approval.

Continue Reading Ding Dong the Regulation’s Dead! – Trump Finalizes Statutory Repeal of the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Rule

This week I will be in Tampa, Florida speaking at the two-day, interactive Florida GovCon Summit presented by Solvability. I will speak on the topic of, “Growing Your Business Through Joint Ventures” at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, March 29. Recent changes in federal regulations have presented businesses with options and strategies for growth, this session will consider how businesses should maximize those opportunities.

Additional program information is available here.

From March 29-30, I will be in Tampa, Florida taking part in the Florida GovCon Summit presented by Solvability. This two-day, interactive summit features speakers with deep and broad roots in federal contracting. The panel session I will be speaking on is titled, “Maximizing Your Value for Exit.” This panel will offer insight into how small businesses can plan their exit strategy, best practices to finding a buyer and the steps to take now to maximize company valuation. I will specifically delve into the major legal considerations and issues to be aware of in planning an exit strategy.

Visit the Florida GovCon Summit website for more information and registration.

As we previously reported, following the start of the Trump Administration, Congress has moved aggressively to overturn regulations passed in the final days of the Obama Administration through the rarely-used powers in the Congressional Review Act (CRA). This focus on CRA actions, which is in keeping with the Trump Administration’s broader goal of eliminating costly regulations, has taken time and attention in the early days of the 115th Congress because the CRA gives Congress a limited amount of time to reverse regulations.  One of the rules that has been targeted for elimination is the Fair Pay & Safe Workplaces rule, a rule subject to much debate and controversy since its enactment in August 2016. Recent Senate action makes it likely that the rule, which would have imposed billions of dollars in costs on taxpayers over the next decade, will be eliminated next week.

Continue Reading Last Straw for the Fair Pay & Safe Workplaces Rule – Congress to Take Final Vote on Repeal

Just a few days into Donald Trump’s presidency, he has already taken actions that raise potential challenges and opportunities for federal contractors. In his Memorandum of January 23, 2017, Trump imposed a hiring freeze on civilian employees.  The order also states that “[c]ontracting outside the Government to circumvent the intent of this memorandum shall not be permitted.”  The order requires the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to “recommend a long-term plan to reduce the size of the Federal Government’s workforce through attrition” within 90 days (i.e., late April of this year). The order will expire upon implementation of the OMB plan.  In the short-term, this creates obvious challenges for agencies and their contractors seeking new employees to perform government services.

Continue Reading New Administration Signals New Challenges and Opportunities for Federal Contractors