With a contracting budget approaching $650 billion per year, the United States government is the largest consumer of goods and services globally. In 2020, the federal government spent $145 billion, an equivalent of 26% of its total procurement spending, with small businesses. Breaking into government contracting can be a tremendous opportunity for small and emerging
Todd Overman has over fifteen years of experience advising companies on the unique aspects of doing business with the federal government. Over the last decade, he has advised on more than 50 transactions involving the purchase or sale of a government contractor.
I am looking forward to presenting a session titled “Intellectual Property” for the Oak Ridge Small Business Innovation Conference on January 25, 2022 at 12:30 p.m. EDT. The conference is hosted by the UT Center for Industrial Services, Institute for Public Service. Conference highlights include:
- Tips regarding proposal strategies for SBIR/STTR funding
- Understanding how to
On December 8, 2021, President Biden issued Executive Order (EO) 14057 “Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs Through Federal Sustainability.” The EO is the administration’s most recent effort to achieve “a carbon pollution-free electricity sector by 2035 and net-zero emissions economy-wide by no later than 2050.”
Federal agencies, government suppliers, and American businesses are urged to embrace the administration’s sustainability objectives and attain cleaner and more sustainable operation standards.
Federal Sustainability Plan
The EO describes the Biden administration’s efforts to adopt green technology by focusing on five aspects.…
A 2016 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report noted that the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) did not have an official method of validating contractors’ affirmative action plans or programs (AAP) compliance. GAO recommended that OFCCP progress from an “honors” or self-representation system to a mechanism that regularly monitors AAP compliance. In September 2020, OFCCP published a notice seeking comment on the possibility of an annual AAP certification and verification process.
On December 2, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced that federal service and supply contractors and subcontractors presently required to create and maintain written AAPs will also be required to certify whether they meet annual AAP requirements. Certification will be through a secure online Contractor Portal developed and monitored by OFCCP. Contractors can also upload their AAPs to the portal during a compliance evaluation. Certifying compliance in the Contractor Portal does not exempt a contractor or subcontractor from compliance evaluations. Contractors and subcontractors that are only construction and not supply and service contractors are not required to certify AAP compliance.…
For nearly two years, we have been reporting on this blog about the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) program. CMMC is a training, certification, and third-party assessment program designed to protect federal contract information (FCI) and controlled unclassified information (CUI) shared by DoD with its contractors and subcontractors through federal acquisition programs.
On November 4, the DoD announced that CMMC 2.0 would replace CMMC 1.0. The announcement was followed by a publication in the Federal Register of a summary of DoD’s CMMC 2.0 plans, which explains that the changes will be implemented through the notice and comment rulemaking process, proposing revisions/additions to titles 32 and 48 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
The decision was driven in large part by the more than 850 public comments submitted to the DoD in response to the CMMC 1.0 interim DFARS rule released on September 29, 2020, focusing on the need to enhance CMMC by doing the following, according to CMMC Frequently Asked Questions:
- Reducing costs, particularly for small businesses.
- Increasing trust in the CMMC assessment ecosystem.
- Clarifying and aligning cybersecurity requirements to other federal requirements and commonly accepted standards.
The $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) that President Biden signed on November 15, expands the provisions supporting American manufacturing through federal procurement. The IIJA statutory directives impose novel domestic origin requirements and standards for construction materials and products acquired for federally-aided public works infrastructure projects at state and local levels.
Prior efforts to protect and promote the U.S. industrial base consisted of President Trump’s July 15, 2019 Executive Order 13881, Maximizing Use of American-Made Goods, Products, and Materials, and President Biden’s January 25, 2021 Executive Order 14005, Ensuring the Future is Made in All of America by All of America’s Workers. Find more information about these two executive orders on our blog post titled “Heightened Buy American Act Requirements Are Here and More Are on the Way.”
President Biden’s EO 14005 was reinforced by the statutory authorities detailed in the domestic preference provisions of the IIJA. The three key concepts of the IIJA are:…
Organizational conflicts of interest (OCI) are troubling for both the government and contractors. Under FAR 2.101, an OCI is a situation where “a person is unable or potentially unable to render impartial assistance or advice to the Government, or the person’s objectivity in performing the contract work is or might be otherwise impaired, or a person has an unfair competitive advantage.” In an OCI investigation, a contracting officer (CO) should assess OCI risk during the pre-award and post-award procurement processes.
Recent Court of Federal Claims (COFC) Cases
On August 2, 2021, Judge Solomson issued his decision in Oak Grove Technologies, LLC v. United States. The unsuccessful offeror, Oak Grove Technologies (OGT), filed a bid protest challenging the United States’ award to the successful offeror, F3EA. In the complaint, OGT questioned the agency’s award decision and raised numerous challenges regarding the evaluation process. OGT also provided evidence that F3EA had allegedly improperly benefited from unequal access to information and biased ground rules. Essentially, OGT argued that an OCI tarnished the award. During a hearing, the court questioned the integrity of the procurement and recognized that OGT was not treated with the fairness required under the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). The court ultimately granted OGT’s motion and the agency was prevented from proceeding with the award to F3EA.…
The FAR Council recently published its proposed rule to implement a part of President Biden’s January 28, 2021 Executive Order No. 14005 (EO 14005), which dictated certain revisions to the Buy American Act (BAA) regulations. As discussed in our previous blog post, Section 8 of EO 14005 directed the FAR Council to consider the following:
- Replacing the “component test” at FAR Part 25.
- Increasing the threshold for domestic content.
- Increasing price preferences for domestic end products.
The proposed rule addresses Section 8 of EO 14005 by proposing to do the following:
- Increase the domestic content threshold instead of replacing the domestic content test (at least for the time being), with scheduled increases.
- Permit a limited period during which U.S.-made end products meeting the current domestic content threshold (greater than 55%) will be considered “domestic end products” under certain circumstances.
- Establish a list of critical products and critical components subject to additional price preferences and post-award reporting requirements.
This past January, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that procurement fraud recoveries comprised the second largest category of fraud recoveries in Fiscal Year (FY) 2020, a trend that continued from FY 2019. With last November’s announcement of DOJ’s intent to expand its Procurement Collusions Strike Force (PCSF), we expect to see a continued trend…
We are looking forward to participating in Solvability’s GovCon Summit 2021 of which the firm also serves as a sponsor. This year’s GovCon Summit will provide tactics and strategies from the nation’s top GovCon professionals that have helped thousands of companies win government contracts.
Attendees of GovCon Summit 2021 will learn how to increase revenue…