Your guide to federal contracts

mid atlanticDoña hosted a talk show format panel made up of a former government contracting official, a former government program manager, a small business proposal manager, and large business proposal or capture manager. The talk show guests discussed the good, bad and the very ugly facts and perceptions about what is a “winning” proposal from both the bidder side and the evaluator side. The hosts shared important lessons learned and addressed many of the “why didn’t I win” assumptions and perceptions in the proposal management world. Guests brought  their own views, making this a very lively discussion, but they were also prepared by the host to discuss the specific issues that cause the biggest gap in agreement between the typical sender and receiver of proposals. Valuable lessons learned from the contractor side and very important insights from the customer side. Read more here.

contractI just had a great discussion at a meeting concerning past performance questionnaires (PPQ) and what could be done to effect a change in this obviously inappropriate requirement.  The issue is about the typical RFP/RFQ requiring the contractor/vendor to send a past performance questionnaire to a reference (work of similar size and scope) for them to complete and send directly back to the government contracting office by a specified due date and time.  Failure to have this accomplished can make you non-compliant or, in the best case, be evaluated as a “neutral” for past performance (a sure loser).  This is the very definition of “responsibility without authority.”

I want to emphasize that this issue is not related to whether or not a company has any CPARS past performance information or whether or not the government customer has been remiss in entering CPARS data.  CPARS is a… Continue reading →

cautionOn July 9, 2013 the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) launched a government-managed reverse auction platform—— available through the National Information Technology Commodity Program (NITCP) of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service (FAS).  GSA expects the platform to deliver increased savings for federal agencies on the most commonly purchased office products, equipment and services, while also making it easier for small businesses to compete for the government’s business.

In a reverse auction, sellers compete to win business from agencies; prices will typically decrease as the competitive auction progresses.  GSA’s new reverse auction platform reduces federal agencies’ acquisition processing time and costs, drives prices and costs down, improves transparency and collection of data, and allows for small business set-asides.

This approach to government procurement will be used with a significant number of GSA’s Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) as a cost-cutting process for buying commonly used products and services. … Continue reading →

Department of TransportationPlans by Operating Administration

September 27, 2013

Certain personnel are required to provide support services to safety personnel and to provide for the orderly shutdown of FAA activities.  In general, it will take approximately four hours to shut down most of the agency’s non-excepted activities, with the possible exception of activities necessary to issue stop work orders on contracts and employee furlough notices.  FAA expects that the orderly shutdown work of contracting officers will be done within one day.  Other activities may take two to three days to complete and will involve human resources and budget/finance personnel.  Individuals providing support services to safety positions will report to work to provide employees excepted for the purpose directly protecting life and property with necessary legal, information technology, labor relation, and contract support services.

Read the full report here.

capitol building

By Transport Topics
The Newspaper of Trucking and Freight Transportation

While highway construction and safety programs have not been affected by the shutdown of the federal government, investigations of the National Transportation Safety Board and economic indicators released by the government have been hampered. Read the full article here.