The Obama Administration recently released a significantly simplified health insurance application. The initial application for single coverage was 21 pages, while the new one is only three pages. Applications for family coverage have also been significantly reduced. Many of the overly intrusive health condition questions have been eliminated and the new applications are considerably shorter than typical industry standards.
The new online applications are designed to create a dynamic experience that is much easier for the applicant.
The new applications are effective Continue reading »
Over the last five years, the Government Services industry has seen continuous interest from financial sponsors. Private equity firms have acquired publicly-traded services providers (e.g., Providence/SRA; Ares/GTEC), divestitures of large systems integrators (e.g., Veritas/The SI; General Atlantic & KKR/TASC), and both middle and small market contractors (e.g., Arlington/White Oak Technologies; LLR/Paragon). In 2012, private equity firms and their platforms accounted for one-third of the acquisition activity within Government Services. Financial sponsors are expected to continue to play a significant role in the Government Services M&A market as contractors (public and private) seek new opportunities to grow in an environment of sequesters, budget cuts, and funding uncertainty.
The Draw of Government Contracting
Financial sponsors like predictable cash flows and large addressable markets. Compared to the commercial sector, federal contractors have Continue reading »
This summer looks like a good one for small businesses, as small-business contracts with the federal government worth more than $2 billion are set to open for competition in the coming months.
The upcoming contract competitions include opportunities across the defense landscape, with requirements ranging from geospatial capabilities to IT and professional services.
Here’s a look at three notable contracts — all specifically set aside for small businesses — that will be open for new competition this May: Continue reading »
UPDATE 5/17/13: GSA has posted the OASIS Industry Day presentations to the Interact site. Based on the contents, there have been some confirmed and proposed changes regarding relevant experience and past performance:
- Evaluation points will be awarded in some fashion for cost-reimbursement experience
- Evaluation points may be awarded for demonstrating IDIQ management experience
- Considering allowing state and local government contracts as relevant experience
- Considering adjusting past performance evaluation points to allow for further distinction between levels of performance (i.e. 4.8-5.0=600 points, 4.6-4.79=500 points, etc.)
Thank you for continuing to follow our special GSA OASIS blog series. Before discussing the requirements for relevant experience and past performance on OASIS and OASIS SB, a disclaimer – all posts are based on information from the OASIS draft RFP and the most current information available on the OASIS Industry Community on GSA Interact. Changes are certain to occur between the draft solicitation and the final RFP; Aronson will identify major changes as soon as we are aware of them.
Before making a final bid decision, interested companies must understand that simply meeting the minimum requirements of the solicitation will not be enough to guarantee an OASIS contract. GSA wants to award to the best of the best, so evaluation points are only awarded to those who exceed the minimum requirements, sometimes by a significant margin. This will be especially important in the evaluation criteria for the five relevant experience examples required from each bidder. Of the possible evaluation points an offeror can earn, more than 75% come from relevant experience and past performance (see Section M.5).
One of the most critical things for potential bidders to understand when selecting relevant experience is that TEAMING Continue reading »
Generally, to be eligible for the domestic production activities deduction (DPAD), a taxpayer must earn gross receipts from a disposition of qualifying production property. This typically involves a sale and delivery of a manufactured product by the taxpayer to a customer. However, the IRS recently ruled that a government contractor made a disposition for DPAD purposes despite the fact that title to the property reverted back to the contractor (Technical Advice Memorandum 201314043, 04/05/2013). The ruling disposition was not requiring
Continue reading »
By Katie Flood, PilieroMazza PLLC
As participants in the HUBZone Program were painfully made aware in 2011 and 2012, HUBZone district designations are subject to change based upon economic and demographic shifts. If you are a HUBZone small business concern, it is important to keep tabs on the designation status of your district for purposes of your federal contract forecasting, particularly in light of several recent developments.
Generally, HUBZones are located within one or more qualified census tracts; qualified nonmetropolitan counties; Indian reservation lands; qualified base closure areas; or those areas “redesignated” as HUBZones after losing their qualifying status. If a HUBZone has been redesignated, it may only Continue reading »
On May 2, 2013, Governor Martin O’Malley signed into law the Cybersecurity Investment Incentive Tax Credit. The Governor proposed the credit earlier this year as part of his proposed FY 2014 budget. The credit takes effect July 1, 2013, and applies to tax year 2014 through 2018.
Based on Maryland’s biotechnology investment credit, the new cybersecurity credit allows an investor who invests at least $25,000 in a qualified Maryland cybersecurity company to claim a credit in the amount of 33% of investments made in a Maryland cybersecurity company. The credit is not refundable, but any unused amount of the credit may be carried forward for seven tax years. An eligible investment is a contribution to a qualified cybersecurity company in exchange for stock or ownership interest as long as the investor does not acquire an ownership interest in a company that exceeds 25%. Continue reading »
Executive compensation is a hot topic and has been widely discussed in industry blogs, presentations, webinars, etc. Our discussion of executive compensation applies to all Government contractors, whether the compensation of their executives reaches the Government compensation cap or not. Previously, we have discussed the current compensation cap of $763,029 and the attempts by the Senate and the President (blog post coming soon) to reduce the cap. Below is a discussion of the factors used to determine what the reasonable executive compensation for contractors should be.
The compensation cap noted above applies when the amount of allowable reasonable compensation exceeds the cap; however, for many small and mid-size contractors reasonable executive compensation will not approach that amount. FAR 31.205-6(b)(2) states that compensation “must be reasonable for the work performed.” Comparison of compensation to other firms should take into account companies: Continue reading »
On April 30th, Howard County government contractors and service providers attended GovConnects’ Monthly Business Breakfast Series: “The Current Landscape at Fort Meade for Small Business” at UMUC in Elkridge, Md. for a morning that combined important information with valuable networking opportunities.
Aronson LLC partner Mike Muscatello introduced the first keynote speaker, Colonel Rothstein, Garrison Commander at Ft. Meade. The Colonel spoke about the Ft. Meade community and the importance of the partnership with local businesses. He talked to attendees about the ways in which corporate innovation is playing an important role at “Team Meade,” the third largest military installation in the country. Continue reading »
A recent Virginia sales and use tax ruling illustrates how ignoring basic sales and use principles can be costly for businesses. The concept is simple – a sales tax is a consumption tax imposed on the end user of a product. Thus, if your company purchases tangible personal property with the intent of reselling the property (i.e., not consuming it), it generally should not pay sales tax on that purchase. This concept holds true for leases as well. However, a purchaser must notify a seller of this intent by providing a certificate to the seller indicating that the purchased product will be resold. Otherwise, the seller is obligated to collect sales tax.
The failure to apply this foundational sales and use tax concept had a costly result for Continue reading »
What We Are Writing
- A Marriage of Inconvenience: GSA Schedule Contracts & The Contractor Code of Business Ethics & Conduct Clause
- Emerging Small Businesses: To Grow Your Business, You Must Plan For Growth
- Government Contracting: Look Before You Leap!
- GSA Schedules – Strategies for Success
- New Employee vs. Independent Contractor Considerations
- Pay on Display – Understanding the Executive Compensation and Subcontractor Data Reporting Requirements & Ramifications
- The GSA Schedule: Your Ticket to the Federal Market (May 2010)
- The New FAR Codes of Conduct and Compliance Program Provisions
- The Seven Deadly Sins (of contract compliance)