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 changes as well as 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 »
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 »
Federal courts have consistently ruled that retailers must have a physical presence in a state to be required to collect sales taxes. That has allowed online retailers to offer many customers tax-free shopping. Equally important, the physical presence requirement has allowed smaller businesses using common carriers to expand their customer base without the administrative burden of collecting sales tax. But, with Congress making headway on federal legislation that would eliminate the physical presence rule for many retailers and a recent New York State Court of Appeals decision going against Amazon and Overstock.com, the sales tax collection obligations for retailers may soon become more burdensome.
On March 19th, 75 U.S. Senators supported a non-binding vote of approval for the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013, a heavily-debated bill that is backed by a coalition of brick-and-mortar retailers such as Wal-Mart and Best Buy and vehemently opposed by certain online retailers such as eBay. Although the vote was only a preliminary approval of a vague summary of the bill that was an amendment to a budget bill, the bipartisan nature of the vote suggests that remote seller legislation could be voted into law this year.
If enacted as is, the bill would allow states to require remote sellers with over Continue reading »
The small business set-aside designations are being removed from GSA Schedule 541, Advertising and Integrated Marketing Solutions (AIMS). The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) now authorizes agencies to set aside procurements for small businesses at the task order level of a Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) contract.
This change will affect contractors that hold Special Item Numbers (SINs): Continue reading »
The Obama Administration’s recently released fiscal year 2014 budget contains several provisions that are less than advantageous as they relate to retirement plans. These provisions are by no means final, however, as Congress has yet to work its way through them.
The proposed budget contains two specific provisions that would greatly reduce the attractiveness of retirement plans to small businesses: Continue reading »
May 17, 2013 – 7:30am – 3:00pm, at The Universities At Shady Grove, 9630 Gudelsky Drive, Rockville, MD 20850
The 2013 Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce GovConNet Procurement Conference attracts businesses ready to do business with federal, state & local governments, prime contractors and each other. Secure six months worth of business in one day!
The conference BREAKOUT SESSIONS provide businesses with access to experts and information about procurement opportunities and best business practices.
UPDATE (5/3/13): One important point I failed to mention is that on OASIS SB, GSA intends to award at least three spots in every pool to the following socioeconomic groups-8(a), SDVOSB, HUBZone, WOSB, and EDWOSB. This does not mean that only 25 of the 40 spots in a pool are available for other small businesses, though. The top 40 evaluation will proceed “blind” to socioeconomic status. If there are not at least three representatives from a particular socioeconomic group in the top 40 for a given pool, additional awards will be made to the next highest rated qualified bidder(s) in that group until there are three.
Welcome to the first post in a special series about the GSA OASIS draft RFP. First a disclaimer – all posts are based on information obtained from the OASIS draft RFP and the most current Q&A available on the OASIS Industry Community on GSA Interact. Changes are certain to occur between the draft solicitation and the final; Aronson will identify major known changes as soon as we are aware of them. Please subscribe to our RSS feed to follow this series and to make sure that you receive breaking information as it happens!
Today’s post will discuss the use of NAICS code ‘pools’ to determine a contractor’s size status and eligibility to bid on OASIS SB. Initially, GSA had intended to base the size standard for OASIS SB on a single NAICS code (541330 exception, $35.5M) based on market research concerning the preponderance of work likely to be awarded under the vehicle; however, a recent rule proposed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) caused them to change this approach. Due to the provisions of Section 1331 of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 and concerns about the improper allocation of small business credit under multiple-award contracts, the SBA plans to make significant changes to the FAR. Under the proposed rule, “the contracting officer may divide a multiple award contract for divergent goods and services into discrete categories, each of which is assigned a NAICS code with a corresponding size standard.”
In order to accommodate the probable rule change, GSA Continue reading »
UPDATE 2: The GSA OASIS Program Office just made this important announcement about the accounting system requirement: “We are removing the requirement to have a DCAA audited accounting system as a Pass/Fail element. However, Offerors must still have an accounting system that meets FAR requirements. While a DCAA audited accounting system is preferable, we will allow companies with accounting systems that have not been audited by DCAA to compete for an OASIS award. In order to meet the minimum requirements, a Non-DCAA audited accounting system must be operational and have been audited by either a cognizant non-DCAA government auditor or an independent, third party accounting firm that has certified the accounting system for compliance with the same standards set forth in SF1408, Preaward Survey of Prospective Contractor Accounting System AND FAR Part 31. Recognition of already having a DCAA audited accounting system is now present in the scoring system as a significant factor.
If you want to bid on OASIS and do not have a DCAA audited accounting system, Aronson’s financial compliance team can perform 1408 Accounting System Reviews that meet the updated requirement. For more information, please contact Nicole Mitchell at (301) 222-8231 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Judging by the attendance at recent industry events focusing on GSA OASIS, this contract vehicle for complex integrated professional services appears on many companies’ “must win” list. Although GSA has yet to release the highly anticipated draft RFP, information about this multi-billion dollar contract continues to trickle out of the Program Office. Prospective bidders got their most in-depth look yet at OASIS when GSA released the redacted version of its business case to the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) via its GSA Interact OASIS Industry Community. When considering the business case, along with all the earlier intelligence, it is apparent that priming OASIS will not be a possibility for many companies. GSA reports that its overall evaluation process will be based on a combination of “Past Performance,” “Relevant Experience,” and “Systems, Certifications, and Resources,” therefore some contractors will likely be hard-pressed to demonstrate the breadth and depth of past performance needed or meet the system requirements to be eligible to respond.
So, how do you know if priming OASIS is right for your company? Consider the following: Continue reading »
UPDATE 4/24/13: GSA has announced that all spots for the OASIS Industry Day sessions are now full. As a continued testament to the significant amount of interest in this procurement, all spaces for the OASIS and OASIS SB sessions were filled in approximately five days. The OASIS Program Office will be posting a recording of the event for those who were unable to participate. FedPoint will post a link to any live streaming or video access as soon as it is made available.
The highly-anticipated draft solicitations for OASIS and OASIS SB, new government-wide IDIQ contracts for complex integrated professional services, were finally released on March 28th via FedBizOpps. Knowing that prospective bidders would likely have many questions after pouring through the 100+ pages of information, the OASIS Program Office is hosting or attending a number of events over the next month as part of its continued outreach to industry. First and foremost, there will be an OASIS Industry Day 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)