President Obama has nominated Martha Johnson as the Administrator of the General Services Administration (GSA). Johnson has most recently served on the Obama Presidential Transition Agency Review Team for GSA.
Johnson is not new to GSA, she was chief of staff (oversight of 20,000 emplyees) from 1996 -2001. She was involved in the transition of the schedules program from being a supplier of primarily of products to a supplier of both products and services in the late 1990′s.
Where has Johsnon worked?
2007 – Present: Vice President at Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC)
2002 – 2007: Vice President at SRA International
1996 – 2001: Chief of Staff at General Services Administration
1993 – 1996: Assistant Deputy Secretary in the U.S. Department of Commerce
There is some debate that the confirmation process may get held up in the Senate, due to potential conflicts of interest, related with her current employment with CSC. CSC is one of the top awardees of GSA contracts.
Did you know that GSA itself is the largest purchaser of of goods and services from GSA Schedules? The GSA Forecast of Contracting Opportunities informs small businesses of anticipated contracts offered by GSA for the current fiscal year (October 1, 2008, through September 30, 2009) as well as known opportunities for subsequent fiscal years. This information is made available pursuant to Public Law 100-656, Business Opportunity Development Reform Act of 1988.
The GSA Forecast of Contracting Opportunities is now available in a downloadable file which is updated daily. You can download this file into Excel (or other file type), to view all the opportunities listed in this forecast. Once downloaded, you can sort opportunities by NAICs code, place of performance, dollar value or by any category or combination of categories that make it easier for you. To download this file, click here: GSA Forecast of Contracting Opportunities (.csv Format)
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has proposed some changes to the Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUB Zone) program. Currently, HUB Zone firms must certify their eligibility at the proposal stage of a HUB Zone set aside competition. Pursuant to the proposed rule, HUB Zone firms will now be required to certify their eligibility again, prior to award of the contract. Thus firms that have lost their eligibility between the beginning of the competition and the award of the contract would not be able to receive HUB Zone set aside contracts. Also, the proposed rule requires participants to purchase materials manufactured or produced in HUB Zones. There is an exception for contracts of less than $25,000. Lastly, prime contractors would have to confirm that their subcontractor is a certified HUB Zone small business by reviewing the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) database or checking with the SBA.
The proposed changes are undoubtedly in response to several recent General Accountability Office (GAO) reports that found ineligible firms receive significant contracts and that outright fraud was all too common. As this rule is still dependent on self certification it would not seem to address the allegations of wide spread fraud raised by GAO. After all, if you’re capable of lying once, I don’t see any reason you wouldn’t lie twice. The real problem is that SBA doesn’t seem to have a good process for determining whether a prospective HUB Zone firm is lying on their application / certification.
The proposed rule was published in the April 13th edition of the Federal Register. Comments are due by June 12, 2009.
Just a friendly reminder to all GSA Schedule holders, April 30th is the last day to file GSA 72A sales reporting, make IFF payments, and submit your Individual Subcontracting Reports (ISR) on time! Don’t forget that completing required reporting and remitting the IFF in a timely manner are evaluation factors for your Contractor Assistance Visits (CAV). Feel free to contact a member of the Aronson GSA team if you have any questions about this reporting or other GSA compliance issues.
Join us on April 23, 2009, as Aronson presents an overview of the federal government’s processes and procedures for awarding and administering construction contracts. Topics to be addressed will include: competition, sealed bid versus negotiated procurements, subcontracting requirements, changes, terminations, bonds, accounting requirements and the Davis Bacon Act. The event is co-sponsored by Aronson & Company and the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. (ABC) of Metro Washington.
Click here for more info and to register.
As the nation gets ready for the potential heavy spending that will unleash following the passage of the Recovery Act, an industry sector gaining a lot of people’s attention is Human Resource Staffing & Training.
The report below details six years of comparative spending for a group of industry codes that together could comprise this industry sector. But, the numbers may not paint a clear picture. For example, NAICS Code: 561110 – Office Administrative Services and 561990- All Other Support Services often mingles direct internal agency hiring with contracts awarded to companies to perform personnel hiring services. This type of hiring fulfillment escapes showing up as a direct federal expenditure for this industry group.
Finally …On March 27, 2009, GSA announced the winners of the Alliant Contract. 59 of the 62 bidders received awards. The contract was initially awarded in July 2007 to 30 bidders. Eight of the non-winning bidders protested the award, claiming that the evaluations were improperly conducted. A Federal Judge upheld their opinion and the bidding process was started again. This time, there is little likelihood of a protest, since they awarded a contract to just about everyone that submitted a bid.
GSA issued Refresh #23 to the IT Schedule 70 solicitation on March 31, 2009. This refresh incorporated several significant changes to the solicitation, including the addition, revision, and deletion of Special Item Numbers (SIN) from the contract. The SIN changes are as follows:
- The title and scope of SIN 132-8 was changed to Purchase of New Equipment to accommodate the addition of new SIN 132-9, Purchase of Used or Refurbished Equipment.
- The sale of software maintenance as a product has been moved from SIN 132-34, formerly Software Maintenance, to SIN 132-32, Term Software License. SIN 132-34 is now entitled Maintenance of Software as a Service and covers customized changes to software to solve problems.
- SIN 132-60, Access Certificates for Electronic Services (ACES) Program, was deleted from the Schedule. In its place are six new SINs, 132-60A through 132-60F, which cover electronic credentials, digital certificates, e-authentication, and identity and access management services.
If you have any concerns about how these changes will affect your IT Schedule, please contact Aronson & Company for additional information and continue to monitor FedPoint for more details on the potential impacts of Refresh #23 to your IT Schedule Contract!
Anyone who has turned on a news program recently has got to be worried about their retirement plan. But what’s the real story behind the media hailstorm? Join Aronson & Company on April 14th for a thoughtful, unbiased look at the state of your retirement savings plans. Topics will include past effects and a look at the future: Historic Account Losses and Continued Losses; A Broken System? and A New Administration; Fund Fees and Cost Cutting Concerns; Negative Media Attention and Electronic Filing for 2009; Public Panic and more!
Click here for more information and to RSVP for this free webinar on 4/14! Stop the insanity – learn the true facts about your retirement plan and how you can prepare for the future.
Looking for a better way to provide turnkey maintenance facility services to your Federal customers? Routine facility maintenance frequently results in uncovering more extensive repair or replacement needs. In the latest refresh of GSA’s Logistics Worldwide (LOGWORLD) Schedule solicitation, GSA established a new service allowing contractors to include incidental repairs and alterations as part of a total solution to their customers’ maintenance needs.
Such services are supported under SIN 874-597, Ancillary Repair and Alterations. Projects qualifiying under this SIN are those (1) solely associated with the repair, alteration, delivery or installation of products or services also purchased under LOGWORLD, and which are (2) routine and non-complex in nature, such as routine painting or carpeting, simple hanging of drywall, basic electrical or plumbing work, landscaping, and similar noncomplex services. 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)