Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) highway services begins three more road projects funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). MCDOT has received over $15 million in stimulus funds designed to boost the economy of local governments and improve the transportation infrastructure. MCDOT’s Division of Highway Services received $6.7 million to improve seven deteriorated roadways. The first project, Barnesville Road, was completed last fall, and now three additional resurfacing projects are underway.
Begun in the spring and nearly complete, a resurfacing project on Old Columbia Pike from MD 198 to US 29 is replacing defective curbs, gutters, and sidewalks; patching pavement; and resurfacing with hot mix asphalt. Similar improvements are underway on 10 lane miles of Shady Grove Road, Continue reading »
Labor law can be a tricky area for government contractors. There are lots of ways to get in trouble and chances are, you don’t know what all of them are. Under the Obama Administration, the Department of Labor (DOL) has hired 150 new investigators who are actively pursuing directive investigations rather than waiting for complaints. Additionally, the DOL has also made its enforcement data publically available online so all the skeletons are coming out of the closet. Now is the perfect time to register for these upcoming DOL events:
12/9/10 Affirmative Action Program (AAP) Development and Preparing for a Desk Audit (Baltimore, MD)
12/14/10 Compliance Assistance Seminar for Construction Contractors (Richmond, VA)
12/16/10 Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Obligations of Construction Contractors (Baltimore, MD)
12/21/10 12 Reasons Why Contractors Get in Trouble (Richmond, VA)
Since the 1980s most large business prime contractors have been required to establish goals for subcontracting with small businesses. These goals are negotiated with the Government and set forth in a subcontracting plan. However the goals are aspirational not enforceable. Many small businesses complain that they never receive the subcontract as contemplated by the subcontracting plan.
A provision in the recently enacted “Small Business Jobs and Credit Act” addresses this problem for small construction companies. Per Section 1322 of this law, prime contractors on construction contacts must provide the contracting officer with a written explanation if they do not acquire the goods and services from small businesses in accordance with their subcontracting plan. Though the goals are still not enforceable per se, explanations that do not satisfy the contracting officer will be noted in the FAPIIS database. The Federal Acquisition Regulation will be modified in the near future to implement this new requirement.
It is unclear whether this requirement will motivate prime contractors to comply the their subcontracting plans if it is not in their best ecomonic interest to do so. It is also not clear why this new requirement is limited to construction subcontractors.
On June 17th, Aronson will offer our popular free seminar “Independent Contractor or Employee: Classification is the Elephant in the Room!“ focused on the issue of worker classification. This is one of those tricky compliance issues that everybody knows about, but nobody wants to talk about. With more and more states passing legislation to penalize employers who misclassify workers, audits are a valid concern for all businesses. Don’t be intimidated by this important topic – instead, be informed! Join Aronson & Company and FosterThomas for this insightful event on June 17th at FosterThomas’ Corporate Office that addresses how your company can prepare for audits and reduce liability.
Interested in the specific impact on the construction industry? See recently republished article, “New Employee vs. Independent Contractor Considerations – What You Need to Know Today and for the Future“ by Tim Cummins, Officer of Aronson and Company’s Construction Industry Services. This article was republished in the March 2010 edition of the Washington Building Congress (WBC) Bulletin available for download via the following link: https://www.wbcnet.org/Bulletin/Bulletin-March-2010-FNL.pdf.
Don’t forget, on June 17th, Aronson & Company’s tax experts will help you gain an understanding of the issue, the costs to your business of noncompliance, and steps you can take toward compliance. Seats are limited, so register today!
The Public Buildings Service (PBS), part of GSA, is the landlord for the federal government. PBS acquires space through new construction and leasing and also procures services for those properties, such as: design/construction, leasing, facilities management, retail and green/sustainability services, as well as other technical and professional services.
PBS’ Industry Relations division seeks to increase awareness of PBS opportunities, maximize access to PBS programs, and provide support to Industry partners seeking to do business with PBS. To promote PBS contracting opportunities and increase access to program information and points of contact, PBS has implemented the following: Continue reading »
The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) appropriated $5.5 billion to GSA to convert existing government buildings into high performance green buildings and to build new energy efficient federal buildings.
GSA set a goal to obligate the first $1 billion dollars by July 31st. On meeting the goal, GSA Acting Administrator Paul Prouty said, ” Given the intent of the Recovery Act to stimulate the economy and put people back to work, we set a very aggressive goal to obligate our first $1 billion by the end of July. With the goal met, our focus now is to continue to get shovels in the ground as quickly as possible.”
The remaining $4.5 billion in ARRA construction funds should be obligated by September 30, 2011.
The following is a listing of the approximately 120 buildings that will be receiving the $1 billion in obligated funds: Continue reading »
Get an overview of the US Army Corps of Engineers’ North Atlantic BRAC/MILCON program, and its opportunities for Small Businesses!
Jack Beecher (Small Business Programs, US Army Corps of Engineers, Norfolk District) will describe small business construction programs throughout this region and up the East Coast, as well as new assignments to assist VA hospitals in Virginia and dining hall construction throughout the US. The Norfolk District has succeeded in awarding an average of 48% of its obligations to small businesses. Norfolk District led the Corps in both SDV Dollars – $101M and Percentage – 13%.
Find out what’s happening now with plans for Service-Disabled Veterans and Woman-owned businesses, and what’s on the acquisition plan agenda for the rest of 2009 and into 2010. Here’s the place to check out what Jack will be talking about: Go to http://www.nao.usace.army.mil and click on the Business tab and then on “Small Business” in the drop-down box!
Learn how to position your firm for success. Ask your questions regarding upcoming opportunities, teaming opportunities and the ins and outs of agency contracts.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Click here to register now!
Federal Contracting Executive Forum
Fairview Park Marriott Hotel
3111 Fairview Park Drive
Falls Church VA 22042
(Just inside the beltway at Route 50)
7:00 – 7:30 am Registration
7:30 – 8:00 am Breakfast
8:00 – 8:15 am Welcome
8:15 – 9:00 am Speaker Presentation
9:00 – 9:30 am Q&A
9:30 – 10:00 am Networking
At a recent conference, officials from GSA and the Department of Transportation (DOT) noted that bids for stimulus contracts are being submitted for significantly less than the government in-house estimates. Bids for GSA contracts are approximately 10% less than expected. This will enable GSA to fund more than the original 254 projects submitted to Congress. DOT experienced greater reductions, initially ranging from 20% to 40% below the engineering estimates and now averaging 15% below the estimates. DOT is working with the states to allocate the unused funds to additional projects in economically distressed areas. DOT believes the aggressive bids are the result of unemployment in the construction industry which is as high as 20% in some parts of the country. There is some evidence that construction firms are bidding at cost just to get mobilized again. However all parties believe that the bids for construction contracts will return to normal once the economy improves.
“Projects funded by the stimulus legislation probably mitigated the overall downturn in construction jobs in May… While the stimulus is starting to help, it is not keeping pace with overall declines in construction activity in most places,” reports Ken Simonson, the chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).
The construction employment picture brightened slightly with 18 states adding construction jobs from April to May, according to a new analysis of data released June 19th by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). (Note: BLS data does not separately identify ‘stimulus’ hires) Despite the local gains, overall employment continued to decline as national construction employment lost 59,000 jobs (almost 1 percent), seasonally adjusted, from April to May.
For more Economic News from the AGC click here. Ask FedPoint to learn more about winning Federal construction contracts and our recent briefing, “The ABC’s of Government Contracting,” co-sponsored with Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. Metro Washington Chapter.
The District of Columbia, having already disbursed more than half ($240 million) of the $436 million in stimulus funds allocated to it by the administration, is looking to secure even more of the competitively-available stimulus dollars. Find out how you can take advantage of these contractor opportunities in D.C. and federal government by visiting:
- District Procurement Websites for Priority Procurements (including a “Stimulus” procurement website)
- Utilize federal business intelligence tools such as FedMine to identify the procurement specialists at relevant federal agencies (free Fedmine trial available; subscribe with a 10% discount by mentioning Aronson)
- Contact small business specialists at various federal agency Offices of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU)
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)