After months of working under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), it is finally time for contractors to begin the onerous process of reporting their progress at FederalReporting.gov. Contractors who have already visited this website were likely a little shell-shocked – after all, the reporting model alone is 22 pages long! So the question becomes, if contractors are bearing the additional time and expense burdens of all this data gathering, exactly what will we learn once all the inputs are analyzed? The Wall Street Journal enlisted Carl Bialik, a Yale-pedigreed mathematician and physicist, to find out and his opinion might surprise you… Continue reading »
Be aware that your accounting system is likely to be subject to pre-award and annual audits from DCAA and other agencies if your company is planning on capitalizing on stimulus money by moving into the government sales arena. Join Aronson & Company on September 16th to learn more about the specialized accounting rules and procedures that your organization will be required to comply with. Topics at this event will include:
- Proper segregation of direct cost from indirect costs
- Identification and accumulation of direct costs by contract
- Allocation of indirect costs to intermediate and final cost objections
- Timekeeping systems that identify employees’ labor by intermediate and final cost objections
The stimulus package has created a myriad of opportunities for committed and well-prepared organizations, so make sure you don’t overlook this important part of doing business with the government. RSVP today!
The Making Work Pay Refund phishing e-mail, which claims to come from the IRS, references the president and the Making Work Pay provision of the 2009 economic recovery law (ARRA/Stimulus). It says that there is a refundable credit available to workers, consumers and retirees that can be paid into the recipient’s bank account if the recipient registers their account information with the IRS. The e-mail contains links to register the account and to claim the tax refund.
In reality, most taxpayers receive their Making Work Pay tax credit, which was designed for wage earners, in their paychecks as a result of decreased tax withholding, not as a lump sum distribution from a federal fund. Additionally, consumers and retirees who are not wage earners are not eligible for this tax credit.
The Internal Revenue Service reminds consumers to avoid identity theft scams that use the IRS name, logo or Web site in an attempt to convince taxpayers that the scam is a genuine communication from the IRS. Scammers may use other federal agency names, such as the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
In an identity theft scam, a fraudster, often posing as a trusted government, financial or business institution or official, tries to trick a victim into revealing personal and financial information, such as credit card numbers and passwords, bank account numbers and passwords, Social Security numbers and more. Generally, identity thieves use someone’s personal data to steal his or her financial accounts, run up charges on the victim’s existing credit cards, apply for new loans, credit cards, services or benefits in the victim’s name and even file fraudulent tax returns.
What to Do
The stimulus package is living up to its provocative name by funding a bacchanalia of behavioral sex research, a NY Post analysis reveals. The next fiscal year is set to be one of the friskiest ever in the nation’s science labs, as researchers probe the ins and outs of sex patterns among humans and even some of our four-legged friends. Among the most titillating grants awarded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are studies that would: Examine “barriers to correct condom use” at Indiana University, at a cost of $221,000. Study “hookups” among adolescents at Syracuse University. Study’s cost: $219,000 (source: nbcwashington.com / NY Post). NIH stimulus grants can be searched by congressional district or institution.
Effective on August 17th, contractors receiving Recovery Act (ARRA) funded awards are able to register their organizations on the FederalReporting.gov website. In order to register, a contractor must have their DUNS number available and be registered in CCR (Central Contractor Registration). Acceptance of ARRA-funded projects comes with a complex reporting requirement. Contractors must register or enroll in this site as a precursor to filing the required reports. The first set of reports will be due by October 10th. A large volume of reports is anticipated so contractors are strongly encouraged to register in advance and report as early as possible. Click the link for answers to FederalReporting.gov Frequently Asked Questions. The Government has established a toll free line, 877-508-7386, to answer any questions contractors may have about the registration or reporting process. Let us know how the Recovery Act is affecting you; post your comment or question on Aronson FedPoint today!
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 »
The US Army Corps Of Engineers has routinely crossed its small business goals by a handsome margin, but lately due in part to BRAC assignments, their numbers have fallen. This is because BRAC work is the bailiwick of large businesses for the most part, and the only program under which large businesses team up with other large businesses, not small businesses.
Nevertheless… Jack Beecher’s Norfolk District Small Business Program Office who has held just about every position in the Contracting Division from Purchasing Agent to Chief since 1974, is the top contracting office in the country for Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business awards at the Agency. In an 8/13/09 Federal Contracting Executive Forum, Beecher shared USACE Norfolk District’s plan for Service-Disabled Veterans and Woman-owned businesses, and what’s on the BRAC/MILCON acquisition plan agenda (see more). In FY08 the Agency increased its SDVOSB awards by 150% going from $217M in 2007 to $543M in 2008. Beecher’s Norfolk District led the Corps in both SDVOSB dollars – $101M, and percentage – 13%.
Many companies have some confusion in understanding this Agency and its mission, because it not only does Civil & Military programs, but works on behalf of several other agencies. Its funding sources are wide and varied. There isn’t much small business ARRA related work here either, mostly dredging and shoreland protection civil work that large businesses do. Below is a report that aids in understanding this agency’s spending by NAICS Sector:
The Federal Government’s IT Dashboard is now fully populated with performance metrics for each of the 781 Federal IT projects currently underway. The dashboard consists of cost and schedule status for each project along with the agency CIO’s assessment. Each project is then assigned a color coded rating of green, (normal) yellow, (needs attention) or red (significant concerns).
Any contractor in the business of selling information technology services to the Federal Government needs to be aware of the IT Dashboard. The website is available to the public and at a minimum, any project rated as “red” and even possibly “yellow” is sure to result in unfavorable publicity for the contractor. Even more dramatically the VA, in a highly publicized move, recently suspended performance on 45 IT projects in response to their dashboard ratings. It is thought that other agencies with under performing projects will feel pressure to react in the same manner.
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
by Al Krachman, Partner, Blank Rome LLP
As the 2009 federal fiscal year comes to a close, the federal government finds itself under unprecedented political pressure to quickly expend billions in stimulus funding, on top of existing year-end spend downs. Acute manpower shortages in the acquisition workforce will make this the contracting equivalent of squeezing a watermelon through a garden hose, and mistakes will be made. Despite best efforts by the government, we expect to see a rash of hurried contracting paperwork, missing notices, defective solicitations, questionable use of modifications, errors in using IDIQ contracts, unreasonably short response dates, and mistakes in evaluations and awards. Contractors that don’t win awards under the wire and find themselves on the wrong side of these seasonal shortcuts are often needlessly missing opportunities to win work. To win contracts under the wire in 2009, contractors must be extra vigilant in monitoring the government’s regulatory compliance and must be aware of leverage windows.
Using Leverage Windows
Leverage windows are the timeframes during which contractors can seek correction of perceived government mistakes in the award process by engaging the Agency informally, before the expiration of various protest filing deadlines. Once the filing period expires, this leverage is lost, and the matter becomes untimely raised. For example, a contractor that believes it has been improperly excluded from the competitive range has ten calendar days from notice of the exclusion to seek review or protest; hence the leverage window for that particular problem is 10 days. But, the leverage window concept is not about filing protests or litigation; it’s about resolving disputes without litigation in the windows of time before litigation must be filed. Click here to read the full article.
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)