We’ve been discussing the Section 809 Panel and everyone’s hope that it brings significant reforms to the acquisition process. Ultimately, many of the recommended reforms are going to require legislative action to implement so this isn’t something that will happen overnight. Also, we don’t know how many sacred cows that might be sacrificed bringing real reform into the process so we’ll just have to wait and see how it all develops.
For the past couple of days, we’ve been discussing the activities of the Section 809 Panel (refer to Update on Section 809 Panel). Ultimately, the Panel will be “making recommendations, including actionable changes to regulatory and statutory language, to improve the acquisition process within DoD.” For the purposes of the panel, regulations include not only regulations, but executive orders, directives, policies, and procedures as well. The Panel’s goal is to take a comprehensive approach to weeding out regulatory and statutory underbrush that gets in the way of the DoD mission and to recommend entirely new pathways for approaching defense acquisition that promotes innovation, agility, and speed across the whole range of goods and services.
The Section 809 Panel, created by section 809 of the 2016 NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) was tasked with finding ways to streamline and improve the defense acquisition process. The Panel has two years to do it.
It is time for an update on the activities of the Section 809 Panel, an advisory panel formed to streamline the Defense Department’s acquisition regulations. The name ‘Section 809 Panel” comes from Section 809 of the Fiscal Year 2016 NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act). For more information on this panel, refer to “New Advisory Panel to be Formed to Streamline Acquisition Regulations“. Briefly, the Section 809 Panel’s overarching objective has been to make recommendations that, if adopted, will enable DoD to more consistently buy what it needs in a timely and cost-effective manner – whether that be commercial items, information technology, services, weapon systems, or the full range of tools and equipment on which war-fighters depend.
The SBA’s Certificate of Competency (COC) program allows a small business to appeal a contracting officer’s determination that it is unable to fulfill the requirements of a specific Government contract on which it is the apparent low bidder. When the small business applies for a COC SBA specialists conduct a detailed review of the firm’s capabilities to perform on the contract. If the business demonstrates the ability to perform, the SBA issues a COC to the contracting officer requiring the award of that specific contract to the small business. The COC program helps ensure that the small business, especially those which are newly entering into the Federal procurement arena, are given a fair opportunity to compete for and receive Government contracts.
Company and company president get debarred from Government contracting for selling defective parts to the Air Force. Then, the president promptly sets up several new companies, obscures his involvement/ownership and keeps on selling defective parts. How often does this happen? Probably more often than we think and certainly more often than we know about.
The Anti-Deficiency Act is not something that Government contractors need to worry about but contractors, subcontractors, and grantees have most certainly heard of it and perhaps have felt the impact of it. Government shutdowns and the potential for shutdowns have brought the Anti-Deficiency Act to light. The inability to obligate and spend money has affected the awarding of contracts and grants and modifications and extensions.
Last month, the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) launched a new website called oversight.gov which will be a central repository for OIG (Office of Inspector General) reports authored by participating OIGs. These reports will go back 17 years to 2000 and will consist of audits, investigations, semiannual reports, and other reviews.
What does it take to close out a contract? A lot, actually. FAR (Federal Acquisition Regulations) 4.804-5 lays out the steps that must be completed before a contract can be officially closed. Although the process is within the responsibility of the contract administration office, most of the steps require some involvement or input by the contractor. Let’s look at some of the steps:
- Disposition of classified material is completed
- Final patent and royalty reports are cleared
- There are no outstanding value engineering change proposals
- Plant clearance report is received
- Property clearance is received
- All interim or disallowed costs are settled
- Price revision is completed
- Subcontracts are settled by the prime contractor (don’t underestimate this requirement)
- Prior year indirect cost rates are settled
- Termination docket is completed
- Contract audit is completed
- Contractor’s closing statement is completed
- Contractor’s final invoice has been submitted, and
- Contract funds review is completed and excess funds deobligated.
The Department of Veterans Affairs issued an RFP (Request for Quotation) for courier services for the Boise VA Medical Center lab, pharmacy, and radiology departments. Six offerors submitted bids and ultimately, the VA awarded the contract to FG Management Group(FGMG). Crosstown Courier Service Inc (Crosstown), one of the other five bidders protested the award to FGMG alleging that FGMG was not in compliance with applicable limitations on subcontracting requirements.