Agencies have reminded their employees that ethics rules and guidelines apply during a government shutdown. Federal employees can not accept a gift during a shutdown that they wouldn’t otherwise accept during normal operations. On the other hand, agencies can not typically accept volunteers to provide services during a lapse in funding, nor can they accept volunteer service to replace the services they can’t provide during a lapse in appropriations. (Department of Justice)
The Coast Guard issued a solicitation for a fixed-price task order for project management, technical support, and logistics services for its Aviation Logistics Center. The solicitation required offerors to submit resumes for all positions, which the Government would evaluate to determine whether the qualifications and experience met or exceeded the position requirements. The Coast Guard received six proposals and after reviewing them, established a competitive range consisting of Sev1Tech and STI-TEC. Ultimately, the award went to STI-TEC whereupon Sev1Tech appealed contending that STI-TEC’s proposal contained a material misrepresentation in that it proposed personnel for which it did not have a reasonable expectation would be available for performance under the task order.
Other Transaction Authorities (OTAs) have garnered significant attention recently because they help our government acquire innovative technologies much faster than typical Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR)-based acquisitions, which can take years to complete. Some have called OTAs the “cool new thing” in acquisition—words you wouldn’t normally hear when talking about federal contracting.
Since 1987, there has been statutory recognition for contractor offsets for defective cost or pricing data that resulted in understated costs. Whenever the Government challenges a contractor for failing to submit current, complete, and accurate cost or pricing data, the contractor is entitled to offset the cost impact of that defective pricing with other facts that went in the Government’s favor.
In a protest before GAO, prejudice is an essential element. Even if GAO might agree that an agency’s action was improper, it will not sustain a protest where the protester would not have received the award anyway.
That’s what happened in the protest of Benaka Inc., B-416836 et al. (Dec. 16, 2018).
Hold on to your seat!
If you, like us, hold a federal contract, we are in a difficult time! It looks like it will at least be Thursday before a resolution, and maybe longer. What’s that mean to you?
- A stop-work order from your CO?
- Inability to reach your CO?
- Outstanding invoices not being paid?
- Barred from accessing your customer’s facility?
- Loss of billable hours/expenses?
- Cancelled deliveries of products?
- Necessity for you to furlough key employees, even those not doing federal contract work?
As we discussed yesterday, contractors and subcontractors are prohibited from discharging, demoting, or otherwise discriminating against an employee as a reprisal for disclosing evidence of gross mismanagement of a federal contract, a gross waste of federal funds, an abuse of authority relating to a federal contract, a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety, or a violation of law, rule, or regulation related to a federal contract.
To file a viable bid protest at GAO, the protester must be an “interested party.” Intuition might say that an awardee under a multiple-award vehicle like a blanket purchase agreement should be able to protest other awardees, right?
The agency is entering an important transitional year as it combines its many schedules into one.
The year 2018 almost seemed like the old proverb/curse that wishes that we all live in interesting times. It was a chaotic year in a lot of ways, and I bet more than a few of us are happy that it’s almost ready for the history books. But despite the turmoil, there were quite a few advances in technology and even government technology. I’m more than a little bit happy that I was able to predict a few of them with some accuracy. Now it’s time to see if lightning can strike twice. Here are my 2019 predictions for technology and government.