Sep 24, 2015

By Barbara Kinosky

We in DC are under Pope mania. The Pope’s arrival here is the equivalent in traffic backups to a combination of three back to back days of snow, one possibility of snow day and a free Lady GaGa concert on the National Mall.   People were camped out at 3:00 a.m. this morning for the possibility of seeing him pass by. And those of you who think you have a lot of Twitter followers, the Pope has over 20 million followers.

Now I am going to turn on the fiscal year blues at low volume. Playing constantly in the background as a chorus will be the 2011 Budget Control Act. That Act established budget caps.   Federal discretionary spending can’t increase more than a compound annual growth rate of 1.7 percent from fiscal 2014 through fiscal 2021.  The logicial conclusion is even more low price technically acceptable procurements on the horizon.   (Add a mournful tuba now.) We at Centre are seeing more bundling of single award requirements into larger size contracts with multiple awardees then competing for task or delivery orders.

In the good news area, if you are a small business that is, I predict more small business set asides. And I am predicting more women-owned set asides. The Small Business Administration finalized a rule on September 14, 2015 allowing contracting officers to award sole-source contracts to women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) and economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSB’s).   If after conducting market research in an industry where a WOSB or EDWOSB set-aside is authorized, a contracting officer cannot identify two or more WOSBs or EDWOSBs that can perform at a fair and reasonable price but identifies one WOSB or EDWOSB that can perform at a fair and reasonable price, a contract may be awarded on a sole source basis, provided the value of the contract, including options, does not exceed $6.5 million for manufacturing contracts and $4 million for all other contracts.

And for those of you who have protested and had the GAO recommend that the agency take corrective action, and wondered whether you can protest the non corrective action, listen up. The Court of Federal Claims just shelled Tenica Associates. Tenica protested at the GAO when it did not win the Defense Human Resources Actiivity contract for operations at the Family Employer Programs and Policy Office. The GAO recommended that the agency reveluate propoposals. The agency then lifted the stay so the incumbent and new awardee, Interactive Government, could continue performance during the revluation period. Tenica said, “no way” and marched to the Court of Federal Claims (COFC).

The COFC said Tenica’s challenge to the agency’s re-evaluation of proposals wasn’t ripe for review because concerns about the agency’s conduct were purely speculative. The court also ruled that Tenica’s challenge to the original evaluation and award was moot because the GAO’s recommendation and the agency’s decision to take corrective action put it back in competition for the award and it still could win the contract.

There you have it. May everyone get to sleep in on October 1.



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