Jul 22, 2015

By Barbara Kinosky

Donald Trump continued his rampage against his Republican colleagues by calling Lindsey Graham (Rep SC) an idiot and giving out Graham’s cell phone number during an interview. Graham responded by calling Trump a jackass, a word I have never used before in any of my blogs. This is better than the Bachelorette and it’s free too.

The GAO issued yet another report on VA contracting inadequacies. This time it called out for improved oversight for interagency contracting.   The report is unclear on exactly how much money the VA may have mismanaged since the VA tracking systems are inadequate too. And oh by the way, the GAO also faulted the VA’s management for having incomplete contract documentation and poor training of contracting officers. http://www.gao.gov/assets/680/671116.pdf

In other news the Department of Labor and the IRS have joined forces to reclassify independent contractors as employees.   There is tax gold in those hills for the IRS.   The DOL’s guidance now focuses on an “economic realities” test.   The multi-factorial “economic realities” test focuses on whether the worker is economically dependent on the employer or in business for him or herself. http://www.dol.gov/whd/workers/Misclassification/AI-2015_1.pdf .

Thank you to Jason Miller at Fed News Radio for allowing me to add this link on the OPM data breach. OPM, instead of holding a bake sale, is passing the hat to get more money to cover the costs incurred over the data breach.   http://federalnewsradio.com/opm-cyber-breach/2015/07/opm-agencies-pay-data-breach-protection-services/

For those of you wondering what the tea leaves have in store for the federal market, the outlook is good if Lockheed Martin’s compass is reading true. Lockheed just announced it will buy helicopter manufacturer Sikorsky for $9 billion dollars. This is interesting in an era of proposed Pentagon contracting reforms coupled with flat defense spending.

On the boring but need to know news, several dollar thresholds in the FAR are increasing as of October 1. The important ones are the requirement for a prime subcontracting plan increases to $700,000, the micro purchase increases to $3500 and cost or pricing data threshold increases to $750,000. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-07-02/pdf/2015-16206.pdf

Finally, thank you to an alert reader former judge who gave me the truth about the McDonald’s hot coffee case which I mentioned dog years ago in a blog. The much maligned plaintiff was actually seriously injured with third degree burns over 16% of her body. McDonalds knew about the scalding coffee issue for years. When the 79 year old plaintiff brought the case, the insurance industry seized upon it as the poster child for tort reform. They managed to rewrite the story as a runaway jury goes berserk. A film maker has now come out with the real story behind the case.   http://www.hotcoffeethemovie.com/default.asp?pg=mcdonalds_case

I hope to see some of you at the NCMA World Congress in Dallas where I will speaking next week. And if you feel in need of some Service Contract Act training, you can catch me in our classroom in Tysons Corner on August 17 and 18. But I really hope to see you at the Tiki bar on the beach.

Best,

Barbara

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