There are twelve calendar days left in FY’17 as of today. Here are three things successful firms should be hammering home:
1. Close that piece of business. What does the client need to get to “yes”? How can GSA Schedules, set-asides, and sole source justifications (to name only three) be used to get the project done? The more flexible you can be on terms and the more you know about how procurement rules can work in your favor, the better partner you can be.
2. Don’t start on anything you know nothing about. While we usually advise companies not to disregard “out of the blue” opportunities, many that come this late in the year may well not be well-scoped, may be “wired” for a specific company, or may be a candidate for a successful post-award protest. All of these factors can end up being a waste of your time if you go down an unfamiliar path now. Pursue this business as a last resort.
3. Get your customer to start a new project now. The chances of a CR at the start of the FY’18 fiscal year are excellent. Don’t lose momentum or have a project “this close” to closure be put off for months. Get some funding allocated to that project now so that, come next year, spending can continue when money is available only to keep existing projects afloat.
Alert read O. Winfrey of Chicago writes, “I see you write a lot about GSA Schedule contract compliance. My company sells to the feds, but not through the Schedules. What are some rules we need to follow?” Well, O, the universe of federal contract rules could nearly fill Lake Michigan and you’re right to ask this question. Some of larger rules that come into play for non-Schedule contractors – and even some Schedule firms depending on what they sell – include Read more
With the nomination announcement of Emily Murphy to be the next administrator of the General Services Administration, the government’s main buying organization is getting closer to operating at full speed. Although Murphy’s heart lies with improving acquisition inside the Federal Acquisition Service, reality will likely mandate that she spend her time on public building issues, especially those raised by Congress. Public building issues traditionally are predominant Read more
When disasters like hurricanes Harvey and Irma hit, contractors and government agencies go into high gear to get critical supplies to where they’re needed. Whether its basics like water or generators, temporary housing, or even assisting in the processing of government aid forms, contractors are working side-by-side with federal agencies to help those in need. It’s not just fulfilling immediate needs in a crisis, either. Recovery from Harvey and Irma will take many years. Just remember how long it took New Orleans to recover from Katrina. This means that there should be opportunities for contractors that can provide the goods and services rebuilding communities need for some time. Each situation is different, though. Harvey survivors may need more housing-based assistance as thousands of homes are uninhabitable. Irma survivors may need help with infrastructure, like roads and waterways. Make sure your company does the necessary research to see where, and whether, the services and products you provide are a good fit for those recovering from disasters.
The Senate is poised to consider its version of the FY’18 Department of Defense Authorization bill this week. As usual, there are things contractors like about the acquisition provisions and things that would harm their federal business. On the plus side, Section 825 would further limit the use of LPTA contracting in DOD. GAO would be able to review and recommend changes on LPTA procurements of $5 million or more, instead of the current $10M. This would, in turn, potentially make LPTA procurements more difficult to justify and indirectly promote best value procurements. Section 829 would remove the “temporary” freeze on DOD public-private competitions. The hold has been in place since 2010 and contractors are hoping Section 829 will enable more competitions, providing opportunities to do work now done by DOD employees. Sections 830 and 831, however, would essentially enshrine “contractor blacklisting” provisions in DOD acquisition rules. CO’s would be required to vet companies Read more