While last-minute Continuing Resolutions are common at the end of each fiscal year in the current era, the questions on whether Congress will allow a government shutdown continue to swirl. While some continue to consult the Lares and the Penates, here are three possible scenarios that contractors should prepare for as of now.
1. A Short-Term CR Passes in Time Without A Shutdown: This is the most optimistic scenario and may be the one that actually plays out. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is floating a 10-day CR with the hope that the time could be used to clear a path for a longer-term measure. Final appropriations could be Read more
After over 20 years of trying, GSA announced last week that it is officially reorganizing the Federal Acquisition Service (FAS). Regional offices will now report more to central FAS officials in an effort to streamline operations and make the best use of existing resources. Regional offices have always had a “dotted line” to the central office, but many acted independently on day-to-day matters. The impact on contractors will likely be mixed. Many may not initially notice much of a change as they will continue interacting with the GSA officials with whom they Read more
A recent report from the Acquisition Innovation Research Center (AIRC) shows that contractors should continue to pay attention to legislation and other efforts to suspend or debar contractors for repeated labor law violations. The authors of the report note multiple difficulties in actually implementing such a policy, such as the exclusion of mission critical companies from the federal supply chain and the ability of contracting officials to assess whether violations are “willful” or are relevant to determinations of a company’s current Read more
With little more than three weeks left before the end of the fiscal year and a deal on future spending still not done, federal leaders are starting their Continuity of Operations Planning (COOP) so that essential functions continue to be carried out, while other functions – and people – stop work. The process is taking on more urgency this year as some believe that there is a real chance for a partial shutdown. Most recently, former Congressional Budget Office Deputy Director Raymond Scheppach stated that he believes that there could be a shutdown and that it could last some time. Regardless of whether there is a shutdown or, if so, how long Read more
Verizon recently blew the whistle on itself in connection with its failure to ensure certain security requirements on one of its GSA contracts. Why would a company call attention to its own failures? First, each contractor needs to remember that they are covered by the Mandatory Disclosure rule. That rule requires contractors to alert CO’s, and even IG officials, if they have “credible evidence” of a potential contract violation. Continuing to bill once an issue is known constitutes a violation of the False Claims Act. If the government finds a problem your company knew, or should have known, about the fines and penalties can be much more severe. Second, by getting out in front of the issue, Verizon likely saved itself money not only Read more