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4 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WHAT CONGRESS DID LAST WEEK

Ok, so everyone knows that Congress finally passed spending bills for most of the government before it left town last week. What does that mean to you? 1. Don’t Expect Your Customers To Have Their Budgets Yet: It takes time after Congress passes a spending bill for OMB to work with each agency and for money to be properly programmed. Figure on mid-to late January before each organization has its final numbers. 2. $1.1 Trillion Isn’t As Big As It Sounds: Read more

DOD REEXAMINING LPTA USE

In response to consistent contractor complaints, the Department of Defense is conducting a review of the use of Low Price Technically Acceptable (LPTA) contracts. While industry has raised concern over the past three years that LPTA is being misused, DOD leaders believe that this is merely anecdotal information based on a handful of cases. Nevertheless, Randall Culpepper of the Air Force was recently tasked with overseeing a more thorough examination of LPTA. Read more

MAIL CALL: CAN BEING A WHISTLEBLOWER MAKE ME ANY MONEY?

Week Ahead reader J. Gruden asks, “I’m concerned that my employer may fire me. I suspect they’re committing fraud by putting out a substandard product each week. Is there a way I can make money from blowing the whistle?” Good news, J. Whistleblowers routinely recover between 15-25% of any False Claims Act recovery the government collects from your whistleblower suit. Just this week, in fact, a disgruntled whistleblower cleared $300K. Read more

COMMERCIAL ITEM ACQUISITON ENTERS TIME WARP

If you been feeling nostalgic lately for the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Exxon Valdez oil spill, or a 25 cent postage stamp, there may be a good reason:  There are more rules governing federal commercial item acquisitions now than at any time since 1989.  The Department of Defense has already expanded its desire for cost data on commercial prime and sub-contracts.  Environmental rules, mandatory ethics disclosures, and human trafficking laws make the Drug Free Workplace seem counter-intuitive.  Coming soon are minimum wage laws, new counterfeit parts rules, and workplace safety rules. Read more

IN CASE IT WASN’T CLEAR: GSA EXPECTS YOU TO POPULATE ITS PRICES PAID SYSTEM

It should not be news by now that GSA is setting up a “prices paid” comparison tool so that buyers and others can have near-real-time pricing information when purchasing from GSA Schedule contracts.  Where is GSA going to get this data?  From you, the contractor.  GSA is moving toward requiring all Schedule contract holders to provide information on all Schedule transactions to populate its database.  A mere 20 years after getting away from the need for transaction-based information, GSA is coming full circle and is poised to demand it, at least for Schedule transactions, again. Read more