Piliero Mazza Webinar – Tue, Sep 17, 2013 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT
If you are interested in applying for certification in the SBA’s HUBZone Program, or if you are already in the HUBZone program and want to ensure you stay in compliance, this is the webinar for you. Jon Williams and Katie Flood, attorneys in our Government Contracting and Small Business Program Groups, will provide an in-depth look at the following topics during this complimentary webinar:
UPDATE (8/27/13): USfalcon has withdrawn its protest of the OASIS solicitation. The company’s protest, a USfalcon spokesperson said, was addressed and satisfied by changes incorporated in Amendment 1 to the OASIS solicitation, issued August 23rd. OASIS still has a pending protest from consulting firm Aljucar, Anvil-Incus, and Company (AAIC). GSA’s General Counsel filed a motion to dismiss AAIC’s protest for lack of standing; however, the motion was denied therefore the protest is ongoing.
First of all, some OASIS news – two agency protests were already filed early this month in response to the final OASIS Unrestricted solicitation. The first contends that the evaluation criteria is arbitrary, restricts competition, and does not allow agencies to select the contractor or contractors that best suit the government’s needs by not allowing Contractor Teaming Arrangements (the FAR Subpart 9.6 kind of CTA, not the GSA Schedules kind). For relief, the protest requests that GSA allow for the use of teams at the master contract level to meet the requirements. The second protest found the evaluation criteria overly restrictive and likewise contests the inability of bidders to form Joint Ventures in order to respond to the solicitation. According to the Federal Acquisition Regulations, agencies receiving an agency-level protest must stay the awards and decide the case within 35 days.
Moving on, thank you to all of those people who attended our GSA OASIS: To Bid or Not to Bid webinar last week; we had a good crowd for the event and I hope that attendees found it helpful. If you were unable to participate, you can download the presentation or listen to a recording of the webinar through Aronson’s website. There were a large number of questions submitted throughout the webinar and I was unable to answer all of them in the time allotted. As promised, I am posting a complete list of questions and responses here (multiple questions on the same topic were combined). You can also contact me directly with further questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or (301) 231-6253. The responses are based on my interpretation of the solicitations in conjunction with my historical knowledge of the procurement. I have included citations to the relevant solicitation sections wherever possible. Please note that formal questions to GSA about the final OASIS and OASIS SB solicitations must be submitted to email@example.com by 4:00pm CST Tuesday, August 20th. (Section L.3.5)
Q1: Tough question, but what is your guess of the minimum number of points required to justify bidding?
The procurement regulations require large business prime contractors to award subcontracts to small businesses to the maximum extent practical. In fact large business primes must establish small business subcontracting goals and a plan for meeting them prior to the award of a contract that exceeds $650,000. For as long as these regulations have been in place, small businesses have complained that large businesses use them to qualify for the award but never give them the promised work or fail to pay when the work is performed.
In response to these complaints, the Small Business Administration promulgated a new rule designed to ensure that small businesses that help a prime win the contract receive their agreed upon share of the work and are paid accordingly. Initially large business offerors must represent in their proposal that they will in good faith utilize the proposed subcontractors for the work envisioned in the proposal. Prime contractors are also required to
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is a federal law that sets minimum standards for retirement and health benefit plans in private industry. ERISA does not require any employer to establish a plan; it only requires that those who establish plans must meet certain minimum standards.
ERISA confers substantial law enforcement responsibilities on the Department of Labor, gives the Department of Labor authority to bring a civil action to correct violations of the law, provides investigative authority, and imposes criminal penalties on any person who willfully violates any provisions.
A penalty of up to $1,000 per day may be assessed against plan administrators who fail or refuse to comply with annual reporting requirements. A civil penalty against parties in interest who engage in prohibited transactions with welfare and qualified retirement plans may also be assessed. The penalty can range from five percent to 100 percent of the amount involved in a transaction.
An audit of a retirement plan is generally required if a plan is covered under ERISA and the plan has in excess of 100 participants. A plan audit can be stressful and often reveals some very common errors.
Here are some of the most common errors found during plan audits:
Using cheerful language betraying none of the angry politics of Obamacare, the Health and Human Services Department has unveiled a new version of its HealthCare.gov website to help consumers prepare for the Oct. 1 launch of the Affordable Care Act’s state-based health insurance exchanges.
“The new website and toll-free number have a simple mission: to make sure every American who needs health coverage has the information they need to make choices that are right for themselves and their families — or their businesses,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said.