Category Archives: Small Business

Top Technology Initiatives for 2013

In a recent post, Aronson discussed Federal Government concerns about information security and other proposed regulations. It seems that commercial organizations share similar concerns. Recently, the Information Management and Technology Assurance (IMTA) section of the AICPA produced their summary of key takeaways from the 2013 North America Top Technology Initiatives survey.  The results of this survey are good practice for any business, but particularly for government contractors given the upcoming regulations being imposed for future procurements.

The top initiative this year was managing and retaining data.  Data management, and its constant change in relation to changing technology, is a big risk for companies in regard to how they can effectively and efficiently run their business.  Companies need to have strong policies and procedures in place that are documented and communicated to employees in order to reflect a proper control environment and reduce risk.  Consideration must also be given to the type of data that needs to be retained and its level of security risk as regulations are different for various types of data (e.g. personally identifiable health and/or financial information is very high risk).

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UPDATED, #BREAKING GSA Releases Final OASIS and OASIS SB Requests for Proposal!

UPDATE (9/3/13): Amendment 3 to the OASIS SB solicitation and Amendment 2 to the OASIS solicitation are now available on FedBizOpps. I haven’t had a chance to review them for major changes, but please be aware that they are out there!

GSA released the final Request for Proposals (RFP) for the OASIS and OASIS SB contract vehicles this afternoon to FedBizOpps. Keep checking in with Aronson’s FedPoint for more details about the solicitations (as soon as I can read them) and be sure to sign up for our complimentary webinar, To Bid or Not to Bid: An Overview of the GSA OASIS and OASIS SB Solicitations, on August 6th to get the latest scoop on this multi-billion dollar opportunity!

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HUBZone Program: What You Need to Know About Getting and Staying Certified

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:

  • Steps to prepare for a smooth certification
  • Pitfalls once in the program

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UPDATED GSA OASIS News: Protests Filed and Q&A from Aronson’s Recent Webinar

Protest

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 jaubel@aronsonllc.com 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 oasis@gsa.gov 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?

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Small Business Subcontractors Gain Some Protections

Medieval suit of armorThe 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

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