Weekly Update Newsletter - December 2017

by PilieroMazza PLLC
Contact

PilieroMazza PLLC

GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS

PROTESTS

If the Federal Watchdog Office Works for Contract Protestors, Why the Decline?

According to an article posted in the Federal Contracts Report, several reasons could explain the decrease in bid protest filings in 2017 despite an “effectiveness” rate showing that the Federal Watchdog office regularly provides relief to contractors.

There has been a 7% drop in filing bid protests in fiscal 2017—from 2,789 to 2,596—and there are various reasons available as likely explanations; including but not limited too, the disqualification of overly enthusiastic protestors, raising the minimum contract value threshold for valid protests, and reliance on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

This drop occurred despite the GAO’s 47% effectiveness rate for protestors. The rate comes directly from instances in which protestors convinced: 1) the GAO to sustain a protest; or 2) an agency to fix a procurement error with corrective action. With the effectiveness rating remaining constant over the last two fiscal years, and its gradual increase over the previous five fiscal years, it appears that contractors are becoming more selective when deciding when to file a protest. For more information see the Federal Contracts Report Vol. 108, NO. 19, 474-475.

SET-ASIDES

What’s in and what’s out in NDAA?

According to an article from Set-Aside Alert, there are new rules to expand HUBZones and to increase micro-purchase and simplified acquisition limits. There are also new restrictions on agencies from getting credit for small business contracts, and the SCORE program for small businesses did not get reauthorized, and a senate proposed provision to lower the employees-living-in-HUBZone requirements to 33% was dropped. Those are just a few of the latest developments in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal 2018 (NDAA). 

A conference of House and Senate members has negotiated a final version of the NDAA. The Conference Report version of the bill can be found here. For more information see the Set Aside Alert Vol. 25, No. 23, 2

Will NDAA’s “Amazon” market hurt small business?

According to an article in the same Set-Aside Alert, even though the latest version of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal 2018 (“NDAA”) waters down the so-called ‘Amazon’ provision, its still presents a potential threat to GSA Multiple-Award Schedule contract holders, many of which are small businesses. 

Section 846 of the NDAA authorizes the development of one or more e-commerce platforms for commercial items that could be purchased by the Defense Department. The newer version requires substantially more market and legal research in order to fulfill the requirements of the section. The NDAA says that GSA must assess the impact on small business set-asides and GSA schedule holders. However, specialists are warning small business GSA schedule holders to monitor the marketplace carefully because it could have major repercussions on them. 

GAO

RECENTLY ISSUED BID PROTEST DECISIONS

Fluor Federal Solutions, LLC, B-410486.9: In this protest, the protestor challenged the award of a base operations services contract based on, among other arguments, that the agency engaged in disparate treatment in connection with the evaluation of staff recruitment and retention. The protestor argued that the agency scrutinized its proposal to recruit 95% of the incumbent staff, while the agency failed to give meaningful consideration to similar aspects of the awardee’s proposal, or how the awardee’s proposed approach would affect the retention of employees, as required by the RFP. GAO agreed that the agency evaluated the offerors disparately under the staffing and resources factor. GAO sustained the protest, and recommended that the agency reevaluate the proposals giving them equal scrutiny. The full decision can be found here

CAPITOL HILL

“Senate Bill Seeks $1.8 Billion for DHS’ Cyber Mission” Nextgov, November 21, 2017. Retrieved from nextgov.com

On November 21, 2017 Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran released the first draft of an appropriations bill. Although this bill is not identical to the House’s appropriations legislation, both bills would provide $1.8 billion for the Department of Homeland Security’s cyber operations wing, indicating that this funding level is agreed upon and will likely be included in the final legislation. This funding bill provides $731 million for upgrading and maintaining cybersecurity measures for federal computer networks, $257 million for cyber incident response within the private sector, and $341 million to help banks, airports, and other critical infrastructure against cyberattacks.

Tax Reform and Small Businesses

On November 28, 2017, SBA Administrator Linda McMahon joined Senate Republicans at an event to highlight issues faced by small businesses relating to tax reform. Highlights from the discussion include Senator John Cornyn’s mention of changing “pass-through” taxation for S Corporations, as well as Senator Deb Fischer discussed her proposal for a 25% tax credit on paid family leave for small businesses, which she said is geared toward helping hourly workers. Also in attendance at this event were representatives from several business associations. Archived video footage can be viewed here.
There are varying opinions on whether current tax reform efforts would achieve the Committee’s mission and help small businesses. On November 20th, Senate Small Business Committee Democrats released a statement of opposition to the Republicans’ tax plan, which you can find here.
Some opponents of the tax plan, including Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), claim that the bill prioritizes traditional corporations over “pass-through” businesses, which some say would hurt small business in favor of big business. Further, recent polls have shown that Americans favor individual tax breaks, but do not support corporate tax breaks. More information can be found here.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© PilieroMazza PLLC | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

PilieroMazza PLLC
Contact
more
less

PilieroMazza PLLC on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.