Protecting Government Data from Cyber Attack—Including the Data and Systems YOU Have
Over the past year, there have been several publicized incidents of unauthorized access to federal data, including hacking of the White House computer systems and data breaches of two federal contractors. In the case of the two federal contractors, the hacked data was personally identifiable information (“PII”). This PII was personal information collected, maintained, and shared by both federal and nonfederal entities. Recently, the Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) was asked to provide a statement to Congress summarizing cyber threats facing federal agency and contractor systems, and challenges to achieving greater cybersecurity. The GAO’s statement pointed out that the Federal Information. Read More.
Government Contractors Challenge Political Contribution Ban
The issue of transparency in the government arena is nothing new and continues to be a hotly debated topic today. How much is enough versus too much, which can then cause harm? That elusive answer remains hidden. However, as more names get thrown into the presidential candidate pool and members of Congress who are up for re-election next year start their campaigning, political contributions are going to become a hot topic, and never more so than in the government contracting industry. All government contractors seeking federal contracts must follow the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), amongst various other regulations and. Read More.
Withholding of Fixed Fee
The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) describes various categories of cost reimbursement contracts. One of these is a cost plus fixed fee (CPFF) contract. When the CPFF type of contract is used, the contract is required to incorporate the clause at FAR 52.216-8, Fixed Fee. This clause describes how the fixed fee is to be paid to the contractor, including a requirement for withholding of a portion of the fixed fee. We have seen instances of where the Defense Contract Audit Agency (“DCAA”) has misapplied the withholding requirements of this clause. Further, we have received anecdotal evidence of where DCAA has. Read More.
No Risky Business If You Do Business with the U.S. Government
Between January 1, 2014, and December 31, 2014, The Polaris Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting human trafficking, provided assistance and aid on 5,042 separate cases of human sex and labor trafficking in the United States. This number merely represents the number of known cases that the Polaris Project dealt with. It does not reflect the thousands of people still enslaved and unable to reach the National Human Trafficking Resource Center for help. With this staggering number of cases in the United States, and President Obama’s personal vow to fight human trafficking, it is no wonder why the Federal. Read More.
GAO Upholds Restriction of Consultants During Proposal Preparation
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) recently denied a protest where a contractor challenged the Department of Veteran Affairs’ (“VA”) rationale for restricting the use of consultants in its proposal preparation. The subject Request for Proposal (RFP) was issued on November 19, 2014, and anticipated awarding up to 20 indefinite-delivery-indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) firm-fixed-price, time-and-material, or cost-reimbursement contracts worth up to a maximum of $22.3 billion. The GAO’s bid protest decision (Case B-410898.2, Advanced Communication Cabling, Inc., dated March 25, 2015) centered on the use of independent consultants on a proposal where the solicitation specifically prohibits offerors from using consultants to assist. Read More.
New Bill Forcing Government Contractors to Pay Their Taxes
That is right folks, you are hearing it again! A new bill, H.R. 1562, Contracting and Tax Accountability Act of 2015 (on a second attempt), was introduced at the end of March 2015 (which was passed by the house using a procedure called “suspending the rules”, on April 15, 2015, Tax Day) to prevent companies that are delinquent in paying income taxes from not only winning federal contract awards but also preventing them from competing. A broad overview of the bill states that it would prohibit federal agencies from awarding contracts or grants to persons or companies that have serious. Read More.