Hagel Makes Splash With with Another Savings Initiative
On December 4th, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced plans to save an additional $1 billion over the next five years by cutting staff and contractors. “Much of these savings will be achieved through contractor reductions,” he said. The total headcount has not been specified, but the internal staff would most likely be cut through attrition. “Every dollar that we save by reducing the size of our headquarters and back-office operations is a dollar that can be invested in war fighting capabilities and readiness.” The cuts represent 20 percent of the management headquarters budget and will be taken in roughly equal. Read More.
Pilot Program for Enhancement of Whistleblower Protections
The Federal Register issued September 30, 2013, (Volume 78, No. 189) contains an interim rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (“FAR”) to implement a statutory pilot program enhancing whistleblower protections for contractor employees. The pilot program is a four year program and enhances whistleblower protections found in FAR subpart 3.9 by adding section 3.908. The interim rule is effective as of September 30, 2013. Section 828 of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (“NDAA”) mandated the whistleblower pilot program, which has been effective by operation of law since July 1, 2013. Specifically, FAR 3.908 contains the following: FAR 3.908-1 exempts. Read More.
Suspension and Debarment Reform
One mechanism that the government utilizes for ensuring that agencies are only awarding contracts to responsible sources is suspensions and debarments (“S&D”). These actions exclude firms or individuals from receiving federal contracts or assistance based on various types of misconduct. A 2011 Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) audit report (GAO-11-739) identified problems with the suspension and debarment programs at six major agencies. The agencies in question are responsible for billions of dollars of spending on products and services awarded to contractors. The report highlighted the need for serious reform of the government’s management of suspension and debarment programs. The end of. Read More.
Year-End Tax Planning
It’s been an “interesting” year for sure. You’ve done everything you can to thrive or survive in this economy, deal with the government shutdown and now the 4th quarter is here. Things are winding down. You can finally relax, right? No, sorry! If you’re a cash basis government contractor, there may be one more thing to do before year end to benefit your company and owners – TAX MINIMIZATION PLANNING. What is this? It’s a process in which you and your tax professional project your 2013 taxable income for the company and strategize on what steps can be taken to. Read More.
New Small Business Size Standards Rules
Effective August 27, 2013, the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) promulgated the Small Business Size and Status Integrity final rule. The rule is based on Congress having amended the Small Business Act to provide that a concern, willfully seeking and receiving an award by misrepresenting its small business size or status will be presumed to have caused loss to the United States equal to the value of the contract, subcontract, cooperative agreement, cooperative research, and development agreement or grant. Although the rule does not impose new reporting requirements in regard to annual certification as a small business in Online Representations and. Read More.
Federal Government Spending Cuts and Impacts on the Government Contracting Industry
Current State After the Budget Control Act of 2011 was established and effectuated as of January 2, 2013, sequestration was a hot, but forbidding, topic. Simply stated, sequestration is the process of budget cuts and the curbing of federal spending, which brings increased layoffs, not including essential government personnel. With a smaller federal budget comes a smaller federal workforce, and contractors are being forced to reduce the size of their own workforce. The budget cuts were across the board, hitting all federal agencies. Of the agencies affected, the Department of Defense (“DoD”) was of most concern to the majority of. Read More.