Midwest SAME Small Business Expo/Wisconsin Federal Contracting Forum

For those of you in in CONSTRUCTION, A/E, ENGINEERING, ENVIRONMENTAL AND RELATED TRADES AND SUPPORT FUNCTIONS we recommend a great event for both gaining knowledge and growing relationships – MIDWEST SAME SMALL BUSINESS EXPO 2016 to be held March 9 – 10, 2016 in Northbrook, IL.

Attendees will be able to meet with and learn from a broad range of Federal, State and Local Government Agencies and Prime Contractor Representatives, contracting experts and resources. The keynote speaker this year will be Benjamin Brockschmidt, VP of Policy from the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, joining us will also be Ann Kalayil, Regional Administrator, General Services Administration, Marianne O’Brien Markowitz, Regional Administrator Midwest, US SBA, as well as representatives from EPA, NAVFAC, USACE, VA, METRA, Illinois Tollway and many more.

The event will also feature two workshop tracks – one focusing on proposal preparation and compliance, the other on cyber and related topics.

The proposal and compliance track will be of special interest to current contractors. Featured speakers will include:

  • Helen Henningsen, Attorney, Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Philip Stavrides, Chief of Construction Section, USACE Chicago
  • Jean Thiel, President, Belonger Corporation
  • Suzanne Ferris, HGA
  • Linda Krysiak, previously with US SBA and Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Carol Murphy, Wisconsin Procurement Institute

Updated information and registration is available at https://sites.google.com/a/wispro.org/same2016/

Also coming up, a call out to businesses interested in attending the Wisconsin Federal Contracting Forum in Washington, DC in April 2016. This year’s program will provide information on spending plans and priorities with a focus on health care, technology and infrastructure. If you are interested, please contact Hilary DeBlois at hilaryd@wispro.org.

Oshkosh delivers 17 Striker vehicles at GAP-operated airports across Mexico

Oshkosh Airport Products, an arm of Oshkosh Corporation, has supplied 17 Striker aircraft rescue and fire fighting (ARFF) vehicles to Grupo Aeroportuario Del Pacífico (GAP)-operated airports in Mexico.

The vehicles delivered at the airports include a wide range of Oshkosh Striker configurations such as two 6 X 6, seven 4 X 4 and eight 6 X 6 along with the company’s Snozzle high-reach extendable turret.

Oshkosh’s Mexican dealer Autobuses Especializados (Atepsa), a company which has specialised in maintaining, selling and distributing fire and rescue apparatus for 20 years, supports the American company in providing local service to GAP and its airports.

Continue reading: http://www.airport-technology.com/news/newsoshkosh-delivers-17-striker-vehicles-at-gap-operated-airports-across-mexico-4820058#.Vs243q-MKsI.twitter

Neglected federal procurement site to get major facelift

Well golly gee and tickle my fancy, the General Services Administration may just get me off of one of my soapboxes after all.

Sorry to report it’s not my seemingly never-ending quest for GSA and all other agencies to make task orders publicly viewable even if you can’t bid on them — Mr. Sharpe: Tear Down This Wall.

Instead, GSA, thankfully, has started the process to modernize the FedBizOpps.gov portal, what many say is one of the worst websites in government.

GSA issued a request for quotes through the Alliant Small Business governmentwide acquisition contract back in the December time frame and bids were due sometime in January or February — it’s all unclear because GSA released the RFQ behind the “firewall” of Alliant, meaning (going back to my initial soapbox) the public can’t see any details of the procurement despite this being taxpayer money and transparency being a major goal of the Obama administration.

Continue reading: http://federalnewsradio.com/acquisition/2016/02/neglected-federal-procurement-site-get-major-facelift/

Repaired LCS arrives at shipyard

JACKSONVILLE, FLa. — USS Milwaukee (LCS-5), a San Diego-based littoral combat ship (LCS) built in Marinette, arrived at the BAE Systems shipyard in Mayport, Fla., on Friday.
The ship left Norfolk, Va. on Wednesday after having completed initial engineering repairs on its propulsion system.
An investigation has been ongoing since the USS Milwaukee experienced a loss of propulsion while under way in December. Currently, officials believe the breakdown was due to a likely failure of an emergency stop event in response to a loss of fuel pressure to both the port and starboard gas turbine engines, which occurred while operating in combined diesel and gas turbine mode.
Though the USS Milwaukee is a San Diego-based ship, it is currently manned with a Mayport-based team — LCS Crew 108.
“Crew 108 sailors are thrilled to finally arrive in our new homeport and reunite with our families,” said Commander Kevin Ralston, the USS Milwaukee’s commanding officer. “It’s been a long journey to get here, but I couldn’t be happier with my crew’s performance and their efforts to get Milwaukee ready for sea.”
In addition to support staff ashore, the USS Milwaukee will be fully manned with about 50 personnel who will operate navigation systems and engineering control technology. At the BAE shipyard, it will take on equipment for underway testing this spring, before eventually arriving in its San Diego homeport.
Mayport, Fla. is scheduled to be the home of eight Freedom-variant LCS and 12 LCS crews, starting with the USS Little Rock (LCS-9).
The Freedom variant, manufactured by Lockheed Martin and Marinette Marine Corp. in Marinette, features “high-speed, agile, shallow-draft and networked surface ships which are open-ocean capable but are designed to defeat growing littoral threats and provide access and dominance in the coastal water battlespaces,” according to the U.S. Navy. “These ships bring great capability and flexibility to the surface fleet,” the Navy said in a news release Monday.

Is past performance working better than we thought?

Does the government’s past performance evaluation system help the government during post-award contract management in terms of performance and/or contract cost more than is often imagined?

I don’t have nearly enough information to answer that question with any certainty, but over the past few months I have picked up a few pieces of information suggesting this may be true.

In January, while the Harvard Kennedy School had a group of GS-15’s in town for a few weeks for an executive education program, I had a long lunch one day with four IT program managers, from both military and civilian agencies, to discuss post-award contract management. It definitely caught my attention when one of the four stated that mentioning to a contractor that some performance problem would threaten their past performance evaluation was generally enough to change the contractor’s behavior. The three others around the table agreed.

Continue reading: https://fcw.com/blogs/lectern/2016/02/kelman-past-performance.aspx?s=fcwdaily_230216

Transforming Federal Financial Reporting and Auditing

Although The U.S. Constitution stipulated that “a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time,” it took more than 200 years to pass a law that was intended to vigorously meet that intent.

The Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990 represented a significant leap forward for federal financial management, reporting and auditing.

It authorized two new positions in the Office of Management and Budget–Deputy Director for Management and Controller–and also created Chief Financial Officer posts within major federal agencies.

Continue reading: http://www.govexec.com/excellence/promising-practices/2016/02/transforming-federal-financial-reporting-and-auditing/126063/?oref=govexec_today_pm_nl

Federal Acquisition Regulation; Prohibition on Reimbursement for Congressional Investigations and Inquiries

DoD, GSA, and NASA are proposing to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to implement section 857 of the Carl Levin and Howard P. `Buck’ McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015. This section provides additional requirements relative to the allowability of costs incurred by a contractor in connection with a congressional investigation or inquiry.

Learn more and comment: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/02/17/2016-03044/federal-acquisition-regulation-prohibition-on-reimbursement-for-congressional-investigations-and

GAO: DoD Needs Better Intel on Fake Parts

WASHINGTON — The Defense Department needs to bolster its oversight of defense agencies to ensure they are adequately reporting suspected counterfeit parts to keep them out of the supply chain via the Government-Industry Data Exchange Program (GIDEP), a new report from the Government Accountability Office concluded.

The 2011 National Defense Authorization Act directed the DoD to disseminate rules for reporting suspected counterfeit parts, and two years later the DoD issued an agencywide policy that included mandatory reporting of suspect and counterfeit materials.

The number of reports from fiscal 2011 and 2015 peaked at just over 250 in 2011, dropping to around 125 in 2012. For the last three years, the total has hovered around or under 50.

Continue reading: http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/2016/02/16/gao-dod-needs-better-intel-fake-parts/80469254/

Top 10 Reasons to Invest in the Human Element of Cybersecurity

Today’s investment world can be described as tumultuous at best. In fact, I have actually heard the word “devastating” used on more than one occasion by a news reporter describing Wall Street’s performance over the past several weeks.

The good news is that there is a timely and lucrative investment opportunity available to those of us in the cybersecurity profession. There is no downside and no risk, and the return on investment is guaranteed to impact every area of our lives, from our finances to our jobs to our children’s future. Whether you are an executive, a middle manager, a practitioner or student, there is no better time like the present to invest in the “human element of cybersecurity.” Here are 10 reasons why:

Continue reading: http://www.nextgov.com/technology-news/tech-insider/2016/02/top-10-reasons-invest-human-element-cybersecurity/125945/?oref=govexec_today_pm_nl

DARPA Awards Contracts for See-Through-Walls Technology

The Pentagon’s research and development agency has made a critical first step in a program that could give soldiers the ability to see through physical barriers.

According to postings on FedBizOpps, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has awarded the University of Minnesota and the University of Central Florida at least $1 million each for a program called Revolutionary Enhancement of Visibility by Exploiting Active Light-fields, or REVEAL. (DARPA did not immediately respond to Nextgov’s request for more details about awardees.)

Continue reading: http://www.nextgov.com/defense/2016/02/darpa-makes-awards-technology-could-see-through-walls-and-around-corners/125919/?oref=govexec_today_nl