Nine Major Agency Reform Proposals in the House GOP Budget

House Republicans on Tuesday issued their budget blueprint for fiscal 2018, proposing a $5 billion cut next year at non-defense agencies and a total of $1.3 trillion in reductions in domestic spending over the next 10 years.

Lawmakers pitched a slew of governmentwide and individual agency reforms, including familiar targets such as improper payments, duplicative programs and constraining bureaucracy. By fiscal 2027, non-defense agencies would face a collective cut of 18 percent from current spending levels and 34 percent from the Congressional Budget Office’s projected top-line appropriation. Defense spending would increase by $929 billion over the current caps during the next 10 years.

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GAO-17-645, Defense Contracts: Recent Legislation and DOD Actions Related to Commercial Item Acquisitions, July 17, 2017

Data from the Federal Procurement Data System-Next Generation (FPDS-NG) show that as a proportion of the Department of Defense’s (DOD) total contracting obligations, contracts awarded using commercial item procedures have gradually declined in a narrow range from fiscal years 2007 to 2016 (see figure). These numbers, however, do not reflect the full extent to which DOD acquires commercial items because FPDS-NG only captures information on whether or not commercial item acquisition procedures were used to acquire the product or service, and not whether items purchased are commercial or not commercial.

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One of the three key elements of success in the Federal market is ACCESS.

Over the last few months, WPI had the pleasure of working with Congresswoman Moore’s staff and Lockheed Martin’s Small Business representatives in support of the Defense Supplier Diversity Conference, which was held last week at Discovery World in Milwaukee, which focused on getting ACCESS for Wisconsin businesses to large and successful Defense contractors.  Also joining the conference in support of this opportunity was Sikorsky, Leonardo DRS, Oshkosh Defense, Derco, and Woodward.

What was important to these prime contractors?  Several attributes were at the top of the list:

  • Quality – ISO or above (having the actual certifications – not just being compliant)
  • Qualifying as SMALL and / or qualifying for small business programs
  • International Traffic in Arms Regulations – ITAR
  • Capacity

The opportunities are there for qualified contractors – especially manufacturers.

On a side note, a reminder to DOD contractors and subcontractors subject to the requirements of Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) 252.204-7012, Safeguarding Covered Defense Information and Cyber Incident Reporting (the clause), the deadline for compliance with the clause’s cybersecurity requirements is Dec. 31, 2017.  These obligations will be satisfied by implementing the standards prescribed by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication (SP) 800-171, titled Protecting Controlled Unclassified Information in Nonfederal Information Systems and Organizations. WPI will be hosting webinars on this topic.  More information contact Ben Blanc at or Marc Violante at

AND dates for this year’s Governor’s MARKETPLACE 2017 – have been announced – December 13 – 14.  Pre-sessions will be scheduled around the State to help companies prepare for the event.  The SMALL BUSINESS ACADEMY will again be held the morning prior to the start of MARKETPLACE.


Lawmakers Aim to Restrict Use of Lowest-Price Contracts

A contractors group has welcomed a bipartisan House bill placed in the hopper last month aimed at curbing agency use of lowest price technically acceptable contracts.

The Promoting Value Based Procurement Act (H.R. 3019), introduced by Reps. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., and Don Beyer, D-Va., would amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation to require civilian agencies to align themselves with the Defense Department and stiffen their rationales for resorting to lowest price technically acceptable contracts, which have grown in use in recent years but are controversial.

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June 30, 2017
FROM: Wilbur Ross
Secretary Department of Commerce
Mick Mulvaney
Director, Office of Management and Budget
SUBJECT: Assessment and  Enforcement of Domestic Preferences In Accordance with Buy American Laws
On April 18, 2017, the President signed Executive Order 13788, Buy American and Hire American (the Order),
to ensure that Federal procurement and Federal financial assistance awards maximize the use of goods, products,
and materials produced in the United States, including iron, steel, and manufactured goods. Buy American Laws provide important benefits to the Nation. As defined in the Order, “Buy American Laws” means all statutes, regulations, rules, and Executive Orders relating to Federal procurement or Federal grants including those that refer to “Buy America” or “Buy American” that require, or provide a preference for, the purchase or acquisition of goods,
 products, or materials produced in the United States, including iron, steel, and manufactured goods.

First, wishing everyone a Happy 4th of July!

On behalf of WPI, I would like to thank all of the speakers, government buyers, prime contractors, partners, volunteers and Office of Congressman Kind who helped make last week’s 11th Annual Volk Field Small Business Conference a great success.  The commitment of support by Volk Field and Juneau County Economic Development Corporation provided almost 200 attendees from Wisconsin and surrounding States the opportunity to build business relationships and locate opportunities with government and industry.

I would like to highlight several webinars coming up in July and early August that may be of interest to current contractors. These webinars are FREE. Details and the schedule is available at  Topics for July and August include:

  • DOD Invoicing – WAWF / IRAPT
  • Federal Procurement Data System – FPDS
  • Buy American
  • Government Property

And last and maybe most important – September 30 is the end of the Federal government’s fiscal year.  Why important – end of year spending.  We encourage current contractors to prepare to take advantage of the opportunity.  More on this in the next month, but here are three simple things to make you more visible to buyers:

  • Make sure that your SAM registration is current and if you are a small business, your DSBS is complete
  • Have a current and updated Capabilities Statement ready
  • Reach out to your current customers

Wisconsin currently shows over $1 billion in Federal sales.  This does not include the last 90 days of DOD sales.  How Wisconsin will end the year is yet to be seen.