Milwaukee County Target Enterprise Ordinance

Effective July 1, 2017, Milwaukee County has implemented the final phase of the Milwaukee County Target Enterprise Ordinance allowing for participation of SBE firms in County spend contracts.

Small business participation goals on County projects without any Federal money may now be achieved through use of DBE, MBE, WBE and SBE firms.  DBE firms are certified under the USDOT regulations, WBE and MBE firms are certified by the State of Wisconsin DOA, and SBE firms meet the SBA guidelines per the appropriate NAICS codes and are registered in the SAM directory, found at www.sam.gov.  If you are unsure of your status, you may search the directory at www.sam.gov, and if you are not currently registered, there is no cost to enter your business into the registry.

Milwaukee County may select projects in 2018 for a trial program of small business set aside projects.  These will have race neutral goals and will include only firms that are registered as an SBE.  The County approved SBE designation is not to be confused with other SBE certifications, your firm must be registered in the SAM directory to qualify for inclusion as an SBE.

Should you have any questions, please contact Milwaukee County Community Business Development Partners at 414-278-4803.

How the House wants to make federal procurement less complex, more competitive

As the House and Senate go to conference to solve differences in the Defense authorization bill in the next few weeks, the acquisition community will be watching Section 801 of the lower chamber’s bill closely.

That provision is commonly known as the “Amazon” amendment, developed by Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), chairman of the Armed Services Committee, and would require the General Services Administration to set up more than one online marketplace featuring commercial companies. Agencies could then buy from these online marketplaces the same way average people buy from Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, Walmart.com or any other similar commercial provider.

As the Senate finished its work on its version of the NDAA, that provision was not included amid concerns among industry associations and some Senate staff members.

Learn more: https://federalnewsradio.com/reporters-notebook-jason-miller/2017/09/how-the-house-wants-to-make-federal-procurement-less-complex-more-competitive/

SBA Makes Changes to its Surety Bond Program

A final rule changes the Surety Bond Guarantee Program
Release Date: Thursday, September 14, 2017
Release Number: 17-57
Contact: Cecelia Taylor (202) 401-3059

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration has noted two important changes to its Surety Bond Guarantee (SBG) Program that will increase contract opportunities for small contractors, supporting them to grow their business operations.  The changes will become effective on September 20, 2017.

The SBA will increase the guarantee percentage in the Preferred Surety Bond Program from no more than 70 percent to no more than 90 percent.  The SBA’s guarantee will be 90 percent if the original contract amount is $100,000 or less, or if the bond is issued to a small business that is owned and controlled by socially or economically disadvantaged individuals, veterans, service disabled veterans, or certified HUBZone and 8(a) businesses.  All other guarantees will be 80 percent.

The eligible contract amount for the Quick Bond Application (Quick Bond) will increase to $400,000 from $250,000.  The Quick Bond is a streamlined application process, with reduced paperwork requirements, that is used in the Prior Approval Program for smaller contract amounts.  SBA’s review and approval requires minimal time, allowing small businesses to bid on and compete for contracting opportunities without delay.

Continue reading: https://www.sba.gov/about-sba/sba-newsroom/press-releases-media-advisories/sba-makes-changes-its-surety-bond-program

GSA Issues Harvey-Related Emergency Buying Power

The General Services Administration has upped special emergency procurement authority thresholds in response to the devastation brought by Hurricane Harvey.

The elevated thresholds, raised through a Senior Procurement Executive memo signed this week, will allow contracting officers and heads of contracting activities to more easily purchase resources they need to provide relief efforts.

The memo allows for micro-purchases of up from $3,000 to $20,000. The memo also increases the simplified acquisition threshold to $750,000, or up to $13 million for commercial items, and increases the simplified lease acquisition to $750,000.

Continue reading: http://www.nextgov.com/cio-briefing/2017/09/gsa-issues-harvey-related-emergency-buying-power/140705/?oref=govexec_today_pm_nl

VA Veteran-Owned Small Business Verification Guidelines

A Proposed Rule by the Veterans Affairs Department on 09/01/2017

AGENCY:

Department of Veterans Affairs.

ACTION:

Withdrawal of proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) published a rule in the Federal Register on November 6, 2015, 80 FR 68795 that proposed amending its regulations governing the VA’s Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) Verification Program. The Verification Program has been the subject of reports from both the Government Accountability Office and VA’s Office of Inspector General stating that despite VA’s Verification Program, fraud still exists in the Veterans First Contracting Program. Some stakeholder feedback has been that the current regulation is too open to interpretation and is unnecessarily more rigorous than similar certification programs run by the United State Small Business Administration (SBA).

Continue reading: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/09/01/2017-18543/va-veteran-owned-small-business-verification-guidelines

Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)

Jurisdictional Thresholds

The infographic is designed to explain jurisdictional thresholds for federal contractors and subcontractors under Executive Order 11246, as amended (Executive Order); Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (Section 503); and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, as amended, 38 U.S.C. 4212 (VEVRAA). It includes the increase to Section 503’s coverage threshold from $10,000 to $15,000 and the VEVRRA’s recent increase from $100,000 to $150,000. The increases result from an inflationary adjustment statute that authorizes the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council to review and adjust acquisition–related threshold amounts in statutes that apply to federal procurement.

Continue reading: https://www.dol.gov/ofccp/posters/Infographics/JurisdictionalThresholds.htm?utm_campaign=jurisdictional&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery