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SBA Administrator Announces National Small Business Week Awardees

WASHINGTON, April 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Administrator Linda McMahon, the head of the U.S. Small Business Administration, announced the 2019 National Small Business Week awardees for 17 different categories ranging from research and development, exporting, outreach, contracting, lending, disaster recovery to manufacturing and construction.

“The SBA works to connect entrepreneurs to counseling and funding opportunities that provide the boost they need, no matter what stage of the lifecycle their business is in. Together with our SBA lending and resource partners in communities across America, small businesses are able to confidentially drive our economy,” McMahon said.  “During National Small Business Week, the SBA will present well-deserved honors to the many individuals and organizations that have excelled at assisting small businesses, whether they are starting, growing, or recovering from disasters.”

Last month, McMahon announced the 53 Small Business Persons of the Year state and territorial winners. These recipients are now competing for the 2019 National Small Business Person of the Year.

All awardees have been invited to Washington, D.C. to participate in events and ceremonies on May 5-6.

Dwight D. Eisenhower Award – Manufacturing
Oshkosh Defense, LLC
Oshkosh, WI
Bridgette Lorrigan-Schuh, Small Business Liaison Manager
Alyssa Hopfensperger, Small Business Liaison Associate
Travis Schmuhl, Vice President, Global Procurement & Supply Chain

Continue reading: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sba-administrator-announces-national-small-business-week-awardees-300824957.html

DoD could award more contracts to companies with disabled workforce

The Defense Department may soon have an additional way to award contracts to companies that employ people with severe disabilities, breathing life back into a project Congress set up 15 years ago but that’s languished ever since.

A proposed rule, published April 1, amends the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement by implementing a demonstration project giving Defense agencies more incentive to purchase contracts directly from eligible firms employing those with severe disabilities. It gives contractors with a disabled workforce a boost when competing for certain awards.

Most DoD contracts with entities that employ large numbers of disabled Americans are currently handled through a procurement list maintained by the AbilityOne program. But under the proposed rule, DoD would be able to award contracts to companies — both nonprofit and for-profit — that do not qualify to sell through AbilityOne, as long as the contractors can meet other criteria

  • Individuals suffering from severe disability must make up at least 33 percent of a contractor’s workforce over a 12-month period from the time the award period begins.
  • The entity cannot pay those with disabilities less than minimum wage.
  • The organization must also provide those individuals with health insurance and a retirement plan comparable to those provided by other contractors.

“Contracts awarded to eligible contractors under this demonstration project may be counted toward DoD’s small disadvantaged business goal,” the proposal said.

Continue reading: https://federalnewsnetwork.com/contracting/2019/04/dod-could-award-more-contracts-to-companies-with-disabled-workforce/

Attention All Schedule Holders

In April 2019, the General Services Administration (GSA) Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) is planning to refresh all GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) solicitations and issue a mass modification to existing contracts which will:

  • Update proposal instructions to require order status on GSA Advantage! Orders;
  • Update proposal instructions related to Section 508 Standards and information;
  • Incorporate new Service Contract Act (SCA) Wage Determinations;
  • Update AbilityOne “Essentially the Same” Proposal Instructions; and
  • Incorporate minor updates from FAC 2019-01as applicable.

Note: Individual schedules may update additional clauses or provisions to make clarifications, administrative corrections, and other required changes.

GSA FAS will issue a bilateral modification to apply the changes to existing MAS contracts. Contractors will have 90 days to accept the mass modification.

Please see: Draft Significant Changes document for more detailed information on the upcoming refresh.

DoD testing secure cloud to help small contractors protect data

The Pentagon still has deep concerns about thefts of sensitive Defense data from contractor systems. But it’s concluded that simply using contract terms to order firms to improve their security isn’t going to do the job.

So the department is testing ways to extend its own cybersecurity expertise and infrastructure to small and medium-sized businesses who don’t have the wherewithal to adequately secure their systems against nation-state attackers. Specifically, it plans to build a secure cloud to house the Defense data companies need to perform their contracts, instead of requiring them to store it themselves.

DoD’s research and development budget for 2020 includes $15 million for a small project the department terms the Defense Industrial Base (DIB) Secure Cloud Managed Services Pilot. In the early going, the Pentagon plans to make the cloud service available to “a subset” of small and medium companies that “support prioritized, critical DoD missions and programs.”

Continue reading: https://federalnewsnetwork.com/defense-news/2019/03/dod-will-test-secure-cloud/

Four things to know about where in the U.S. DoD spends its money

The Defense Department budget tends to be daunting in size. This year the White House is requesting $750 billion dollars. But they say “all politics is local,” and that money does end up in individual states and counties.

The Office of Economic Adjustment recently released its report on defense spending by state for 2017. Federal News Network collected some of the interesting takeaways that might be right in your backyard.

Continue reading: https://federalnewsnetwork.com/defense-main/2019/03/four-things-to-know-about-where-in-the-u-s-dod-spends-its-money/

An agency-by-agency look at the 2020 budget request

President Donald Trump has released his budget request for fiscal year 2020, and it looks familiar. Deep cuts to civilian agencies are accompanied by a 5 percent increase to defense spending, accomplished through a dramatic expansion to the overseas contingency operations (OCO) fund.

It’s important to note that Congress ultimately determines the federal budget. The President’s budget proposal is just a request that outlines his priorities for the executive branch.

The General Services Administration’s budget request includes $10.2 billion for the Federal Building Fund, a revolving fund that Congress must approve each year.

All numbers are taken from the President’s 2020 budget request.

Continue reading: https://federalnewsnetwork.com/budget/2019/03/an-agency-by-agency-look-at-the-2020-budget-request/

ALERT – SAM.gov will be down for scheduled maintenance Saturday, 03/16/2019, from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM (EST).

EEO-1 Survey

Due to the recent partial lapse in appropriations, the opening of the EEO-1 has been postponed until early March 2019. The deadline to submit EEO-1 data will be extended to May 31, 2019. Details and instructions for the 2018 EEO-1 Report filers will be forthcoming. Please continue to visit the EEO-1 website in the coming weeks for schedule updates.

For general inquiries, or if you have an EEO-1 company contact update, please send an email to E1.Techassistance@eeoc.gov. If your company has experienced any mergers or acquisitions between January 2018 and December 31, 2018, please email E1.Acquisitionsmergers@eeoc.gov. Any spinoff related emails should be sent to E1.SPINOFFS@EEOC.GOV.

Learn more: https://www.eeoc.gov/employers/eeo1survey/index.cfm

Contractor Business Systems: DOD Needs Better Information to Monitor and Assess Review Process GAO-19-212

The Department of Defense uses data from contractors’ business systems—e.g., accounting or purchasing systems—to guard against fraud, waste, and abuse in DOD contracts. For example, reviewing data from a contractor’s accounting system can help keep the contractor from overcharging.

DOD must review contractors’ business systems to ensure that the data from them can be used. We’ve previously found that it was years behind on some of these reviews.

DOD has an ambitious plan to catch up on these reviews in 3 years, but has no way to measure its progress. We recommended that DOD monitor and assess whether it’s completing these reviews as planned.

Continue reading: https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-19-212

Certifications and Representation Improvements in SAM

The System for Award Management (SAM) exists to help individuals and businesses (entities) do business with the federal government. For entities seeking financial assistance (grants) or to submit a contract proposal, you must register on SAM first.  Recently, the registration process in SAM has changed to decrease the burden for registrants applying for financial assistance and federal agencies.

 

On February 2, 2019, the System for Award Management (SAM) is implementing a new process that allows financial assistance registrants to submit common federal government-wide certifications and representations. The procurement certifications and representations have not changed. Entities creating new registrations and existing entities completing their annual registration renewals will be required to review financial assistance certifications and representations before their registration can be activated. As entities renew and re-register their accounts, the data collected will make SAM.gov the federal repository for this information. By completing the certifications and representations in SAM, the grantee administrative processes will be significantly streamlined, making it easier to do business with the federal government. This change is in accordance with the September 5, 2018, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) memorandum M-18-24, “Strategies to Reduce Grant Recipient Reporting Burden.”

Continue reading: https://interact.gsa.gov/blog/certifications-and-representation-improvements-sam