The Government Accountabilty Office (GAO) recently released its “Contracting Data Analysis: Assessment of Government-Wide Trends” report. As GAO notes, in fiscal year 2015 federal contracts for goods and services totaled over $430 billion, which represents almost 40 percent of the government’s discretionary spending. The new report identifies overall trends in contracting by defense and civilian agencies from fiscal years 2011 through 2015 (the most recent and complete available at the time of GAO’s review), including trends in competition and use of various contract types. It also provides snapshots of procurement activity at the 10 civilian agencies with the highest levels of obligations in fiscal year 2015, as well as the 3 military departments.
Most contractors know that the consideration of past performance is an integral part of the Government’s approach to proposal evaluation. All too often, however, offerors proceed with teaming agreements and proposal preparation based on assumptions about the specific approach the Government will take – only to learn too late that that assumption was wrong. The recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) decision in Atlantic Systems Group, Inc., B-413901 (January 9, 2017) underscores the dangers of such an approach and highlights steps contractors should take to ensure they understand the solicitation’s past performance provisions.
WHAT: GAO issued its Annual Report to Congress providing a high level overview of key protest statistics such as the number of protests filed and closed during FY16 as well as a summary of the most relevant grounds for sustaining protests. We’ve also independently analyzed the data GAO provides on its public docket.
WHEN: GAO’s report, issued December 15, 2016, covers all protests filed or decided during FY16.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR INDUSTRY: For more information on the key findings in GAO’s Report as well as our independent analysis of the data GAO provides on its public docket, click on the link below. Some of the key takeaways include:
In 2016, VDOT dedicated $483 million of its budget to Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads transportation projects. Whether you were recently awarded a contract by VDOT or are planning to submit an RFP in the near future, you may want to start putting all your ducks in a row for when that win does come in. Winning a contract is not the end of your journey, it’s only the beginning. All contracts awarded by state transportation departments must follow the cost principles contained in the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), and indirect cost rate audits must be performed in compliance with Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards (GAGAS). Firms are required to submit an indirect cost rate audit report to the Assurance and Compliance Office of their state Department of Transportation each year.
In a unanimous decision issued today, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is required to set-aside contracts for every competitive acquisition, including Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) orders, when two or more eligible veteran-owned concerns will submit offers and an award can be made at a fair and reasonable price. This ruling effectively increases the number of contracts (whether standalone or FSS orders) that will be set aside exclusively for veteran-owned small businesses (VOSBs) and service disabled veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSBs) because the VA is statutorily prohibited from competitively awarding contracts to non-VOSB concerns when that requirement can be met.