The Marine Corps gets straight to the point and you should too

For conferences, the Marine Corps Systems Command, Office of Small Business Programs hands out a small 16-page pamphlet. A small unassuming pamphlet entitled, Doing Business with the Marine Corps. The brochure has a page dedicated specifically to proposal writing titled, “Power up your proposal.” (Federal News Network August 2021)

Within the “Power up your proposal” page, you will find one of the most straightforward guides to proposal writing.

  1. “Read the solicitation in its entirety multiple times, read and understand the instructions to Offerors, and comply with all of them.”
  2. “Choose your competitions wisely. Target only those solicitations for products and services in your niche market so that you can increase your probability of success.”
  3. “Don’t submit quotes or proposals with teaming partners’ logos all over them.”
  4. “Do not use acronyms without spelling them out first! Do not assume that the proposal evaluators are familiar with a particular acronym unless the acronym was used within the solicitation. When in doubt, spell it out, and provide a definition and/or context for all acronyms.”
  5. “Constantly review your proposal for grammatical errors. Have different people from diverse backgrounds read your technical proposal for clarity, comprehension, consistency, and conciseness. It is important to submit a proposal that is completely free of errors.” (ibid)

All of the above may seem obvious, however, if overlooked, can mean the difference between having a proposal accepted or rejected.

Have questions or need assistance with your next response to a request for proposal? Give us a call.

 

Getting the government to green

The increasing number of Natural disasters are actually not at all “Natural.” They are costing the global economy more than $390 billion each year. As a response, consumers and corporations are working on ways to lower their carbon footprint. Simultaneously, the government is putting into place, aggressive timelines to curb emissions. The Biden administration announced a 2030 target, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 52 percent. (Washington Technology September 13, 2021)

Because the federal government has such extensive purchasing power, they have the ability to drive holistic sustainable innovations in the private sector. The government can create sustainability standards and include those standards in requests for proposals, thus driving the private sector into more sustainable practices. (ibid)

According to Bloomberg Government, “$682 billion was spent on contracts in fiscal 2020 a record expenditure for the government.” This gives the federal government the ability to incentivize contractors, who want to work with the government. (ibid)

Will sustainability standards become the norm for requests for proposals? It is already in cybersecurity, the NIST 800 standards have set the bar high for device manufacturers. (ibid)

A recent executive order to speed up cybersecurity advancements pushes industry to progress and innovate even faster. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could use this same type of model to impel sustainability. (ibid)

Once the government makes sustainability a priority, the private world will follow suit. We are already seeing a new mentality and with that, progress.

Questions concerning environmental standards and how to exceed them in your next response to an RFP? Give us a call.

 

 

Get vaccinated, stay safe, continue to work

On July 29, 2021, the Biden Administration announced that every federal government employee and onsite contractor must attest to their vaccination status. At the same time, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force which oversees the development and implementation of agency COVID-19 workplace safety plans issued the COVID-19 Workplace Safety: Agency Model Safety Principles.  The Agency Model Safety Principles must be incorporated into current COVID-19 workplace safety plans. (JD Supra September 2, 2021)

Agency Model Safety Principles:

  • Attestation form signed by onsite contractors to confirm their vaccination.
  • Contractors refusing to sign the attestation form will be treated as not fully vaccinated, for purposes of safety protocols.
  • All contractors who refuse to sign the attestation form or who are not fully vaccinated must wear a mask in all settings, physically distance, and take a weekly or twice-weekly COVID-19 screening test.
  • Agencies must create a program to test those not fully vaccinated.
  • Fully vaccinated onsite contractors do not need to be tested, physically distance themselves or wear a mask in areas of moderate or low transmission.
  • All individuals, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a mask in areas of high or substantial transmission. (ibid)

The mandate currently deals only with contractors working on federal facilities. However, the White House stated that “President Biden is directing his team to take steps to apply similar standards to all federal contractors.” (ibid)

The Safer Federal Workforce Task Force urges agencies to provide onsite contractors with the Certification of Vaccination form as they enter any federally-controlled work area. Contractors will be required to keep the form with them while they are on federal premises. Contractors should be ready to show the Certification of Vaccination upon entry to a federal building or federally-controlled indoor site. Contractors entering without a form will be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test, taken within the past 3 days, before entry is permitted. (ibid)

As with all things “COVID,” the policies are evolving and changing regularly. It is incumbent upon the federal contractor to stay apprised.

Questions about GSA? Give us a call.

Federal IT to get a $3B boost

The funding for Federal IT modernization is about to see a noteworthy increase, $3.35 billion if a recent amendment sees success. (MeriTalk September 3, 2021)

An amendment, put forward by Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., would increase funding for Federal IT modernization by $3 billion. Connolly said, “this week, Congress continues our important work in rebuilding from this pandemic, and building a 21st-century economy that is more equitable, visionary, and sustainable. But the policy prescriptions we adopt will only be successful if our IT can deliver on those promises. The fate of the world’s largest economy rises and falls with the ability of government IT systems to deliver in an emergency and as we recover into the future. And that should galvanize us all. Without smart IT investments, our mission to help the American People, will not succeed. We have to get this right, right now.” (ibid)

Through a press release, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform expects the amendment to provide the following:

  • $1 billion in TMF funding, available until September 30, 2031.
  • $2 billion for the General Services Administration’s (GSA’s) Federal Citizen Services Fund. The fund helps agencies to improve public engagement with the government. It supports cybersecurity and cloud-based technologies.
  • $350 million to the Information Technology Oversight and Reform (ITOR) account within the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to create a mechanism to track government IT spending. The ITOR account is used to fund staffing for the U.S. Digital Service. The U.S. Digital Service works to fix agencies’ most difficult tech problems. (ibid)

Are you a business looking to do work with Federal IT modernization? Give us a call.