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Large business

Ch-ch-changes from GSA

In July 2023, the General Services Administration (GSA) Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) plans to issue Solicitation 47QSMD20R0001 – Refresh # 17 and a mass modification (mass mod) to all existing contracts. ( June 15, 2023)

Here are the upcoming changes associated with Solicitation 47QSMD20R0001 – Refresh # 17:

A: Changes to Overall MAS Solicitation:

  • GSA will implement various changes to SCP-FSS-001.
  • The requirements for Joint Venture entities will be clarified.
  • GSA will incorporate the GSA/SBA 8(a) Partnership Agreement on MAS.
  • Clause and provision updates will be incorporated as necessary through Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) 2023-04 and GSAR Change 166.
  • Sustainability requirements will be clarified, referencing the GSA Green Procurement Compilation.
  • Highly Competitive Language will be removed. (ibid)

B: Changes to Specific Large Category, Subcategory or SIN:

Facilities (B):

  • SIN 561210FAC – Facilities Maintenance and Management will undergo revisions. (ibid)

Industrial Products (E):

  • SIN 332510C – Hardware Store, Home Improvement Center, Industrial or General Supply Store, or Industrial Maintenance Repair and Operations (MRO) Distributor – Catalog will be revised. (ibid)

Professional Services (H):

  • A new subgroup, Program Evaluation Services, will be added under SIN 541611 Management and Financial Consulting, Acquisition and Grants Management Support, and Business Program and Project Management Services. (ibid)

Transportation and Logistics Services (K):

  • The required Template for SINs 492110 & 492110SB Local Courier/Messenger Delivery Services will be revised.
  • The required Templates for SIN 485 – Ground Transportation and SIN 532111 – Automotive Equipment Rental and Leasing – Rental Supplemental Vehicle Program (RSVP) will be revised. (ibid)

Travel (L):

  • The required Template for SIN 531 Employee Relocation will be revised.
  • The required Template for SIN 531110 Long Term Lodging will be revised. (ibid)

Join GSA for the upcoming GSA FAS public webinar on Wednesday, June 28, to learn more about the changes to MAS Solicitation 47QSMD20R0001 and the mass mod. The webinar will be in a listen-only format, but you can ask questions via chat. (ibid)

Webinar Attendance Information: MAS Refresh 17 and Upcoming Mass Modification

Date: Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Time: 1 – 2 p.m. EST

You can join the webinar via the provided Zoom link. (ibid)

Questions about all of the changes taking place? Give us a call.

Is being good enough, good enough?

With fierce competition for government contracts, one must ponder if meeting the minimum standards, is enough to win some of the most coveted contracts with the Federal Government. Vendors are finding they must set themselves apart from the competition. Compliance excellence is one way to do this.

According to a GOVCON Expert, the Defense Contract Audit Agency connected with approximately 5,800 contractors in fiscal 2021. They learned that not all contractors maintained accounting compliance. Using compliance gives contractors an edge. (GOVCONWire March 2, 2023)

The Gauge Report from 2022 gives an indication of how compliance gives contractors an edge:

  1. Nearly 66% of all solicitations call for adequate accounting systems.
  2. Government contracting firms put adequate accounting systems second on their list of top auditing challenges.
  3. Labor floor checks have increased. (ibid)

The six business systems relevant to the audit process are accounting, estimating, material management and accounting systems, purchasing, government property, and earned value. Contractors that show they have adequate business systems in these areas may have an advantage over the competition. According to the Gauge Report, accounting systems are one of the most frequent requirements in new solicitations. (ibid)

How does a contractor get an “adequate” rating? When a solicitation requires documentation, bidders must provide some form of evidence, such as a letter from the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCAA) stating that the system has been approved for use on government contracts. Many contractors do not have assessed systems, which excludes them from solicitations. (ibid)

There are three possible ways a firm can turn compliance into a competitive edge:

  1. Your company has been examined by an agency and it is determined to be “adequate.” Keep a copy of the report/determination and provide the documentation as part of the bid. (If however, deficiencies are found, fix them and obtain a follow-up audit), once an adequate determination is made, use the determination when bidding.
  2. Request a system review. Since DCAA or DCMA do reviews based on contractor requests, a strong relationship with a PCO is necessary to work on your behalf to “push” a request through. To note, the examination process can take months due to the current backlog
  3. Your company pays a commercial firm, such as a CPA, to conduct an independent examination. Some government solicitations will only accept examination findings performed by government agencies.

The government appears to be making progress. In a recent OASIS+ solicitation, the solicitation language is more flexible by following the latest procurement trend, a self-scoring system. In a self-scoring system, companies earn points for systems, clearances, certifications, and past performance, and all bidders meeting the minimum points requirement are eligible to win an OASIS+ contract. (ibid)

Your company can stay proactive by:

  1. Advocate for your company. When necessary, object to the restriction limiting SF1408 examinations be performed by “government officials.”
  2. Ask for clarification of vaguely worded compliance sections. Make certain you are clear on all sections as it may be the difference between winning or losing a contract.
  3. Make sure your company and the accounting department are knowledgeable and up-to-date with new accounting standards.
  4. Invest in cybersecurity, it will carry more weight than ever before. (ibid)

Questions concerning compliance excellence or how to get an adequate rating? Give us a call.

Why the Small Business/Large Contractor Union is a Good Thing

The Biden Administration continues to focus on small businesses providing services to the federal government. This benefits not only small businesses but large contractors, as well. When large contractors partner up with a small business, it’s a win-win for both.

Federal agencies have stepped up their focus on contracting with small businesses to meet their small business contracting goals. The Small Business Administration recently reported $154 billion spent on contracts with small businesses in fiscal year 2021. In 2021, 27.2 percent of total federal contracting awards were to small businesses. This surpassed the 23 percent White House goal. (Washington Technology February 2, 2023)

Unfortunately, the past several years have seen the number of actual small businesses trend downward. The good news, there is more money for fewer small businesses that can serve as prime contractors due to limitations on the services these small businesses can offer. (ibid)

Large government contractors working with small businesses are looking like the future of federal contracting. These partnerships, which are built on mutual trust, allow for increased skills and innovative thinking. Additionally, when large contractors bring in small businesses, new jobs are created, entrepreneurship is expanded and innovation is at the forefront. (ibid)

According to Thomas A. Duckenfield III, CEO of TDB Communications, a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business, and an 8a firm, “the best partnerships between small business and large contractors are based on a shared culture and alignment. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to these relationships. It’s about developing partnerships that benefit both parties while establishing trust between the two companies to better serve federal agencies and their constituents.” (ibid)

When large businesses work with small businesses it creates opportunities, cultivates new ideas, and introduces the latest technologies. For these partnerships to work both parties must understand what each brings to the “communal table.” Skills and capabilities must provide complimentary support and additional capacity for federal agencies. (ibid)

There is no set formula for partnership success. Companies that support each other’s business and goals as well as those of the federal agencies they serve should work well together.

Are you looking to partner with a small or large business on a federal agency contract? Give us a call.