Enhancing DOD’s IT and acquisition security have been key portions of recent defense bills passed by Congress. There are penalties now, as an example, for contractors whose supply chains aren’t secure. The agency does not have access to some commercial IT because Congress and DOD officials believe that there are inherent security risks with such equipment. An October 27th article in “The Wall Street Journal” identified additional problems with DOD’s Read more
There will be no quick confirmation of GSA Administrator-designee Emily Murphy as the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee is putting a hold on a Senate floor vote over conflicts with the Administration’s OPM policies. While the hold is no surprise, it is nevertheless frustrating as a host of hot-button Schedules issues await direct input from a permanent Administrator. First up is the future of the Schedules Transactional Data Rule pilot. The program still continues, but appears from an industry perspective to have lost some momentum. Whether and how the pilot will be re-cast, invigorated, or changed more Read more
Alert reader J. Assange of “Ecuador” writes, “I’m a new government contractor with a great solution. How do I get in to see the Chief Information Officer or Assistant Secretary in every agency?” We hate to be the one to leak the information to you, J., but you probably won’t get into the federal C suite very often for most of your federal projects. What’s more, those Read more
Any company selling to the government must be aware of ethics and gift rules. Annual training is a best practice for smart companies. Not only can it help prevent bad things from happening, in the event a problem does occur, regular training is one way to show the government you’re a responsible company that shouldn’t be suspended. If it’s been awhile since your firm has had ethics training, now is the time. Allen Federal has conducted dozens of ethics training classes and can tailor a program to meet your needs. Make sure everyone in your company knows the rules on gifts. Contact Allen Federal today to schedule your class at firstname.lastname@example.org
Federal contractors and their customers have to live with a Continuing Resolution until at least December 8th – and probably longer (see below). This can slow down new business, but should not stop all forward activity. Here are some tips on how to survive in this arena until Congress passes permanent appropriations bills.
1. Look for other funding sources: Yes, it’s true that CR-funded agencies can’t initiate new projects using appropriated dollars, but all government spending isn’t via appropriated money. Look to see if other funding sources are available.
2. Make sure you understand what “new start” means. Check with your customer to see how they define “new project start” vs. “work on an existing project”. It may turn out that what you thought was new isn’t classified that way for the customer.
3. Make sure you’ve got a paper trail: Government agencies still expect you to perform maintenance and similar services, even though they can’t issue or renew a year-long agreement for such. Make sure you keep careful records on what you’re doing, for whom, when and how much. Have the discussion with the customer to ensure you get paid for what you’re doing.
4. Pay attention to what Congress is doing with appropriations. Take the time to understand the difference between “budget” and “appropriations”. Even though the two terms are used to mean the same thing sometimes, they are technically different beasts. You want to know when and if appropriations will run out, be renewed, or possibly be sequestered. Even in a CR you can help shape some of your market. Don’t sit back and let it shape you.