With three weeks to go in the fiscal year, companies are highly focused on closing last-minute deals to meet or exceed revenue numbers. There is plenty left on the table to get, too. Presumably, however, your firm would like to keep the money it is making this month and not give some of it back to the government in the form of fines. We all need sales people to be successful, but they’re knowledge of federal contract rules may not be what yours is. Make sure that the deals they’re offering prospective clients aren’t putting your company at risk. Pricing and country of origin issues are obvious risk areas, but so too are things like contract scope and size status. “Teaming agreements” with companies you’ve never previously done business with are a risk, as well, especially if they’re offering large potential returns. Importantly, “The customer told me I could” is also not an effective defense to combat an allegation of non-compliance. Assigning an extra set of eyes on last-minute deals does not have to slow down the business process significantly and can be a best practice. Remember, in the government market it is not about how much money you make. It’s about how much money you keep. Compliant business, especially at year end, ensures that you keep the money you worked hard for.
If you’ve been paying attention to the articles above, you know that ensuring federal contract compliance is essential to successful government business. Make sure your compliance programs are up to date and that you don’t get caught by surprise by new requirements. Contact Allen Federal today and we can put together a training or other solution that can help your company stay ahead of the changes. Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org and make sense of your TDR, CM, MFC, FPT, PRC and the other alphabet soup that governs your contracts.
The Pentagon’s use of Other Transaction Authority (OTA) continues to explode, but they’re not the only agency using innovative acquisition methods. While Bloomberg Government reports that DOD has at least 150 active OTA agreements worth, at a minimum, $2.1 billion in 2017 alone, the Department of Homeland Security and GSA are using the innovative Commercial Solutions Opening (CSO) acquisition approach. Bloomberg estimates that the total value of all DOD OTA agreements, including options, could be as high as $48 billion. One key factor to consider when conducting OTA business is whether your company is part of one or more consortia. Industry experts report the creation of new consortia, a key channel through which many OTA’s are executed, each week. Bloomberg believes that 2/3rds of all OTA agreements have gone through consortia, a group that typically includes universities, non-profits, and contractors. GSA is promoting CSO’s to DOD and civilian agency customers that may use traditional or non-traditional government contractors as solution providers. Agencies are clearly looking for new methods to get business done quickly, especially in this year when Congressional appropriations came late, but delivered more money than most agencies were expecting. If your company isn’t using these, or other, innovative acquisition methods, you’re likely losing out on year-end business.
We published three things for contractors to focus on last week. Now it’s time to understand what’s on the mind of your customer? Why? Knowing what your customer is thinking – and what’s distracting them – is vital if you’re going to both get their attention and build the relationships you need to be successful. Here are three things on the minds of many feds now: Read more
Several government contractors are reporting that unlimited liability clauses – popular about 10 years ago at both the state and federal government levels – are making a comeback. Unlimited liability clauses mean that if the system you manage, install, or maintain has a breach, your company could be on the hook for all damages to the government. The risk becomes potentially larger when the fact that most “routine” maintenance on systems either owned or operated on the government’s behalf is done by sub-contractors. When was the last time you reviewed their work? Millions of dollars in potential liability are in play. Contractors were largely successful in rolling back unlimited liability contract clauses several years ago by pointing out that no one could properly indemnify a system or client under such terms and still stay in business. The impact was particularly acute on small firms, many of whom could not obtain insurance under a decidedly non-commercial term. The return, however, should not be too much of a surprise as government agencies look to strengthen cyber security. Still, you need to be prepared and push back where necessary. This is yet another reason to read your contract, BPA, or other agreement carefully. Make sure you know what you’re signing your company up for and what you can’t live with.