PilieroMazza Submits Comments on Recent VA Rulemaking Proposed Rules

January 24, 2019
On January 24, 2019, PilieroMazza submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in response to the proposed rule issued on November 29, 2018, RIN 2900-AQ24—VA Acquisition Regulation: Environment, Energy and Water Efficiency, Renewable Energy Technologies, Occupational Safety, and Drug-Free Workplace; Protection of Privacy and Freedom of Information; Other Socioeconomic Programs; and Contract Modifications.

Our comments ask that the proposed rules fully implement VA's mandate to give contracting priority to SDVOSBs, then VOSBs, then over to all other businesses contracting with the VA. Download our comments.
  • VAAR Part 826 Will Be Beneficial, But It Needs Further Clarification
    • VA should not use the phrase “shall consider” because this suggests that VA contracting officers have discretion in whether to provide evaluation preferences for SDVOSBs and VOSBs, which they do not. Moreover, it is unclear how that discretion would be exercised if it existed (which it does not). 
  • The VAAR Must Fully Implement the Vets Act Priority for SDVOSBs and VOSBs
    • In light of the above, it is important to emphasize that the Vets Act mandates that there is a preference for VA to award contracts in the following order of priority: (1) contracts awarded to SDVOSBs; (2) contracts awarded to VOSBs that are not SDVOSBs; (3) contracts awarded pursuant to Section 8(a) or Section 31 of the Small Business Act; (4) contracts awarded pursuant to any other small business contracting preference.
  • When applying the full and partial credit for SDVOSBs and VOSBs under subsection (b) in a procurement where price is the only factor or that uses a lowest price technically acceptable source selection process as described in FAR 15.101-2, the contracting officer must deem the price offered by a verified SDVOSB to be 10% lower than its proposed price for evaluation purposes. The contracting officer must deem the price offered by a verified VOSB to be 5% lower than its proposed price for evaluation purposes.

Jon Williams to present at the NCMA GCMS on Cybersecurity in Federal Procurements

December 3, 2018

Join Jon Williams on Monday, December 3, 2018, at the NCMA Government Contract Management Symposium

“Ahead of the Curve: Cybersecurity and the Competitive Edge in Federal Procurements”

Government contractors handling controlled unclassified information for DoD are expected to comply with new cybersecurity standards set forth in NIST SP 800-171. Learn about the new requirements and how getting ahead on cyber compliance can give you a competitive advantage for federal procurements.

Date:        December 3, 2018
Time:       1:30 - 2:45 PM
Session:  B07
Room:      Potomac V/VI
Place:       Hyatt Regency Crystal City

Register for the conference here

Heading to the SAME Small Business Conference in New Orleans?

November 1, 2018

Join Tony Franco and Megan Connor at the SEBAC Speaker Session at the SAME Small Business Conference on November 1, 2018.


“Update on Legal Developments for Small Business Contractors”

This year, Congress and federal agencies have made tweaks to some of the laws and regulations affecting government contractors, including use of LPTA procurements, cybersecurity, and the definitions of commercial services and commercial products. This session will provide an update on those changes and how they may impact your business. There have also been some interesting rulings by the GAO, Court of Federal Claims, and SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals. Highlights include GAO’s OTA decision as well as OHA’s new authority regarding CVE appeals and eligibility protests. For small businesses, there have been developments in the HUBZone Program, ownership and control requirements for SDVOSB companies, limitations on subcontracting rules, size standards, and the receipts size calculation, all of which this session will cover.

Date:     November 1, 2018
Time:     8:00 a.m.
Place:    Marriott Downtown New Orleans at the Convention Center* - Fulton Meeting Room
*The Marriott Downtown New Orleans is directly across from the New Orleans Convention Center, the venue for the SAME 2018 Small Business Conference.


Jon Williams presented on Category Management

September 13, 2018
Jon Williams presented a webinar on Category Management for JSchaus & Associates on Wednesday, September 12, 2018. You can view the 25 minute webinar here.

Jon Williams was quoted by Bloomberg Government Federal Contracts Report in their recent article "Acetris Wins Buy American Dispute With VA, but Not Drug Contract."

July 24, 2018
Jon Williams was recently quoted by Bloomberg Government Federal Contracts Report in their article “Acetris Wins Buy American Dispute With VA, but Not Drug Contract.” When asked about the ruling which no longer allows the VA to rely on Customs and Border Protection determinations for deciding whether a contractor is offering a product manufactured in the U.S. or a foreign country, Jon told Bloomberg Government, “the court concluded that procuring agencies and officials must ‘independently ascertain’ whether an offered product is manufactured in the U.S. The injunctions apply only to future VA procurements, so it will be interesting to see whether other federal agencies change their approach to CBP’s determinations about foreign made products.”

Jon went on to say, “It will also be interesting to see if VA appeals or if there is any Congressional or regulatory response to amend the applicable statutes and rules. This ruling could create inefficiency in requiring federal agencies to do their own analysis to determine if a product is ‘U.S.-made’ and potentially contradict a similar analysis done by CBP, which is better-positioned to do that analysis.” (Federal Contracts Report, 109 FCR 218, 7/24/18)
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