Task Force Meeting Will Give Veterans an ‘Open Mike’ on Contracting

By Carol L. O’Riordan Veterans who are federal contractors under the government’s various small business programs, or would like to become contractors, will have a chance to vent their concerns or express their praise at an upcoming public meeting of the Interagency Task Force on Veterans Small Business Development. The Veterans Administration is one of […]

U.S. Announces Recovery of $422 Million in Contract Fraud in FY 2011

By Carol L. O’Riordan The Justice Department announced on Dec. 19, 2011, that it recovered $422 million in fiscal year 2011 in procurement fraud cases. The total amount recovered for procurement fraud in the last three fiscal years exceeds $1.5 billion, a record for any three-year period. It’s clear that procurement and contract fraud are […]

VA Changes Stance on Key Issue on Veterans’ Set-Aside Contracts

In response to a more-than-gentle nudge from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), a lawsuit by veteran-owned companies, and considerable dissatisfaction on Capitol Hill, the Veterans Administration has backtracked from a prior legal position that could have reduced the impact of a 2006 law that Congress passed in order to help veterans obtain government contracts on […]

Congress Cancels 3% Withholding Tax on Federal Contractors

On November 17, 2011, the U.S. House of Representatives gave federal contractors and subcontractors an early Thanksgiving present. By a unanimous vote of 422-0, legislators passed H.R. 674, repealing a requirement that federal, state and local governments begin withholding three percent of payments to contractors in 2013. The bill has been sent to President Obama […]

Labor Dept. Ends Conflict Between New Rule, HUBZone Program

We reported in September that an unexpected conflict had developed between a new Labor Department rule and an existing congressionally mandated requirement that grants preferential treatment to HUBZone contractors —firms servicing Historically Underutilized Business Zones. Based on a current article in the Washington Business Journal, it now appears that the conflict has dissipated. HUBZone contractors are […]

New Rule Makes Matters Thorny for HUBZone Contractors

As a result of a new Labor Department rule, HUBZone contractors will need to brace themselves for possible new changes to their hiring practices that may prove difficult and cumbersome. Since 1998, Congress has provided for preferential treatment to HUBZone contractors — those firms servicing Historically Underutilized Business Zones — in competitions for federal government […]

Executive Order Aims at Opening Doors to All in Federal Work

While we wait for Congress and the private sector to sort out a solution to our struggling economy and spark much needed job growth, President Obama took a promising step last month in signing Executive Order #13583. The purpose of the order is to promote the equal opportunity and inclusion of qualified minorities by America’s […]

After Delay, SEC Gets Closer to Picking Director of Minority and Women Inclusion

The Securities and Exchange Commission is finally catching up on its minority and women contracting responsibilities. On April 30, 2011, SEC Commissioner Luis A. Aguilar said in a speech, correctly, that “Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Act requires that the SEC undertake significant efforts to recruit and promote employees from all backgrounds. In particular, Section […]

New Verification Rules for VA Set-Aside Program Pose Potential Issues

Jill Aitoro of the Washington Business Journal has just reported on August 19, 2011, that the Veterans Administration is requiring all small businesses that wish to participate in VA contracts set aside for veterans to fill out a fairly lengthy verification form showing that they are in fact owned and controlled by veterans, service-disabled veterans […]

Wanted: Diverse Subcontractors for Fannie, Freddie and the Fed

Attention all providers of real estate, financial, marketing, IT, professional and travel services: If your business qualifies as a “diverse supplier” under one of the programs specific to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks, the prime contractors doing business with those entities will probably want to know about it. In late […]