SDVOSB Contracts: The Verification Misconception – and Two Practical Tips

Many veterans have some important misconceptions about how the federal government awards SDVOSB contracts. in this article, Steven Koprince debunks one of the most pervasive misunderstandings about SDVOSB contracts and provides practical tips that will benefit your SDVOSB.

FBO.GOV Has Moved

On November 12th, 2019, FBO.Gov was retired, and beta.SAM.Gov is the new authoritative source for Contract Opportunities. For the most part, the transition appears to have gone smoothly, according to GSA (click here to listen to a recent interview with a GSA senior executive on the Federal News Network about the current status of “Contract Opportunities” at BETA.SAM.GOV). There are additional resources posted at the beta.SAM.Gov website to provide information and training for contractors. For your convenience, we have listed direct links to some of these resources below.

We will post additional information, tips, and future updates about the new Contract Opportunities website – so, stay tuned!

If you have ideas or suggestions for improvement,  please use the “provide feedback” button on the beta.SAM.gov website.

If you would like to find small business events and vendor collaboration opportunities, look for these specific links toward the top of the page when you visit the Contracting Opportunities page on the beta.SAM.Gov website. If you are logged in, you can save these searches after clicking on the applicable links to quickly access these opportunities in the future.

FedBizOpps Will Be Retired After Veterans Day Weekend 2019

As of November 12, 2019, Federal Business Opportunities, the website for publishing all public government procurements, will be officially decommissioned. After Veterans Day, the authoritative source for federal solicitations will be under a page on beta.SAM.gov. According to the current timeline from the General Services Administration (GSA), the current FBO.gov site will enter a “data freeze” beginning on November 8. During that freeze, no new procurement data will be uploaded to the site as it is fully decommissioned over the holiday weekend. Beginning on November 12, all federal procurements will be posted on beta.SAM.gov under the “Contract Opportunities” tab.

Users will have to use an existing account through Login.gov or create a new one, in order to get full use of the new opportunities site. The Contract Opportunities site will have most of the same capabilities as FBO.gov, with some additional bells and whistles. For example, the new site will allow users to choose between more filter options, including by solicitation type and four-digit product services codes.

The new site will also users to download search results and individual notices directly and will have access to new APIs that will replace the ftp.FBO.gov capability.

Non-government users—vendors—also will have to do some initial legwork to ensure their current watch lists and other settings migrate to the new site:

  • Confirm FBO account details such as what notices are being watched, what’s in the Search Agent, what attachments the account can access and which vendor lists include the account.
  • Create your SAM.gov account through Login.gov with a business or federal email.
  • No need for roles. The system will automatically give non-government users permission matching the legacy “vendor” role.
  • Check out the new workspace, including the account’s profile, opportunities being followed and saved searches.

Users who forget about the transition will still be able to use the FBO.gov link, which will redirect to a landing page with additional information about the new Contract Opportunities section. GSA is also offering a host of resources to ease the transition, including an official fact sheet, transition guides for federal users and administrators, FAQs on system accounts and federal hierarchy, video tutorials and quick-start guides for users, administrators and contractors, among others.

The SAM.gov site itself is still in beta as more functionality is shifted from the old awards management site. GSA says the site is expected to come out of beta in fiscal 2020 as the final capabilities from the legacy SAM.gov site are migrated over.

Sources (Open):

https://www.nextgov.com/it-modernization/2019/10/fedbizopps-will-be-retired-after-veterans-day-weekend/160748/

https://beta.sam.gov

https://www.gsa.gov/cdnstatic/FBO_Is_Transitioning_to_Beta_Factsheet_%281%29.pdf

New Website Helps You Find Great Govcon Podcast!

If you enjoy listening to podcasts on the way to work, check out www.govconpodcasts.com. This is a relatively new website that features a collection of some of the nation’s top podcasts and information from top experts in government contracting. A great way to learn on the go!

Department of Energy – SBIR/ STTR Phase 0 Assistance Program

In November, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will launch the tenth round of its SBIR/STTR Phase 0 Assistance Program to coincide with the November 12, 2019 announcement of the FY2020 Phase I Release 2 SBIR/STTR Topics. The program is aimed at helping eligible small R&D businesses and individuals successfully apply for SBIR/STTR federal funding from the DOE. Since the program is entirely funded by the DOE, these services are AT NO COST TO PARTICIPANTS. The goal of this program is to increase the number of responsive, high-quality Phase I proposals submitted to the DOE from all first-time DOE SBIR/STTR applicants.

Companies and researchers planning to form a company may apply for services directly by completing a simple online form available at www.dawnbreaker.com/doephase0/apply.php. Registration for this round of the DOE Phase 0 Assistance program will begin November 12, 2019. Applicants will subsequently be contacted by a representative of the DOE Phase 0 Assistance Program to affirm that they meet the additional criteria specified by the DOE.

With the upcoming DOE Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to be released on December 16, 2019 we anticipate providing services to 100 or more Phase 0 participants. Potential applicants are encouraged to find out more about the DOE Phase 0 Assistance Program at www.dawnbreaker.com/doephase0. Recognizing that multiple states already offer some level of assistance to their SBIR/STTR applicants, the DOE Phase 0 Assistance Program is designed to complement services already offered by existing professional organizations, SBDCs, universities, incubators, and other state organizations. The services offered by the DOE SBIR/STTR Phase 0 Assistance Program are also available to eligible, qualified individuals who commit to form a company should they win a DOE SBIR/ STTR Phase I award.

Eligible parties may receive one or more specialized services following an initial assessment by a member of the Dawnbreaker team. The services include:

  1. Letter of Intent (LOI) review;
  2. Phase I proposal preparation, review and registration assistance;
  3. Market research assistance;
  4. Technology advice and consultation;
  5. Intellectual property consultation;
  6. Indirect rates and financials;
  7. Travel assistance.

As part of this initiative, Online Tutorials covering all aspects of the DOE SBIR/STTR Phase I application process are available at https://science.osti.gov/SBIRLearning. The Online Tutorials will provide training on application preparation for individuals interested in preparing a DOE SBIR/STTR Phase I proposal and will be available nationally at no charge to everyone.

For more information on the DOE Phase 0 initiative, please visit: www.dawnbreaker.com/doephase0

Process for Accessing Item Technical Data within cFolders Subject to Export Control

In October 2019, the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) will institute a single process for accessing technical data within its Collaboration Folders (cFolders) that is subject to export-control under either the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) or the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). DLA will limit distribution of the export-controlled technical data to DLA suppliers that have an approved US/Canada Joint Certification Program (JCP) certification; completed the “Introduction to Proper Handling of DOD Export Controlled Technical Data Training”; the DLA “Export-Controlled Technical Data Questionnaire”; and have been approved by the DLA controlling authority to access the export-controlled data.

Instructions for obtaining access to DLA export-controlled data can be found at: https://www.dla.mil/HQ/LogisticsOperations/EnhancedValidation/.

How To Protect Yourself Against Scams And Snake Oil Salesmen

There are many great people supporting businesses in the government marketplace – from for-profits and non-profits to universities and government agencies. Unfortunately, there are also as many scam artists and snake oil salesmen lurking in the shadows. They want to sell you the magic pill to success but at the end of the day, take your money and leave you frustrated with the results. Here are some tips to help you save money and keep your peace of mind.

  1. Before you spend your money on services, check with your PTAC consultant. We may have just what you need or will point you in the right direction.
  2. If it sounds too good to be true, it likely is. When you see or hear things like “we guarantee a contract” or “if you would like a 5-year no-bid contract with the federal government, call us,” be cautious. Snake oil salesmen are very sneaky. Even if they “get you a contract,” that doesn’t mean you will be awarded dollars under this contract if it’s not right for you. We see this happen quite often with companies that get onto a GSA schedule and make no sales.
  3. Beware of scams! If you receive an email from a government agency or visit a website that looks like an official government website, look for the .gov extension in the email address or the URL. There are plenty of impersonators out there. In fact, each year when disaster strikes, scams like “Get registered with FEMA” start popping up on the Internet. This problem is so prevalent that FEMA has established a “FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline.” That number is 1-866-720-5721. Unfortunately, this is just one example of scams that can trap the unwary.

With a little caution, due diligence, and guidance from your PTAC, you can navigate around scams and snake oil salesmen to find credible resources that will help you in your journey.

GSA Begins Pilot Using OTA-Like Streamlined Acquisition Process

The General Services Administration (GSA) announced this week that they are using a streamlined process to procure innovative, commercial solutions. Click here to read the article.

CVE Verification Pointer: Remember to Provide Truthful Information

In a recent article, published on SmallGovCon, the government contracts attorney Matthew Schoonover discusses the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals’ decision to cancel a contractor’s SDVOSB verification on the grounds that the contractor provided false information. Click here to read the full article.

Consolidated GSA schedule will be out October 1, 2019

September 10 2019 by Jane Dowgwillo

GSA has posted an announcement of its intention to consolidate the current 24 Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) and release a new single Schedule for product, services, and solutions on October 1, 2019. You can find more information on the GSA’s Interact website including what to expect after the consolidated schedule is released.

On October 1, 2019, GSA will publish the new, consolidated, solicitation on FedBizOpps along with applicable attachments. The FBO package will contain:GSA Logo

  • Solicitation
  • Available Offerings Summary Document
  • One Attachment for each Large Category
  • Regulations Incorporate by Reference
  • Significant Changes Document

You can read more on the GSA Interact website.

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