GSA aims to shorten software acquisition cycle with Agile Delivery Services BPA

The General Services Administration is seeking feedback from industry and government stakeholders on a proposed blanket purchase agreement that would feature vendors who specialize in Agile Delivery Services, or the development of software through a faster, more interactive acquisition process.

“The goal of the proposed BPA is to decrease software acquisition cycles to less than four weeks (from solicitation to contract) and expedite the delivery of a minimum viable product (MVP) within three months or less,” writes Angela Bumbrey, program analyst for advertising and marketing at GSA, in a recent post on the agency’s blog.

GSA’s 18F, the agency’s digital innovation lab, and GSA’s Office of Integrated Technology Services are collaborating on the establishment of the BPA.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.fiercegovernmentit.com/story/gsa-aims-shorten-software-acquisition-cycle-agile-delivery-services-bpa/2015-01-08

Navy commander pleads guilty in huge bribery case

A U.S. Navy commander had plead guilty in a massive bribery scheme involving a longtime military contractor in Asia who allegedly offered luxury travel, prostitutes and other bribes to officers in exchange for confidential information.

Jose Luis Sanchez, 42, is the highest-ranking official to plead guilty in the case, which rocked the Navy when the first charges were filed in 2013. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when he is sentenced March 27 for bribery and conspiracy to commit bribery.

Sanchez admitted taking bribes valued between $30,000 and $120,000 from 2009 to 2013, including a prostitute, $7,500 to travel from Asia to the United States and five days at Singapore’s luxury Shangri-La Hotel, according to a 24-page plea agreement. In exchange, he provided classified Navy ship and submarine schedules and other internal information to Leonard Glenn Francis, chief executive of a Singapore-based company that provided services to vessels at ports.

Keep reading this article at: http://hamptonroads.com/2015/01/us-navy-commander-pleads-guilty-massive-bribery-case 

 

GSA administrator Tangherlini to leave in February

After nearly three years as administrator of the General Services Administration, Dan M. Tangherlini is leaving the job next month.

Tangherlini took over in the wake of a scandal over conference spending by the agency, and tried to transition the GSA into a more efficient and tech-savvy operation during a period of budget cuts and gridlock on Capitol Hill. His last day will be Feb. 13. Denise Turner Roth, deputy administrator, will serve as an interim replacement until President Obama nominates a permanent successor.

A former Treasury official, Tangherlini said he had expected to leave the administration before even arriving at the GSA but that the agency — despite its reputation as a symbol of government bureaucracy — presented too important an opportunity for him to turn down.

During his tenure, the GSA focused on introducing new technologies, improving the acquisitions process and creating more efficient government workspaces.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/digger/wp/2015/01/15/dan-tangherlini-to-leave-gsa-in-feb/

Company excluded from competition protests $5 billion Army IT contract

A $5 billion Army contract program for information technology that’s almost two years behind schedule could be delayed even longer, as at least one company excluded from the competition files a protest in a federal court.

MicroTechnologies LLC of Virginia confirmed it filed a protest Jan. 9 in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims against the Army’s decision to exclude the company’s bid for the Information Technology Enterprise Solutions-3 Hardware program, or ITES-3H, to supply the Army commercial IT hardware.

While all documents in the case are sealed, MicroTech General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer Aaron Drabkin said the grounds mirror those included in its protest filed with the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which was denied in October 2014. The company raised several challenges to the agency’s evaluation of its past performance.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/blog/fedbiz_daily/2015/01/microtech-protests-5b-ites-3h-contract-in-federal.html

Companies pay millions to settle alleged false billings on GSA Schedule and DoD contracts

At year’s end, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced multi-million dollar false claims settlements with a pair of large contractors in connection with billing practices on GSA Schedule contracts.

  • Iron Mountain Incorporated and Iron Mountain Information Management LLC (collectively Iron Mountain) has paid $44.5 million to resolve allegations under the False Claims Act that Iron Mountain overcharged federal agencies for record storage services , the DOJ announced Dec. 19, 2014.  Iron Mountain is a records storage company headquartered in Boston.
  • Lockheed Martin Integrated Systems (LMIS) agreed on Dec. 22, 2014 to repay the government $27.5 million to settle over-billing charges brought under the False Claims Act on a contract producing products and services for U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Justice Dept. seal“Protecting the federal procurement process from false claims is central to the mission of the Department of Justice,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Joyce Branda said. “We will continue to ensure that when federal monies are used to purchase commercial services the government receives the prices and services to which it is entitled.”

The settlement with Iron Mountain relates to contracts under which the firm provided record storage services to government entities from 2001 to 2014 through GSA’s Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) program.  The MAS program provides the government with a streamlined process for procurement of commonly used commercial goods and services.  The settlement resolves allegations that Iron Mountain failed to meet its contractual obligations to provide GSA with accurate information about its commercial sales practices during contract negotiations, and failed to comply with the price reduction clause of the GSA contracts by not extending lower prices to government customers during its performance of the contracts.  It also resolves an allegation that Iron Mountain charged the United States for storage meeting National Archives and Records Administration requirements when the storage provided did not meet such requirements.

“Contractors that knowingly bill the government in violation of contract terms will face serious consequences,” Branda said of the Lockheed Martin settlement. “The department will ensure that those who do business with the government, and seek taxpayer funds, do so fairly and in accordance with the applicable rules.”

LMIS is a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Inc., which is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland.  The alleged labor mischarging occurred on the Rapid Response (CR2) contract and the Strategic Services Sourcing (S3) contract, both issued by the U.S. Army Communication and Electronics Command (CECOM).  CECOM is located at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, and at the Aberdeen Proving Group in Maryland.  The purpose of the CR2 and S3 contracts is to provide rapid access to products and services to be provided to the Army in Iraq and Afghanistan. Individual task orders then are separately negotiated, based on these contracts, to quickly meet the needs of CECOM.  LMIS allegedly violated the terms of the contracts by using under-qualified employees who were billed to the United States at the rates of more qualified employees.  The overbilling allegedly resulted in greater profit for LMIS.

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How ‘FAR’ we have come: Looking ahead to what 2015 may bring in federal procurement policy

The Office of Federal Procurement Policy (“OFPP”) is now under new leadership. Confirmed by the Senate in September, Anne Rung will take on the job of managing the federal government’s acquisition policy. Prior to her most recent appointment, Rung held the position of General Services Administration chief acquisition officer and associate administrator of governmentwide policy. Last month, at the National Contract Management Association, Rung provided a roadmap for her forthcoming tenure. This roadmap gives valuable insight on the foreseeable future of public procurement policy.

So what’s ahead for 2015 and beyond in the world of federal public procurement? According to Rung’s goals, you should be ready for innovation, collaboration and, most importantly, simplification.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.mondaq.com/article.asp?articleid=363200

Georgia Tech hosts matchmaking event to aid multiple SE federal agencies in small business outreach

On Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015, Georgia Tech will play host to six federal agencies holding an industry day forum for small businesses in the southeast region of the United States.  NOTE: As of Jan. 16, 2015, this event is booked to capacity, and no further registrations are being accepted.

The event is being sponsored by the Atlanta chapter of the National Contract Management Association (NCMA) and the regional office of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and is being sponsored on the campus of the Georgia Institute of Technology by the Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center (GTPAC).

The event, billed as “Building Partnerships and Collaborating for Success, a Small Business Industry Day and Matchmaking Event,” is open to all businesses in the region who wish to learn more about doing business with  the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the General Services Administration (GSA), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

In addition to federal agencies, representatives of major prime contractors also are expected to be present, including Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, ICF International, RTI International, WYLE, Westat, Deloitte, and DB Consulting Group, Inc.

Businesses interested in participating in this event must preregister at: http://gtpac.ecenterdirect.com/ConferenceDetail.action?ID=7954.

 

GAO forbids funding for disposable flatware

Federal agencies cannot use department funds to buy disposable flatware for employee use, as those items don’t directly support an agency’s mission,according to a recent decision from the Government Accountability Office.

The Department of Commerce instituted a policy in 2009 to provide disposable cups, plates and utensils, along with hand sanitizer and disinfectants to employees at the National Weather Service offices in response to concerns over an outbreak of the H1N1 virus, colloquially called “swine flu.”

In 2013, Commerce announced that it would no longer provide disposable flatware to the regional offices, stating that the “purchase was for the primary benefit of the employees” and not the agency’s mission.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.federaltimes.com/story/government/management/agency/2014/12/29/gao-disposable-utensils/21014951/

 

Top Navy official asks Congress to strip out acquisition regulations

A top Navy official says the new Congress should focus acquisition reform efforts on doing away with existing regulations rather than adding to a process that is already overly complex.

“We need precious little new legislation that will trigger added bureaucracy to respond to new requirements levied against an already byzantine process,” Sean Stackley, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition, said Jan. 7 in remarks at the Atlantic Council in Washington, D.C.

The statement reflects growing agreement between Capitol Hill, the Defense Department and industry players that the acquisition process has grown intolerably complex and is undercutting the Pentagon’s technological competitiveness with adversaries.

An intra-Pentagon acquisition reform team has spent several months combing existing acquisition regulations in search of burdensome and redundant rules, Stackley told reporters after his appearance. That team, led by the office of the undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics, will soon submit its recommendations for reform to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), who now chair the Senate and House Armed Services committees. Lawmakers would consider the reforms for the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill.

Keep reading this article at: http://fcw.com/articles/2015/01/07/navy-official-regulation-revision.aspx

Former security contractor CEO agrees to pay $4.5 million to settle civil claims

Keith Hedman, 55, of Arlington, Virginia, the former chief executive officer of a Virginia-based security contracting firm, Protection Strategies, Inc. has agreed to pay $4.5 million to settle civil claims relating to his involvement in a fraudulent scheme to create a front company to obtain contracts through the Small Business Administration’s Section 8(a) program.  The Section 8(a) program allows qualified small businesses to receive sole-source and competitive-bid contracts set aside for minority-owned and disadvantaged small businesses.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, made the announcement after the settlement agreement was signed by both parties. “The civil settlement illustrates the importance of not stopping at a criminal resolution when a defendant has pled guilty to fraud against the government,” said U.S. Attorney Boente.

The settlement resolves civil claims against Hedman relating to the criminal plea entered by him in U.S. v. Hedman,1:13cr74. According to court records, in or about 2001 Hedman formed PSI, which was approved to participate in the 8(a) program based on the 8(a) eligibility of its listed president and CEO, an African-American female. When the listed president and CEO left PSI in 2003, Hedman became its sole owner, and the company was no longer 8(a)-eligible.

Keep reading this article at: http://www.alexandrianews.org/former-security-contractor-ceo-agrees-to-pay-4-5-million-to-settle-civil-claims/