On March 22, 2018, the Department of Defense (DoD) published a Memorandum entitled “Enhanced Postaward Debriefing Rights.” This was issued to implement paragraphs (b) and (c) of Section 818 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 which amended 10 USC 2305(b)(5) and 31 USC 3553 (d)(4).
This memo requires the DoD to include more information in the debriefings than currently given. Specifically, the Government must provide a redacted copy of the Source Selection Decision Document and give the unsuccessful offeror an opportunity to submit additional questions within 2 days after the debriefing. The debriefing won’t be considered concluded until those questions are answered in writing, and they must be answered within 5 days. This provision is applicable to small business awards between $10 Million and $100 Million or for any contract (regardless of size of the business) valued over $100 million.
The memo also warned DoD agencies that it must suspend contract performance upon receipt of a GAO protest: within 10 days after the date of award, or 5 days after the debriefing if no additional questions are posed, or 5 days after the written answers are delivered if additional questions are asked – whichever is later.
For help crafting debriefing questions or a discussion about whether or not to protest, please feel free to contact us.
We are pleased to announce that Chris Swenarton has joined our team!
Prior to joining Ferlise and Associates, Chris functioned as a Program Manager (PM) for the VA’s Technology Acquisition Center (TAC). In that role, Chris served as the Source Selection Evaluation Board (SSEB) Chair and as the Technical Factor Chair for numerous high dollar value, mission critical Information Technology (IT) acquisitions at the TAC to include T4 and T4NG. Chris also managed the development and deployment of numerous cloud-based IT solutions to address the VA’s massive compensation claims backlog. These innovative IT solutions digitized all paper-based claims documentation, improved the accuracy of claims rating decisions, and reduced the backlog by over 85%.
Prior to his years at the VA, Chris supported the Department of the Army for over 25 years. His experience includes serving as Acting Director for the CERDEC’s Space and Terrestrial Communications Directorate (S&TCD) where he managed a workforce of over 400 employees in the development and testing of battlefield communications technologies. Chris also served as the Deputy PM for Tactical Radio Communications Systems (TRCS) and as Chief of the Technical Management Division for three unique PM offices: TRCS, Field Artillery Tactical Data Systems (FATDS), and Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T).
Chris has received numerous civilian awards and decorations, most notably the Commander’s Award for Civilian Service and the Fort Monmouth Employee of the Year. He holds a Bachelor’s of Chemical Engineering from Villanova University (1984) and a Masters of Computer Science (1992) from Monmouth University.
Welcome aboard Chris!
As a small business, do you find yourself missing out on opportunities that you know you can do well but can’t compete because you don’t have the right past performance?
Or, as a large business, do you find yourself shut out from opportunities that are set-aside for small businesses?
In either case, the SBA’s All Small Mentor-Protégé Program (ASMPP) might be a good way for you to overcome these barriers. Once the SBA approves your Mentor-Protégé application, you may form a Joint Venture (JV) to pursue opportunities for which you would otherwise not be eligible.
A large business that mentors a small business through this program can compete for those small business set-asides through the JV and a small business protégé can rely on the large business’ past performance. For more information on the benefits of this program or to discuss whether this is right for your business, please contact us today.
Vic Ferlise and Mike Ferlise will be attending the upcoming AFCEA Belvoir Industry Days on April 3-4, 2018 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Oxon Hill, MD. This popular event had attracted over one thousand attendees and has boasted hundreds of industry participants in the past.
The Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) – Belvoir Chapter, supports the Fort Belvoir community, through this event by connecting the Government with IT industry professionals. Fort Belvoir is home to over 90 diverse tenant and satellite organizations from the Department of Defense, including PEO EIS, INSCOM, Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), Army Cyber Command, Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), DTIC, PEO Soldier, and many others
Vic Ferlise and Mike Ferlise will be attending the AUSA Global Force Symposium in Huntsville Alabama from March 26th through the 28th.
The three-day event will include featured presentations from Army leadership including keynote remarks from the Secretary of the Army, the Undersecretary of the Army, the Chief of Staff and the Vice Chief of Staff. Other senior Army leaders such as the commanders of Forces Command, Training and Doctrine Command and Army Materiel Command will also participate.
The Global Force Symposium and Exposition combines the interests and ideas of warfighters and Senior Army Leaders with the spirit of entrepreneurial and commercial leaders of the Defense Industrial Base. The symposium also incorporates thought leaders from academia and industry to provide a professional development forum that allows participants to learn, network, and move our Army forward.
Look for some changes in the New Year regarding debriefings. For years, Ferlise & Associates has been recommending that clients request a copy of a properly redacted source selection document in connection with debriefings, regardless of the dollar value of the acquisition or and the agency involved. Now Section 818 of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), titled the “Enhanced Post-Award Debriefing Rights”, which was signed into law December 12, 2017, makes production of a redacted copy of the written source selection award determination mandatory for ANY Defense Agency contract valued over $100 million, or for any Small Business award which is valued at $10 million or more.
That section also requires written or oral debriefings for ALL contract/task or delivery order awards valued at $10 million or more. The third major change is that Defense Agencies must give offerors the option to ask questions within 2 business days after receiving a debriefing. This means that the “protest clock” doesn’t start until the Government answers those questions. While these changes are certainly welcome, please note that they only are applicable to Defense Agencies and not Civilian Agencies like the VA. Hopefully, we will see these reforms spread soon.
Happy holidays and best wishes for the new year from all of us here at F&A!
Wendy McCutcheon (the former VA TAC Director) and Vince Buonocore (the former VA TAC Chief Counsel) along with Vic and Mike Ferlise will be attending this year’s National Veterans Small Business Engagement (NVSBE) from December 5–7, 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri at the America’s Center. The NVSBE is a great opportunity to meet other Veteran Owned Small Businesses (VOSBs) including Service Disabled VOSBs as well as other businesses and to learn about VA procurement opportunities.
We look forward to seeing you at this year’s conference.
To all those who have put their lives on the line in defense of this great nation…. THANK YOU from all of us here at F&A!
On October 11th, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) issued its decision not to hear an appeal of the DC Circuit’s Federal Court of Appeals decision that found the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development (BD) Program constitutional. This is the “current” result of what is known as the “Rothe” case. Rothe Development, Inc. (a Woman-Owned Small Business) started challenging the constitutionality of the 8(a) BD program back in 2012 on grounds that the definition of “socially disadvantaged” business owners is a racial classification that violates Rothe’s right to equal protection under the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. With the SCOTUS decision not to hear the appeal, the decision of the Court of Appeals stands. That decision which used the lowest of the 3 levels of scrutiny, or a “rational basis” standard, to determine the constitutionality of the law (instead of the more intense “strict scrutiny” standard that would be applied had the Court concluded that the statute was not race-neutral on its face) may still be challenged. It is expected that while the statute, itself, was not found unconstitutional, the SBA implementing regulation, 13 CFR 124.103, might be separately challenged and might have to pass muster under the strict scrutiny test. (Note: Rothe previously challenged the Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) Program [of which the 8(a) BD program is a subset] back in 2008 which resulted in significant changes to that program.)