Bidding activity from small businesses for federal contracts dropped significantly over the last over the last 5 years, an August American Express government contracting survey (.pdf) says. The average number of bids per year from small businesses dropped by 72 percent for prime bids since 2007, the survey says.
Wider use of purchase cards could save the Veterans Health Administration $24 million annually, a report from the Veterans Affairs Department office of inspector general says. The VHA spent about $3 billion on purchases worth $3,000 or less in fiscal 2012, earning it more than $65 million in rebates.
Defense Department contractors must can now submit requests to release fundamental research from a project 10 days before doing so, an addition to the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement says.
Defense Department acquisition managers should routinely take measures to reduce cost, but those savings shouldn't come at the expense of long-term degradation of effectiveness, says an Aug. 6 DoD memo (.pdf) clarifying the Better Buying Power initiative. Better Buying Power, which was launched in 2010, provides a set of best practices to improve acquisition through cost control and the "elimination of unproductive processes and bureaucracy."
Offices within the Transportation Department did not fully comply with revised Federal Acquisition Regulation requirements on the use of cost-reimbursement awards due to a lack of guidance from the DOT on how to implement the revised regulation, an Aug. 5 DOT inspector general report (.pdf) says.
The federal government should adopt an enterprise approach that breaks down agency and department silos in order to leverage areas of overlap to meet mission needs, recommends a new report from the Partnership for Public Service and Booz Allen Hamilton.
The Federal Acquisition Regulations Council proposed a rule that would give contractors less time to comment on past performance evaluations from the agencies with which they worked. The rule implements section 853 of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act by reducing the period contractors have to comment from 30 days to 14 calendar days after the review is put into the Past Performance Information Retrieval System.
The power to verify Veteran-Owned Small Businesses, including those owned by service-disabled vets, would be transferred to the Small Business Administration from the Veterans Affairs Department because SBA could do it cheaper and better, says a press release announcing a bill introduced July 31 by House Small Business Committee Member Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.).
The Veterans Affairs Department doesn't know how much it's spending on consulting services and the Government Accountability Office couldn't find the data to tell the agency, a July 30 GAO report (.pdf) says.
A new rule set to go into effect Aug. 15 directs prime contractors to notify contracting officers if they don't use small business subcontractors that were integral to producing a bid proposal. The rule (.pdf) goes into effect Aug. 15.