Set-aside contracts for women-owned small businesses no longer have a maximum value, under an interim final rule published May 7 by the Small Business Administration. Previously, a contract could not exceed $4 million to be eligible for the Women-Owned Small Business Program, unless it was a manufacturing contract, in which case it could not exceed $6.5 million.
The Defense Department has revised its 1996 directive on non-lethal weapons with the intent of fostering their future development and procurement, although without specifying exactly how it'll do so. One non-lethal weapon s the Active Denial System, which delivers a man-sized heat beam to stop someone from approaching without killing the person.
There's too much focus on certifying disadvantaged businesses for a Transportation Department program designed to support them, and not enough on whether they actually receive any contracts, the DOT office of inspector general says. In Maryland, about 4,800 businesses are certified for the program, but only 560 have received work through it.
The Defense Department didn't properly award performance based payments to contractors between 2009 and 2011 because DoD didn't properly negotiate and verify the contractors' need for contract financing or level of investment before authorizing the payments, an April 8 DoD Office of Inspector General report (.pdf) says.
Agencies say they lack money for training acqusition staff, says the Government Accountability Office in a newly-released March 28 report (.pdf). Twenty of 23 agencies said it was difficult to obtain adequate funding for the training and 19 of 23 said it was difficult to acquire funding for sufficient staff to manage training, the report says.
Contractor employees should make no more than the vice president, who is currently paid $230,700 per year, the administration says. President Obama called for a reduced cap in 2011 when the limit, based on private sector executive pay, reached $763,000.
The Superior Supplier Incentive Program could offer more favorable progress payments or fewer audits to Navy contractors who have excelled in the past, according to a notice in the Federal Register. During the planned pilot phase of the program, contractors would be judged for product quality, control control, management responsiveness and other factors.
The Defense Department should take into account special factors unique to it when setting its annual competition goals, says the Government Accountability Office in a March 28 report (.pdf). There are several factors that affect the DoD's competition rate, but those factors are not always considered when factoring in the annual competition goals.
The estimated cost of DoD's portfolio of major defense acquisition programs decreased by 10 programs and more than $152 billion from 2011 to 2012, the report said. Those decreases are largely the result of more programs exiting than entering the portfolio as well as reductions in procurement due to program cancelations and restructurings, the report said.
Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.) and House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chairman Michael Coffman (R-Colo.) charged the VA with breaking the law when it appointed Tom Leney as director of VA Center for Veterans Enterprise and director of VA Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, according to the hearing. The Small Business Act requires the OSDBU director to carry out that job exclusively and not hold any other title or position, according to Hanna.