FEDERALALLIES.ORG Press Release

February 27, 2017

President Donald J. Trump Delivers on Campaign Promises at First Joint Session of Congress

Washington, D.C. (February 27, 2017) On Tuesday, February 28, 2017 President Trump is to deliver his first address to a joint session of Congress to outline his budgetary and economic priorities.

Released today, the skinny budget, and not yet the full-blown budget, are the President’s policies, as reflected in topline discretionary spending.  “To that end, it is a true America-first budget.  It will show the President is keeping his promises and doing exactly what he said he was going to do when he ran for office.  It prioritizes rebuilding the military, including restoring our nuclear capabilities; protecting the nation and securing the border; enforcing the laws currently on the books; taking care of Vets; and increasing school choice.  And it does all of that without adding to the currently projected FY 2018 deficit,” said Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney at The White House Press Briefing.

“The top line defense discretionary number is $603 billion.  That’s a $54-billion increase — it’s one of the largest increases in history.  It’s also the number that allows the President to keep his promise to undo the military sequester.  The topline nondefense number will be $462 billion.  That’s a $54-billion savings.  It’s the largest-proposed reduction since the early years of the Reagan administration.

“The reductions in nondefense spending follow the same model — it’s the President keeping his promises and doing exactly what he said he was going to do.  It reduces money that we give to other nations, it reduces duplicative programs, and it eliminates programs that simply don’t work.

“The bottom line is this:  The President is going to protect the country and do so in exactly the same way that every American family has had to do over the last couple years, and that’s prioritize spending,” said Mulvaney.

A skinny budget makes no reference to mandatory spending, entitlement reforms, tax policies, revenue projections, or the infrastructure plan.  The full-blown budget is due in May.

“We anticipate the full-blown budget to follow most recommendations of The Heritage Foundation Blue Print for Reform: A Comprehensive Policy Agenda for a New Administration in 2017 to reduce and streamline the federal government by 20%, said David T. Boddie, Executive Director, Federal Allies Institute.

“We are pleased with these goals because Federal Allies Institute’s first policy decision was to advocate the association’s full-support behind Simpson Bowles and I believe we have been the sole federal contractor-comprised association in full-support of not selling to the federal government what it does not need and cannot afford,” said Boddie.

“We have always been America First and we look forward to hearing the President’s remarks and working with the administration for a streamlined federal government,” said Boddie.

 

About Federal Allies Institute

Federal Allies Institute is a national nonpartisan trade association dedicated to federal acquisition best practices. Federal Allies Institute is an IRC 501(c) (6) tax-exempt association and organized as a non-stock corporation (non-profit) in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

CONTACT:

Communications@FederalAllies.org

 

Advertisements

EPA’s Construction Industry Rule Has Liability Implications

February 21, 2017

By Theresa Pugh, Theresa Pugh Consulting, LLC

theresa-pugh-of-theresa-pugh-consulting-llcEPA and Construction Industry’s Jan. 19th, Construction General Permit Rule Needs Correction:

Last summer I wrote about EPA’s proposed rule on Construction General Permit (CGP) and the ridiculous requirements about testing for PCBs from caulk in all demolition debris.  The EPA had, perhaps with good intention, over-reached, because PCB in demolition debris is really quite rare. The CGP is a rule designed to address stormwater protection. EPA has legitimate authority and duty to address stormwater.

I commend EPA staff for correcting that misstep in the final regulation by fixing the PCB in demolition debris language. Their correction did no harm to the rule. They have focused the attention where it should be focused. However, there is still a serious flaw with the rule. The flaw has nothing to do with EPA’s environmental standard—which I don’t question. We need to regulate industries responsibly to protect streams.

The problem with the EPA’s Jan. 19, 2017 rule (literally the last day of the Obama Administration) is that it now applies joint and several liability to those in the industry for those engaged in virtually all earth moving activities. This EPA final rule is a big change from the 2008 and 2012 permit language that limits each operator’s liability to that portion of the site over which he/she had control. I think EPA went way too far in placing joint and several liability into the construction industry that often has many dozens of contractors and businesses in development projects. With joint and several liability, who would want to be the “last in” in the construction industry to build a home or building in a project that is adjacent to other construction projects. A construction company, doing no harm and following the new stormwater protection regulations perfectly, could possibly be liable for another company’s errors (intentional or unintentional) for up to $52,500 per day. It could also ruin a home builder’s reputation if he/she had to pay fines for someone else’s bad judgment. Joint and several liability will surely send a chill through the construction industry—at the very time we need more jobs. Most home builders are small businesses. Imagine the problems for many small businesses trying to get financing if joint and several liability applied to the company.

Just think of the comparable impacts if this was a remodeling regulation in your own community on homeowners. Would you want to be financially responsible for remodeling your own home if you were also held responsible for a neighbor’s home remodel if that neighbor didn’t follow all appropriate code? You don’t have the right to enter that neighbor’s home before you decide to remodel your house. You’d have no clue what they did or didn’t do in their home remodel. I think the comparison fits for development projects with many adjacent separate companies engaged in earth moving and building.

The Trump Administration presumably has an opportunity to further refine the stormwater regulation or CGP rule. I hope they will do so very soon. The new CGP permit took effect last week—on Feb. 16, 2017.  It is my hope that they will apply the Priebus Memo, take a look at the CGP, and fix the joint and several liability portion of the CGP rule. Unfortunately, for now, the rule is not listed on the Priebus Memo for the delay.

There is a commonsense solution that limits liability to bad actors and encourages construction projects to continue. We need both—more jobs and continued stormwater protection by EPA. Reasonable steps by EPA can ensure both.


Linda E. McMahon Confirmed as SBA Administrator

February 14, 2017

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 voted 81 to 19 to confirm Linda E. McMahon Administrator to lead the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) said McMahon seeks to “prioritize growing jobs over growing government bureaucracy”.  “This is welcomed news to small business members of Federal Allies Institute”, said David T. Boddie, Founder and Executive Director of Federal Allies Institute.


Do Your Homework!

February 8, 2017

By Anna Urman, Director Fairfax Virginia PTAP

Tell me if you’ve heard this one before – from contracting officers, OSDBUs, SBLOs, your well-meaning networking acquaintances and teaming partners and Chamber of Commerce #govcon speakers…And you have no idea what they are talking about.

What homework? How much do I have to do? Where do I start? What’s the point? Are you just letting me down easy to wiggle out of a conversation? (Well, I can’t answer that last one – but I can certainly help guide you in the homework-doing department).

What the industry experts mean by ‘homework’ is to be prepared for a conversation with a potential customer – whether it’s a government agency, a large prime, or a similarly small business who you want as a partner.  Prepared to not just to recite to them how great you are, but to speak to your value proposition. What can you do for them?

Well, what can you do for them?

If you are even thinking about responding with something along the lines of “well, I can sell them my…” – STOP.

Federal agencies, and the food chain of contractors that you want to be a part of aren’t just buying products and services, no matter how shiny and cool. They aren’t “giving out” contracts, there are no magic words that would enable a government agency to suddenly bypass decades of processes and volumes of rules just to do you a favor.

So how do you figure out what your customer wants to hear?

  1. Get to know your customer

How do you even know where to start, who would be a good customer for you? You may know from experience, which puts you a step ahead. But if it’s just a hunch – test that hypothesis through solid research before venturing out – you’ll save a lot of frustration and parking dollars.

  • What have they bought before? From whom? Where? How much did they spend? What kind competition do they usually have for your products/services? What NAICS do they use to buy your gadget?  Tools like USASpending and Schedule Sales Query are a good start. If you’re in IT, familiarize yourself with the IT Dashboard.
  • What are they on the market for currently? Opportunities in FBO, Procurement Forecasts.
  • Want more? Look at GAO reports, Inspector General’s office findings. What are your customers posting on Twitter? Are the decision makers speaking at conferences on topics of interest?
  • If you’re meeting with primes, find out in advance what they do. Their websites are a great start.
  1. Present yourself

Elevator Pitch, Business Card, Capabilities Statement, and a website. Know them, have them, invest in them. You want to present yourself as an established business that isn’t risky in any way. You want to appear polished and professional, memorable and knowledgeable.  If you are even thinking about sending an email to a government customer from a yahoo or gmail account, don’t do it. Get a company website with an email @your own domain. There are tools out there that make it really easy to put together a presentable website even for non-IT folks, for not a lot of money. Wix, SquareSpace are so easy, even I can do it.

They’ll be much more likely to invest time and answer questions from someone they see potential in.  They’ll be much more likely to send a complete newbie to their local PTAP office for the basic skills.

  1. Engage and ask the right questions

Forget asking your customer “what do you do.” If you haven’t figured it out, you’re wasting your time and theirs.   Now, if you are meeting a company you haven’t heard of at a networking event, that’s a fine question.  At a planned appointment, when you’ve had a chance to pull up their website at the least, it’s a taboo question.  If you’ve done the reading, you know what they do, you know what they buy, you know who they buy it from and how much they spend annually.   The questions you ask should showcase your knowledge of their environment and challenges, a subtle indication that you know exactly how to fix things – and a desire to understand their ideal state.

There are a number of opportunities to meet your customers – yes, at their office. Also at industry days, conferences, in LinkedIn groups, in local AFCEA, NCMA chapters, industry-specific organization Federal Allies Institute, and even on social media. Where are they going to learn? Where are they going to share information?  Don’t forget that your customers are people too – and can be found at dog parks and PTA meetings and home improvement stores. I’m not advocating stalking, but there’s a lot you can learn in a casual, no pressure, non-sales interaction that can enlighten your business development / teaming / proposal strategy.

This is plenty of homework to get started. If you need help, we’re here to help you work on your pitch, review your capabilities statement, assist with market research.

And Yes, there are instances where companies get work faster than the usual contracting timeline. That is the stuff of legends in our field. Usually, such miracles are the result of a lot of hard groundwork and persistence.


Eversheds merges with Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP to form Eversheds Sutherland

February 3, 2017

Federal Allies Institute is pleased to inform its small business members London-headquartered Eversheds and U.S.-based Sutherland Asbill & Brennan have merged, creating a new global law firm known as Eversheds Sutherland.

The combined entity, which now boasts of more than 2,300 lawyers in 61 offices across 29 countries, will be led by joint CEOs as part of a six-strong global management team.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) managing partner and CEO-elect Lee Ranson and Eversheds Sutherland (US) managing partner Mark Wasserman have been appointed as joint CEOs.

According to a media statement, no significant internal structural changes are expected within either firm, and respective practice group heads will work together to co-lead client initiatives.

The move comes months after merger plans were announced in December 2016.  “During the past two years under its new name Eversheds Sutherland has become a top supporter of Federal Allies Institute providing great assistance to our national Federal Allies Summits and Washington Days Conference and we very much look forward to continuing this alliance, said David T. Boddie, Founder & Executive Director, Federal Allies Institute.