FEDERALALLIES.ORG Press Release
Washington, D.C. (March 10, 2017) Today the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy requested The Federal Allies Institute to begin compilation of a list of small business federal regulations to amend or eliminate.
The Federal Allies Institute requests of the public for small business owners and managers to submit comments by April 28, 2017.
The Federal Allies Institute Small Business Deregulation List will be compiled and submitted directly to a formal panel at U.S. Small Business Administration and Donald J. Trump Administration.
“On January 30, 2017 and February 24, 2017 President Donald J. Trump signed Executive Orders on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs and on Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda, respectively, said David T. Boddie, Executive Director, Federal Allies Institute. “This is an effective opportunity for small business to fight back against economic and other impact of regulations and we must do it now.”
Submit comments to:
Federal Allies Institute, P.O. Box B, McLean, Virginia 22101 or Deregulation@FederalAllies.org. Comments must include full contact information.
About Federal Allies Institute
Federal Allies Institute is a national nonpartisan small business trade association formed to assist both small business and the federal government. 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. Federal Allies Institute, 4189 Calais Point Court, Fairfax, Virginia 22033-6203. (571) 217-0823.
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.
By Theresa Pugh, Theresa Pugh Consulting, LLC
EPA 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.
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.
At the 40th Anniversary Symposium for SBA’s Office of Advocacy, June 22, 2016 in Washington, D.C., former Chief Counsels reminisce. Still, 40 years after the creation of the Office of Advocacy and other legislation was passed, the Office of Advocacy still needs more influence to enforce required small business review panels at many federal agencies that regularly ignore the well-being of small businesses across America. See SBA Advocacy Part One and Two.
For more information, contact FederalAllies.org.
A Very Important Ruling: Kingdomware Technologies v. US
By David T. Boddie
The Supreme Court ruling is very strong for Veterans 8 to 0. The Rule of Two preference for Veterans is fine with the Court and the unanimous vote is hard to argue with. And it’s not going to change anytime soon. The Rule of Two is a mandatory requirement for the Veterans Administration.
This small business won its case. It mattered that Kingdomware Technologies won its case. It’s a validation of the entire concept that Veteran-Owned Small Businesses deserve the preference that The U.S. Congress enacted into law. It wasn’t thrown out, nobody challenged it and said you guys don’t deserve it, nobody said it’s unconstitutional or anything like that. Its fine with the Supremes.
How many other small businesses would go to the trouble?
After four years in pursuit of the ruling, a lot of help and pro bono, the heroic efforts of Kingdomware Technologies paid off.
Who else is going to challenge to their right of a preference after this court ruling?
By Sean Milani-Nia
On July 31, 2014, President Obama signed the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order (Order), which imposes new requirements and prohibitions on federal contractors. While the Order is effective immediately, the requirements will not apply to contractors until the final rule implementing the Order is published (likely in 2016). In the meantime, contractors should bolster their compliance efforts to ensure they will be found responsible for future proposals.
Pre award: Under the Order, offerors on procurement contracts, where the estimated value exceeds $500,000, will be required to disclose certain labor law violations occurring during the prior three years. The Order enumerates 14 applicable federal labor laws and includes their state law equivalents as well.
Upon disclosing such violations, federal contractors will be permitted to explain their efforts to correct the violations and increase compliance efforts.
Contracting officers, in consultation with the agency’s designated Labor Compliance Advisor, must consider violations as well as contractors’ remedial efforts in determining whether contractors have a satisfactory record of integrity and business ethics sufficient to be considered responsible offerors.
Only serious, repeated, willful, or pervasive violations of the labor laws enumerated in the Order will demonstrate lack of integrity and business ethics. In most cases a single violation should not give rise to a non-responsibility determination.
Post award: In addition to disclosing labor law violations prior to award, federal contractors will be required to update their disclosures every 6 months. If a new violation is disclosed, the contracting officer, in consultation with the agency’s Labor Compliance Advisor, may: (1) require an agreement outlining appropriate remedial measures; (2) provide compliance assistance; (3) decide not to exercise an option on the contract; (4) terminate the contract; or (5) refer the contractor to a suspending and debarring official.
Federal contractors should also be aware that they will be responsible for flowing down similar requirements to their subcontractors. For subcontracts where the estimated value exceeds $500,000 (excluding commercially off-the-shelf items), contractors will need to require subcontractors to disclose any violations of the enumerated labor laws within the preceding three years and to update those disclosures every six months.
The Order prohibits contractors with federal contracts in excess of $1 million from entering into pre-dispute arbitration agreements with employees relating to Title VII or sexual assault or harassment torts. Contractors will be required to flow down similar requirements in subcontracts greater than $1 million. This provision, however, will not apply where employees or independent contractors entered into a valid agreement to arbitrate prior to the contractor or subcontractor bidding on a contract that is covered by the Order.
The Fair Play and Safe Workplaces Executive Order sets forth yet further requirements with which federal contractors will need to comply. Contractors should focus on increasing their compliance efforts now to ensure that the disclosure of any labor law violations in the future are minimal and not grounds for a nonresponsibility determination.
Letter from the Executive Director
U.S. SBA Central Office Government Contracting Transitions
Calvin Jenkins, Dean Koppel and LeAnn Delaney are all retiring this month with Judith Roussel and Darryl Hairston having left last spring. Remaining SES level staff: John Shoraka, SBA’s Associate Administrator of Government Contracting and Business Development responsible for overseeing the umbrella office with jurisdiction over the Agency’s offices of Size Standards, HUBZone, Government Contracting, and Business Development/8(a); and Ken Dodds, Director of SBA’s Office of Government Contracting, responsible for SBA programs and policies including goaling, size standards, size protests, procurement center representatives, subcontracting, certificate of competency, and the women-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned small business programs.
National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 and Mentor Protégé Proposed Regulation
If properly implemented, the Mentor Protégé proposed regulation could significantly expand the number of small businesses actively competing for government contracts.
Following the latest U.S. House Committee on Small Business, Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce hearing entitled “Action Delayed, Small Business Opportunities Denied: Implementation of Contracting Reforms in the FY 2013 NDAA”, the Mentor Protégé proposed regulation is now with Office of Management and Budget for intra-agency comments. Once U.S. Small Business Administration receives comments from the other agencies, SBA will revise the proposed regulations as needed. Proposed regulation will then be released for public comments within the next 120 days.
“In the near future, SBA will publish a rule to implement a new Government-wide mentor-protégé program. The mentor-protégé program will be for all small business concerns, including socio-economic subcategories of small businesses, consistent with SBA’s mentor-protégé program for participants in SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program,” said Associate Administrator John Shoraka for Office of Government Contracting and Business Development, U.S. Small Business Administration.
Continuing Resolution and the Lame Duck Session
In a morning small business briefing on September 17 prior to the convening of his afternoon hearing in the House Budget meeting room, Congressman Paul Ryan spoke of his committee’s agenda namely the CR to extend to December the previous two-year agreement achieved with Sen. Patty Murray (See Federal Allies News December 2013) that took the sequester off discretionary spending that hit particularly hard the Pentagon and NIH and many other areas important to Federal Allies Institute members. This will take us to December 11 when the rest of the FY bill is to be finalized. So for at least the near future “the fiscal trains” will run on time, plus following two days debate “fiscal plumbing to prosecute ISIS” is moving forward. Next will be the elections, followed by a lame duck session, which will take on tax extenders for expiring tax provisions from last year, revenue targets, score keepers that will better reflect reality as econometrics have come a long way. By March 2015 expect the Highway Trust Fund to be reauthorized. More priorities: the “doc fix”, Medicare, Debt Limit and Trade issues. The issue that both the Obama Administration and House agree closely upon: trade and making US businesses competitive overseas. Eximbank is extended until June and a goal is to enable more small businesses, not just the well-connected, to take advantage of Eximbank programs.
FAI Corporate Ethics Certification
At coffee at the Russell Senate Office Building with Virginia’s very collaborative senate team Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, I provided an update on Federal Allies Institute’s new Corporate Ethics Certification program, just prior to Senator Kaine’s meeting on ISIL with Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and General Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The next FAI Ethics Board of Overseers meeting is to be held at George Mason University School of Policy, Government and International Affairs in October.
David T. Boddie
Founder & Executive Director
Federal Allies Institute