Kingdomware Technologies v. US

June 16, 2016

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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?


Comments Sought: Proposed Rule To Establish Government-Wide Mentor-Protégé Program

February 11, 2015

By Sean Milani-Nia

On February 5, 2015, the Small Business Administration (SBA) issued a new proposed rule that would establish a Government-wide mentor-protégé program for all small businesses.

Under the current framework, entities that enter into joint venture agreements to perform federal contracts are, in most instances, considered “affiliates.”  In determining a company’s eligibility to compete for set-aside procurements, the SBA combines the offeror’s size with the size of its affiliated entities. Thus, an otherwise eligible small business may be deemed large due to its affiliation with another entity.

An exception to this general rule exists for participants in the SBA’s 8(a) mentor-protégé program.  Under the 8(a) mentor-protégé program, an 8(a) protégé can joint venture with an approved large business mentor without being deemed affiliated.

The SBA’s proposed rule seeks to extend the mentor-protégé program to all small businesses. The intent is to create parallel program for non-8(a) small businesses, including participants in the HUBZone, Women-Owned Small Business, and Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business programs, that is identical to the 8(a) mentor-protégé program. Under the proposed rule, any small business would be able to enter into an SBA approved mentor-protégé relationship and joint venture with its approved mentor without being considered affiliated.

Expanded Protégé Definition

Note that the proposed rule would allow more businesses to qualify as protégés under both the 8(a) mentor-protégé program and the proposed small business mentor-protégé program. Currently, in order to qualify as a protégé under the current 8(a) mentor-protégé program, an 8(a) contractor must (1) have a size that is less than half the size standard corresponding to its primary NAICS code; (2) be in the developmental stage of its 8(a) program participation; or (3) have not received an 8(a) contract.

The proposed rule provides that any firm that qualifies as a small business for the size standard corresponding to its primary NAICS code would qualify as a protégé under either the small business mentor-protégé program or the 8(a) mentor protégé program. SBA proposes to remove the requirement that the small business protégé have a size less than half the size standard corresponding to its primary NAICS code.

Ownership Interest

Similar to the 8(a) mentor-protégé program, the proposed rule provides that a mentor may own an equity interest of up to 40% in the protégé. This could be a significant opportunity for small businesses that are looking to increase working capital.

If finalized in the current form, the proposed rule would create significant opportunities for the participants in the new mentor-protégé program, but could place those small contractors that do not participate at a competitive disadvantage. Contractors who are interested in participating should begin evaluating potential partners and even structuring their agreements. The SBA has recognized that once the proposed rule is finalized, the number of firms seeking SBA approval of their mentor protégé agreements may become “unwieldy.” SBA states that it may institute certain open and closed periods for receipt of mentor-protégé applications. SBA would only accept mentor-protégé applications in open periods. Contractors should be prepared to submit their applications as soon as possible to avoid missing the first open period.

Comments on the proposed rule are due on April 6, 2015.  Send your comments prior to April 6 to Federal Allies Institute Comments@FederalAllies.org 571-217-0823.


Federal Allies News September 2014

September 18, 2014

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


Federal Allies News Summer Edition Pictorial

August 8, 2014

FAN Summer 2014 Cover Image


Health & Human Services Secretary Confirmation Hearing for Sylvia Burwell

May 8, 2014

HHS & Federal Allies Institute have worked together since FAI’s first national conference at Fort Myer, Virginia and the Therapeutic Discovery Project Tax Credit symposium that Federal Allies was asked to organize by U.S. SBA, with Treasury, HHS and FDA.  That conference yielded small bioscience research firms of 250 or fewer staff with millions of dollars to hire new researchers and to keep U.S. research from going offshore.

President Obama’s nominee for Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell testifies at her confirmation hearing this morning. On behalf of Federal Allies Institute, I wish Sylvia Burwell and the ability and experience she brings to office, best wishes.

David T. Boddie, Executive Director, Federal Allies Institute

http://www.c-span.org/video/?319176-1/hhs-secretary-confirmation-hearing

C-SPAN Photo credit: Carolyn Kaster, Associated Press


Letter from the Executive Director April 2014

April 9, 2014

Disaster Response & Federal Allies Institute

 

In 2005 I was thrust into the world of disaster response in Alabama as an entry level FEMA “Disaster Assistance Employee HQ” from Washington, D.C. there to help about 114,000 in the first 90 days – many were sudden, new residents of Alabama moving out from harm’s way. Many former residents of New Orleans and other coastal areas from Louisiana to Florida simply drove their cars north until they ran out of gas and the gas stations did likewise. At which point they called the FEMA 800 number for help.

Alabama’s disaster headquarters, Joint Field Office, in Montgomery, Alabama was an old Sam’s Club building leased by GSA and converted to office space and filled blue partitioned offices.

During my first week, with vaccinations and on-the-job training, I rose through the ranks of Individual Assistance to work directly for FEMA’s top Coordinating Federal Officer of Alabama and the top Alabama State Coordinating Officer to organize massive public events of resources and evacuees across the state.

Most were planned and implemented within 48-hour notice and as I worked with all the FEMA components, community and church groups, and corporate America, one that stood out was FEMA Logistics. Staffed with can-do spirit and drive, I thought to myself these guys are straight out of the helicopter boat scene in Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now.    No logistics problem was too big or had a too brief of a time span attached. Thousands of families, massive tents, tables, chairs, psychologists, generators, water, fuel, federal security, computers, disaster recovery centers, housing, blue tarps atop of houses everywhere, people that needed immediate assistance, people too proud to accept assistance, and the list could go on for many pages. At the end, trained in many Disaster courses, I spent my first day at a Disaster Recovery Center as the manager.   Besides learning all about disasters, with even more training at Fort McClellan, my experiences with Katrina, engrained in my mind the value of companies coming to the rescue, for example, particularly Walmart with its massive distribution channels and low-key generosity.   I don’t ever remember Walmart being acknowledged for all they did.

As my responsibilities grew, I gained many experiences working with a vast network of new colleagues throughout Alabama, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida and Congressional Relations and with FEMA headquarters, such as with FEMA Legal in negotiating housing agreements between FEMA, Department of Agriculture, and Veterans Administration. Upon return to Washington, DC I took part in federal policy meetings and hearings on how to improve the multi-agency response to such a national disaster as Hurricane Katrina. I brought my best ideas.

That brings us to our next Federal Allies Summit at Hogan Lovells, Disaster Response Summit, April 17, 2014. On behalf of Federal Allies Institute, we hope you will come to Washington, D.C. and attend. It will tell you what you need to know. Register online at FederalAllies.org. Members receive a special rate.

Sincerely,

David T. Boddie, Executive Director, Federal Allies Institute

 


Federal Allies News May 2013

May 16, 2013

Washington Days Conference in Review

Much is required to produce and sponsor such an extensive event as Washington Days Conference and when it comes to Board of Directors our board is second to none.  And together, we appreciate the encouraging remarks made recently by U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu (La), Chair, U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship, and U.S. Representative Sam Graves (Mo-6), Chair, U.S. House Small Business Committee on behalf of the Federal Allies Institute and our event held in Washington, D.C.   We appreciate Dr. Winslow Sargeant and his staff at U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy for their strong support of the Federal Allies Institute.

Thank you for your support to the many federal agencies, military, and House and Senate staff that understand the opportunity to help their constituents back home by leveraging their relationships at Federal Allies Institute.  This includes freshmen Members of Congress, such as Representative Jim Bridenstine (Ok -1) and Representative Markwayne Mullin (Ok -2) both active with the national office and Oklahoma Chapter of Federal Allies Institute.  Although mainly a two-day conference, preparation and meetings with businesses and with the Congress and their staffs continue year round as part of a comprehensive Federal Allies business development and government relations programs.

We thank Orysia D. Buchan, Sidney L. Clay, and Robyn H. Snyder all of Lockheed Martin and John F. Long of Northrop Grumman Information Technology.  And we thank all of our registrants and new members for placing their trust in the Federal Allies Institute federal contracting community.  Our strategy to enable business development opportunities via the establishment of long-term relationships initiated at our relaxed conference environment works.  Fort Belvoir’s Defense Logistic Agency’s Small Business Representative Amy Sajda, Howard County Md’s Base Business Initiative (Fort Meade area) Raj Kudchadkar and U.S. AID’s Daisy Matthews and others worked very hard on behalf of small business at this Federal Allies conference.

Washington Days Conference contained the Federal Allies Institute’s fourth recent event on the National Defense Authorization Act and Mentor Protégé and among many featured Emily Webster Murphy.  In the 112th Congress, Ms. Murphy was the primary author of the small business contracting reforms in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013, which became Public Law 112-239 on January 2, 2013.

The conference launched the Federal Allies Institute’s affordable Corporate Ethics Certification program for small businesses.  Federal Allies Institute lauds The Washington Post and many universities that encouraged applicants to register for full and partial conference scholarships.  This is a method employed by Federal Allies Institute to encourage new entry-level participants into the world of federal contracting and federal contracting best practices.

All combined Federal Allies Institute and its Washington Days Conference offerings revolve around the three major tenants of the association: Business Development Allies, Federal Government Allies, and Back-Office Allies.

Congress came back in session during Washington Days Conference 2013, meetings in Austin, Texas were announced by FAI’s Texas Chapter Chair, and an Outstanding Service Award was presented to the Executive Director.  Plus certificates of achievement were presented to graduates of the Federal Allies Institute Mentor Protégé and Washington Representative programs held during the conference.  The Federal Allies Institute Reception at the National Press Club and Fort Myer Officers’ Club luncheon helped to announce the Corporate Ethics Certification program, 2013 Washington Days Conference Program Guide and scholarship recipients.

Government Accountability Office High Risk List

Recently 30 areas were posted on Government Accountability Office’s new High Risk List to improve performance and accountability of the federal government.  Removed from the list are Management of Interagency Contracting and IRS Business System Modernization.

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

 

And along the lines of government economic promises, one is left to imagine what former Dow Jones Barron’s Alan Abelson, would say, about new life given to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, to create the largest free trade zone in the world and expand access to government procurement markets.

David T. Boddie

Executive Director

Federal Allies Institute