How Will GSA Resolve Potential Conflict of Interest with Trump Hotel?

The pressure is growing on the General Services Administration (GSA) and President-Elect Donald Trump to determine the legality of the latter’s 60-year lease on the hotel he built at the old Post Office site. The ranking Democrats on two House panels wrote to GSA Administrator Denise Turner Roth, asking for a response by December 7 on how the agency will handle the “imminent breach-of-lease and conflict of interest issues” created by Trump’s election. The lease specifically bars any elected official from deriving “any benefit” from the lease. “We do not see this as an ambiguous provision, but as a strict and categorical ban,” wrote the representatives. “The contractual breach threatened by Mr. Trump’s swearing-in is compounded by the general and egregious conflict of interest posed by his appointing the GSA administrator who will oversee this lease with his hotel.”

DIUx Releases Innovative Contracting Vehicle Guidebook

The Department of Defense’s (DoD) Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx) has published a guidebook to extend its best practices out into the wider DoD components. The guidebook, titled “Fast, Flexible, and Collaborative: The Commercial Solutions Opening and DIUx’s Approach to Other Transactions for Prototype Projects” outlines how other agencies can create “innovative contracting vehicles” to better purchase technology.

New Mexico Faces Conflict Between Cities and States over New State Procurement Rules

The State of New Mexico has proposed rules to help improve its procurement function, but is receiving pushback from city and county governments concerned it amounts to overreach into their procurement. While some new rules, including ones that require local procurement professionals to attain certain certifications, have been well received, the latest has not been. Santiago Chavez, director of finance and administration for the New Mexico Association of Counties, wrote to the State: “The general sentiment is that the proposed rule would greatly increase the power of the state purchasing agents to control local government decisions without the statutory authority to do so.”

Air Force launches Defense Technology Accelerator

The Air Force has announced the first project of its new Defense Technology Accelerator, designed to help it develop and procure leading-edge technology. That first project is a partnership with the nonprofit National Security Technology Accelerator and is being called a Space Accelerator According to the program’s website, the goal is to find companies to “develop alternate, commercially based solutions for space situational awareness to include space traffic management, monitoring, custody of closely spaced objects, and anomaly resolutions.” According to FCW, “The program will assemble a cohort of 10 to 20 aerospace startup companies that the Air Force and LightSpeed will mentor during a roughly three-month process that will ideally lead to prototyping and fielding new technology.”

Improving Engagement with Industry

The Federal Acquisition Institute (FAI) has released its new seminar titled “Can We Talk,” to address concerns over what kind of information can be sured during the acquisition process. According to the description of the seminar, “Releasing certain information too soon can compromise the integrity of the process by creating an unfair competitive advantage to some vendors. However, releasing critical information too late can render it useless and negatively impact the volume and quality of the offers and the subsequent acquisition outcome.” The video comes just as a new rule was published earlier this week that encourages engagement.

Webinar: Market Intelligence in Acquisitions

The Federal Acquisition Institute (FAI) has released its new seminar titled “Can We Talk,” to address concerns over what kind of information can be sured during the acquisition process. According to the description of the seminar, “Releasing certain information too soon can compromise the integrity of the process by creating an unfair competitive advantage to some vendors. However, releasing critical information too late can render it useless and negatively impact the volume and quality of the offers and the subsequent acquisition outcome.” The video comes just as a new rule was published earlier this week that encourages engagement.

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