Bloomberg Government reports that the request for proposal (RFP) to fulfill President Donald Trump’s campaign promise to build a wall on the Mexico border is likely to be published tomorrow or soon after. U.S. Customs and Border Protection will issue the RFP, seeking to build “concrete wall structures, nominally 30 feet tall, that will meet requirements for aesthetics, anti-climbing and resistance to tampering or damage.” Phase 1 of the RFP—which will require vendors to submit concept papers will be due around March 20. The second phase will require selected vendors to submit proposals, including pricing in early May.
GovExec’s CityLab reports that the White House and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol may have some difficulty finding companies with the expertise and resources to bid on the wall. An article reports that a number of large engineering firms, including Raytheon, Boeing, AECOM and others have declined to express interest in building the wall. “Corporate concerns with the wall range from a lack of clear information about the scope of the procurement to concerns about the risks of signing onto such a notorious project, according to conversations with several global companies,” according to the story.
Former White House public procurement chief Steve Kelman weighs in on the tension between inspectors general and agencies that want to take risks. The piece is free to read on Public Spend Forum’s site.
Amazon Launches Fourth Annual City on a Cloud Competition
StateScoop reports that Amazon Web Services (AWS) is opening its annual City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge to school districts. The competition encourages cities from around the world to compete for 12 prizes of either $25,000 or $50,000 in AWS credits. Winners in the past have included the City of Los Angeles, which used credits to support its Integrated Security Operations Center, and the New York Public Library, which used its credits to support its digital collections.
Jason Miller of Federal News Radio looks at the role of small businesses within the federal government’s category management push. Miller writes that many in the small business community are unclear on what role they can play when the government pushes leveraging a limited number of contracts. Both procurement attorney Steve Koprince and John Shoraka, the former associate administrator for government contracting and business development at the Small Business Administration, policymakers need to clarify the role of small business.
The Senate voted to repeal the “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” rule, which would have required bidding contractors to disclose labor law violations of the past three years. Lawmakers and industry had referred to it as a “blacklisting” rule, and used the Congressional Review Act to repeal the rule. The vote was 49-48 to repeal it.