Global Community | Recent Community Articles

Sometimes, we who work in the public sector - at all levels - can get very tired of all the bureaucracy that we have to deal with on a daily basis. We can get frustrated with all the layers of approval that we have to interact with just to get something productive done. At the end of the day, we may often feel like a hockey player checked hard into the boards by all the checks and balances that are in place in our agency. However, as Max Weber pointed out long ago, there is a rationality ...
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I was enjoying a day off last Friday, so we have a lot of catching up to do on government contracting news and notes.  It’s time for a special two-week super-sized edition of the   SmallGovCon Week in Review . In this edition, the GAO looks at NASA’s investigations of contractor whistleblowing complaints, the SBA announces nine new Women’s Business Centers, the Coast Guard sinks $60 million into an electronic health record system procurement with nothing to show for it,  70,000 contractors ...
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DoD standing firmly in its second draft of JEDI cloud contract, DHS hires U.K. firm to tackle border security, and a look at San Francisco’s IT procurement chatbot. This is Public Spend Forum’s Weekly Roundup for April 20, 2018. OMB, GSA Leaders Highlight TMB Framework’s Early Benefits Federal leaders said though the implementation of the Technology Business Management framework (TBM) is ongoing, returns are showing early wins. Already an established practice in the private sector, ...
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NS Tech publishes a weekly roundup of the top 10 (biggest) UK public sector IT tenders and awards. This week it announces that the top 10 tenders amount to more than £88m with the biggest being Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company’s £60m contract. It is looking for a strategic partner to implement a new IT system, as well as support existing systems. Firms have until 8th May to apply. Second-largest is East Midlands Strategic Commercial Unit, for the provision of a client-side delivery ...
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The UK House of Lords appointed a Select Committee last year to examine Artificial Intelligence and its potential impact, both positive and negative, on UK society, economy, regulations and ethics. The report has now been published and it urges the UK government to take more action to support AI developments. In part of its findings it strongly recommends an overhaul of public sector procurement and that the Government’s leadership in the development and deployment of artificial intelligence ...
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A province of Toronto Canada has announced it is eliminating the fees businesses have to pay to access procurement contracts. Although not a European story, we wonder whether it’s an initiative that may encourage other provinces, indeed other regions, that do charge, to do the same in the light of smaller business support and engagement. There has been a requirement in place for suppliers to pay $300 per bid or $750 annual fee for unlimited bids for procurement opportunities on the Ontario Tenders ...
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The Scottish Business News Network reports this week that Aberdeen-based Procurement firm, Millstream, has been awarded a place on the Scottish Government’s and local authorities’ Supplier Development Programme (SDP) framework: an initiative that assists more Scottish SMEs (small and mid-size companies) and third-sector organisations in winning public sector work. The framework is worth £160,000 and will be in place until February 2022. It provides procurement training and webinars for SME ...
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Albanian construction firm Alko-Impex has been disqualified from taking part in public procurement procedures for a period of between one and three years. The Public Procurement Agency made the decision following a fact check when the firm bid for a “cleaning and tree-planting” contract in Elbasan city which revealed that the documentation filed by the company in support of its bid had been ‘falsified.’ The company had used the same falsified documentation in at least two other tenders awarded ...
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In a recent report, called Design and Acquisition of Software for Defense Systems, the Defense Science Board (DSB) has raised its influential voice on behalf of a move by the Department of Defense towards greater use of agile development approaches for software being developed for weapons systems. DSB is a prestigious advisory body established more than 70 years ago to give DOD advice and recommendation on scientific, technical, manufacturing and acquisition issues. Its members are senior ...
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Last year, we introduced here on Public Spend Forum the Open Opps (as in “opportunities”) platform that is monitoring public sector contract opportunities in the UK and more widely. A recent initiative has seen the site now offering a spend analysis tool which enables users to carry out more detailed interrogation of the no less than 130 million lines of data contained within the database. That includes opportunities advertised, as well as contract award notices, and the new tool makes it ...
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The owner of a 1/120th interest was presumed to control a company under the SBA’s affiliation rules. You read that right.  In a recent size appeal decision, the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals held that where 120 owners each held one share of stock in a company,   all 120   were presumed to control the company for size purposes. OHA’s decision in   Size Appeal of Melton Sales & Service, Inc. , SBA No. SIZ-5893 (2018)   involved an Army solicitation seeking the remanufacture of Route ...
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The Department of Defense (DoD) is doubling down on its intent to award a massive 10 year, $10 billion contract to a single cloud provider, and the decision is generating quite the debate across the #govcon wires. At stake for industry is whether and how they get involved in a contract that will satisfy DoD's commercial cloud needs for the foreseeable future. At stake for the Pentagon and its 3.4 million IT end users is whether its Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) will actually ...
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The SBA’s regulations do not allow an 8(a) company to file a size protest challenging the award of an 8(a) sole source contract to a competitor. In a recent size appeal decision, the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals confirmed that size protests relating to 8(a) sole source awards can be filed by contracting officers or the SBA itself–but not by competitors. OHA’s decision in   Size Appeal of GovSmart, Inc. , SBA No. SIZ-5894 (2018)   involved a Navy procurement for commercial off-the-shelf ...
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GSA showcases emerging tech working groups’ recent efforts, GAO to launch electronic bid protest docketing system in May, and a look at procurement hiring trends. This is Public Spend Forum’s Weekly Roundup for April 13, 2018. GSA Emerging Tech Office Has Several Ongoing Projects The General Services Administration’s (GSA) emerging technology working groups are running pilots in virtual reality, artificial intelligence, blockchain , robotic process automation, and social technologies. ...
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A protester contending that the VA violated the “rule of two” by failing to set-aside a solicitation for SDVOSBs must present sufficient facts to indicate that the VA should have had a reasonable expectation of receiving two or more offers from SDVOSBs at fair and reasonable prices. In a recent decision, the Court of Federal Claims dismissed a rule of two challenge because, according to the Court, the protester only identified one SDVOSB–itself–that was likely to submit an offer at a fair and ...
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The European Commission has proposed banning certain ‘unfair’ trading practices that smaller food and farming businesses face. Their vulnerability lies in their inability to negotiate owing to less bargaining power and no alternative supplies to offer to customers. “With this proposal, the Commission is tackling the unfair trading practices head-on. We act because unfair business conduct undermines the economic viability of operators in the chain,” said Jyrki Katainen, vice-president for Jobs, ...
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In the UK, the House of Lords, Science and Technology Committee, is running an inquiry into off-site manufacturing for the construction industry. This involves the construction of components before they are brought together for final assembly at their destination. In looking at the potential benefits, and disadvantages of off-site manufacture, it will be considering how Government policy, particularly around public procurement, may have to change in order to accommodate associated economic and ...
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The UK Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has welcomed the move by the Cabinet Office to strengthen a Prompt Payment Code for SMEs. Since the collapse of Carillion, which left some small businesses going under and others at the mercy of late payers, the FSB has been calling for revised terms for small firms. The Government has responded by introducing new rules that will ban firms from bidding for public sector contracts if the fail to pay subcontractors on time. Companies will have to show ...
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“The public service ombudsman in Northern Ireland found bad practice – defined as “maladministration” – in a procurement exercise carried out by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council. This was a very small contract, only a few thousand pounds, but interesting in that it involved a couple of issues that are often factors in poor or even corrupt procurement exercises.  Firstly, there was a member of staff involved who did not reveal connections with the appointed supplier, and there was also deliberate ...
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The New Report Coverage The World Bank initiated the Benchmarking PPP Procurement reports in 2015. The   Procuring Infrastructure PPPs 2018   report is a continuation of Benchmarking PPP Procurement 2017 report and has increased its review coverage from 82 to 135 economies. It has also improved on the Benchmarking PPP Procurement 2017 edition by evaluating the laws and regulations of 135 economies in great detail against globally recognized best practices. The 2018 report also has another ...
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