Archive for October, 2012

Federal Procurement News: Future Changes to Government Contracting Process?

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

In an effort to reclaim his old Senate seat, former Virginia governor George Allen (Republican), proposed several reforms to the federal procurement process in order to emphasize “best value” when awarding contracts instead of just giving the contractor to the lowest bidder.

“If you needed heart surgery would you go to the one who was giving you the lowest price?” asked Allen.

Allen’s proposal included:

  1. Shortening the protest process from 100 days to 60 days for companies that lose out on contracts.
  2. Increasing government access to off-the-shelf commercial products.
  3. Changing regulations that strip small businesses of their contracts if they outgrow their “small” designation.
  4. Shortening contract time frames to “keep contractors on their toes” and fuel competition.
  5. And much more!

“I look at these, generally speaking…they should be nonpartisan,” said Allen. “These sorts of reforms, as far as procurement, would get our government more efficient, more effective and with greater accountability.”

Federal Procurement and Acquisition Services from DHA

DHA has extensive experience with the Federal acquisitions arena. Our employees are fluent in the language of government contracts, and provide expert guidance to our clients on a “cradle-to-grave” basis.

Creation of Pre-Award Documents, such as:

  • Acquisition Plans
  • Statements of Work/Objectives
  • Source Selection Plans
  • Independent Government Cost Estimates
  • Sole Source Justifications and Approvals
  • Determinations and Findings
  • Requests for Information/Quote/Proposal
  • Evaluation Score Sheets, Evaluation Reports, Award De-briefings
Assistance with Post-Award Contract Management

  • Performing Invoice Review and Verification
  • Drafting Official Contract Correspondence
  • Documenting Vendor Performance
  • Tracking Contract Expenditures
  • Supporting Contract Modifications

If you have any questions regarding Federal Procurement and Acquisition Services, please contact DHA by visiting DHA-Inc.com today!

You can also follow DHA on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Source: Senate candidate pledges reforms to federal procurement process

Federal Procurement News: Government Agencies & Missed Opportunities

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Federal Procurement News: Government Agencies & Missed Opportunities

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently reported that several government agencies missed an opportunity to save billions of dollars in 2011. How did they do this? Well, according to the GAO, these g agencies underutilized strategic sourcing programs designed to leverage the government’s buying power.

The biggest offenders were the Depart of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Veteran Affairs. Combined, these government agencies account for 80% of all federal procurement spending. But combined, these government agencies utilized strategic sourcing programs for only 5%, or $25.8 billion, of their procurements.

How Strategic Sourcing Programs Work

Instead of spreading spending to multiple contracts, these strategic programs require agencies to commit to using one contract for certain products and services. This allows these agencies to negotiate better discounts from its vendors.

Had the U.S. government utilized strategic sourcing programs (taking into account the average savings achieved by other organizations), it would have saved more than $50 billion on the $537 billion it spent on procurements in 2011. Instead, these agencies lost out on billions in savings.

According to the GAO report: “Agencies act more like many unrelated medium-sized businesses and often rely on hundreds of separate contracts for many commonly used items, with prices that vary widely.”

How your Company can benefit from Federal Procurement and Acquisition

Federal contracting can be an extremely lucrative field. Unfortunately, it is also an incredibly competitive field. Because of this, it is often difficult to win government contracts without a proven track record of past performances. So how can you break into the realm of government contracting?

With DHA’s help, that’s how!

If you have any questions regarding Federal Procurement and Acquisition Services, please contact DHA by visiting DHA-Inc.com today!

DHA has extensive experience with the Federal acquisitions arena.  Our employees are fluent in the language of government contracts, and provide expert guidance to our clients on a “cradle-to-grave” basis. Creation of Pre-Award Documents, such as:

  • Acquisition Plans
  • Statements of Work/Objectives
  • Source Selection Plans
  • Independent Government Cost Estimates
  • Sole Source Justifications and Approvals
  • Determinations and Findings
  • Requests for Information/Quote/Proposal
  • Evaluation Score Sheets, Evaluation Reports, Award De-briefings

You can also follow DHA on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Sources:

GAO: Agencies missing out on billions in contract savings

Bridging the Gap between the Public & Private Sectors

Friday, October 5th, 2012

We have recently talked at length about the Cybersecurity Act of 2012, a bill designed to help protect America’s critical infrastructures. Well, the Act is not the only government sponsored initiative aimed at improving America’s cybersecurity efforts.

InfraGard, an FBI-sponsored volunteer program founded in 1996, was designed to build public-private partnerships to help improve security while also offering training for security events.

This FBI-sponsored organization got its start in 1996 when the FBI called upon local IT specialists to help with a cybersecurtiy case. This is widely considered the beginning of public-private partnerships.

“A piece of classified information has little value unless you have the context that goes with it,” said Sheri Donahue, a member of the InfraGard National Board of Directors. “[The FBI] realized the benefits of professional networking. It also helped the private sector understand and appreciate the security threats that impact multiple sectors.”

The Evolution of InfraGard

After 9/11, InfraGard expanded its scope to include an all-hazards approach, including all of the critical infrastructure sectors.

“[Cybersecurity] is still going to be a huge part of the program — the fact is it cuts across into the energy sector and into transportation and everything relies on computers now,” said Supervisory Special Agent Doug Dvorak, the program manager for InfraGard from FBI Headquarters. “So we do have a strong cyberidentity, but we are really working to expand across all walks of the critical infrastructure.”

This evolution of InfraGard is incredibly important, especially when you consider that 90% of the entire U.S. critical infrastructure is privately owned. These public-private partnerships not only benefit the government agencies that rely on them, but these relationships benefit the private companied, as well. This is accomplished on one of two ways:

  1. These relationships improve the information flow to the private sector on threats to be aware of.
  2. The relationships offer the private sector a way share sensitive security information.

“The core of the program is still the information sharing and talking about what people need to help themselves protect against threats and vulnerabilities for critical incidents and then also for us to enhance our investigations,” said Dvorak.

As InfraGard membership continues to rise, it’s also evolving. Dvorak said the FBI is constantly examining members’ affiliation with critical infrastructure to see how they can be leveraged more effectively and how the FBI can provide more value to them.

If you have any questions regarding Cybersecurity and IT Security, please contact DHA by visiting DHA-Inc.com today!

We assist our partners and Federal clients with the planning, execution, and oversight of their most critical project management needs, including acquisition, program, and budget management services. Through this support, DHA has established an exceptional reputation for delivering professional services that support our clients’ missions based on our daily drive to do the right thing.

You can also follow DHA on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Sources:

InfraGard Increases U.S. Security One Relationship at a Time