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» Federal Acquisition Regulation Federal Contract Intelligence Service

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Federal Acquisition Regulation

Explore teaming arrangements.

Teaming arrangements are a great way for an experienced business to help an non-experience business learn how to perform successfully on a federal contract. Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) FAR 9.601defines contractor team arrangements as follows: “Two or more companies form a partnership or joint venture to act as a potential prime contractor;” or “A potential prime contractor agrees with one or more other companies to have them act as its subcontractors under a specified contract or acquisition program.”  The Department of Defense (DOD catagorizes teaming agreements as a prime contractor and subcontractor relationship; subcontracting; partnerships; joint ventures; cooperative research and development agreements; public-private partnership and mentor protégé agreements. Potential teaming partners must understand and create teaming documents that address contract privity, limitations on subcontracting and the SBA rules on affiliation

The most prevailing teaming business model in federal contracting is the prime contractor and subcontractor relationship. In this relationship, a group of companies form a team to work together to pursue a prime contract with the promise to work together  to negotiate a subcontract with the team members if the team is successful in winning a contract award. When the team members are successful in their procurement pursuit and the proposed prime contractor is awarded a contract, the team members must then negotiate in good faith to enter into a subcontract. The subcontract serves to formalize the legal relationship between the team members and the prime contractor. http://media.nucleus.naprojects.com/pdf/American_Express_OPEN_Victory_in_Procurement_survey_3.pdf

A partnership is a business enterprise consisting of two or more individuals or concerns who come together to co-own a single business for profit. Partnerships fall into two basic types: general and limited. In a general partnership, each partner invests in a business with an agreed-upon percentage of ownership and acceptance of all the debts, regardless of which partner incurred the debt. In a general partnership, the action of any partner can bind the entire partnership on contracts

A limited partnership is a special type of partnership consisting of general partners and limited partners. The general partners manage the business enterprise and are liable for the legal debts and obligations of the partnership. The limited partners invest funds into the partnership in exchange for receiving a predetermined share of the profit. The limited partners are prohibited from participating in the management of the partnership; otherwise, they will lose their limited partner status. They have no authority to control day-to-day operations. Limited partners are liable only to the extent of their investments.

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 13 CFR 121.103(h) defines a joint venture as an association of two or more individuals or concerns formed to undertake a particular business transaction or project, rather than one in tended to continue indefinitely. The members of the joint venture share in the profits and risk of loss. The joint venture entity, and its members are in privity of contract with the government. Like the SBA regulations, the FAR FAR 19.101(7)(i),   defines a joint venture as having a limited life, rather than being permanent. Unlike the SBA regulations, which permit a joint venture to submit up to three proposals for different procurements over a 2-year period, the FAR defines a joint venture as collaborating on a single specific business venture. Small disadvantaged business (SDB) see 13 CFR 124.1002(f) and (2)), Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Concerns (SDVOSBs) 13 CFR 125.15(b) and SBA 8a mentor protégé participants may enter into joint venture agreements with limitations.

The SBA Mentor-Protégé Program enables concerns certified as SDBs under Section 8(a) to form a joint venture with a mentor firm to pursue large, consolidated or bundled procurements. The 8(a) firm may form a joint venture with a large or small business under an SBA-approved 8(a) joint venture agreement. The joint venture is deemed small as long as the 8(a) protégé qualifies as small for the procurement (regardless of the size of the mentor. An 8(a) protégé firm may form a joint venture with its SBA-approved mentor to pursue any type of federal contract procurement, not solely 8(a) procurements. As a result, the Limitations on Subcontracting, performance-of-work requirements of FAR 52.219-14, FAR 52-219-3, and FAR 52.219-27 would not apply. In other words, an SBA-approved 8(a) joint venture pursuing a large, bundled procurement need not worry about the percentage of work to be performed by the individual members of the joint venture.

A Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) is a written agreement between a government agency and a private company to work together on a project. Under a CRADA, the government agency and private entity form teams to solve technological and industrial problems.

A Public-Private Partnership (PPP) is a contractual risk-sharing agreement between a public agency and a private-sector entity. Through this agreement, the public and private-sector entities share skills and assets to deliver a service or facility for the use of the general public. PPPs are typically used to provide needed public facilities and infrastructure.

In its post-Adarand guidance following the Supreme Court’s 1995 decision, the Department Of Justice (DOJ) recognized partnering as an effective strategy, and recommended that agencies actively pursue race-neutral mentor-protégé programs that do not guarantee contract awards on a noncompetitive basis Mentor-protégé programs may or may not be race-neutral depending on whether they are open to all firms based on objective economic or social data. Mentor-protégé efforts should attempt to make small and disadvantaged firms more competitive, without altering standards for competition or establishing award preferences. The GAO (http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d11548r.pdf) reported that as of March 2011, that  NASA  had 12 agreements, GSA 65, SBA  482, FAA 10, Department  of Veterans Affairs 24, US AID 6, Department of Energy 120, Department of Treasury 58, Department of State 86, Environmental Protection Agency 4, Homeland Security 9, Department of Defense 101, and Department Homeland Security 220 active agreements.

 

Federal Mentor Protégé programs require the mentor to provide developmental assistance which may include 1. General business management, including organizational management, financial management, and personnel management, marketing, business development, and overall business planning; (ii) Engineering and technical matters such as production inventory control and quality assurance; and(iii) Any other assistance designed to develop the capabilities of the protégé firm under the developmental program. 2) Award of subcontracts under DoD contracts or other contracts on a noncompetitive basis.(3) Payment of progress payments for the performance of subcontracts by a protégé firm in amounts as provided for in the subcontract; . (4) Advance payments under such subcontracts. (5) Loans. (6) Investment(s) in the protégé firm not to exceed 10 percent. (7) Assistance that the mentor firm obtains for the protégé firm from one or more of the following: (i) Small Business Development Centers, Procurement Technical Assistance Centers).(iii) Historically black colleges and universities.(iv) Minority institutions of higher education.

The SBA’s Small Business Teaming Pilot (http://www.sba.gov/content/small-business-teaming-pilot-program) was created to help companies form teaming agreements. On September 23rd, 2011, the SBA announced the awardees of the SBTPP grants. Eleven grantees were selected from hundreds of applications submitted. Grantees were awarded between $200,000 and $500,000 in funding, for a total of approximately $5 million in Fiscal Year 2011.

 

Grantees are expected to help small businesses find other firms interested in teaming, assist SBs with the formation and execution of teaming arrangements, aid teams of SBs in identifying appropriate larger contracting opportunities, and assist teams of SBs with the preparation and submission of bids and offers. Grantees will leverage their existing resources and collaborate with SBA District Offices, resource partners, and other federal, state, local and tribal government small business development programs.

Please contact the awardee in your area to get help forming a teaming agreement. Teaming arrangements are a great way for a small business to eventually become a prime contractor. As discussed earlier, teaming arrangements take the form of prime contractor and subcontractor relationship; subcontracting; partnerships; joint ventures; cooperative research and development agreements; Public-Private Partnership (PPP) and mentor protégé agreements. These arrangements can help the small business learn the ins and outs of contract compliance, quality control, finance, past performance, audits and other issues around government contracting.

Steps 1 & 2 discussed how important it is to know key government websites and register the company in the CCR and ORCA. Steps 3 & 4 discussed the socio economic programs and the importance of NAICS and PSC classifications. In steps 5 & 6, we will discuss how to identify procurement opportunities and understanding the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) used by contracting officers to buy goods and services for the government.

Step 5: Identify current federal procurement opportunities. The following are the key bid notifications websites for government solicitation, request for bids and proposals. The websites are grouped into free and subscription required. The real secret in getting government contracts is to develop relationships with contracting officers and program managers. The first step is to respond to their public bid opportunities. Unsuccessful bidders have three days after the solicitation closes to request a debrief from the contracting officers. It is during the debriefing period that the company starts to develop the relationship for future contract award.

Free:
Federal Business Opportunities (FedBizOps): the designated government-wide point of entry – is the exclusive official source for public access to notices of federal contracting actions over $25,000.

Federal Agency Procurement: Each agency has a list of its solicitation on their websites. It is recommended to look at each one or the target agency.

Subscription fee required:
Bid Match Service: The system will search new opportunities each day, for solicitations that correspond to your profile.  The search includes most federal, state, and many local government websites for open procurement opportunities.

epipeline is the leading online source for federal government contracts opportunity research and government business intelligence.;

http://www.onvia.com/: Onvia tracks, analyzes and reports the spending of more than 89,000 federal, state and local government agencies, giving companies a single source for conducting open, intelligent and efficient business with government.

GOVWin is the single largest source for government contracting information and analysis in the world.

BidNet is a premier provider of government business intelligence, delivering content-rich actionable data to clients across the nation. Tracking government buying and planning at the local, state, and federal level.

Find RFP connects government contractors and government agency buyers. Find RFP is a pioneer in online government purchasing and e-government.

Reed Construction Data can deliver the commercial construction project information you need to get work in these tough times.

Gov Directions can help. This site publishes approximately 96,000 new government bids and request for proposals each month. Test us by registering for a Free Daily Alert.

Government Bid customers obtain direct and instant access to contract awards and advance information about upcoming opportunities at the local, state, and federal levels, aggregated daily from thousands of sites, numerous government publications and public meeting reports, and supplemented and monitored by our team of research experts.

Bid RFP searches all government agencies including states, cities and counties. Our database is updated on a daily basis to include new government procurement sites as soon as they are published.

Bid Data Line searches bid opportunity web sites of Federal, State, County, City governments along with Port Authorities, Universities and other public buying authorities.

Step 6: Familiarize yourself with the government’s contracting procedures. The Federal Acquisition Regulation and Supplemental Procurement Regulation for each agency.

The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) is the principal set of rules in the Federal Acquisition Regulation System. This system consists of sets of regulations issued by agencies of the federal government of the United States to govern what is called the “acquisition process”; this is the process through which the government purchases (“acquires”) goods and services. That process consists of three phases: (1) need recognition and acquisition planning, (2) contract formation, and (3) contract administration. The FAR System regulates the activities of government personnel in carrying out that process. It does not regulate the purchasing activities of private sector firms, except to the extent those parts of it are incorporated into government solicitations and contracts by reference.

Thousands of government jobs are available to companies wanting to do business with government. The contract jobs are in Information Technology, Security, and all industries. Dealing with Federal Government can be frustrating. However, your efforts can be rewarded if you plan your work and work your plan. FCIS specializes helping companies market their products and services to get the government jobs by providing target markets reports and developing a Federal Marketing Plan.

Click here to download a free copy of a sample federal marketing plan.

See steps 1-2 below. Steps 3-9 will follow.

Step 1. Become familiar with the following websites for Government Contracting:

SBA Office of Government Contracting (GC): Title 13 of the Code of Federal Regulations (Part 125):Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR): Contracting News; and Information for Contractors.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is dedicated to providing a wide range of programs and assistance to small businesses wanting to do business with the government.  From the Contracting Section under Contracting Opportunities: (http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/contracting/contracting-opportunities) contain you web links to additional procurement-related programs and assistance such as; Subcontracting, Federal Business Opportunities, GSA Schedules, Green Contracting Opportunities, Federal Procurement Database Systems – Next Generation, USA Spends, Contracting of Manufacturing, Contracting Opportunities for Energy Efficient Businesses. Government Agency Acquisition Forecasts contain upcoming government contract opportunities:

Step 2. Obtain a Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number, register in the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) (System and Online Representations and Certifications Application (ORCA). Contact Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) at  to obtain a number if you do not have one. The DUNS number is free. All companies must be registered in CCR to be awarded a federal contract and to receive payment by the Government. Once you have obtained your DUNS number, your next step is to register in the Central Contractors Registration (CCR) database. The CCR requires the company to match its goods and or services with the  the Federal Supply Classification Codes (FSC) and North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Be sure to select a primary NAICS and PSC codes. You can add supplementary classification codes but limit them to three each. Many contracting officers look at the CCR and its important noe to confuse them on what the company does.

Once the registration in the CCR is complete, click on  “SBA Register or Update your SBA Profile”. The next registration sysytem is the Small Business Administration?s Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS). The company should complete information which is accessible by contracting staff under the SBA – Dynamic Small Business Search

The remaining steps 3-9 will be discussed in later posts.

Federal Contract Intelligence Service is a data mining company that specializes in tracking current and historical United States Government (USG) procurement statistics. We provide up-to-the-date marketing list/reports to companies that want to do business with the federal government. Our clients use these list/reports to position itself in front of decision makers before a requirement becomes an open bid solicitation.

Our marketing list/reports are tailored for the company’s products/services and matched with the decision makers within specific targeted agency contracting offices. We use state of the art data mining software and have access to data from fee-based subscription services as well as current data sets from Data.gov, Federal Procurement Data System, USA Spending and other data provided and updated by the USG. Please see the samples of our reports.

DoD, GSA, and NASA have adopted as final, with changes, the interim rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to implement a section of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 that clarifies that there is no order of precedence among the small business socioeconomic contracting programs. Accordingly, this final rule amends the FAR to clarify the existence of socioeconomic parity and that contracting officers may exercise discretion when determining whether an acquisition will be restricted to small businesses participating in the 8(a) Business Development Program (8(a)), Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) Program, Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) Program, or the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB)

Click here to download Federal Register/Vol. 77. No. 42/Friday, March 2, 2012/Rules and Regulations