GSA extends Polaris. Again.
Another extension coming from GSA on the first two Polaris pools. The proposal deadline has been extended from Aug. 10 to Aug. 19, 2022. No reason was given for allowing contractors nine more days to bid, but let’s hope this is one of the last amendments on this RFP that keeps going and going. The agency also added a summary of questions and responses from its July 21 industry training session on using the Polaris Submission Portal to the solicitations.
SBA publishes new rule designed to help small federal contractors demonstrate prior experience.
You’ve got a little leverage now when requesting past performance ratings. A new final rule, published Friday by SBA in the Federal Register, offers small businesses two extra methods to prove qualifying past performance: joint ventures, where they were members performing contract work, and prime contracts with subcontracting plans, where they were first-tier subcontractors. The rule gives prime consultants 15 calendar days to respond to subcontractors’ requests for ratings. Furthermore. the SBA ruled that subcontractors shouldn’t have to wait (30 days) after a performance period’s completion to request their ratings. Furthermore, SBA ruled that evaluation factors should align with CPARS.
Busy week for Congress with a CHIPS bill that keeps getting bigger.
My car’s front forward camera system broke this week, and it’s a 5-month wait for a replacement due to a backlog in the semiconductor chip fab process. Sound familiar? I’m not alone. The Senate is due to continue debating the CHIPS Bill that would heavily subsidize the semiconductor industry, but the bill has grown from amendments in recent weeks, quadrupling spending under the bill. The growth has to do with adopting some policies that had been part of the China Competition Legislation, a bill that fizzled out a few weeks ago. The new, revised semiconductor bill is now being referred to as CHIPS+.
Small business contracting strategy may not encourage new firms.
A recently announced plan to advance WH’s goal to award 15% of federal contracting dollars to small disadvantaged businesses is unlikely to significantly broaden the contracting base, with critics saying it lacks concrete steps to attract new contractors. The OMB in a June memo made public in early July put forward a number of strategies agencies can use to help meet the goal of 15% of federal contracting dollars going to small disadvantaged businesses, or SDBs, by 2025, up from 5%. But the plan is missing key details that federal contracting experts said could help bring more SDBs into federal contracting, such as ways to enforce small business set-aside requirements for low-value contracts.