April 2021

System Award Management Platform Change

By Ms. Kara Smith, Government Procurement Specialist at NEPA Alliance PTAC

Big changes are happening with the System Award Management (SAM) website. A new platform will be launching on April 26, 2021. This new platform will help users utilize and navigate the website easier. Beginning on May 24, 2021, SAM will be integrating and streamlining, changing from what we currently use as https://beta.sam.gov/ and converting to sam.gov. This integration is planned to offer a single login where the user can navigate to the federal award lifecycle. The planned changes are going to contain new domain landing pages, improved usability and layout for search results and data, and centralized help resources to the FSD.gov website. Though much is changing, the registration process itself and the look of the entity registration platform will not change. All data entry and data needed to register will remain the same. As the SAM website develops and changes, the NEPA Alliance PTAC will continue to obtain education on using the website and assist small businesses with navigation and registration. For assistance and more information, please contact the NEPA Alliance PTAC Staff at 570-655-5581 and select option 2.

Interact and find the latest updates HERE
Is Email Really Instant? Recent GAO Decision Provides Insight

By Mr. Tyler Day, Government Procurement Specialist at NEPA Alliance PTAC

When submitting an electronic proposal to a federal agency, when is it considered received by the government? Is it when the company clicks send on their email? Is it when the email enters the government server? Is it when the email arrives at the contracting officer’s inbox? A recent decision by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) provided some clarity on this issue.

The decision of Spanish Solutions Language Services, LLC, B-418191 determined that Spanish Solutions Language Services’ bid was unresponsive because it was late. The protester in this case, Spanish Solutions Language Services, LLC, sought to bid on a Department of Defense (DoD) solicitation seeking Arabic, Russian, and French translation services. Bids were due by 11:00 AM on September 23, 2019. In this case, the protester submitted their bid at 10:54 AM on the due date. The email did not arrive at the DoD’s email gateway until 11:04 AM and did not arrive at the Contracting Officer’s inbox until 11:08 AM. The bid was considered late, and the DoD refused to consider the proposal for award. The GAO agreed with the DoD’s decision and the protest was dismissed.

The Federal Acquisition Regulations provides direction in cases such as this. FAR 52.212-1 states that proposals received after the deadline are considered late and will not be considered for award. There are specific instances where a contract officer may elect to consider a late proposal, but don’t count on it.

As this case illustrates, email is quick, but it is not instantaneous. When working with the government, it is important to give yourself ample time to submit before the deadline in order to avoid the inevitable technical difficulties. NEPA Alliance PTAC is your resource for government contracting in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

The decision from GAO can be found HERE

Source: Koprince Law: Website
Clarifying Controlled Unclassified Information

By Ms. Kara Smith, Government Procurement Specialist at NEPA Alliance PTAC

As many who are in the government contracting space know, cybersecurity is at the forefront of future federal contracting. Any business who is working with Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) must be in compliance with the current DFARS Interim Rule implemented until the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) is rolled out. So, what is CUI? In an article titled Commentary: Controlled Unclassified Information - The Devil is in the Details by Susan Warshaw Ebner and Rolando R. Sanchez, the definition of CUI is “information the government creates or possesses, or that an entity creates or possesses for or on behalf of the government, that a law, regulation, or government-wide policy requires or permits an agency to handle using safeguarding or dissemination controls.” 

The issue that has become pronounced is what if a contracted business is not told that they will receive, generate, or transmit CUI, will they be covered by the rule if they use their own confidential proprietary or trade secret information? In the article, a study was conducted using a hypothetical company doing work in the federal space. What was determined was that any manufactured data that becomes CUI, the government will discuss whether to exclude the product from being labeled as controlled. The second determination from the study was that CUI will need to have a uniformed definition across all government agencies. To add to that, not all CUI is the same, and some will be more sensitive than others, thus needed higher levels of certification.

Finally, the flow down of the implementation of the new DFARS clauses, and how far down the subcontracting line do these clauses apply? It was determined that all contractors and subcontractors must all be in compliance when working with CUI information and that it falls on the government contractors to maintain communication with vendors and subcontractors to clarify what is CUI and what level of compliance they need.

For more information, click HERE

Wide Area Workflow Webinar

The NEPA Alliance PTAC is partnering with our Pennsylvania Regional and Neighboring PTACs to host a session on Wide Area Workflow (WAWF) on May 4th starting at 10:00 AM and ending at Noon. Mr. David Kern, Small Business Specialist at Tobyhanna Army Depot, is the featured subject matter expert who will be discussing:

·      Updates to WAWF System
·      Registration How To
·      Submitting and Tracking Invoices
·      Integration with the PIEE and SPRS sites

To register for this webinar please click HERE.
Save the Date
Save The Dates

The NEPA Alliance PTAC Team wants to make sure you have the following events on your calendar for May 2021:

May 19th: The Tobyhanna Army Depot Industry Day Event starts at 9:00 AM.
The virtual event will provide a forecast of contract opportunities from the following mission areas: Public Works, Production Engineering, and Information Management. The Defense Logistics Agency was invited to speak about procurements that support Tobyhanna. The Army Contracting Command - Tobyhanna Division will also be making a presentation, and the Sustainment Planning Division will be discussing the Public/Private Partnership initiative.
You can monitor and follow the event by clicking HERE.

May 24th: In coordination with Congressman Cartwright’s Office, and NASA Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP) a webinar is being planned for May 24 2021. This virtual event will be “matchmaking” introductions to NASA’s prime contractors working on the Artemis program. As we receive additional details about the event, the NEPA Alliance PTAC will make the information available.
DLA Land Supply Chain – “Hot” Items List

The NEPA Alliance PTAC Team has a question for you: “Do you have parts on hand, surplus, overruns?” If you do, we would like to make you aware of the Defense Logistics Agency Land Supply Chain’s recent post of items they are urgently need, which you can access HERE and click on the hyperlinks in the “L & M RFIs” portion of the website.

DLA Land Supply Chain is looking for readily available and usable materials. They are asking industry partners to review the list and let them know if you have the inventory they need. They intend to update the list monthly, so please check it regularly. Additional information and inquiries can be directed to: FL.AvailMat@dla.mil or call 614-692-4214 for more information.
Source: DLA “THELINK” Issue 20 April 2021
Small Business Pulse Survey Updates

The Small Business Pulse Survey (SBPS) measures the effect of changing business conditions during the Coronavirus pandemic on our nation's small businesses. Based on responses collected April 5 through April 11, the Small Business Pulse Survey estimates that:

·       13.3% of U.S. small businesses experienced an increase in operating revenues in the last week, marking the first increase after 5 consecutive weeks of decreases.

·       8.2% of U.S. small businesses experienced an increase in the number of paid employees in the last week. For responses collected 3/29 – 4/4, this statistic was 7.9%.

·       10.0% of U.S. small businesses experienced an increase in the number of hours worked by paid employees in the last week. For responses collected 3/29 – 4/4, this statistic was 9.5%.

·       12.0% of U.S. small businesses experienced foreign supplier delays in the last week. For responses collected 3/29 – 4/4, this statistic was 11.5%.

·       36.6% of U.S. Accommodation and Food Services small businesses’ operating capacity was affected by the availability of employees to work in the last week. The national average for all sectors for this statistic was 16.3%.

·       22.8% of U.S. retail small businesses experienced a decrease in operating revenues/sales receipts in the last week. 18.2% of retail small businesses experienced an increase.

·       11.5% of U.S. small businesses experienced foreign supplier delays in the last week based on responses collected 3/29 – 4/4 from the SBPS.
Source: United States Census Bureau
PA eMarketplace
PA e-Marketplace Solicitations
The following is a list of upcoming PA e-Marketplace procurements available from various Commonwealth agencies. Many of these solicitations may not yet be advertised. Refer to the solicitations section for those procurement opportunities available for response. You can access the solicitations by the project title's hyperlink shown below:
ID Number: 118610 - Agency: Correction 
Project Title: BCC/PBPP Reentry Services

ID Number: 118662 - Agency: General Services
Project Title: OEM Parts 
ID Number: 118846 - Agency: Administration 

ID Number: 118786 - Agency: Transportation

ID Number: 118751- Agency: Corrections
Project Title: Transport-Utility Carts
ID Number: 118769- Agency: Agriculture
Project Title: Agilent Testing Equipment

Source: PA eMarketplace 
William Wrigley, founder of Wrigley’s Gum, invented direct mail marketing. In 1915, he mailed a pack of gum to every person in the phone directory located in the United States (1.5 million people). He determined, if you could afford a phone, you can buy a pack of gum.
Source: crazyfacts.com 
Contact NEPA Alliance PTAC

 570-655-5581 or toll free at 866-758-1929 and select option 2.

This Procurement Technical Assistance Center is funded through a cooperative agreement with the Defense Logistics Agency, Appalachian Regional Commission, and the PA Department of Community and Economic Development."
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