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Robert Brodsky

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Business owners complain regulations are killing jobs

February 10, 2011 From rules on greenhouse gas emissions to labor agreements for construction projects, business owners and industry advocates testified on Thursday that federal agencies had imposed unworkable and excessive regulations that are eliminating American jobs and driving work overseas. During a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing, business representatives bemoaned ...

Publishing contracts online? Not so fast

February 10, 2011 Transparency, apparently, has its limits. The Obama administration announced on Thursday it was withdrawing a proposal that would have required federal agencies to post copies of contracts and task-and-delivery orders on a public website. Last May, the civilian and defense acquisition councils, which craft changes to the Federal Acquisition Regulation, ...

Recovery Board chairman wants deeper reporting

February 9, 2011 The government's top Recovery Act watchdog is asking the Obama administration for the authority to track more levels of stimulus spending currently outside public scrutiny. Stimulus reporting guidance from the Office of Management and Budget in April 2009 requires prime recipients and first-tier subrecipients to report how they are using ...

SBA chief signals 2012 budget will eliminate some programs

February 9, 2011 President Obama's fiscal 2012 budget, scheduled to be released on Monday, will streamline, and in some cases, eliminate entirely, several small business programs, according to Small Business Administrator Karen Mills. Last month, Sens. Mary Landrieu, D-La., chairwoman of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, and Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, the panel's ...

Administration encourages communication with contractors

February 4, 2011 Federal acquisition officials need to interact with industry more while writing solicitations and negotiating contracts, the Obama administration's procurement chief said on Friday. For years, agency contracting officers have been afraid to meet with vendors for fear of sparking bid protests, causing delays, or committing potential ethical violations, said Dan ...

After delays, women’s small business contracting program debuts

February 4, 2011 A long-awaited women's small business contracting program finally took effect on Friday, after more than a decade of delays, rewrites and contentious litigation. Qualifying companies now can begin registering to participate in the program, which allows contracting officers for the first time to set aside awards for women-owned small businesses, ...

Army suspends all ongoing insourcing plans

February 3, 2011 This story has been updated. In an about-face, the Army has suspended all of its ongoing insourcing activities, potentially savings thousands of private sector positions. In a Feb. 1 memorandum, Army Secretary John McHugh announced he was halting the service's insourcing initiative immediately in favor of a scaled-back approach in ...

Contracting spending dips for the first time in 13 years

February 3, 2011 For the first time in 13 years, the government has cut its annual spending on federal contracting, Obama administration officials announced on Thursday. Federal agencies spent $535 billion to purchase private sector goods and services in fiscal 2010, compared to $550 billion in fiscal 2009, according to Jeffrey Zients, deputy ...

Oracle pays $46 million to settle Sun Microsystems kickback claims

February 2, 2011 Technology giant Oracle Corp. has agreed to pay $46 million to settle a federal lawsuit alleging that a company it purchased last year paid kickbacks to systems integrators in a scheme to help them win government work, the Justice Department announced on Monday. The agreement settles allegations against Sun Microsystems ...

Civilian agencies lag behind Defense on contract audits

February 2, 2011 The Defense Department conducted nearly 90 percent of all federal contract audits in fiscal 2009, and there appears to be little support for creating an audit unit to support civilian agencies, witnesses told a congressional panel on Wednesday. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight requested ...