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Washington Technology: Ten stories you've been following

Posted By Guy Timberlake, The American Small Business Coalition, LLC, Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Ten stories you've been following

12/08/08


1 SMALL-BUSINESS PROGRAM DECLARED UNCONSTITUTIONAL.
The U.S. Appeals Court for the Federal Circuit ruled that the Defense Department’s small, disadvantaged business contracting rule was unconstitutional. The jury is still out on whether the ruling spells trouble for other small-business programs. This was one of three recent decisions that have unsettled the smallbusiness community.

2 OBAMA WILL CUT OUTSOURCING.
President-elect Barack Obama’s rhetoric at times sounds like he wants to cut contracting jobs, yet at other times he talks about smart contracting with better management and more oversight. Time will tell how strong the legs are for the campaign promise to curb contracting. The pledge to cut outsourcing came in campaign letters to the American Federation of Government Employees.

3 OBAMA SINGLES OUT TSA CONTRACT TO LOCKHEED MARTIN.
In a campaign letter to the American Federation of Government Employees union, President-elect Barack Obama scolded the Transportation Security Administration for awarding a $1.2 billion human resources support contract to Lockheed Martin Corp. Obama pledged that under his administration, government workers would have the chance to compete to keep their jobs. Lockheed countered that HR support has always been done by TSA’s contractors.

4 BOLLINGER CHALLENGES NORTHROP IN LAWSUIT.
A dispute between a subcontractor and prime contractor has landed in court. Bollinger Shipyards wants $12 million to settle claims related to the remaking of the Deepwater cutters that were rejected by the Coast Guard. Bollinger was a subcontractor to Northrop Grumman Corp. and was hired to extend cutters from 110 feet to 123 feet. The Coast Guard asked for a refund.

5 BEARINGPOINT WEIGHS RESTRUCTURING OPTIONS.
Financial problems continue to bog down BearingPoint Inc. Its plan to sell some or all of its businesses proved unsuccessful because of the current credit crisis. The company is now trying to renegotiate its debt. The McLean, Va., company faces a deadline of April 15, 2009. On that date, creditors can demand payment of $200 million, plus interest.

6 SUN TO LAY OFF AS MANY AS 6,000 MORE EMPLOYEES.
Sun Microsystems Inc. announced that it will lay off 5,000 to 6,000 workers, or 15 percent to 18 percent of its workforce. The company said it wants to cut inefficiencies in the face of a new economic reality.

7 SOLICITATION COMING FOR DHS SYSTEMS ENGINEERING R&D CENTER.
The Homeland Security Department is planning a $455 million contract to build and operate a research and development center for systems engineering and development. The Homeland Security Systems Engineering and Development Institute would help DHS identify and implement best practices for technical systems engineering and acquisitions.

8 CONTRACTOR WATCHDOG UPDATES MISCONDUCT DATABASE.
The Project on Government Oversight (POGO) updated its database of alleged contractor misconduct. The POGO database is controversial among contractors because it includes instances in which violations are alleged and settlement terms are agreed upon without an admission of wrongdoing. POGO officials say such information ought to be included and made public to show whether a contractor has a pattern of settling allegations of violations.

9 GAO RULING GIVES HUBZONE SMALL BUSINESSES A BOOST.
The word “shall” made all the difference for the Government Accountability Office when it decided that the Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) program gets preference above all other small-business programs. The Federal Acquisition Regulation uses the word “shall” in referring to the HUBZone program and “may” in referring to other programs.

10 INDUSTRY GAINS SEEN IN OBAMA’S TECH PLANS.
Based on statements he made during the presidential campaign, President-elect Barack Obama’s technology plans could be relatively beneficial for U.S. information technology companies, according to a Standard & Poor’s survey. Obama vowed to ensure an open Internet, encourage a modern communications infrastructure, improve competitiveness, and use science and technology to solve problems.

These stories received the most traffic on Washington Technology’s Web site in November. For more daily news coverage, go to www.washingtontechnology.com.


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Tags:  hubzone  lockheed martin  obama  pogo  small business 

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