FAR From Boring – An Interesting Year Ahead

 By Barbara Kinosky

Barbara KinoskyHappy belated New Year to regulatory geeks everywhere! Today, I am writing about predictions for 2013.  This blog post will not cover sequestration or the fiscal cliff because we have already heard enough about this along with swirling rumors about a Kardashian divorce and doping by a known cyclist.  So let’s just move on to the important stuff.  This year already promises to be very busy for acquisition regulations.  Here’s my hot list:

  • Organizational Conflicts of Interest (OCI) – This has been limping along since 2011 as a draft rule but is really a product of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2009 which forced the Department of Defense (DoD) to address this area.  In dog years this topic would be celebrating its first birthday soon.    For those of you that want to know the whole lurid history, DoD had its first public meeting on this topic in November 2009 and issued a draft rule in 2010, which was pilloried by industry groups.  Enter the FAR Council in 2011, which issued a draft rule totally changing the FAR definition of OCI into two main categories: giving advice and access to information.  A rule is due on this in April.
  • Set-asides for Small Businesses – Expect to see a lot of new regulations in this area.  There will be further implementation of new FAR rules on set asides on multiple award contracts and task and delivery order contracts.  Also expect final rules from SBA on this subject.   I expect to see more court challenges on the constitutionality of the 8(a) BD program too.
  • Safeguarding Government Information. – Expect a final rule this year. This will address a contractor’s access to protected information provided by the Government or provided by a third party and marked as protected.
  • Inherently Governmental – Those of us that have been waiting (and waiting) might finally get a definition this year. This is on the FAR Council agenda for April.
  • Changes to Time-and-Materials and Labor-Hour Contracts – Expect additional guidance (meaning more restrictions) on raising the ceiling price or changing the scope for these types of contracts.
  • More to come on the counterfeit goods arena.  I defer to my colleague, Eric Crusius, on this one.  He’s an expert and not a fake (pardon the pun).
  • These older issues are not FAR off the list either – insourcing, caps on executive pay and increased audits in the labor law arena with more suspensions and debarments in all areas.   Plus, Lindsey Lohan will get arrested at least once during the year.

If you want to hear more about predictions for 2013 and new rules and regulations from 2012 that contractors must implement now, come to Centre’s Annual Review 2013: Hot Issues in Federal Contracting.   We’ll provide in-depth coverage on strategic sourcing, important protests from the past year, new bills on the Hill, a comprehensive update on small business and more.  Hope to see you there!  And finally, can someone tell me if Bruce Jenner and Kris Kardashian are really getting a divorce?

Please comment on this post at Centre Knowledge.

By Barbara Kinosky