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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Fraud, Abuse and Loopholes in Federal Policy and Implementation...

Result in the Majority of Federal Small Business Contracts Being Illegally Diverted to Large Corporations Every Year.

- The Small Business Act of 1953 mandates that every year the federal government must spend 23 percent of the total value of all federal prime contracts with small business.

- Every year, the U.S. Government reports achieving, or just narrowly missing the 23 percent small business procurement goal. However, the federal data dramatically overstates the true percentage of legitimate small business receiving federal contracts every year, because large and international corporations are included in the federal small business contracting data. This happens because of misguided SBA policies, lack of oversight by the SBA, as well as plain-and-simple fraud.

- Every year, the American Small Business League conducts a report of the Top 100 companies receiving federal small business contracts during a fiscal year, by listing the 100 companies that received the highest total dollar amount of federal small business contracts in that fiscal year.

- We estimate that the federal government diverts more than $100 billion a year in federal small business contracts to large and international corporations and then counts those contract awards to large businesses in annual federal small business procurement reports.

One way to get involved...

StopFSSI.org 4949 St. Elmo Ave., Suite 221, Bethesda, MD 20814-6067
(301) 652?7410 – info@stopFSSI.org– www.stopFSSI.org

For more info please call (877) 653-5129 or
Visit us on the Web at http://www.NationalOfficeOutlet.com

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

GSA Socialistic FSSI Program... Death of Small Business

Via Obama's blessings and initiative, GSA is incrementally shutting down all competition & destroying small businesses via each schedule. A total of $70 Billion Dollars which will cost tax payers additional billions.

This program is called Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative or FSSI. GSA is eliminating competition via this FSSI Program. The first to feel this FSSI wrath has been the GSA Schedule 75 which has shut down all competition via this socialistic FSSI program. This schedule is for office supplies. (Schedule 75)  From a selection of 525 Schedule 75 GSA Contractors, orders are given to only 15 companies, including 2 "Big Box" retailers, namely Staples and Office Depot, both of whom have been brought up on fraud charges under 31 USC 3729 and SEC charges and were fined and penalized for millions of dollars already. Office Depot & Staples are currently obtaining 65% of all GSA Schedule 75 Sales. GSA Schedules 70, 36, 67 are the next victims for eliminating free competition, destroying 1000's of small businesses and 100,000's of jobs. Hence small business vendors are being kicked out of GSA.

There are ongoing SBA and congressional hearings going on ( http://smbiz.house.gov/UploadedFiles/Tucker_Testimony.pdf ) Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C last week read ( http://www.govexec.com/contracting/2012/06/small-businesses-may-get-left-out-gsa-procurement-modernization-lawmakers-fear/56181/ ) And many more hearings have been held.

This is the irony, Obama supported The 2010 Small Business Jobs Act giving small businesses a chance to fairly and equally compete for government business. Obama then in 2010 gave the go ahead for GSA to eliminate free competition via the above Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative. Schedule 75 was the first victim to lose free competition and all other GSA Schedules a total of $70 Billion are next. Keep in mind GSA is the largest and sometimes only way for small businesses to sell to the government. GSA claims by using this socialistic procurement method they will save billions of dollars. They claim GSA employees are overworked and cannot keep up with numerous vendors, auditing and price control, hence eliminating free competition is GSA's answer. GSA is full of crap & they currently have the ability to audit and control prices GSA and DoD both currently utilize very sophisticated web sites for buyers to use which currently have very sophisticated audit and price control abilities I will prove it:

1) Go to gsaadvantage.gov...
2) In the search box put in: Q5950A Remanufactured Toner & Click the Go Button...
3) Now you will see the Sort By Most Relevant Drop Down Box, Hence select Price - Low to High...
4) Then you will notice all the different companies that offer this item hence to drill down if they are a small business, woman owned, 8A, veteran owned ect. Then click the very top description line that is underlined for given company, hence you will go into another page, hence go to the bottom of that page and see Socio, hence that tells you if it is a small business, vet owned, ect...
5) If they have questions go to mid part of page you will see: $Price EA sold and shipped by ABC Company, LLC Hence click the company name for their phone #, address, email address, phone #, and fax #
6) Also you will notice via gsaadvantage.gov there are symbols for environmental friendly products, Ability One, ect. Everything you need is here
7) DoD EMALL is exactly the same but you need a secure token to enter web site. Only vendors and buyers have a security token...
8) ALL GOVERNMENT BUYERS ARE TRAINED HOW TO NAVIGATE THESE SITES.

These are my thoughts Why is GSA slapping competition in the face. Instead they should be slapping buyers hands if they make unnecessary and dumb over cost purchases. What is required is a very strict government buyer purchase program with very strict disciplinary action if purchases are made outside of given web sites allowing free and open competition within these web sites. Also, disciplinary action would occur if the government buyer does not buy the best quality & lowest priced item(s) per SBA small business requirements, goals, regulations, laws & rules. I know it is not Congress Job to Micro Manage.

With that said I wanted to add this very vital additional information for Congressional general understanding. A software company should definitely give testimony to Congress on how GSA & DoD can wisely use their vast amounts of computerized GSA/DoD information & data. No need to reinvent the wheel. Via creating various programs both GSA & DoD can both save much more money than using the FSSI Schedule 75 BPA which is a 20th century old fashion approach. This can be done without additional funding. If our nation goes to war of course the military dedicates its main resources to that cause. GSA & DoD can prioritize this software project via existing employed Software Engineers with no additional funds. It takes the will and priority to make this happen. Case and point look at Amazon.com. If they can handle 1,000,000s of orders via 100,000s of vendors then GSA with their existing data should be able to do the same. I know the government is not a company but GSA has incredible amounts of data and very smart software engineers. Via new created programs they can easily identify buyers overspending and notify given superiors and agencies. A big problem I have noticed via E-Buy many government buyers are purchasing OEM & New items when they are mandated & required to purchase recycled items. We can go on and on but GSA & DoD has more than enough data to really control budgets and cost via the buyer. They can also create programs to control vendor issues currently being done via GSA & DoD employees hence automating given tasks humans are currently performing.

Info & Ways to get involved...

Go to Google.com and in the Google search box enter ( Congressional FSSI Hearing ) there you will find additional information. Currently there are proposed rules to enhance The Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 regarding unfair FSSI agreements implemented by GSA, DoD & NASA. To see rules simply go to Google.com and via search box enter ( Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 95 / Wednesday, May 16, 2012 / Proposed Rules ).

You may also submit comments, identified by RIN: 3245-AG20, or contact Dean Koppel, Assistant Director, Office of Policy and Research, Office of Government Contracting, U.S. Small Business Administration, 409 Third Street SW., Washington, DC 20416, (202) 205-7322.

Samuel D. Bornstein is preparing a study, Professor of Accounting and Taxation Kean University, School of Business, Union, NJ Partner-Bornstein & Song, CPA's & Consultants, Oakhurst, NJ
email: bornsteinsong@aol.com www.bornsteinsong.com
Tel: (732) 493 - 4799 Fax: (732) 493 - 3399

For more information contact stopFSSI.org
4949 St. Elmo Ave., Suite 221, Bethesda, MD 20814‐6067
(301) 652‐7410 – info@stopFSSI.org– www.stopFSSI.org

For more info please call (877) 653-5129 or Visit us on the Web at http://www.NationalOfficeOutlet.com

Obama has it wrong, Socialism is not needed...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Large Corporations and Federal Contracting Officers are not being punished...

Large Corporations and Federal Contracting Officers are not being punished for missing their small business procurement goals and are not being prosecuted for fraudulent contracting.

Existing federal laws known as "Liquidated Damages" clauses establish penalties for prime contractors when they are non-compliant with small business goals. Because this law has never been enforced by the SBA and Department of Justice, most prime contractors never achieve the small business goals required in their federal contracts.

Current federal law establishes that misrepresenting the size of a firm in order to illegally receive federal contracts and subcontracts is a felony with penalties of up to 10 years in prison, a fine up to $500,000, cancellation of all contracts and debarment from selling to the government. Federal policy should require the SBA to respond to any protest against any firm that misrepresents its size, regardless of whether or not the contract is a small business set-aside. Section 16(d) of federal code makes no differentiation as to the type of the contract; therefore current SBA policy is illegal and does not address the magnitude of the problem.

One way to get involved...

For more information contact stopFSSI.org
4949 St. Elmo Ave., Suite 221, Bethesda, MD 20814-6067
(301) 652?7410 – info@stopFSSI.org– www.stopFSSI.org

For more info please call (877) 653-5129 or Visit us on the Web at
http://www.NationalOfficeOutlet.com

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

GSA exempts small businesses from eligibility... How does this equal jobs...?

The Small Business Administration exempts small businesses from over $100 billion worth of federal contracts and the GSA exempts small businesses from eligibility for over $40 billion worth of federal contracts each year.

The SBA has a policy of excluding small businesses from eligibility for $100 billion worth of federal contracts from the acquisitions budget, which violates the congressional intent of the Small Business Act, which clearly states that small businesses must receive 23 percent of 'total federal prime contracts'.

Federal regulators exempt GSA Schedule contracts from small business set-aside, despite congressional mandate in the Small Business Act, which states that all federal acquisitions in the simplified acquisition threshold (contracts valued between $3,000 and $150,000) must be set-aside for small businesses. The SBA and FAR council essentially repealed this valuable piece of legislation by exempting all acquisitions on the GSA schedule from small business set-asides.

One way to get involved...

For more information contact stopFSSI.org
4949 St. Elmo Ave., Suite 221, Bethesda, MD 20814-6067
(301) 652?7410 – info@stopFSSI.org– www.stopFSSI.org

For more info please call (877) 653-5129 or Visit us on the Web at
http://www.NationalOfficeOutlet.com

Thursday, May 17, 2012

President Obama Signing the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act...? Really

By signing the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, President Obama re-authorized for three years the Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program, which exempts large defense contractors from required subcontracting reporting as well as any penalty of non-compliance with the Small Business Act.

Originally established as a test program in 1990, the CSPTP is a Department of Defense program that allows major prime defense contractors to avoid complying with their small business goals by eliminating specific small business reporting requirements for individual contracts. It also exempts these large defense firms from the "liquidated damages" clause mentioned before.

The American Small Business League has long maintained that the CSPTP allows large defense contractors to circumvent the Small Business Act, which requires that 23 percent of all federal contracts (including subcontracts). In October 2010, five members of Congress sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office, demanding an investigation into the CSPTP program's effectiveness. Their concern was that the 21-year-old program has never been evaluated for its effectiveness. As of yet (Feb. 2012), their request for an investigation has not been honored.

For more information contact stopFSSI.org
4949 St. Elmo Ave., Suite 221, Bethesda, MD 20814‐6067
(301) 652‐7410 – info@stopFSSI.org– www.stopFSSI.org

For more info please call (877) 653-5129 or Visit us on the Web at http://www.NationalOfficeOutlet.com

Friday, April 20, 2012

Want the truth about what is really going on at the GSA? Here are the facts...


In a time when we and our Administration should be focused on job creation and retention, Obama gave Dan Gordon (OMB) and Martha Johnson (GSA) the green light to implement the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI). The result is 3,000 small and small disadvantaged businesses, to include service disabled veterans, being put under and 30,000 jobs going to the unemployment line, private sector jobs.

Why? GSA in their infinite wisdom formed Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPA’s) from with inside the GSA Multiple Award Schedule program. BPA’s are usually formed at the government agency or military activity level per the ADM 4800 Eligibility Order issued by the GSA. Certain classifications were targeted, such as office supplies, class 75. The result was a reduction of 500 companies to 15 by issuing a BPA that supposedly reduces operational overheads. Companies already vetted and issued GSA Schedule contracts.

Companies awarded a FSSI BPA included Office Depot, Office Max and Staples all of whom have been brought up on fraud charges under 31 USC 3729 and SEC charges and were fined and penalized for millions of dollars. On the second round of FSSI BPA's that were awarded, originally only 12 companies were awarded this BPA. Staples forced their way in by threatening litigation against another contractor. So you have the GSA rewarding contractors that are known to be cheating the system. Even after the whistle has been blown, GSA Officials continue the let the contractors reap the rewards of the privilege to work with the government instead of cutting them off. So yes besides the wasteful spending, there is fraud and mismanagement going on as well.

GSA is receiving a kickback of a 2% fee of all the money they funnel to these few contractors. In the last two years, GSA received a kickback of $9,463,066 from these 15 contractors on total sales of $473,153,324.00! GSA claims to expect a $48 million annual savings (less than 7% of annual Schedule 75 spending) by issuing the BPA's. If that's the case, why wouldn't GSA accept more offers that ensure continued competition, thus increasing the governments savings? Why shut out new offers and increased competition? The fifteen awardees garnered less than 25% of GSA schedule 75 sales in 2009. Additionally, 66% of those sales were captured by (big surprise) Office Depot and Staples (large business concerns). BPA's are not mandatory and I hope that agencies continue to purchase from GSA awardees that they like, based upon the "best value" or developed relationships.

Lurita Doan was scandalous during the previous administration when she routed contract dollars into GOP PAC’s. Before Doan was Perry who was at the helm during the Safavian and Emily Murphy hearings, which had linkage to the Abramoff scandal. When you go all the way back to 1950 when the program was started, Administrator Larsen was involved in a Cuban silver mine scandal.

Do you think this is just more of the same? No, this time it is not just about grease, it is about the demise and decimation of our small and small disadvantaged businesses. What we have here is Obama cleaning up the trail that leads back to him. Gordon at OMB is gone and now Johnson from GSA is gone. Total plausible deniability and the potential of blowback significantly reduced. However, the committees in their infinite wisdom will focus on public buildings and maybe the “Best Value Evaluation” of bicycle construction or palm reading.

Want some more truth? Ask for the real reason why Senator Coburn ran the committee hearings against Safavian and Murphy. How about some more truth or have you had enough? Why does the DOJ turn down 85% of all fraud cases filed? Why did Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Sponseller meet Ex Parte with Federal judge, T. Rawles Jones in the U.S. Eastern District located in Alexandria, VA, after hours, to intentionally derail a fraud settlement that was in the process of paying millions of dollars back to the U.S. Taxpayers?

What should we expect next, the closing of Schedule 70 to new offers ($16 billion a year in sales), when the government issues fifteen BPA's with an expected savings of $1.2 billion annually? There is already in the works a FSSI BPA for Schedule 70, and no one seems to have any idea that it is happening. OMB has already outlined that after the Schedule 70, several others are to follow as per a report put out by Jack Kelly on April 5, 2012.
The GSA story in the news is a misdirect courtesy of Uncle Sugars mind candy machine. A political volleyball during an election cycle, imagine that! After all what happens in Vegas, well you know...

You now have the truth...

The Office of Management and Budget and General Services Administration Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiatives (FSSI), National Information Technology Commodity Program (NITCP), and OASIS programs represent the Death of Small Business Federal Contracting in America, and are poised to greatly damage the US economy through drastic drastic job loss, and cannibalization of the tax basis. The unintended consequences of these programs have already impacted over 500 Small Businesses... and counting. It is our hope that you will support this effort based upon the fact that our economy is in a precarious state, and massive unintended job losses of this nature will wreak havoc on our ability to stabilize and rebuild. America has a vested interest in the success of our cause.

One way to get involved...

stopFSSI.org
4949 St. Elmo Ave., Suite 221, Bethesda, MD 20814‐6067
(301) 652‐7410 – info@stopFSSI.org– www.stopFSSI.org

For more info please call (877) 653-5129 or Visit us on the Web at http://www.NationalOfficeOutlet.com

Monday, April 16, 2012

GSA is rewarding contractors that are known to be cheating the system.

Even after the whistle has been blown, GSA Officials continue the let the contractors reap the rewards of the privilege to work with the government instead of cutting them off. The irony of the Schedule 75 GSA BPA's issued to Office Depot and Staples - they (and OfficeMax) were previously fined over $22 million for selling non trade compliant items against their schedules.

GSA's decision to stop accepting new GSA Schedule 75 offers for two years is simply illogical (and limits competition) based upon the issuance of Blanket Purchase Agreements (additional GSA discounts granted based on expected volume) to fifteen companies. Total Schedule 75 sales in FY 2009 were $690,209,736, shared amongst 536 awardees.

GSA claims to expect a $48 million annual savings (less than 7% of annual Schedule 75 spending) by issuing the BPA's. If that's the case, why wouldn't GSA accept more offers that ensure continued competition, thus increasing the governments savings? Why shut out new offers and increased competition? The fifteen awardees garnered less than 25% of GSA schedule 75 sales in 2009. Additionally, 66% of those sales were captured by (big surprise) Office Depot and Staples (large business concerns). BPA's are not mandatory and I hope that agencies continue to purchase from GSA awardees that they like, based upon the "best value" or developed relationships rather than lowest price.

What should we expect next, the closing of Schedule 70 to new offers ($16 billion a year in sales), when the government issues fifteen BPA's with an expected savings of $1.2 billion annually?

stopFSSI.org
4949 St. Elmo Ave., Suite 221, Bethesda, MD 20814‐6067
(301) 652‐7410 – info@stopFSSI.org– www.stopFSSI.org

For more info please call (877) 653-5129 or Visit us on the Web at http://www.NationalOfficeOutlet.com

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

GSA did not get the memo to keep jobs...

GSA has been implementing a new procurement policy that favors two large contractors and 13 small ones while causing massive layoffs and business closures at hundreds of other small businesses throughout country.
GSA is receiving a kickback of a 2% fee of all the money they funnel to these few contractors. In the last two years, GSA received a kickback of $9,463,066 from these 15 contractors on total sales of $473,153,324.00!
Plus GSA is rewarding contractors that are known to be cheating the system. Even after the whistle has been blown, GSA Officials continue the let the contractors reap the rewards of the privilege to work with the government instead of cutting them off. So yes besides the wasteful spending, there is fraud and mismanagement going on.
stopFSSI.org – 4949 St. Elmo Ave., Suite 221, Bethesda, MD 20814‐6067
(301) 652‐7410 – info@stopFSSI.orgwww.stopFSSI.org
For more info please call (877) 653-5129 or Visit us on the Web at http://www.NationalOfficeOutlet.com