Browsing: Small Business Administration

'Shame on you,' disabled vet Duckworth grills IRS contractor

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Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill, lost her legs and the use of her right arm as a helicopter pilot in Iraq in 2004. She was awarded a Purple Heart for her combat injuries. Braulio Castillo broke his foot in a prep school injury nearly three decades ago at the U.S. Military Preparatory School, which he attended for nine months before playing football in college. He owns a technology business certified as a service-disabled, veteran-owned company eligible for government set aside contracts. The two met at a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing Wednesday in an exchange neither will forget…

IRS official pleads the Fifth

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An IRS technology official at the center of a House investigation into whether he pushed the agency to award contracts potentially worth up to $500 million to a company owned by a personal friend pleaded the Fifth Amendment and refused to testify at a House hearing Wednesday. A House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform report Tuesday said Greg Roseman, an IRS deputy director, may have influenced the IRS to award lucrative IT contracts to Strong Castle, Inc. The same report also said the company had given the Small Business Administration misleading information to win approval so it could obtain…

Probe finds personal ties, old injury aided IRS contractor

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A high school  injury nearly three decades ago enabled the owner of a contracting company to claim service disabled veteran status last year, opening the door to contracts worth up to a half billion dollars, a House investigation has found. Braulio Castillo, owner Signet Computers, which has been renamed Strong Castle, injured his ankle in the fall of 1984 during his year at the U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School, but would later go on to play quarterback and linebacker the next year at the University of San Diego, according to a 157-page report Tuesday by the House Committee on Oversight…

Association of Government Accountants honors agency reporting

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Twenty agencies big and small were recently noted for top-notch financial and performance reporting by the Association of Government Accountants. The “Certificate of Excellence in Accountability Reporting” (CEAR)  singles out “high-quality Performance and Accountability Reports (PARs) and Annual Financial Reports (AFRs) that effectively illustrate and assess financial and program performance, accomplishments and challenges, cost and accountability,” the accountants association said in a news release. The association also spotlights the teams of dedicated federal professionals who (often unsung) put the reports together. “Given the fiscal status of the United States government and the public’s perceptions about government fiscal accountability and transparency,…

Three more sentenced for involvement in federal contract fraud

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Three men were handed down prison sentences this week for participating in a scheme to defraud the government of more than $20 million through Army Corps of Engineers contracts, the Justice Department announced Thursday. Harold Babb, the former director of contracts at Eyak Technology LLC, was sentenced to seven years and three months in prison on federal charges of bribery and unlawful kickbacks, according to a news release. Babb admitted that he paid Army Corps of Engineers program manager Kerry Khan in return for Khan’s approval on contracts and subcontracts to EyakTek and Big Surf Construction Management, an EyakTek subcontractor,…

Small business procurement report needs adjustment, group says

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In anticipation of the government’s annual small business procurement scorecard this summer, a group of small business advocates and watchdog  groups has asked top federal procurement officials to stop practices that inaccurately reflect how close agencies have come to meeting their goals. The scorecard measures the percent of federal prime and subcontract dollars awarded to small businesses, including women owned small businesses, small disadvantaged businesses, service disabled veteran-­‐owned small businesses and small businesses operating in Historically Underutilized Business Zones. The federal government’s goal is to award 23 percent of its contract dollars to small businesses each year. During fiscal 2010, the federal  government…

White House launches BusinessUSA.gov

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The administration on Friday launched a new beta website called BusinessUSA.gov to simplify online interaction between businesses and the government. BusinessUSA.gov matches “businesses with the services relevant to them, regardless of where the information is located or which agency’s website, call center, or office they go to for help,” federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel said in a blog post Friday. The website is currently in a beta version but will evolve to incorporate user feedback. Business owners can browse the site and customize their search results to receive information about topics of interest, such as federal contracting, grants, or opportunities that meet…

New OMB adviser in line to replace procurement chief

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Word around town is that Joseph Jordan, an associate administrator at the Small Business Administration, has been tapped to replace outgoing Office of Federal Procurement Policy Administrator Dan Gordon. The Office of Management and Budget won’t confirm that Jordan is the nominee for Gordon’s job, which requires Senate confirmation. But Jordan has been named as a senior adviser to Jeff Zients, the federal Chief Performance Officer and OMB’s deputy director for management. Jordan will start advising Zients and his senior staff on policy and procurement matters this month. Jordan did not respond to requests for an interview. Being brought on as a senior…

Drawing the line between big and small biz

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If proposed changes to small business size standards are finalized, most of the nation’s engineering fims will be defined as small businesses, allowing them access to set-aside contracts that should go to “truly small firms,” the American Council of Engineering Companies said this week. The Small Business Administration (SBA) is redefining what constitutes a small business in the professional, scientific and technical services sector for the first time in more than 25 years. SBA has said the changes aim to reflect the current realities of industry. For example, the revenue standard defining a small engineering services firm would increase from $4.5 million to…