July 2014

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Get Paid Faster

The 2011 QuickPay program requires agencies to pay small businesses as quickly as possible – with a goal of paying within 15 days. Agencies also commit to quick payments to their large contractors, who must then pay their subcontractors as quickly as possible. A new SupplierPay program, announced this month, has several large companies committed to paying their small suppliers faster.

Sounds great, right?  But, as with most things, the devil is in the details! The 15-day turnaround goal, for example, assumes that you submit an accurate, compliant invoice, to the correct office, in the correct format.

While you can’t eliminate all delays, one sure way to delay your payment is to not pay attention to the format and submission process for your invoice.

Not all agencies use the same invoicing methods; a small purchase using a government credit card may be quite straightforward, but if an agency uses a specific invoicing program, like Wide Area Workflow, you should be prepared for a steep learning curve to get that first invoice paid!

Labeling, packaging and marking issues can also cause delays at the acceptance office, so make sure you understand these requirements, to avoid delays here.

You will be paid via Electronic Funds Transfer directly into the bank account you listed in your SAM registration, so make absolutely sure this information is correct.

What is…..DPAS?

The Defense Priorities and Allocations System (DPAS) is used to give a priority rating to certain orders – for example for military, energy, homeland security, emergency, or critical infrastructure orders.

A rated order will be identified as such in the contract documents (in the SF 1449 form you will see this in blocks 13a and b).

There are 3 priority levels – unrated, DO-rated and DX-rated (the highest priority).

If your company receives a rated-order for items you normally supply to the agency, you must give this order preferential treatment – accept and fill this order, and reschedule unrated or lower-rated orders if necessary.

Helping Schools Purchase Technology

GSA and the Federal Communications Commission recently formed a partnership that will allow schools and libraries to consolidate their purchasing power, and save money on technology equipment.

Schools and libraries will be able to use GSA’s reverse auction platform to seek the lowest prices from vendors.

The initiative is expected to be available next year.

Government Contracting Directory

Procurement Center Representatives (PCRs) and Commercial Market Representatives (CMRs) work at SBA offices and at major buying centers around the country.

The PCR’s goal is to increase the number of small business set-asides whenever possible. They coordinate with contracting officers, provide them with information on suitable small business sources, and provide counseling to small firms. CMRs conduct reviews of prime contractors to ensure they are meeting their small business sub-contracting goals, counsel small businesses on how to obtain subcontracts, and conduct matchmaking activities and training on the Subcontracting Assistance Program.

The  Government Contracting Field Staff Directory lets you find the contact details for PCRs and CMRs in your area.

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