Focus: Contractor Layoffs
Fed contractor change impacts 450 jobs at Sikorsky Support Services Inc. [Corpus Christi Caller] – Sikorsky Support Services said 450 employees at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi could be laid off on October 31 when its maintenance and logistics contract ends for T-34, T-44 and T-6 aircraft. L-3 Communications Vertex Aerospace won a $452 million contract to take over the work.
Layoffs affect 50 at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard [Bremerton Patriot (Wash.)] – Puget Sound Environmental has cut its staff from an average of 60 weekly employees to eight as repair and retrofitting work on the USS Pennsylvania, the USS Seawolf and the USS Michigan all ended at around the same time at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. Employee Rick Lopez indicated that ups and downs are the norm in contracting work, but such a large drop is rare.
Nearly 400 jobs cut from Air Force financial center [Rapid City Journal] – The Financial Services Center at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota will shed 289 civilian and military jobs because of budget cuts. The number includes 45 contractors who will lose their jobs at the end of September.
Focus: Libyan Contracting Pre- and Post-Revolution
Western Firm Negotiated to Arm Gaddafi Regime Before Uprising [Democracy Now!] – Reuters obtained a letter from a General Dynamics project manager showing the company was negotiating deals to improve communications systems for Libyan tanks, artillery and armored troop carriers about one month before the unrest began in the country. The company says the work was never performed.
US experts in Libya amid alarms about missing arms [San Jose Mercury News/AP] – A Department of State arms expert and several American weapons disposal contractors are in Libya to find missing arms before they get in the wrong hands. State has allocated $3 million to two international weapons disposal teams to locate and destroy Man-Portable Air Defense Systems, land mines and other munitions.
How to Weigh Your Market Research [GovWin] – In the latest GovWin business development webinar, author and strategist James Baker presented a chart used to gauge opportunities by their funding and timing, your own past performance and qualifications in relation to the opportunity and how well you know the agency and customer’s goals and needs. He also presented a table to compare opportunities.
Case Recognized for Excellence as Supplier to Defense Logistics Agency [SitePrep] – The Defense Logistics Agency has given the Silver Award for Excellence to Case Construction Equipment for the third consecutive year. The firm supplies replacement parts for wheel loaders and rough-terrain forklifts.
Bill would void, stop contracts with U.S. enemies [Federal Computer Week] – Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) expressed her concern yesterday about taxpayer dollars ending up in the hands of enemies in Afghanistan. She is a supporter of the No Contracting with the Enemy Act[PDF], which would make it easier to void contracts with companies and organizations that funnel taxpayer resources to enemies.
Defense Contracting In Washington Since 9/11 [KUOW] – Washington state has seen $40 billion in defense contracts since the 9/11 attacks. State contracting ranges from Boeing building the Air Force tanker to the Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind making utensils and canteens for the military through the AbilityOne program.
SolarCity gets $1 billion federal housing contract [San Francisco Chronicle] – SolarCity has received a $1 billion contract to install solar panels on as many as 160,000 buildings on 124 U.S. military bases. CEO Lyndon Rive points out, “It’s equal to all the solar the country’s installed in the last 30 years.”
Contractor seeks explosives nod [Delmarva Now] – Military armor maker Hardwire LLC is asking Worcester County, Md., permission to conduct explosives tests. The firm has several multimillion dollar government contracts to produce stronger-than-steel armor for bridges and vehicles.
Alliant Tech to move headquarters to Virginia [St. Paul Pioneer Press] – Aerospace and defense contractor Alliant Techsystems is moving from Minnesota to Arlington, Va., to be closer to its customers. Company spokesman Brian Grace notes, “It’s really about face-to-face communication and relationship-building at a level that is just not available if your senior staff isn’t physically there.”
Home vandalized while owner in Afghanistan [WSB Atlanta] – Afghan contractor Nicholas Thomas’ Georgia home has been vandalized numerous times while he has been away. The damage includes cutting up his patio furniture, writing racial slurs on his house and busting out a car window.
Federal Assistance Tops $4.1 Million In First Week Of Hurricane Recovery [NJToday.Net] – The Federal Emergency Management Agency has handed out over $4.1 million to people impacted by Hurricane Irene. The process starts with contracted home inspectors with identifications badges – who will not ask for money or offer to do any repairs themselves.
Cuba Denies Meeting with Jailed American [Time/AP] – Cuban officials are not allowing former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson to see jailed U.S. contractor Alan Gross. Richardson claims he will not leave Cuba until a visit is permitted.
Today’s GovCon Cons
Confessed: U.S. Planetary Scientist Admits Attempted Espionage [Science Insider] – Former NASA scientist Stewart Nozette confessed in federal court to trying to sell classified materials about U.S. satellite defense systems to a supposed Israeli agent for $11,000. When he was being investigated earlier for overbilling the government by $265,000 on government contracts awarded to a technology company he ran, federal agents discovered an email threatening to sell classified secrets, which gave them the idea for the sting.
Additional Charges: Eight charges added to former N.J.-based defense contractor employee accused of leaking intel to China [Newark Star-Ledger] – Former L-3 Communications employee Sixing Liu is now facing eight additional charges related to giving China sensitive military technical data. He allegedly discussed his work at Chinese universities, a government research entity and a government-organized conference.
Travel Denied: Federal judge denies overseas travel request for convicted former Blackwater contractor [The Republic/AP] – A federal judge is not allowing former Blackwater contractor Christopher Drotleff to return to Afghanistan for more contracting work. He is currently appealing his three-year sentence for manslaughter stemming from shooting an Afghan civilian.
GovCon Video Games
Deus Ex: Human Revolution Missing Link DLC Introduced With Trailer, Screenshots [Gaming Blend] – A trailer and screenshots for the “Missing Link” add-on for video game “Deus Ex: Human Revolution” have been released. The upcoming add-on for the 2+ million copies sold hit game involves a military contractor that captures the game’s protagonist and disables his mechanical augmentations — enhancements that were an essential part of the original game’s allure.
DOD Contract Announcements
Contract Announcements for September 8, 2011 [Defense.gov] – Aerospace Testing Alliance won a $208.5 million Air Force contract modification for the operation, maintenance, information management and support of Arnold Engineering Development Center, while Boeing took a $166.8 million Navy modification for long lead materials in support of the low rate initial production, Lot 3, of 11 P-8A multi-mission maritime aircraft. Small business FOPCO took an $8.1 million Navy task order for repair of Building 1492, Bachelor Enlisted Quarters, at Naval Station Pearl Harbor. See the full announcement for more details and other awards.
Federal Register Updates
Federal Acquisition Regulation; Constitutionality of Federal Contracting Programs for Minority-Owned and Other Small Businesses – DOD, NASA and the General Services Administration are proposing to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation to address the impact of the decision in Rothe Development Corporation vs. the DOD and the Air Force on small disadvantaged business concerns and certain institutions of higher education. Comments will be accepted until November 8.
Department of Defense Program for Construction, Renovation, Repair or Expansion of Public Schools Located on Military Installations – DOD is describing a program involving a $250 million grant from Congress to construct, renovate, repair or expand elementary and secondary public schools on military installations in order to address capacity or facility condition deficiencies at such schools.