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FCW : July 30, 2014
INK TANK July 30, 2014 FCW.COM 7 of agencies’ 2014 purchases will be made in the final three months of the fiscal year, Deltek predicts 35.4% Trending The Obama administration has big plans to create a spectrum super- highway that offers commercial users access to as much as 1,000 MHz of fed- eral bandwidth on a shared basis. The key to that plan is an initiative to cre- ate dynamic spectrum-sharing technol- ogy that can prioritize users, eliminate interference and adjust to changes in demand. It’s a tall order, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration are working on technological and policy solutions. To move from the drawing board and into the real world, the Federal Communications Commission’s Office of Engineering and Technology and NTIA are seeking comments on a plan to establish a “model city” to act as a home for testing spectrum-sharing technology. According to a notice in the Fed- eral Register, “the host community for a Model City could play a crucial and collaborative role by expediting access to rights-of-way and other facili- ties (e.g., fiber, conduits, poles, tow- ers, buildings, rooftops, park spaces, tunnels, etc.) for short- and long-term wireless infrastructure and monitoring deployments.” The plan would have to avoid dis- rupting existing users, such as radio and TV broadcasters, mobile commu- nications and public safety networks. NTIA and FCC are also interested in ideas on how government, research- ers, commercial network providers and others could collaborate in testing advanced spectrum-sharing techniques. — Adam Mazmanian NTIA seeks ‘model city’ to test spectrum-sharing technology A group of industry associations is objecting to an amendment to the House energy and water appropria- tions bill that it said would essentially debar federal contractors. “This amendment acts as an auto- matic, de facto debarment of federal contractors while entirely circum- venting long-standing and proven sus- pension and debarment procedures included in the Federal Acquisition Regulation,” the letter states. The provision’s author, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), wrote in a July 9 op-ed in the Des Moines Register that the aim is to keep “federal contractors who steal from their employees from receiving [future] federal contracts,” by which he meant companies that failed to adhere to the Fair Labor Standards Act. The amendment was added to the energy and water bill by voice vote on July 10, and a similar provision was added to the defense spending bill last month. The group’s letter argues that “even the most well-intentioned contractors can be the subject of an investigation resulting in a single finding of fault and liability and under this provision would be automatically debarred.” According to a statement by the Professional Services Council, one of 10 associations that signed the letter, the FAR provides federal officials with broad authority to undertake suspen- sion and debarment actions in the cases outlined by the amendment. It also requires taking into account the seriousness of the contractor’s acts or omissions and any remedial measures or mitigating factors. “These factors would be ignored if this amendment were adopted,” accord- ing to the organization’s statement. Other associations that signed the letter include the Coalition for Gov- ernment Procurement, IT Alliance for Public Sector, National Defense Indus- trial Association, TechAmerica and U.S. Chamber of Commerce. — Mark Rockwell Contractors object to ‘de facto debarment’ amendment
July 15, 2014
August 15, 2014