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Government Business 101: United States Constitution, the Executive Branch and Federal Contracting

From the Government Business Examiner
by Donna L. Quesinberry

In 2009 the “New Transparency” took on an enhanced definition per President Obama’s Administration – the new transparency became a virtual enactment of the transparency and accountability that public funding through federal contracting already envisions. What is the course of action that a business takes or needs to understand to begin their process of “government business?”

Congressional Legislation = Branches, Agencies and Services Fulfillment – When Congress passes legislation enacting the newest laws, revising existing laws or providing regulatory authority that depicts a need for procedural requirements and programmatic fulfillment of our nation’s needs, funding followed by procurement comes to play. When someone refers to federal contracts or government business – typically they are inferring the need to provide services or products that ensure mandated programs, research or requirements that these newest laws, revisions and programmatic needs depict as essential as mitigated in a proficient manner. The Executive Branch of the government and the varied Agencies, Services, Boards, Commissions and Committees that the Executive Branch are the funding principles federal contractors work diligently to impress with quality proposal solutions.

Through the Constitution in Article I, Section 8 “Enumerated Powers” and from this body of law the majority of federal contracting gains acceptance:

The Congress shall have power to
* Lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
* Borrow money on the credit of the United States;
* Regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;
* Establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States;
* Coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;
* Provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States;
* To establish post offices and post roads;
* Promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;
* Constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court;
* Define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;
* Declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;
* Raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;
* Provide and maintain a navy;
* Make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;
* Provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;
* Provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
* Exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings;—And
* Make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

The Executive Branch Agencies, Services, and other Executive Branch bodies when referencing government contracts recognize two main bodies of administrative and contract law, namely:

* Armed Services Procurement Act, and
* Federal Property and Administrative Services Act

In addition to these, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) in 53 parts provides definition, processes, guidance, specific language and special preferences for government contracts. Supplemental data is housed in “Supplements” to the FAR, which are comprised of regulatory advisements.

Federal Common Law

Government contracts are known as federal common law governances. Apart from Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) that applies to commercial business, the Federal Common Law serves as a separate body of law for entitlements under the FAR.

Prime and Sub Contractors
When a federal procurement is undertaken by a “Prime” and “Subcontractor” the Federal Common Law regulates the “Prime” and the UCC regulates the “Subcontractor.” The UCC can differentiate between states – so that can add an additional layer of potential complication to federal contractors engaged in the Prime and Subcontractor role.

inVirtual Work® Way Fact

The Government Business Examiner is presenting a series of Government Business 101 federal contract training articles for the onset of 2010. The United States Government, Congress and the Executive Branch of government are becoming ever-increasingly virtual, hoping for a solutions landscape that speaks virtually – with players that understand things like cloud computing, mobility, telework, social networking, Web 2.0 and 3.0, etc. They desire real-time accountability with capability to morph legacy systems whether they involve products, services, IT or human capital to emerging systems that “work.”

Solutions to procurement involve an assimilation into the Web 2.0 and 3.0 landscape. While many procurement and government business/federal contracting professionals “discuss” whether the market has become an inVirtual Work® arena – more and more government business is being conducted virtually. It seems didactic to continue questioning the existence of a virtual mindset of business and in developmental mobility in resolving acquisitions through solutions-based discovery – when we are already living Web 2.0 and venturing nearer full 3.0 immersion.

If the government is hoping for the ultimate in facilitation of mobility when answering their requirements – it is a natural assumption that practicing what we preach shows we know how to implement modernity and technological advances while remaining vital members and participants of our community.

Return and follow this series on federal contracting and government business and thank you for visiting today.

About the author:

Bus. Dev. | Capture | Coaching | Content Management | Proposals | Writer Rep.

Donna Quesinberry President | Consultant
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(Copyright © Donna L. Quesinberry-2010)

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