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Maz Auto

As most Small Business owners in the U.S. are aware, I have been advocating for and assisting Smalls for more than 25 years. It is because of this fact that it pains me to post following regarding any aspiring Small Business;

Beware of Maz Auto in Houston, Texas, this company is a rip-off and they professionally manage their online reputation to hide this fact. Buy from them at your own risk…

Located 8707 Richmond Ave, Houston, TX 77063, I would not recommend you purchase a vehicle from this dealer. This company does not honor its warranties, and even though I won a $3700 judgment against them for the warranty in arbitration

here is the link: http://issuu.com/rudysutherland5/docs/arbitration_final_award

The management continues to not pay. So, after at the recommendation of another Small, buying my car cash, and almost a year of legal battles and thousands of dollars; this company still hasn’t honored its obligation. They requested arbitration, but after the company lost – they are now suing the Arbitraror!

These folks will say what they have to to sell you a car – but after that, it’s a different story.

Finally, they were also cited by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles for the same actions

here is the link: http://issuu.com/rudysutherland5/docs/tdmv_ruling

but they persist with poor service and on stealing from their customers. In sum, these guys give car dealers a bad name… Buy at your own risk.

you can contact me directly for more information.

Rudy Sutherland

Founder, The Voice of Small Business in America

Download GSA OASIS Source Selection Files @: http://teaming-exchange.com/pages/gsa-oasis-pia-violation-narrative-files

[NOTE] If you LOST on GSA OASIS, it may be as a result of GSA’s disclosure that you lost and many of the apparent awardees made the top 40 in the pool(s) that your firm sought to compete in. Indeed, had it not been for GSA’s disclosure, the current winners – and perhaps the entire ranking order in the competitive range – would have been different; and indeed, your firm very well may have been amongst the apparent awardees.

Should you decide to, you still have recourse to file a PIA claim at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and/or the Court of Federal Claims (CoFC). Alternatively, a Class Action filing is currently being formulated. If you lost on GSA OASIS and have interest in this Class Action, please email BizEvangelist@vsbaonline.com. You will have 10-days from the date this posting to file with the GSA KO in order to maintain standing as an interested party.

OVERVIEW

The Procurement Integrity Act (PIA) prohibits the release of source selection and contractor bid or proposal information and GAO precedent establishes that in order to prevail, a Protester must demonstrate that it was prejudiced by this release. However, in accord with rulings at both GAO and the Court of Federal Claims – proof of prejudice notwithstanding – [the act alone is a violation and the mere possibility that the integrity of the federal procurement apparatus may have been breached is in and of itself grounds for procurement termination.]

SUMMARY BACKGROUND AFFIDAVIT

AA-I & Co. assisted 13 companies for the purpose of their participation in the Teaming Exchange, and 6 ultimately became apparent awardees. Although there are numerous illustrations of the competitive value of this information that I am unfortunately not at liberty to disclose due to non-disclosure agreements; I can share one basic example of advantage that was provided in assistance to our client’s strategic choice of “Past Performance” submission on OASIS SB.

It is a well-known fact that GSA essentially uses businesses as a virtual “sales force” through all of its contract vehicles, and intends to do the same with OASIS SB. It was also quite obvious from some of the interview dialogue in the source selection material shared that GSA was indirectly seeking agency “first adopter buy-in” commitment for OASIS SB to justify its contracting approach.

Therefore, we advised our clients, where possible, to make it a priority to submit only those past performances from the agencies that had been noted from the interviews conducted and cited in the source selection material whom expressed an affinity for using the GSA OASIS contract vehicle in the interviews. We did not tell them, however, that the agency list we provided originated from source selection material; rather, we advised them to “prioritize” their submission based upon a list of agencies we provided.

Read the entire AFFIDAVIT and download the GSA OASIS Source Selection Documents @: http://teaming-exchange.com/pages/gsa-oasis-pia-violation-narrative-files

One Voice…

GAO does not administer the requirements to stay award or suspend contract performance under CICA. 31 U.S.C. secs. 3553(c), (d); 4 C.F.R. sec. 21.6. The only time we consider an agency’s override of a CICA stay is in the context of recommending a course of action where we sustain a protest, see, e.g., Exelis Systems Corporation, B 407111.5 et al., May 20, 2013, 2013 CPD ¶ 123 at 14-16, but we have made no conclusions on your protests at this point. Otherwise, whether or not to suspend or proceed with contract award or performance is left to the procuring agency’s discretion under CICA. See 31 U.S.C. secs. 3553(c), (d).

Pedro Briones, as stated to Mssrs. Bob Freeman of Nexagen & Michael Lin of LinTech regarding the GSA override of CICA Stay provision on B-408685.15 & B-408685.17. A ruling on both Protests by GAO is expected in late July.

Two firms, Nexagen, Inc. and LinTech Global, Inc., have filed Procurement Integrity Act (PIA) Violation Protests at GAO, B-408685.15 & B-408685.17, alleging un-redacted source selection material was released publicly by GSA OASIS contracting officer Tommy Thomas. These firms have posited that it was as a result of GSA’s disclosure that several firms became apparent awardees.

They are requesting that GSA cancel solicitation no. GS00Q-13-DR-0002, and all awards made to date, in order that the solicitation may be re-competed.

Yet, according to its website post dated June 25, 2014: : https://interact.gsa.gov/document/gsa-issues-notice-proceed-oasis-small-business-sb , On June 20, GSA issued the Notice to Proceed (NTP) for OASIS Small Business (SB).

The Procurement Integrity Act, 41 U.S.C. § 423(a) (2006), prohibits any present or former official of the United States, with respect to a federal agency procurement, from “knowingly” disclosing contractor bid or proposal information or source selection information before the award of a federal agency procurement contract to which the information relates. The statute defines source selection information to include bid and proposal prices, source selection and technical evaluation plans, technical and cost/price evaluations of proposals, competitive range determinations, rankings of bids/proposals, and reports/evaluations of source selection panels, boards, or advisory councils. 41 U.S.C. § 423(f)(2). Ref Case(s): Kellogg Brown & Root Services, Inc., B-400787.2; B-400861.

The Voice of Small Business in America (VSBA): http://linkd.in/OneVoice has confirmed that both Protesters did file not later than 10 days after the basis of the protest is known or should have been known or within 10 days of debriefing as required by 4 C.F.R. § 21.2(a)(2).

Under CICA Stay, 31 U.S.C. 3553(c) and (d), an Agency may not award a contract after notice of pending protest, and the Head of Procuring agency must notify GAO if it intends to override the Stay.

Apparently, neither the GAO nor the GSA advised the Protesters of this intent to override.

Stay tuned, more to come.

Submitted to:
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee
Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee

I am a small business and government contracts consultant dedicated to helping small firms successfully navigate the federal marketplace. In addition to providing small businesses with guidance on complying with the Federal Acquisition Regulation and other key government contracts rules, my firm, Aljucar, Anvil-incus & Co. prepares and manages teaming, joint venture and mentor-protégé arrangements with large-cap firms. As a result of the above stated, my firm sometimes must defend its interest by GAO bid protest.

SUMMARY OF INQUIRY

The GAO is not a court of law. Therefore, by what [specific] legal or regulatory authority is the agency able to establish legal precedent? [NOTE]: This same inquiry was made to the Office of the Comptroller General on June 3, 2014 without response.

BACKGROUND

The GAO has presumed to create “impromptu” rules to supplement the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) §21 by virtue of its case precedent. I am requesting your assistance in determining on whose specific authority and/or by what specific law or regulation citation the GAO is able create impromptu rules to supplement the Code of Federal Regulations §21 by virtue of its own legal precedent in doing so. We have combed the laws incepting the agency and those governing its operations, and can find no requisite anywhere in CFR §21 that authorizes GAO attorney’s or management to append regulation and create rules by virtue of legal precedent.

Examples of rule supplements by GAO include the filing of “Motions” and the requirement for “Comments” on an Agency Report during a bid protest proceeding.

MOTIONS – GAO regulations [explicitly] state that [n]o formal briefs or other technical forms of pleadings or motions are required. This is all consistent with Congresses ‘mandate that the Comptroller General “provide for the inexpensive and expeditious resolution of protests” to “the maximum extent practicable.” However, federal agencies consistently file “Motions to Dismiss” during bid protests which are accepted and acted upon by GAO.

COMMENTS – It has been confirmed that there is no federal law or regulation that defines “comments on a report” in the context of a GAO protest by the agency’s Chief Quality Officer, Mr. Timothy Bowling and its Head of Procurement Law, Mr. Ralph White (see attached). However, according to Mr. White:

“The [definition] of “comments on a report” is not based on a specific regulation, but rather on long-standing [legal] precedent in connection with bid protests before GAO.”

The GAO has taken this position despite the agency NOT being a court of law. Indeed, the agency does not employ procedures that include discovery and evidentiary rules; it does not employ appellate review; and, it does not have the power to enforce its judgments.

Therefore I am respectfully requesting to know if this is truly Congress’ intent and if so by what [specific] law or regulation this authority to establish enforceable legal precedent is codified. Your time in consideration and response to this inquiry is greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Rudy Sutherland

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

It is rare that an industry peer accuses a competitor of unethical behavior, on the border line of fraud; but that is exactly what happened this week. PaySimple (www.paysimple.com), established in 2005, was called out by Wells Fargo Bank executives for its questionable business practices towards Small Businesses in the processing and remittance of credit payments. It seems the company makes a practice of:

  1. debiting Smalls bank accounts without notice and sending invoices weeks later,
  2. charging and escalating fees without notice, and
  3. holding customer credit-card remittances in order to make money on the Federal Reserve overnight rate.

Wells Fargo has stated that it does not use nor recommend this company and its affiliates (discussed below).

PaySimple, whose competitors are PayPal™ and Authorize.net®, is a Denver, Colorado-based financial services provider that supplies merchant accounts along with several other services. The company specializes in providing merchants an integrated system that allows them to send electronic invoices and collect payments via credit/debit card, e-checks, and ACH transfers through customizable payment pages. In short, the company is a software company, NOT a credit card processor.

It would appear that PaySimple is a glorified software developer “front” for the credit card processor, North American Bancard or “NAB” (www.nabancard.com) a large merchant account provider based in Troy, Michigan that has an unusually high number of complaints filed against it by Small Businesses. At the recommendation of some in our group membership, we used the services and software interface of PaySimple with controversial results.

Although the software is very intuitive and user friendly, this did not mask the less than scrupulous business practices of NAB, its credit card processor. NAB has a long history, upon cancellation attempts, of trying to take money out of Small Business customer accounts with claims that they “never received” a request to cancel and putting extended holds, sometimes up to 21-days, on credit card payments for no apparent reason whatsoever.

Furthermore, our research has shown NAB has extensive complaints filed against it at the Federal Trade Commission by Small Businesses and a multiple of Attorneys General across the country. Because of this fact, we fully understand why the company needed a front like PaySimple to mask its poor business practices. This stated, and while PaySimple may be a very attractive and intuitive front-facing interface, we strongly encourage our membership to consider its competitors, PayPal™ and Authorize.net®.

We sincerely hope that PaySimple and NAB recognize the simple fact that, no matter how much lipstick you put on a pig, at the end of the day – it’s still a pig.

Change your business practices or face certain extinction.

One Voice…

R. Sutherland | http://linkd.in/OneVoice 

May 28, 2014

Two firms have filed Procurement Integrity Act (PIA) Violation Protests at GAO, B-408685.15 & B-408685.17, alleging un-redacted source selection material was released publicly by GSA OASIS contracting officer Tommy Thomas. These firms have posited that it was as a result of GSA’s disclosure that several firms became apparent awardees.

They are requesting that GSA cancel solicitation no. GS00Q-13-DR-0002, and all awards made to date, in order that the solicitation may be re-competed.

The Procurement Integrity Act, 41 U.S.C. § 423(a) (2006), prohibits any present or former official of the United States, with respect to a federal agency procurement, from “knowingly” disclosing contractor bid or proposal information or source selection information before the award of a federal agency procurement contract to which the information relates. The statute defines source selection information to include bid and proposal prices, source selection and technical evaluation plans, technical and cost/price evaluations of proposals, competitive range determinations, rankings of bids/proposals, and reports/evaluations of source selection panels, boards, or advisory councils. 41 U.S.C. § 423(f)(2).

Ref Case(s): Kellogg Brown & Root Services, Inc., B-400787.2; B-400861.

More to come.

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