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Experts unravel government contracting rules for local engineers

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Dozens of engineering business representatives from around San Diego now have a better understanding of several changes taking place this year when it comes to government contracting.

At its January luncheon at the Harbor Drive Holiday Inn Wednesday, the Society of American Military Engineers hosted Daniel Fung and Linda Ryan of the Navy Facilities Engineering Command Southwest (NAVFAC) -- the Navy's engineering system command of military and civilian engineers, architects, contract specialists and professionals .

Devon Hewitt of the Washington, D.C.-based law firm Piliero Mazza joined Fung and Ryan in presenting attendees with updates in business opportunities and federal regulation.

With several changes that could affect small businesses looking to bid military and government jobs, Ryan and Hewitt spent significant time outlining new rules for mentor-protégé programs, credit and reimbursable agreements, proposed changes to regulations from the Small Business Administration and rules for joint ventures.

Stewart Bornhoft, vice president of Point Loma’s Sullivan International Group Inc., said what stood out most to him was Hewitt’s opening remark: “Government contracting is not for sissies.”

In his third year with Sullivan, which has around 150 employees, Bornhoft said he can attest to the statement, having worked on the private side for 16 years as well as the government side for 26.

“It was a very helpful set of updates,” said Bornhoft, who is a past president of the San Diego chapter of SAME.

The best thing, he added, was that the information came from within the beltway.

"It's education," Ryan said. "So that folks can be aware of the different rules and make sure that they abide by them. Everybody needs fine tuning."

Piliero Mazza has a contactor-rich client base and specializes in government contracting law. Hewitt said her presentaion would be made available on the firm's website at pilieromazza.com. Ryan's presentation will be posted on the SAME website at same.org.

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