Have you been hacked yet? Has your personal information been exposed by foreign hackers? Worried this year’s election results might be tampered with foreign cyber attacks? Well, you are not the only one worried about future cyber attacks. The U.S. Government is worried too, and to combat that, the General Services Administration (GSA) will release four Cybersecurity Special Item Numbers (SINs) for its GSA Schedule 70 for Information Technology procurement.
A refresh of the Schedule 70 solicitat
For those of you enjoying these last few days of summer, here is a quick hit guide to recent employment developments to be aware of before you rush back into the full swing of things:
Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order
The Department of Labor (DOL) announced yesterday that the final regulations implementing the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order will be published today. The regulations (which cover contractor self-reporting of labor law violations) will become effective O
The Federal Government continues to issue more and more cybersecurity rules, Executive Orders and guidance for federal contractors, and the latest addition is the Federal Acquisition Regulation Part 52.204-21 – Basic Safeguarding of Covered Contractor Information Systems, published in June 2016. This new rule establishes new definitions of “Covered Contractor Information System”, “Federal Contract Information”, and outlines 15 new safeguarding requirements and procedures for federal contractors.
So later today I am hosting a lunch at my house. And unless Desoto (the Spanish explorer who looked for the Fountain of Youth in Florida) has been visiting my family room, I have a major water leak. There is water everywhere. I just lost a small business set-aside contract to an unfathomably low, low, low price bidder, and the cat barfed all over my new carpet. It’s not even noon yet! So in an attempt to turn my day around, I hopped online to see what others are up to in hopes of finding somethi
Effective July 1, 2016, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) began using its new scheduling letter for compliance evaluations.
One of the most significant changes in the form document relates to the agency’s use of data and information submitted by contractors. The “old” letter stated:
“Rest assured that OFCCP considers the information you provide in response to this Scheduling Letter as sensitive and confidential. Therefore, any disclosures we may make will be consistent
Reproduced with permission from Federal Contracts Report, 105 FCR (July 27, 2016). Copyright 2016 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033) http://www.bna.com
HHS Couldn’t Justify IT Competition Cancellation, COFC Says
The Department of Health and Human Services couldn’t justify its cancellation of an IT competition that a protester claimed was tainted by bias, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims said (Starry Assocs. Inc. v. United States, 2016 BL 241279, Fed. Cl., No. 16-44C, 7/27/1
This guide pinpoints some of the major government contracts-related developments that occurred over the last six months. These developments create new opportunities and compliance requirements that people who conduct business with the Federal Government need to know about.
Major Regulatory Developments
Compliance: False Claims Act Penalties Almost Double
The U.S. Department of Justice issued an interim rule increasing monetary penalties for contractors. Civil monetary penalties under certain
If you have been working on GSA Schedules for the past few years, you may remember that in May 2012, GSA’s initiative was the end of the Schedule Input Program (SIP) and the mandatory use of the new Formatted Price List (FPL) for the Financial and Business Solutions (FABS) Schedule. There was much excitement generated by this news as we were all ready for the end of SIP. In January 2014, GSA announced that FABS would no longer utilize the FPL and all vendors were to return to SIP. As we look int
The Payment of Subcontractors proposed rule, which appeared in the Federal Register in January 2016, is the latest in a series of efforts to hold the Prime accountable for timely payments to its Subs.
Those who follow these blogs know that ‘payment’ is a hot button topic for me whether it is payment to the Prime by the Government or payment to the Subcontractor by the Prime. We’ve previously highlighted the “Accelerating Payments to Small Businesses” rule whose aim is to enable small business
The Federal Marketplace can be challenging and risky for the uninitiated, and even for seasoned contractors. The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) alone contains 53 parts over 1,903 pages, including nearly 590 provisions and clauses (some with alternates), and many of which will ultimately find their way into your contracts. And this doesn’t even include Agency-specific acquisition regulations which supplement and implement the FAR.
As if securing and administering government contracts were
By now you have probably heard that the Department of Labor’s regulations for the white-collar exemptions to overtime compensation were finalized and will be effective December 1, 2016. You are probably also aware that your company should be analyzing how its employees are classified to ensure it is prepared to comply with the regulations come December 1. What you may not have thought about is how your analysis (and any changes to employee exemption status) may impact your federal government con
On June 23, 2016, the General Services Administration (GSA) amended the General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation (GSAR) to include clauses that require vendors to report transactional data from orders placed against certain Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) contracts, Governmentwide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs), and Governmentwide Indefinite-Delivery, Indefinite-Quantity (IDIQ) contracts.
What does this mean and what do you need to know?
First, it’s important to clarify what Tran
How is your relationship with the government going? Have you heard about the “transformational changes” that are being made to the GSA’s Federal Supply Schedules Program? And do you really know how many moons the Earth has?
Below is a round up of recently trending Federal Contracting issues you should know about.
Overly Restrictive Solicitations. Nexagen Networks of Aberdeen, Maryland, challenged the terms of a task order request issued by the Army for information technology services. Nexag
Reproduced with permission from Federal Contracts Report, 105 FCR (June 21, 2016). Copyright 2016 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033) http://www.bna.com
Effective Trade Agreements Act and Pricing Compliance Programs for Federal Supply Schedules
Recent scrutiny by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and a $75.5 million settlement stemming from allegations of overcharging the U.S. government send a clear message: Vendors must be compliant with their Trade Agreements Act (TAA) and pr
The U.S. Department of Labor issued a final rule revising its sex discrimination guidelines for federal contractors found at 41 CFR Part 60-20. The final rule is effective August 15, 2016, is the first significant change to the guidelines since 1970, and it clarifies DOL positions with respect to issues of compensation, pregnancy, and harassment among others. Unsurprisingly given recent amendments to EO 11246, the Rule also provides specific guidance with respect to issues regarding sexual orien
On June 7, 2016, the U.S. Department of State announced that it is implementing “catch-up” adjustments to the maximum amounts of the monetary penalties it assesses for regulatory violations. Under the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, federal agencies must make a one time “catch-up” adjustment to their civil monetary penalties in order to account for inflation. Federal agencies are required to publish interim final rules with the initial penalty adjustmen
Are you selling your products or services to the U.S. Government? If so, what does your compliance program look like?
There are seven different elements that you should have in place in order to be confident that your compliance program can be effective. The Buy American Statute (BAS) requires the U.S. Government to give a preference to U.S.-made goods over foreign-made goods in federal procurements. The Trade Agreements Act (TAA) prohibits the U.S. Government from buying products and services
My granddaughter recently lost a baby tooth in the ‘usual way.’ One morning, she felt the tooth begin to move the slightest bit. She wiggled it back and forth throughout the day and by dinner…Voile! Only one day later, she lost two more courtesy of her dentist to make room for the incoming ‘permanent’ ones. The Tooth Fairy kept the commitment of retrieving the lost teeth from under her pillow in a timely fashion – in this case staying up late on two consecutive nights – and rewarded her for pai
On May 11, Centre Law & Consulting’s attorneys Barbara Kinosky and Marina Blickley were featured guests on Give Me 5, a webinar hosted by Women in Public Policy (WIPP). The online series is designed to educate women business owners on how to apply for and secure federal procurement opportunities.
Give Me 5: Where Human Resources and Government Contracts Intersect
Webinar Summary: Federal contractors are subject to a unique set of rules, laws and regulations. Many of these laws and regulati
Many “small” businesses listed in Federal Procurement Data Systems find themselves in a paradox—they’re at once too small to compete with large contractors, but also too large to benefit from small business set-asides. These growing firms have achieved what every small business owner hopes for—start small, gain market traction, and grow. But when a firm graduates from the benefits of small business set-asides, they enter the “mid-tier” — a murky limbo that can leave them vulnerable and, potentia
Reproduced with permission from Federal Contracts Report, 105 FCR (May 11, 2016). Copyright 2016 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033) http://www.bna.com
GSA Sends Warning Letters to Contractors Over Origins of Products
The General Services Administration (GSA) is clamping down on thousands of federal contractors to ensure that products sold to government agencies are made in the U.S. or are otherwise in compliance with the Trade Agreement Act (TAA), Bloombery BNA has learned.
The GSA FAS Office of Acquisition Management is planning to refresh all Multiple Award Schedules to incorporate provision and clause updates. For Schedules that offer services, both professional and nonprofessional, the solicitation refresh and corresponding mass modification will also update the application of the Service Contract Labor Standards (SCLS) to align with the U.S. Department of Labor’s SCLS compliance procedures.
They recently issued a presentation that outlines the planned changes
Earlier this week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a publication related to the rights of individuals with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when requesting leave from work as a reasonable accommodation. While the ADA clearly requires employers provide qualified disabled individuals with a “reasonable accommodation” to permit the individual to perform the essential functions of the job, the entitlement to leave as such an accommodation has bee
Alleluia! Inconsistence SCA implementation from GSA be gone!
GSA has finally issued guidance on the implementation of the Service Contract Labor Standards (formerly called the Service Contract Act). It seems like dog years ago and certainly several changes of leadership at GSA when I first met with them about issuing uniform SCLS guidance.
How Do We Know This?
GSA published a draft refresh of Schedule 23V (firetrucks, auto, and auto parts and accessories) which contains the draft guidance alo
By Barbara Kinosky
I wake up to yet another day of rain in the Washington D.C. metro area. It wouldn’t be so bad if my driveway was not a mud pit. Years ago a crafty driveway company talked us into a pebble driveway which looked like it was in Architectural Digest – for all of a couple of years. Rocks eventually roll downhill and my driveway has a definite slope to it. I also have discovered that it is cheaper to put down gravel than it is to remove it and that crews don’t like