PilieroMazza’s Weekly Update is an e-mail sent on Fridays that recaps legislative and regulatory issues affecting businesses of all sizes. When government agencies propose significant changes to existing regulations or Congress passes legislation of special interest to the small business community, we follow-up the Weekly Update with an analysis of the proposed change and the likely impact on small business.
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Weekly Report August 21, 2017
“Industry Experts Advise GovCon Firms to Prepare for Possible Gov Shutdown.” ExecutiveGov, August 16, 2017. Retrieved from executivegov.com
“ODCs: The nexus between requirements and execution.” Federal News Radio, August 11, 2017. Retrieved from federalnewsradio.com
SMALL BUSINESS ASSOCIATION
“SBA Awards Grants to 21 State and Local Economic Development Entities, SBDCs, and Universities to Support R&D Commercialization and Small Business Innovation.” SBA Press Release, August 14, 2017. Retrieved from sba.gov
Weekly Report August 11, 2017
“Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: DFARS Subgroup to the DoD Regulatory Reform Task Force, Review of DFARS Solicitation Provisions and Contract Clauses.” Federal Register, August 10, 2017. Retrieved from federalregister.gov
“Report to Congress Restructuring the Department of Defense Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Organization and Chief Management Officer Organization.” August 8, 2017. Retrieved from acq.osd.mil
“This Web-Building Tool Is the Target of Civilian Government’s First Bug Bounty.” Nextgov, August 9, 2017. Retrieved from nextgov.com
Weekly Report August 4, 2017
SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
“SBA Launches New HUBZONE Maps and Partners with U.S. Digital Service to Streamline and Enhance Online Services for Small Businesses” U.S. Small Business Administration Press Release, July 31, 2017. Retrieved from sba.gov
LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT
“2017 Service Contract Act Health and Welfare Fringe Benefit Changes” Department of Labor Memorandum, July 25, 2017. Retrieved from wdol.gov
GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION
“Evaluation of Existing Acquisition Regulations.” Federal Register, July 31, 2017.
“Risch, Shaheen: Small Business Committee Approves Six Bipartisan Bills.” U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Press Release, August 2, 2017. Retrieved from sbc.senate.gov
- S. 1428, Small Business Cyber Training Act of 2017. The bill requires the Small Business Administration (SBA) to develop new cybersecurity counseling and training programs through the nationwide network of Small Business Development Centers to help small business owners prepare for cyber threats and recover when a cyber attack occurs.
- S. 929, Invest in Rural Small Business Act of 2017. The bill gives state governors the power to petition SBA to create a new HUBZone area in places where the unemployment rate is 120 percent of the national average. It also requires SBA to approve or deny a HUBZone application from a small business within 60 days and lowers the threshold of employees who must live in a HUBZone to 33 percent (from 35 percent).
- S. 154, Small Business Relief from Disease Induced Economic Hardship Act of 2017. The bill expands the definition of a disaster for which SBA may provide disaster assistance loans to include communicable diseases the federal government has issued a travel alert or travel warning. Disaster assistance loans could be used to mitigate the economic damage to small businesses caused by a disease induced travel alert or warning.
- S. 650, Support Small Business R&D Act of 2017. The bill requires SBA to create a program with the Internal Revenue Service to educate and train owners of small businesses and innovative startups about the availability of the federal R&D tax credit.
- S. 690, HUBZone Investment Protection Act. The bill increases the amount of time (from three to seven years) that a geographic area may temporarily keep its status as a HUBZone when the area no longer meets the program’s criteria (due to changing census data, for example).
- S. 1038, Utilization of small businesses for federal contracts. The bill directs SBA to conduct a comprehensive study on WOSB participation in multiple award contracts from the federal government and examine the participation of all other socioeconomic categories of small businesses, including service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses and those participating in the HUBZone program.
- H.R. 2749 – Protecting Business Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2017: To amend title 38, United States Code, to improve the oversight of contracts awarded by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans, and for other purposes.
- H.R. 2781 - Ensuring Veteran Enterprise Participation in Strategic Sourcing Act: To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to certify the sufficient participation of small business concerns owned and controlled by veterans and small business concerns owned by veterans with service-connected disabilities in contracts under the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative, and for other purposes.
“NASA PROGRAM MAKES BUYING LEGIT IT EASIER.” Nextgov Today, July 31, 2017. Retrieved from nextgov.com
“THIS AGENCY CAN HELP FAST TRACK YOUR TECH ACQUISITIONS.” Nextgov Today, July 31, 2017. Retrieved from nextgov.com
Weekly Report July 28, 2017
“Class Deviation 2017-O0006, Increased Micro-Purchased Threshold.” Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy, July 17, 2017. Retrieved from acq.osd.mil.
“Presidential Executive Order on Assessing and Strengthening the Manufacturing and Defense Industrial Base and Supply Chain Resiliency of the United States.” The White House, July 21, 2017. Retrieved from whitehouse.gov.
“NASA Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Award Term (NFS Case 2016-N027).” Federal Register, July 25, 2017. Retrieved from federalregister.gov.
“Request for Information; Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales and Computer Employees.” Federal Register, July 26, 2017. Retrieved from federalregister.gov.
“House Passes Small Business Committee Bills to Increase Access to Capital.” U.S. House Small Business Committee Press Release, July 24, 2017. Retrieved from smallbusiness.house.gov.
- H.R. 2333 increases the amount of capital made available to small business investment companies (“SBICs”).
- H.R. 2364 increases the amount that financial institutions may invest in SBICs, increasing the limit up to 15% of their holdings in SBICs.
- H.R. 2056 will raise the microloan lending limit from $5 million to $6 million and provide flexibility to the 25/75 rule which restricts the amount of pre-loan technical assistance a microloan intermediary can offer to their small business.
“IT Modernization Gets Nod, But No Money, In House Funding Bills.” Nextgov, July 25, 2017. Retrieved from nextgov.com.
“Mainstays of GSA's OASIS Contract Office Take New Jobs.” Nexgov, July 26, 2017. Retrieved from nextgov.com.
“Updated ‘Welcome to FedRAM’ Training Now Available.” FedRAMP, July 20, 2017. Retrieved from fedramp.gov.
Weekly Report July 21, 2017
“Proposed Information Collection Request; Federal Contractor Veterans' Employment Report VETS-4212.” Federal Register, July 18, 2017. Retrieved from federalregister.gov.
“Administrative Amendments to Environmental Protection Agency Acquisition Regulation.” Federal Register, July 19, 2017. Retrieved from federalregister.gov.
SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
“Reassessment of Eligibility Requirements for 30 Firms in SBA's 8(a) Business Development Program.”
The U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) reassessed the eligibility requirements for 30 firms in the Small Business Administration’s (“SBA’s”) 8(a) Business Development Program. In a prior audit of 8(a) program eligibility, the OIG determined that for 30 of the 48 applicants reviewed, the Associate Administrator for Business Development (AA/BD) approved the firms without fully documenting in the Business Development Management Information System how all areas of concern regarding eligibility raised by lower-level reviewers were resolved.
The OIG determined that SBA resolved eligibility concerns for 20 of the 30 firms that were reviewed. However, the OIG continues to question the eligibility of 10 of the 30 firms. The AA/BD, who has the final authority to determine whether an applicant is admitted into the 8(a) program, did not sufficiently establish that the 10 applicants met the eligibility requirements of the 8(a) program. The Office of Inspector General made three recommendations to the Associate Administrator for Government Contracting and Business Development to improve how SBA manages the 8(a) program. Although SBA initially agreed with all three of the recommendations, it did not concur with Recommendations 2 and 3 in its final response; SBA management’s proposed actions, however, resolve all three of the recommendations. The full report can be found here.
S.1519 - National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018. Full text retrieved from congress.gov.Section 821 and 822 of the NDAA for FY2018 proposes reforms to government contracting. Section 821, “Government Accountability Office Bid Protest Reforms,” contains the provision that a contractor who files a protest with the Government Accountability Office on a contract with the Department of Defense shall pay to the Department of Defense costs incurred for processing denied protests. Section 822 pertains to revising the Department of Defense Supplement to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to require that all required post-award debriefings must provide “detailed and comprehensive statements of the agency’s rating for each evaluation criteria and of the agency’s overall award decision.”
“House Boosts Cybercom Budget But Cuts NIST Funds.” Nextgov, July 14, 2017. Retrieved from nextgov.com.
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 passed the U.S. House of Representatives, and was chock full of tech and cyber provisions. The House bill included a 16 percent funding hike for U.S. Cyber Command and mandated a new Pentagon and State Department plan to combat and deter adversary cyberattacks.
Proposed legislation: “S.1558 - A bill to amend section 203 of Public Law 94-305 to ensure proper authority for the Office of Advocacy of the Small Business Administration, and for other purposes.” Retrieved from congress.gov.
S.1558 would give the Office of Advocacy at the Small Business Administration (SBA) tools to better monitor the impact of federal regulations on small businesses and to hold the government accountable for how regulations impact small businesses. The bill was introduced July 13, 2017.
“Key Lawmakers Move to Improve HUBZone Program.” U.S. House of Representatives Small Business Committee Press Release. July 19, 2017. Retrieved from smallbusiness.house.gov.
H.R. 3294, the HUBZONE Unification and Business Stability Act (HUBS), was introduced to the Small Business Committee. The bill proposes important reforms to the HUBZone program, provisions include:
1.requiring better data collection to determine program performance;
2.requiring faster SBA response time during the application process;
3.establishing a 5-year cycle for determining the geographic boundaries of HUBZones; and
4.altering the calculations by which certain geographic areas qualify for the program, potentially adding as many as 1,000 rural and non-urban counties.
The changes would be implemented in 2020. Language of the full bill can be found here.