Top Bases for REAs and Claims Arising Under COVID-19

COVID-19 has increased costs for government contractors in almost every sector. Requests for Equitable Adjustment (REAs) and claims are available to contractors seeking compensation. But when should you submit an REA or claim? Below are top bases for filing REAs or claims that government contractors should look for when facing cost increases due to COVID-19. Delays Delays in contract performance are a common driver of increased costs and/or the need to extend a contract’s period of performance for government contractors. . . . Read More

The End of An Area: Planning Now for Potential Loss of HUBZone Status

2021 is an important year for the many HUBZone firms located in redesignated areas that will lose HUBZone status after 12/31/21. For these firms, the time is now to plan for maintaining HUBZone status in 2022 and beyond. Here’s what you need to know. If you are located in a redesignated area that loses HUBZone eligibility after this year, you could make plans this year to move your office to a new location that will still be HUBZone eligible after . . . Read More

DOJ Announces Nation’s First Settlement of Civil Case for PPP Loan Fraud

On January 12, 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) entered into a settlement with California-based SlideBelts, Inc. (SlideBelts) and its president and chief executive officer in what is advertised as the country’s first settlement in a civil case arising out of fraud in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan program initiated through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This first-of-its-kind settlement is a reminder to small businesses that received PPP loans to take their representations and . . . Read More

The VA Issues Class Deviation: Important Changes Governing Limitations on Subcontracting Effective Immediately

On December 23, 2020, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) issued a class deviation to implement the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) formulation of the limitations on subcontracting (LOS) and nonmanufacturer rule (NMR) for all VA contracts awarded to small businesses or under SBA socioeconomic programs. SBA’s formulation is outlined in its May 31, 2016, final rule . The VA’s class deviation follows the release of a Civilian Agency Acquisition Council (CAAC) letter , which authorized civilian agencies to issue such class deviations to promote regulatory . . . Read More

SBA to Publish Interim Final Rule on Extension of 8(a) Participation

Both the Appropriations Act and the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act permit businesses who were participants in the 8(a) Business Development program on or before September 9, 2020, to extend their participation in the program for a period of one year. Accordingly, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is expected to publish a final rule incorporating this mandate tomorrow, January 13, 2021. Below are key takeaways for government contractors seeking to extend participation in the 8(a) program. Eligibility Requirements Through . . . Read More

SBA Provides Direction for PPP Round Deux Loans and Second Draw Loans

On January 6, 2021, the Small Business Administration (SBA) issued its first round of formal guidance for the new Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the second-draw PPP loans, which we first discussed here . SBA also gave some indication of plans for the second round of the PPP. SBA’s guidance can be found here for the next phase of PPP and here for the second-draw program. Below are key updates for businesses that need access to this important source of relief funding. As . . . Read More

Third-Party Data-Rights Restrictions: Non-Conforming Legend? Not a Problem

In federal contracting, the laws and regulations surrounding data rights and intellectual property (IP) rights can instill fear in many companies, especially small businesses. A misstep could have you assigning unlimited rights or even ownership of your IP to the federal government. For a broader explanation of some of the challenges government contractors face, please check out our earlier blogs here and here . Generally, to ensure protection of its rights vis-à-vis the federal government, a contractor must include an applicable legend . . . Read More

To Offer or Not to Offer FFCRA Leave?

Earlier this month we reported that under the latest stimulus bill, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) mandatory leave requirements expire on December 31, 2020. However, the bill, which was signed into law on December 27, does include the option for employers to voluntarily continue to provide employees with FFCRA leave – and in turn to receive a tax credit for such qualified leave – through March 31, 2021. Companies should note that while the deadline to take advantage . . . Read More

PPP Round Deux Update

On December 27, 2020, the President signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, which includes the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act (the “Act”). The Act allows a “Second Draw” of Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loans up to $2 million, expands the permissible uses for which such loans may be used, simplifies the loan forgiveness application for some borrowers, and makes other related changes to the PPP program. While 2021 may bring relief in the form . . . Read More

GAO Holds that SAM Registration Pertains to a Bidder’s Responsibility, Not Responsiveness of a Bid

On December 16, 2020, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) sustained a protest by a contractor that was eliminated from a competition because its System for Award Management (SAM) registration had expired. Holding that registration in SAM pertains to a bidder’s responsibility, not the responsiveness of the bid, the GAO directed the agency to afford the bidder an opportunity to cure the matter after bid opening and before the award rather than finding the bidder to be ineligible for award. This . . . Read More