SBA Seeks Comments on Proposed Updates to the 8(a) Program and Many Other Government Contracting Programs

On September 9, 2022, the Small Business Administration (SBA) published a proposed rule that would make many significant changes to SBA’s 8(a) program requirements, the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) and HUBZone programs, subcontracting, protests, and more. Public comments on SBA’s proposals are due by November 8, 2022. Government contractors that participate in any of SBA’s small business programs should take note of the proposed changes and consider whether to address them through public comment. There is a lot to unpack in this . . . Read More

Labor & Employment Scoop! Important Takeaways for Government Contractors from NILG 2022

In this blog, PilieroMazza ’s Labor & Employment attorney Sara Nasseri summarizes important takeaways for government contractors from the National Industry Liaison Group (NILG) Conference in July, which focuses on developments and updates surrounding EEO, affirmative action, HR compliance and diversity and inclusion issues. Described below are key priority items for the OFCCP and the EEOC, as well as updates to state laws impacting government contractors in 2022 and beyond. Also, please visit this link to register for PilieroMazza’s upcoming webinar detailing these changes and how to . . . Read More

New SBA Rule Enhances Past Performance Opportunities for Small Businesses

On August 22, 2022, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will implement a final rule that provides two new methods by which small businesses can obtain past performance credit when competing for federal prime contracts. First, the rule allows certain small business offerors to rely on the past performance of joint ventures (JV) in which they were a member. Second, the rule establishes a process by which certain small businesses can request, obtain, and rely upon past performance obtained when performing as a . . . Read More

Transitioning from DUNS to UEI: Elevating Government Contract Service Tickets and Sharing Your Questions

As government contractors are all too aware, the transition from DUNS numbers to the SAM assigned Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) is causing a myriad of problems, which are jeopardizing contractor payments, awards, and ability to bid on opportunities. Since the April 4, 2022, implementation of the SAM assigned UEI and entity validation through SAM, PilieroMazza is seeing a wide range of SAM registration and renewal issues resulting in numerous entities’ SAM registrations expiring and new joint ventures unable to register . . . Read More

5 Key Ways a Contractor Can Be Subject to a Government Claim

The performance of any government contract by a contractor has the potential to bring certain monetary risks of a government claim against the contractor. Below, we discuss 5 key ways a government contractor can be subject to a government claim and best practices to reduce your risks. 1. Overpayment A common type of government claim is based upon what the government considers to be an overpayment on its part. For example, an agency might have paid an invoice where the . . . Read More

Small Business Set Asides Now Allowed Outside the U.S.: What You Need to Know

Effective May 26, 2022, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) gives contracting officers the discretion to apply the Small Business Act (Act)—implemented by FAR Part 19—outside the United States and its outlying areas.  This final rule (Rule) could create significant business opportunities for small business government contractors capable of competing for overseas procurements.  By way of background, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has consistently taken the position that the Act is not geographically limited and, as a result, FAR Part 19, should . . . Read More

New Virginia Law Prohibits “Pay-When-Paid” and “Pay-If-Paid” Provisions in Construction Contracts

Construction contracts routinely set payment terms as “pay-when-paid” or “pay-if-paid.” These terms protect the prime contractor from bearing all the risk of nonpayment by the owner. In Virginia, however, that will not be true for much longer. Last month, Virginia lawmakers passed Senate Bill 550, which makes “pay-when-paid” and “pay-if-paid” clauses unenforceable in most circumstances. Specifically, the new law applies to both public construction contracts and certain private construction contracts that involve at least one general contractor and one subcontractor. . . . Read More

USDA Proposes Resuscitating Rule to Blacklist Government Contractors for Labor Law Violations

On February 17, 2022, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed a rule to update its Agriculture Acquisition Regulation (AGAR), which has not had a major revision since 1996. One component of the proposed rule requires USDA contractors to maintain compliance with a broad range of labor and employment laws and regulations in order to do business with the USDA. These requirements are strikingly similar to the Obama-era Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order (nicknamed “the blacklist rule”). Contractors . . . Read More

DOL Updates Language on Service Contract Act Wage Determinations AGAIN!

An executive order increasing the minimum wage for non-exempt employees working on specified types of federal contracts took effect January 30, 2022. However, recent wage determinations issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) fail to appreciate that contracting officers are supposed to modify contracts to include the applicable Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) before the new minimum wage provisions are effective. Raising wages prior to proper incorporation of the applicable FAR provision risks a government contractor’s eligibility for a contract price . . . Read More

OFCCP’s Growing Activism Portends Stricter Enforcement

The Department of Labor (DOL) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has taken several actions during the past six months that signal it will adopt a more forceful posture in ensuring that federal contractors meet their affirmative action and non-discrimination obligations toward their workforce. To prepare themselves for heightened scrutiny and tighter deadlines, government contractors should take steps now to set up their records for quick retrieval during OFCCP audits and rectify any unjustified pay disparities among their employees. . . . Read More