Fraud Allegations Could Bedevil Borrowers in SBA COVID-19 Relief Programs for Many Years

As everyone who has been tracking the COVID-19 relief programs since 2020 knows, at the outset there was massive confusion about the programs’ requirements as well as fear that funding could run out before businesses with uncertain futures could secure assistance. Now, two years later, we have heard from numerous clients who have received notice that the Small Business Administration (SBA) intends to audit the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan or Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) applications, and even of . . . Read More

Federal Circuit Clarifies the Scope of Incorporation by Reference

A recent Federal Circuit decision supplies helpful direction to contractors wishing to incorporate their standard commercial terms and conditions into their government contracts. The federal government often claims that it wants to make its contracting process more like the commercial marketplace, but the government does not make it easy for commercial companies to do business with it. CSI Aviation, Inc. v. Dep’t of Homeland Security highlights the potential confusion surrounding the terms and conditions governing government contracts for commercial products or services. There, the contractor succeeded after several . . . Read More

SBA Requests Comments on Potential Change in Size Standard for Resellers

On April 26, 2022, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) issued a proposed rule regarding its small business size standards for federal contractors in manufacturing and other industries with employee-based size standards. Small business federal contractors should take note of the proposed changes and consider whether to address this proposal by submitting a public comment by the June 27 deadline. SBA’s proposals include potential increases in the size standards for 150 industries. These include the size standard for surgical appliance and supplies manufacturing . . . Read More

COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Laws Could Show Emerging Compliance Trends for Employers

Since the onset of the pandemic, many states and localities have passed COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave laws requiring employers to provide leave to employees for COVID-19-related reasons. California and Colorado have gone beyond many other states by adding to the required amount of sick time. These laws present unique administrative compliance challenges and financial burdens on employers who must prepare for employees’ additional paid COVID-19-related absences. Even employers with no employees in California and Colorado should be mindful, however, . . . Read More

OHA Confirms M&A-Related Recertification Won’t Impact Contractor’s Eligibility Under Pre-Existing Contracts

For small businesses, navigating the recertification rules promulgated by the Small Business Administration (SBA) is no easy task. SBA rules generally provide that the size of a concern is determined at the date of its initial offer including price and if the firm is small at that time, it generally will be considered small throughout the life of the contract. However, if a concern undergoes a merger, sale, or acquisition, or novates its small business contract to another concern (each . . . Read More

GSA Moratorium on Enforcement of Economic Price Adjustment Provisions: 3 Important Takeaways for Government Contractors

In response to rising costs for government contractors amid skyrocketing inflation, the General Services Administration (GSA) is temporarily suspending the enforcement of many limitations contained in several Economic Price Adjustment (EPA) contract clauses. Below we summarize three important takeaways for federal contractors—especially small businesses and small-disadvantaged businesses—to help you manage your GSA contract performance in light of rapidly changing economic circumstances. The GSA’s March 17, 2022, acquisition letter establishing the moratorium applies to these EPA contract clauses: GSAR 552.216-70 Economic Price Adjustment . . . Read More

The Significance of Equal Pay Day for Federal Contractors

This past Tuesday, March 15, marked Equal Pay Day, a day signifying how far into this year women (across all races and ethnicities) had to work to earn what men were paid in 2021. While the topic of pay equity is not new, recently there has been growing momentum on the state and federal levels to strive towards equal pay across genders. We previously wrote about the changing landscape on the pay equity front here . To commemorate Equal Pay Day, . . . Read More

President Biden Signs PRICE Act to Reform Federal Procurement and Help Federal Small Business Contractors

President Biden recently signed the PRICE Act (Promoting Rigorous and Innovative Cost Efficiencies for Federal Procurement and Acquisitions Act). The Act expands opportunities for small businesses to work with the federal government and encourages identification and promotion of best practices for acquisition techniques and procurement practices. In this blog, we review the goals of the Act and its impact on the small business contracting community. The PRICE Act amplifies the role of federal small business contractors by encouraging the adoption of innovative . . . Read More

Board Rejects Software Company’s Attempt to Enforce License Agreement Against Government Agency

Software companies frequently choose to sell their products to the government through resellers as a cost-effective way to reach the federal marketplace with minimal compliance obligations. But even when the government purchases software from a reseller, the government often must agree to the software company’s end-user license agreement (EULA). For years, there have been questions about how software companies could enforce those EULAs. There is still no definitive answer, but the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA) recently confirmed that . . . Read More

SBA HUBZone “Legacy Employee” Grace Period Ends: 3 Changes Affecting Recertification in 2022

As part of sweeping changes to the HUBZone rules in the 2019 Final Rule , SBA implemented the so-called HUBZone “legacy employee” rule.  This new rule was welcomed by HUBZone firms because it permits them to continue counting an employee as a HUBZone employee even after the employee moves out of a HUBZone, as long as certain requirements are satisfied.  Specifically, to qualify as a HUBZone legacy employee, the rule requires that an employee (i) reside in a HUBZone for at least 180 . . . Read More