President Biden Issues Unprecedented COVID-19 Requirements for Private Employers and Government Contractors on National Scale

On September 9, 2021, the Biden Administration announced sweeping updates to its national strategy to combat COVID-19. The updates come less than a month after the Food and Drug Administration fully approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and as the country continues to experience a rise in COVID-19 cases. The plan, which still leaves a number of unanswered questions, including in certain cases a timeline for implementation, is available here . Below is PilieroMazza’s summary of key updates to the Biden Administration’s vaccination . . . Read More

The FAR’s Revised Limitations on Subcontracting: What You Need to Know

On August 11, 2021, the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council (FAR Council) issued a final rule revising and standardizing the limitations on subcontracting (LOS), including the nonmanufacturer rule, that apply to small business concerns under Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) part 19, more closely aligning them with Small Business Administration (SBA) regulations. The final rule becomes effective today, September 10, 2021, and is summarized in more detail below. The FAR Council’s long-awaited LOS rule finally addresses major differences that had existed between SBA’s regulations . . . Read More

BREAKING: SBA to Suspend Bona Fide Place of Business Requirements for 8(a) Construction Contracts, Effective Immediately

Bibi Hidalgo , the Associate Administrator for SBA’s Office of Government Contracting and Business Development, just announced during her keynote address at the National 8(a) Association Alaska Regional Conference that SBA will be suspending the bona fide place of business requirement for 8(a) construction contracts, effective immediately. Ms. Hidalgo stated that SBA has been looking for ways to empower small businesses and lessen their burden. She accounted, “I am excited to announce today, for the first time, a new SBA policy, that . . . Read More

SBA Issues New HUBZone Guidance and Map Updates

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has once again updated its HUBZone FAQs—this time with welcome changes for HUBZone firms with principal offices located in Redesignated Areas and / or Qualified Disaster Areas (QDA). The latest FAQs, available here , state that they were effective June 24, 2021, but we saw them for the first time on SBA’s website earlier this month. Below are our top five takeaways from the latest FAQs. While SBA’s FAQs continue to state that a firm located . . . Read More

What President Biden’s Vaccine Mandate Means for Government Contractors and Private Employers

With the rise in COVID-19 cases across the country in the wake of the Delta variant, local, state, and federal officials have been taking steps to revise guidance, update recommendations, and revisit plans and protocols. In one such significant measure, President Biden announced yesterday that all onsite federal employees and contractors are now required to be vaccinated or face strict testing, social distancing, and masking requirements. Following similar measures from several states for state-employed personnel, the requirements certainly have implications . . . Read More

CIO-SP4 Amendment 7: Major Changes for Small Business and Large Business Prime / Subcontractor Teams

The National Institutes of Health Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center (NITAAC) just issued major changes to the Chief Information Officer-Solutions and Partners 4 (CIO-SP4) Request for Proposals (RFP) under Amendment 7 to the RFP. These changes will impact both small and large business teams who intend to rely on subcontractors (i.e. FAR 9.601(2) Contractor Team Arrangement (CTA) members). For small business teams, Amendment 7 clarifies that only first-tier subcontractors can be used for purposes of meeting the requirements for . . . Read More

DOL/OSHA Implements COVID-Related Employee Safety Standards for Healthcare Employers

Building on President Biden’s Executive Order on Protective Worker Health and Safety issued on January 21, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued an emergency temporary standard ( ETS ) aimed at workers in healthcare settings. Specifically, the ETS, issued on June 10, 2021, requires certain healthcare employers to take measures to protect their workers in settings where suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients are treated.  This includes employees in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, . . . Read More

New CIO-SP4 Modification – An Undue Restriction on Competition and a Violation of SBA Regulations?

On June 22, 2021, the National Institutes of Health Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center (NITAAC) issued its third modification to the Chief Information Officer-Solutions and Partners 4 (CIO-SP4) Request for Proposals (RFP). Among other things, NITAAC made significant changes to how subcontractors and mentors in Small Business Administration (SBA) approved mentor-protégé programs are treated for purposes of the evaluation. The RFP appears to disallow the use of any subcontractor experience, past performance, or other qualifications, including from small businesses, . . . Read More

SBA Extends the HUBZone Map Freeze to June 30, 2023

Today, the Small Business Administration (SBA) issued a direct final rule extending the HUBZone map freeze from December 31, 2021, to June 30, 2023.  The direct final rule (available here ) takes effect on June 21, 2021.  This is the latest in a series of developments for the HUBZone Program in 2021; read PilieroMazza’s previous coverage on the developments impacting the HUBZone Program here and here .  Several years ago, SBA froze the HUBZone maps until December 31, 2021, to ensure that firms . . . Read More

Biden Signs EO to Increase Federal Contractor Minimum Wage Rate to $15.00 an Hour

Yesterday, President Biden signed an executive order (Biden Order) that will increase the applicable minimum wage rate to be paid to workers performing work on or in connection with federal contracts from $10.95 to $15.00 per hour beginning January 1, 2022. As early as his second day in office, President Biden committed to modifying an Obama-era executive order to get one step closer to a national minimum wage increase of the same magnitude. Below are key details on the applicability of the . . . Read More