Reducing the Negative Impacts of a Government Shutdown for Federal Contractors

Once again, the specter of a government shutdown looms over the federal contracting community. The federal government is set to run out of funding on September 30 and tensions in the House are making it ever more likely that a shutdown will occur. Below are key steps your business should take to mitigate the possible negative impact of a government shutdown, along with shutdown-related labor and employment considerations for government contractors.  A. Mitigating Damages Understand the likely consequences of a . . . Read More

SBA to Require Individually-Owned 8(a) Firms to Support Social Disadvantage Prior to 8(a) Award Approval

As PilieroMazza recently reported , on July 19, 2023, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee declared that the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) rebuttable presumption of social disadvantage violated the equal protection rights of a government contractor and prohibited SBA’s use of the rebuttable presumption in administering the 8(a) Business Development Program. Below, we cover important developments 8(a) contractors should pay close attention to in order to stay in compliance and compete for and be awarded 8(a) contracts. . . . Read More

DOL Finalizes Landmark Changes to Davis-Bacon Act: What Federal Construction Contractors Need to Know

On August 8, 2023, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced their final rule (Final Rule) revising the Davis-Bacon Act (DBA) and Davis-Bacon Related Acts (Related Acts) regulations. These are the largest and most significant revisions in the last 40 years. In this client alert, PilieroMazza ’s Labor & Employment Group summarizes key points of the Final Rule and its impact on prevailing wage and fringe benefit requirements for contractors working on government construction projects. The Final Rule is expected to be published in the Federal . . . Read More

Impact of New Health and Welfare Rates on SCA Government Contracts

It’s that time of the year again when the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) issues new Service Contract Act (SCA) health and welfare (H&W) rates. In June 2023, WHD increased the prevailing H&W fringe benefits from a rate of $4.80 per hour to $4.98 per hour. Where a contractor is obligated to comply with Executive Order (EO) 13706 sick leave obligations, the rates have increased from $4.41 per hour to $4.57 per hour. Updated rates of . . . Read More

Federal Court Prohibits SBA’s Use of Rebuttable Presumption for 8(a) Program

On July 19, 2023, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee issued an important decision where it declared that the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) rebuttable presumption of social disadvantage, which is used in admitting many small-disadvantaged businesses to the SBA’s 8(a) program, violated the equal protection rights of a government contractor and enjoined the use of the rebuttable presumption in administering the 8(a) program. Ultima Servs. Corp. v. U.S. Dep’t of Agric., No. 2:20-CV-0041-DCLC-CRW (E.D. Tenn. July . . . Read More

DHS Updates Cybersecurity Regulations Clarifying Old and New Obligations

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently released a  final rule  (Final Rule), effective July 21, 2023, updating the Homeland Security Acquisition Regulation (HSAR) to include cybersecurity provisions aimed at safeguarding Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) and facilitating improved incident reporting. This rule’s promulgation follows a recent trend and overall government-wide effort focused on strengthening our national security against bad actors and foreign adversaries. PilieroMazza recently blogged about some of those efforts, including the TikTok ban ( here ), new standardized cybersecurity obligations mirroring . . . Read More

Get Ready! Enhanced Cybersecurity Standards for Federal Contractors Coming Soon

For years, the federal contracting community has closely monitored the oft-delayed Department of Defense’s (DOD) Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) program—now on iteration 2.0—as the forefront of cybersecurity obligations. That focus may soon be expanding. Contractors outside of DOD’s orbit may soon be subject to similar requirements. Civilian agency contractors should start preparing now for an enhanced cybersecurity proposed rule to prevent gaps or issues when the regulation goes into effect—not to mention it just being good business to have . . . Read More

GAO Confirms Agency Must Consider Experience of Each Partner in a Small Business Joint Venture

Earlier this year, the Government Accountability Office (GAO)—in AttainX, Inc. , B-421216, B-421216.2 (Feb. 9, 2023)—clarified that in evaluating the experience of a mentor-protégé joint venture (JV) for a small business set-aside procurement, the agency must evaluate each JV member’s experience individually, as well as any experience of the JV itself. After the decision was issued, the protestor requested GAO reconsider its ruling, alleging the decision contained an error of law. In MiamiTSPi, LLC-Reconsideration , B-421216.3 (May 11, 2023), GAO denied that request in . . . Read More

Final Rule Implements New Process for Appealing HUBZone Status Protests

Based on new rules that take effect on May 10, 2023, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) will now hear appeals from Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) status protests. PilieroMazza and others advocated for this change for some time, and it is now a reality. This is a welcome development to put the HUBZone program on par with the other small business programs and allow HUBZone firms to avail themselves of the appeal process at OHA. The . . . Read More

Veterans Affairs Imposes Increased Cybersecurity Rules on Government Contractors

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) released a final rule , effective February 24, 2023, amending the VA’s Acquisition Regulation (VAAR) to impose new cybersecurity procedures and processes to protect sensitive VA data and health information. Although much of the recent cybersecurity buzz has centered around the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification ( CMMC ) framework, the VA did not want to be left out. These VAAR additions will force affected contractors at all tiers to implement internal controls . . . Read More