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

SBA Releases Preview of New HUBZone Maps Effective July 1, 2023

HUBZone contractors have been anxiously awaiting updates to the HUBZone maps. In 2021, SBA extended the “freeze” on the HUBZone maps until June 30, 2023, to provide enough time to update the maps based on the 2020 Census results. SBA targeted the release of a beta version of the new HUBZone maps in January 2023, and SBA recently hit that mark. A preview of the new HUBZone maps that will take effect on July 1, 2023, is now up on . . . Read More

Congress Passes FY2023 NDAA and Implements Significant Changes to Federal Procurement Policy

Congress recently passed the  FY2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) , authorizing $858 billion in defense spending and implementing some significant changes to federal procurement policy. The bill will now be sent to President Biden to be signed into law, which we anticipate will happen any day.  PilieroMazza  examines key themes and provisions in the FY2023 NDAA that government contractors (small and large) should know to take advantage of contract opportunities and maintain compliance requirements. Background The NDAA is annual legislation that authorizes funding and programs for . . . Read More

Inflation Relief Is Coming for DOD Contractors

As PilieroMazza has reported , rising costs due to inflation have been one of the most significant issues facing contractors with fixed-price contracts for the past year. Although the Department of Defense (DOD) and General Services Administration (GSA) have taken some steps to ameliorate the situation, those solutions have left contractors wanting. But true relief may be in sight. Congress included a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2023 that would authorize DOD contractors to receive contract adjustments for inflation-related . . . Read More

Final Rule Establishes Requirements for New SBA Veteran Small Business Certification Program

The Small Business Administration (SBA) issued a final rule last week, officially transferring the responsibility for certification of veteran-owned small businesses (VOSB) and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSB) to SBA, effective January 1, 2023. We previously blogged about this change here , indicating that Section 862 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 provided for the elimination of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) certification program altogether and implementation of a certification requirement for all VOSB / SDVOSB . . . Read More

SBA Adjusts Economic Disadvantage Thresholds for 8(a) and EDWOSB Programs and Monetary-Based Size Standards

Per an interim final rule published on November 17, 2022, the Small Business Administration (SBA) is adjusting the three economic disadvantage thresholds applicable to the 8(a) and Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB) programs for inflation. SBA’s interim final rule will also increase its receipts-based small business size standards. These changes will be effective on December 19, 2022. SBA’s changes should be welcomed by small businesses and participants in the 8(a) and EDWOSB programs and those looking to apply. Economic Disadvantage Thresholds for . . . Read More

SBA Proposes Revisions to Ownership and Control Requirements for the 8(a) Business Development Program

As PilieroMazza noted recently here , the Small Business Administration (SBA) released a major proposed rulemaking that will impact government contractors, primarily those that are participants in the 8(a) Business Development Program. PilieroMazza has posted a series of blogs regarding SBA’s proposed rulemaking, and this client alert highlights some of the proposed changes that pertain specifically to the 8(a) Program. Ownership and Control As you may be aware, there are certain ownership restrictions on an 8(a) firm. One of the restrictions . . . Read More