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NIST Seeks Small Business Input for Chips Manufacturing Data and Analysis
As the United States works to bolster its semiconductor manufacturing capacity, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is looking for information to help it evaluate applicants that are looking for CHIPS funding. The CHIPS and Science Act—which became law in August 2022—will strengthen U.S. semiconductor manufacturing in an effort to reduce reliance on foreign manufacturing of these important technology components, which are in products ranging from smartphones to automobiles. NIST is tasked with allocating the $50 billion in funding for this endeavor. As a result, it must gather information to help it evaluate applicants. That information isn’t always readily available and, as a result, the agency seeks sources to help it with this endeavor, according to a recent notice. Read more here.
HUBZone Appeal Process
The Small Business Administration (SBA) is amending its regulations to implement a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022. This final rule provides procedures for SBA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals to hear appeals from protest determinations regarding the status of a concern as a certified HUBZone small business concern. This rule is effective May 10, 2023. Read more here.
Affiliation and Lending Criteria for the SBA Business Loan Programs
The Small Business Administration (SBA) is amending various regulations governing SBA’s 7(a) Loan Program and 504 Loan Program, including regulations on use of proceeds for partial changes of ownership, lending criteria, loan conditions, reconsiderations, and affiliation standards, to expand access to capital to small businesses and drive economic recovery. The amendments to affiliation standards will also apply to the Microloan Program, Intermediary Lending Pilot Program, Surety Bond Guarantee Program, and the Disaster Loan programs (except for the COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan Disaster Loan Program). This rule is effective May 11, 2023. Read more here.
USAID AIDAR: Planning, Collection, and Submission of Digital Information as Well as Submission of Activity Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Plan to USAID
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) published a document that advises the public that it is placing in the public docket a standards document related to USAID’s proposed Rulemaking that, in part, proposed to add a new section to the USAID Acquisition Regulations. During the public comment period, USAID received comments requesting public access to the “USAID Digital Information Technical Guidelines,” which are referenced in the proposed regulatory language. This document makes those Guidelines available, renames the Guidelines to “USAID Digital Collection and Submission Standards,” and solicits public comment. Comments are due May 15, 2023. Read more here.
Revision of Department of Homeland Security Acquisition Regulation: Limitations on Subcontracting in Emergency Acquisitions—Withdrawal
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is withdrawing a proposed rule titled “Revision of Department of Homeland Security Acquisition Regulation; Limitations on Subcontracting in Emergency Acquisitions (HSAR Case 2009–005)” and providing notice of its cancellation. The notice of proposed rulemaking proposed to amend the Homeland Security Acquisition Regulation to implement a law that limited the use of subcontractors on cost-reimbursement type contracts entered into by DHS to facilitate the response to or recovery from a natural disaster or act of terrorism or other man-made disaster. DHS is withdrawing this proposed rule because Congress has since repealed this provision. Thus, DHS will not take any further action on this proposal. The proposed rule published on June 9, 2010, is withdrawn as of April 14, 2023. Read more here.
Upcoming Government Contracts Presentations
Diversity Data for Thousands of Federal Contractors to Go Public
Diversity data for thousands of federal contractors is now in the hands of a nonprofit journalism outlet after years of legal bickering over its release by the Labor Department (DOL). The DOL’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs handed over EEO-1 reports for 19,289 federal contractors to media outlets and posted them on the agency’s website. The EEO-1 form, which every federal contractor with 50 or more employees must file, includes demographic information about employees divided by gender, race and ethnicity, and job category. The data is responsive to a Freedom of Information Act request the Center for Investigative Reporting first submitted in 2019. It includes nearly all federal contractors’ EEO-1 reports from 2016 through 2020. The CIR has said that EEO-1 forms from companies that do business with the government should be public so that “all journalists and the public can scrutinize the data.” Read more here.
Upcoming Labor & Employment Presentations