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PilieroMazza’s Tony Franco Discusses Changes to SBA’s 8(a) Program with Law360 and the Impact on Small Business Government Contractors
Changes to SBA’s 8(a) program, prompted by a recent district court decision, will make it more difficult for current participants to remain eligible for the 8(a) program and may dissuade potential participants from applying. With the SBA requiring social disadvantage narrative statements from current participants to be eligible to receive 8(a) contracts, there is a great deal of uncertainty as to how the SBA will evaluate the narratives of thousands of owners of 8(a) firms. Read more here.

Small Business Administration (SBA) Releases Interim Guidance to 8(a) Program Participants in Light of Lower Court Ruling

The SBA released interim guidance regarding the 8(a) Business Development Program in light of a U.S. District Court ruling in Ultima Servs. Corp. v. Dep’t of Ag. affecting the program’s determination of social disadvantage. The SBA, in conjunction with the Department of Justice, is also providing federal agencies with detailed interim guidance on how they may continue to issue 8(a) contract awards. Read more here.

Class Deviation: Verification of Eligibility for the 8(a) Program

On August 24, 2023, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense issued a class deviation to implement the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee’s injunction enjoining the use of the rebuttable presumption of social disadvantage in administering SBA’s 8(a) Program, and SBA’s memorandum issued on August 18, 2023. Effective immediately, the class deviation requires contracting officers to: use procedures in the class deviation to verify a concern’s eligibility for the 8(a) Program in lieu of using the System for Award Management or presuming acceptance of a requirement by the Small Business Administration prior to making an award under the 8(a) Program; and use deviation clause 52.219-18 in lieu of the clause at Federal Acquisition Regulation 52.219-18; or use deviation clause 252.219-7010 in lieu of the clause at Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement 252.219-7010. Read more here.

Small Business Administration (SBA) Announces Implementation of Transformational Public-Private Investment Program Reforms

Administrator Guzman announced the SBA Small Business Investment Company’s Diversification and Growth Final Rule is effective August 17, 2023. Under the new rule, the SBA will implement regulatory and policy reforms to increase access to private equity and debt capital for underserved small businesses and startups, undercapitalized critical technologies, diverse and emerging fund managers, and innovation investment. Read more here.

Federal Circuit Jurisdiction Ruling Could Have Wide Effect On Contract Cases, Law360

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently ruled that a requirement for contractors to state a “sum certain”—a request for specific amount of money—in claims to the government filed under the Contract Disputes Act is mandatory but not jurisdictional. This means the government effectively forfeits any related defense if it raises the sum certain issue “too late,” U.S. Circuit Judge Sharon Prost said. Read more here (subscription required).

DOE and NNSA Issue Acquisition Letter Addressing System for Award Management (SAM) Continuous Registration Requirement

DOE and NNSA issued an Acquisition Letter effective August 18, 2023, to provide guidance and instructions to contracting officers on verifying that all offerors and contractors remain continuously registered in the SAM and verifying that representations and certifications remain current in SAM from submission of offer or quotation to payment of final invoice. Read more here.

Small Business Administration (SBA) Hosts Annual National Veterans Small Business Week

SBA will celebrate National Veterans Small Business Week (NVSBW) from October 30 to November 3, 2023, and includes in-person and virtual events highlighting the nation’s nearly two million Veteran-Owned Small Businesses. Read more here.

Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Launches Emergent IV R&D Program Solicitation, GovConWire

DLA released a solicitation for the fourth iteration of a contracting vehicle to provide research and development efforts in various agency mission-specific areas. According to the SAM.gov notice, the Emergent IV broad agency announcement will have a potential $125 Million ceiling value for a R&D program focused on emerging technologies aimed at modernizing DLA’s part, component, and logistical product data functions. Read more here.


Upcoming Government Contracts Presentations

WEBINAR: Unlocking the Secrets of Debriefings, Government Evaluation of Proposals and Protests, September 7, 2023, Katherine B. Burrows and Eric Valle. Read more here.

WEBINAR: How to Use and Protect your Intellectual Property When Performing Federal Contracts, September 27, 2023, Isaias “Cy” Alba, IV. Read more here.

WEBINAR: Joint Venture and Mentor-Protege Bidding Strategies (2023), November 9, 2023, Peter B. Ford and Meghan F. Leemon



Focus on SBA’s SBIC Program, Part 1: Increasing Manufacturing and Supply Chain Opportunities for Small Business Government Contractors, PilieroMazza Blog, Isaias “Cy” Alba, IVRobert Troiano

PilieroMazza presents a series of blogs exploring the intricacies of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program. This first installment covers the Biden Administration’s AM (Additive Manufacturing) Forward Initiative (the Initiative), the SBA’s SBIC program, and the role the Initiative plays in supporting and strengthening small business government contractors who manufacture and supply goods to the Department of Defense (DOD). Read more here.



Construction Contractor Wins COVID-Related Construction Claim on Appeal: Lessons Learned, PilieroMazza Blog, Lauren Brier
Since the beginning of the pandemic, boards and courts have denied a vast majority of construction claims seeking pandemic-related costs under fixed-price contracts. In this blog, PilieroMazza summarizes a recent claim where a construction contractor won on appeal and the important lessons learned for future claims. Please visit this link for previous coverage of this topic. Read more here.



Updating the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA) Regulations, Department of Labor (DOL)

In this final rule, DOL updates regulations issued under the DBRA. As the first comprehensive regulatory review in nearly 40 years, revisions to these regulations will promote compliance, provide appropriate and updated guidance, and enhance their usefulness in the modern economy Read more here. The rule is effective October 23, 2023.

Pre-Enforcement Notice and Conciliation Procedures; Correction, Department of Labor (DOL)

DOL’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) published a final rule  modifying procedures and standards OFCCP uses when issuing pre-enforcement notices and securing compliance through conciliation. Read more here. The rule is effective September 5, 2023.

EEOC Finalizes Electronic Filing Options for Feds, Government Executive

Although the agency that investigates complaints of workplace discrimination offered the option to file documents and track cases online for years, its regulations now finally endorse the current system. Read more here.


Upcoming Labor & Employment Presentations

PILIEROMAZZA WEBINAR: Overhaul of Davis-Bacon Act Increases Wage Requirements and Enforcement for Federal Construction Contractors, September 14, 2023, Sarah L. Nash. Read more here.



House Bill Would Require Federal Contractors to Adopt Cyber Vulnerability Disclosure Policy, Federal News Network

A new House bill would require federal contractors to adopt policies for accepting vulnerability information from security researchers. The White House Office of Management and Budget would lead updates to the Federal Acquisition Regulation to ensure federal contractors implement a vulnerability disclosure policy. Read more here.

Pentagon Approves Higher Cyber Pay for NSA, Other Defense Intelligence Agencies, Federal News Network

The National Security Agency and other intelligence components across the Department of Defense can now offer higher pay for cyber and other technical roles under a new system quietly approved earlier this year. Read more here.



Department of Labor (DOL) Awards $1.3 Million Grant to State of Illinois to Accelerate Gender Equity, Inclusion in Infrastructure Workforce

DOL announced the award of a $1.3 Million grant to the State of Illinois and Chicago Women in Trades to support the creation of equity plans and their adoption to increase women’s inclusion and equity in construction industry jobs. Funds will also allow Illinois to evaluate state and local workforce development programs for diversifying the clean energy and construction workforce. Read more here.