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More Changes to Come on the ‘Made in America’ Front
In his State of the Union speech, President Biden announced “new standards to require all construction materials used in federal infrastructure projects to be made in America,” including lumber, glass, drywall and fiber-optic cables.” The Office of Management of Budget has followed up with proposed guidance for the new standards. “For decades, Buy America laws focused on iron and steel and only covered certain federally funded infrastructure projects,” said a statement from the White House ahead of the speech. “Once finalized, these standards will apply to virtually all infrastructure spending supported by federal financial assistance—not simply roads and bridges, but also buildings, water infrastructure and high-speed internet, providing consistency for companies and state and local governments to apply the standards and a strong federal government-wide demand signal.” Read more here.
GSA Releases Class Deviation on Transactional Data Reporting and Talent Development
The General Services Administration released a class deviation revising Transactional Data Reporting (TDR) requirements for contracts not on the Federal Supply Schedule. The class deviation clarifies language in solicitation provisions and contract clauses and adds twenty-two transactional data elements that contractors must report. The twenty-two elements cover information related to invoices, contract access fees, subcontracting, and services. Additionally, the class deviation added language requiring contractors participating in TDR to submit a confirmation for each month that no contract transactions occur. Read more here.
Data Call for Report to Congress on Department of Defense Use of Other Transactions for Prototype Projects Fiscal Year 2022
The Department of Defense (DOD) published a memorandum that follows the data collection and reporting requirements established to provide a standard reporting format for DOD’s use of Other Transactions for prototype projects for fiscal year 2022. Read more here.
DOD Announces the Establishment of the Defense Management Institute
Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks and Pentagon Director of Administration and Management Michael Donley announced the establishment of the Defense Management Institute (DMI), a non-profit, non-partisan research organization committed to enhancing the management, organization, performance improvement and enterprise business operations of the Department of Defense (DOD). The DMI will assist DOD by:
- developing a defense management network of expertise and a community of practice including experts and practitioners from federally funded research and development centers, think tanks, academia, and the private sector;
- conducting cutting-edge research on management issues to inform decisions by DOD and Congress; and
- building a digital repository of research and other resources on key defense management issues that the entire community can leverage.
Read more here.
A Change in SAM.gov Will Affect Access for Some Entity Administrators
The General Services Administration (GSA) published a blog post to report that, beginning March 3, 2023, entity administrator roles in SAM.gov can only be held by employees, officers, or board members of the organization. GSA’s blog post covers how this change to SAM.gov roles may impact your business, providing action items if you use an outside service to manage your SAM.gov registration or if you provide registration management services to other organizations. Read more here.
Policy Guidance for Determining Eligibility for Organization Under the Alaska Indian Reorganization Act
The Bureau of Indian Affairs published a policy guidance document that clarifies the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) criteria and procedures for determining whether an entity is eligible to organize under the Alaska amendment to the Indian Reorganization Act (Alaska IRA). The Alaska IRA establishes a “common bond” basis of organization for certain entities in Alaska, but it is otherwise silent on the question of eligibility and gives no clear direction as to DOI’s statutory responsibilities under the provision. The policy guidance is effective February 13, 2023. Read more here.
Upcoming Government Contracts Presentations
DOL Expands OSHA’S Ability to Protect All Workers by Certifying Special Visa Applications to Ensure Effective Enforcement
The Department of Labor published a memorandum that gives the Occupational Safety and Health Administration the authority to issue certifications in support of applications for U Nonimmigrant Status and T Nonimmigrant Status visas. “U Visas” and “T Visas” allow victims of specific crimes to help law enforcement detect, investigate, and prosecute crimes without fear of retaliation based on their immigration status. These visas provide immigration status to non-citizen victims and allow them to remain in the U.S. to assist authorities in combatting human trafficking and other crimes. Read more here.
DOL Launches Effort to Alert Teachers, Farmworkers, Care Workers, Others of New Workplace Protections for Nursing Mothers
The Department of Labor is launching an effort to alert families throughout the nation of changes in federal law that now extend the rights to pump breastmilk at work to more women, including those employed as teachers, farmworkers, and care workers. The newly enacted Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act (PUMP Act) extends the rights of nursing mothers to have time and a private space to pump breastmilk at work. Under the PUMP Act, more workers in more industries are now protected by the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The new protections also expand remedies available to these workers if their employers do not comply with the law. Read more here.
DOL Obtains Judgement Ordering Philadelphia-Area Home Healthcare Agency to Pay $2.3M in Back Wages, Damages to 398 Workers
The Department of Labor (DOL) reported that nearly 400 home healthcare workers will receive back wages after DOL obtained a consent judgment ordering a Philadelphia-area agency and its owners to pay them more than $2.3 million. A federal investigation found the employer willfully shortchanged employees’ overtime wages. Read more here.
Upcoming Labor & Employment Presentations
Home Healthcare Company Pays $9 Million for Submitting False Claims Relating to the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act
United Energy Workers Healthcare, Corp. and related entities paid $9 million to resolve allegations that they submitted false claims for payment to the U.S. Department of Labor for healthcare services to beneficiaries of the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA). The settlement resolves allegations that, between January 2013 and March 2021, defendants submitted claims for payment for in-home healthcare services that were never provided or were medically unnecessary, in violation of the False Claims Act. Such violations included billing for case management services not actually provided, instructing caregivers to charge for more time than actually spent with patients, providing and billing for services to beneficiaries that were not covered by the EEOICPA program, and providing services without possessing required licensures. Read more here.
The Detroit Land Bank Authority Pays $1.5 Million to Resolve False Claims Act Allegations Relating to Blight Elimination Costs
The Detroit Land Bank Authority (DLBA), a public organization working on behalf of the City of Detroit and the Detroit Building Authority in the City’s redevelopment and demolition management efforts, has agreed to pay the U.S. $1,503,000 to resolve allegations relating to unsubstantiated backfill dirt costs invoiced by demolition contractors and paid by the DLBA from December 2016 through June 2022, in connection with the DLBA’s blight elimination program. The U.S. contends that the claims for payment violated the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729-3733. Read more here.