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Federal Drive with Tom Temin Interviews PilieroMazza’s Kevin Barnett on DOD Rule Updating SPRS Assessment Process for Federal Contractors, PilieroMazza News, Kevin Barnett

The Department of Defense (DOD) issued a final rule amending the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) requiring Contracting Officers to use Supplier Performance Risk System (SPRS) assessments when evaluating proposals and considering a contractor’s responsibility. Federal Drive with Tom Temin spoke with PilieroMazza attorney Kevin Barnett about what the updated rule means for government contractors. Below is a transcript of Kevin’s interview, and visit this link to hear the audio version. For more coverage on this topic, please visit this link for a blog and this link for a webinar replay. Read more here.

Size and Status Recertification: What Is It and Why Does it Matter?, PilieroMazza Webinar Replay, Sam Finnerty 

Sam Finnerty, a member of PilieroMazza’s Government Contracts practice group, recently gave a webinar on size and status recertifications. Financial growth and success are important goals for every small business government contractor. Continuous growth, however, can cause your company to exceed the size standards attached to your small business set-aside work. Even as you maintain your size and status, your business must meet a host of representation and certification requirements to continue competing under SBA’s small business programs. Read more here. Click here to view the recorded session.

Acquisition Regulation: Foreign Tax Reporting, Conference Planning, and Trade and Investment Activities, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

USAID is amending its Acquisition Regulation (AIDAR) about contractor requirements on foreign tax reporting, conference planning, and trade and investment activities. These revisions are intended to bring AIDAR into compliance with revised Agency policies and procedures and statutory requirements. The final rule is available here and will be effective July 17,2023. 

Homeland Security Acquisition Regulation; Safeguarding of Controlled Unclassified Information, Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

DHS is issuing a final rule to amend the Homeland Security Acquisition Regulation (HSAR) to change a subpart, remove an existing clause and reserve the clause number, update an existing clause, and add two new contract clauses to address requirements for the safeguarding of Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI). This final rule implements security and privacy measures to safeguard CUI and help improve incident reporting to DHS. These measures are necessary because of the urgent need to protect CUI and respond appropriately when DHS contractors experience incidents with DHS information. The final rule is available here and will be effective July 21, 2023.

Implementation of the NIH SBIR and STTR Foreign Disclosure Pre-award and Post-Award Requirements, National Institutes of Health (NIH)

On June 12, 2023, NIH released a Notice on recent policy changes made for the Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR). This Notice implements additional disclosure requirements and post-award reporting requirements for small business concerns (SBCs) for covered relationships. In addition, this serves as notification of NIH’s due diligence program to assess security risks and denial of award when foreign relationships or commitments with countries of concern pose a significant risk as provided in the SBIR and STTR Extension Act of 2022 under these programs. This policy serves as an update to Section 18. Grants to For-Profit Organizations of the NIH Grants Policy Statement (GPS), and will be incorporated in the FY24 publication. The NIH Application Guide will be updated to reflect instructions for submission of required documentation. This policy applies to all competing applications for funding under the NIH, CDC, and FDA SBIR and STTR programs submitted for due dates on or after September 5, 2023. More information is available here

Publication of the Spring 2023 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions (Spring 2023 UA)

On June 14, 2023, the Spring 2023 UA (available here) was published by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. The Spring 2023 UA includes regulations that federal agencies expect releasing “in the near future.” Notable publications include updates and amendments to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS), Labor Acquisition Regulation, General Service Administration Acquisition Regulation (GSAR), Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) Program. 

Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, Department of Defense (DOD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Notices and Requests for Comments

DOD, GSA, and NASA invite comments on an extension of contract financing, pre-award survey forms, and prospective subcontractor requests for bonds. Comments are due August 21, 2023.

Attention Former 8(a) Contractors: Data Cleanup is Coming, GSA MAS Blogger

GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service will soon be implementing the requirements of the SBA Partnership Agreement (PA), signed June 2022, for the MAS program. GSA MSA Blogger notes that there are numerous contractors in the MAS program who have exited the 8(a) program, but still have the SBA Certified 8(a) Firm socio-economic indicator on their contract. With the implementation of the SBA PA, GSA must maintain a pool of contractors that have gone through offer and acceptance with SBA at the MAS contract level. If a contractor has exited the 8(a) program and has not passed SBA’s offer and acceptance, they cannot be added to the pool, and thus the 8(a) status will be removed. This change will be automatic, and no action is required from contractors. Read more here

VCH Partners Says VA’s $61 Billion IT Procurement is Irrational, Bloomberg Government, Daniel Seiden

On June 13, 2023, VCH Partners LLC filed a pre-award bid protest in the Court of Federal Claims which challenges several aspects of the US Department of Veterans Affairs’ IT services procurement known as Transformation Twenty-One Total Technology Next Generation Two, which is worth up to $61 billion. Read more here (subscription required). 

Billions at Stake for Bidders on OASIS+ Governmentwide Vehicles, Bloomberg Government

The six groups of contracts on the OASIS+ vehicle for complex professional and engineering services launched final requests for proposal last week after months of delays from the General Services Administration in determining details of its acquisition strategy. Read more here (subscription required). 

Hassan, Cornyn try again with IT modernization bill, Government Executive, Adam Mazmanian

The bipartisan duo is looking to prod agencies to ditch legacy systems. Sens. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., and John Cornyn, R-Texas, are restarting a plan to press federal agencies to inventory and prepare a plan to retire their legacy IT systems. 

Upcoming Government Contracts Presentations

WEBINAR: FAR Session 13, Parts 19 & 26, June 28, 2023, Isaias “Cy” Alba, IV. Read more here.

WEBINAR: The Impacts of Foreign Ownership, Control, or Influence on Federal Government Contractors, August 1, 2023, Isaias “Cy” Alba, IV.

WEBINAR: Unlocking the Secrets of Debriefings, Gov’t Evaluation of Proposals and Protests, September 7, 2023, Peter B. Ford and Meghan F. Leemon. Read more here.


Clocking in with PilieroMazza: Labor and Employment News for Government Contractors: Practical Impacts of the NLRB’s Ruling on Severance Agreement Content, PilieroMazza Podcast, Nichole Atallah and Sarah Nash. Click here to listen to the podcast.

Talent Acquisition and Proposal Season for GovCons, BOOST

Proposal season is right around the corner, and we all know what that means! It means we all begin the time-critical endeavor of locating, recruiting, and securing the key personnel that are required to win the wide variety of contracts that are up for competition! Read more here.

Department of Labor (DOL) to Hold Online Seminars to Educate Current, Prospective Federal Contractors on Prevailing Wage Requirements

The DOL announced that its Wage and Hour Division will offer online seminars for contracting agencies, contractors, unions, workers, and other stakeholders on the requirements for paying prevailing wages on federally funded construction and service contracts. Read more here

Department of Labor (DOL) Recovers More Than $171K In Back Pay, Benefits for 11 Workers Shortchanged by Florida Construction Subcontractor

Federal investigators have found that a subcontractor employed during construction of a new reservoir pump station on the Caloosahatchee River in Hendry County did not pay eleven electricians the correct wage rate for the federally supported project, denying them $171,998 in wages and benefits. Quality Electric Contracting Inc. paid electricians $12 less per hour than required. Read more here

Pennsylvania House Passes $15 Minimum Wage Bill, Bloomberg Government, Brooke Schultz

Pennsylvania’s Democratic-controlled House of Representatives approved a measure by a close vote Tuesday that would raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2026, fulfilling a long-held party campaign plank that has run up against Republican legislative majorities for years. Read more here (subscription required).

House Republicans Endorse Largest Pay Raise for Military in Decades for 2024, Washington Examiner, Misty Severi

The proposed bill includes a 5.2% pay raise for all service members, with more unspecified pay bumps for junior members. The raise would be the highest since 2002, and it matches President Joe Biden’s request earlier this year, implying bipartisan support. Read more here

Upcoming Labor & Employment Presentations

WEBINAR: FAR Session 14, Parts 22 & 23, July 12, 2023, Nichole Atallah. Read more here

WEBINAR: Key Employment Issues for the C-Suite: What Affects Your Bottom Line, July 19, 2023, Nichole Atallah and Sarah Nash. Read more here