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Department of Defense (DOD) Issues Proposed Rule Regarding DOD Mentor-Protégé Program

On October 25, 2023, DOD issued a proposed rule which would amend the DFARS to implement a section of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023 that permanently authorizes and changes the DOD Mentor-Protégé Program. Versus the pilot program, the Proposed Rule reduces a Mentor’s eligibility threshold from $100M to $25M; extends the participation term from 2 years to 3 years; and allows Mentors to provide manufacturing, test and evaluation assistance to the Protégé. The Proposed Rule is available here. Comments close December 26, 2023.

Small Business Administration (SBA) Press Release: Biden-Harris Administration Expands Access to Capital for Underserved Small Businesses Through Mission-Based Lenders

At the Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) annual conference, SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman announced the SBA successfully made permanent its mission-lending Community Advantage Program as a result of its recent rule changes and the launch of 143 Community Advantage Small Business Lending Companies (CA SBLCs), giving these mission-based lenders a permanent home in SBA lending to continue serving small businesses in underserved markets. The CA SBLC license builds on the success of more than a decade of the Community Advantage Pilot Program. Read more here.

Small Business Administration (SBA) Press Release: SBA Announces National Veterans Small Business Week
From October 30 to November 3, 2023, the SBA, its resource partners, and local organizations across the country will host a series of virtual and in-person events to highlight the entrepreneurial journeys of veteran- and military spouse-owned small business owners and the agency’s support of this important community. Topics include transition assistance, entrepreneurial training, government contracting, disaster assistance, and access to capital. Currently, there are around one hundred virtual events that are free and open to the public. Read more here.

Small Business Administration (SBA) Press Release: Biden-Harris Administration Announces Significant Increase in Lending to Black-Owned Small Businesses
SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman announces new SBA data showing that SBA-backed loans to Black-owned small businesses have more than doubled under the Biden-Harris Administration, with $1.5 billion in lending. Read more here.

Presidential Actions, Briefing Room: A Proclamation on Minority Enterprise Development Week, 2023

On October 20, 2023, the President released a proclamation recognizing the value of minority enterprises to the economy and the barriers they face, and proclaiming October 22 through October 28, 2023, as Minority Enterprise Development Week.  Read more here

Department of Defense (DOD) Final Rule: New Designated Country-North Macedonia

DOD issued a final rule amending the DFARS to add North Macedonia as a new designated country under the World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement. The Final Rule is available here and will be effective October 30, 2023. 

Department of Defense (DOD) Final Rule: Prohibition on Certain Procurements from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region

DOD adopts as final, without change, the interim rule amending the DFARS to implement a section of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023 that prohibits the use of funds to knowingly procure any products mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part by forced labor from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China. The Final Rule is available here and will be effective October 30, 2023.

Department of Defense (DOD) Final Rule: Restrictions on Overhaul and Repair of Naval Vessels in Foreign Shipyards

DOD issues a final rule amending the DFARS to implement a section of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 that restricts overhaul and repair of a naval vessel in a shipyard outside the United States or Guam. The Final Rule is available here and will be effective October 30, 2023.

The End of the Beginning Phase for GSA’s OASIS+ Is Near, Federal News Network

Friday is the end of the beginning for the General Services Administration’s years’ long effort to develop the OASIS+ professional services contract. After two years of planning, meetings, feedback and answering almost 900 questions about the final solicitations, vendors’ bids are due Friday. Read more here

Upcoming Government Contracts Presentations

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

WEBINAR: Understanding and Avoiding Affiliation for Small Business Government Contractors, November 15, 2023, Meghan F. Leemon and Dozier L. Gardner, Jr. Read more here.



Department of Labor Implements Final Rule to Modernize Davis-Bacon Act Regulations, Better Meet Construction Workers’ Needs

On October 23, 2023, DOL announced the implementation of a final rule that modernizes Davis-Bacon Act and Davis-Bacon and Related Acts regulations to reflect the needs of construction workers on federally funded projects better. Implementation of the “Updating the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts Regulation” follows the August 2023 publication of the final rule in the Federal Register, which is the most comprehensive update in decades. Read more here.

National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Issues Final Rule on Joint-Employer Status
On October 26, 2023, NLRB announced the issuance of its Final Rule addressing the Standard for Determining Joint-Employer Status under the National Labor Relations Act.  Under the new standard, an entity may be considered a joint employer of a group of employees if each entity has an employment relationship with the employees and they share or codetermine one or more of the employees’ essential terms and conditions of employment, which are defined exclusively as: (1) wages, benefits, and other compensation; (2) hours of work and scheduling; (3) the assignment of duties to be performed; (4) the supervision of the performance of duties; (5) work rules and directions governing the manner, means, and methods of the performance of duties and the grounds for discipline; (6) the tenure of employment, including hiring and discharge; and (7) working conditions related to the safety and health of employees. Read more here.

‘There’s No Fat Left to Trim’: FLRA Chairwoman Warns of Possible Furloughs in 2024, Government Executive

The agency tasked with overseeing labor-management relations in the federal government had a smaller budget in fiscal 2023 than it did in 2004. Officials at the federal agency responsible for governing labor-management relations in the federal government warn that unless a decades-long trend of underfunding is reversed, the Federal Labor Relations Authority will need to resort to furloughs to keep the lights on next year. Read more here

Upcoming Labor & Employment Presentations

WEBINAR: Construction Contractors and the New Davis-Bacon Act Rule: Increased Costs, Heavy Regulatory Burden, October 31, 2023, Sarah L. Nash. Read more here.