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Government contractors maintaining or seeking HUBZone certification should make themselves aware of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) recent efforts to tighten and enforce new and existing rules surrounding the HUBZone program. In this client alert, PilieroMazza details the SBA’s enforcement efforts and the major implications for HUBZone contractors who do not comply with program requirements. Read more here.
On September 15, 2023, Ultima Services (Ultima) filed a motion in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee seeking additional equitable relief in its suit challenging the constitutionality of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 8(a) Business Development Program (8(a) program). Ultima’s motion comes after the SBA’s recent suspension of new applications to its 8(a) program to comply with U.S. District Court Judge Corker’s July 19, 2023, decision. 8(a) contractors should be aware of these developments as the court’s decision could impact current and future 8(a) contract awards. PilieroMazza breaks down new developments in the Ultima case and its potential impact on 8(a) contractors. Read more here.
General Services Administration (GSA), Proposed Rule Pending Regulatory Review: Federal Travel Regulation (FTR): FTR Case 2022-04, Relocation Allowance—Miscellaneous Expenses Allowance
GSA is proposing to amend the FTR by increasing the set lump sum rate amount to be paid for the relocation miscellaneous expenses allowance (MEA) when the employee does not itemize and document actual relocation miscellaneous expenses. The proposed rule would also update the examples of the types of expenses that MEA may or may not cover. This rule is anticipated to impact small businesses. Read more here.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Revision of the Definition of “Commercial Item” (NFS Case 2022-N003)
NASA is issuing a final rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (NFS) to revise the definition of “commercial item” pursuant to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). “This rule does not add any new solicitation provisions or contract clauses. This rule merely replaces the term ‘commercial item(s)’ with ‘commercial product(s),’ ‘commercial service(s),’ ‘commercial product(s) or commercial service(s),’ or ‘commercial product(s) and commercial service(s)’ in the NFS including in part 1852, as appropriate. It does not add any new burdens because the case does not add or change any requirements with which vendors must comply.” The Final Rule is effective October 19, 2023 and is available here.
Upcoming Government Contracts Presentations
Department of Labor (DOL): Minimum Wage for Federal Contracts Covered by Executive Order 14026, Notice of Rate Change in Effect as of January 1, 2024
Beginning on January 1, 2024, the Executive Order 14026 minimum wage rate that generally must be paid to workers performing work on or in connection with covered contracts will increase to $17.20 per hour. This minimum wage rate will apply to non-tipped and tipped employees alike, as, beginning January 1, 2024, Executive Order 14026 eliminates the lower cash wage that contractors may pay tipped employees. Contracts similar to those covered by Executive Order 14026 that were entered into, renewed, or extended prior to January 30, 2022, are generally subject to a lower minimum wage rate established by Executive Order 13658 of February 12, 2014, Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors. The notice is available here.
Upcoming Labor & Employment Presentations
In 2023, the Private Contractor and Subcontractor Prompt Payment Act of 2013 (the Act) was amended to include additional protections for subcontractors on private projects by limiting a contractor’s setoff rights related to claims or damages on other projects. This limitation also applies to first-tier subcontractors. Attorneys in PilieroMazza’s Construction Group summarize what changes to the Act mean for construction contractors and subcontractors working on private construction projects in DC. Read more here.