Weekly Update for Government Contractors and Commercial Businesses – February 2021 #4

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PilieroMazza Celebrates Black History Month: For the PilieroMazza family, Black History Month is not only a celebration of the numerous contributions of people of color, but also highlights for us the efforts our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee undertakes throughout the year to cultivate an inclusive environment for all our colleagues. Read more here.

PODCAST: Mergers and Acquisitions in Healthcare: Getting Your House in Order, February 24, 2021, Kathryn Hickey. Tune in here.

WEBINAR: Exit Strategies for GOVCONs with Set Aside Contracts: 2021 Insights and Lessons Learned from Business Owners and Advisors, March 17, 2021, Cy Alba. Read more here.

WEBINAR: Catch Your Breath – A New Era of Labor Enforcement, March 10, 2021, Nichole Atallah. Read more here.

BUSINESS & TRANSACTIONS

Michael Thurmond Joins PilieroMazza’s Business & Transactions Group, February 17, 2021
PilieroMazza is pleased to announce that Michael Thurmond has joined the Firm as an Associate in its Business & Transactions Group. He supports clients in mergers and acquisitions and private equity transactions. “Michael’s understanding of business priorities in M&A and 360-degree approach to private equity deals are a perfect fit for our team—and our clients,” said Kathryn Hickey, Practice Group Chair for the Business & Transactions Group. Read more here.

GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS

Government Purpose Rights in Technical Data and Software Developed with DOD Funding, February 17, 2021, Frank Massaro
When you develop technical data or software, in whole or in part, with government funding, it is important to know the scope of data rights that the government will obtain at the outset, both with respect to components that were developed solely at private expense and those that were developed with government funding. However, because technical data and software are often developed with multiple funding sources and are continually updated and improved, it can be difficult to determine these data rights. Below is an overview of key regulations governing data rights in technical data and software developed by government contractors and how mixed funding can impact data rights. Read more here.

GSA Leadership Talks Priorities and Future of Trump-Era Initiatives
Nextgov spoke with and transcribed portions of its conversations with two of the new leaders at the General Services Administration (GSA): Acting GSA Administrator Katy Kale and new Federal Acquisition Service Commissioner Sonny Hashmi. The conversation touched on GSA’s ongoing projects—such as the consolidation of procurement websites at beta.SAM.gov, the DUNS numbers transition, and e-commerce pilots—as well as GSA’s priorities under the Biden Administration, which include managing COVID-19, bolstering economic recovery, advancing diversity, equity and inclusion, and addressing the climate crisis. Read more here.

The New FedRAMP.gov
The General Services Administration (GSA) announced the launch of its revamped FedRAMP website. The website provides more in-depth information about FedRAMP’s authorization process, enabling agencies, cloud service providers, and third-party assessment organizations to easily access pertinent information related to their role in the FedRAMP Authorization process. Read more here. Additional information from GSA is available here.

GSA’s Winter 2021 Multiple Award Schedule Quarterly Newsletter
The General Services Administration’s (GSA) Multiple Award Schedule Program Management Office published the latest edition of its newsletter with updates and information for industry partners. Read more here.

Restructuring of the Certification Program for the Contracting Functional Area
The Department of Defense (DOD) published a memorandum announcing a new Contracting Professional Certification Program for its Contracting Functional Area, effective October 1, 2021. DOD will adopt a single-level of certification with foundational training and an examination. The certification will be based on the contracting common competencies in the new Contracting Competency Model. Read more here.

CMMC Reciprocity in Sight for 2021
Federal Computer Week (FCW) reported that the Department of Defense (DOD) is figuring out how to save contractors money with its unified cybersecurity standard, and one method could be by authorizing reciprocity for multiple government certification programs. FCW asserted that one of the key pledges DOD needs to fulfill for its Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) program is building on work contractors have already done to meet security requirements for programs like FedRAMP. According to FCW, Stacy Bostjanick, CMMC’s director at DOD’s Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, said a team is working with GSA and DOD to align the requirements, methodologies, and levels of the two programs. Read more here.

Audit of Contracts for DOD Information Technology Products and Services Procured by DOD Components in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Department of Defense (DOD) Office of Inspector General published a report on its audit to determine whether DOD Components, in accordance with the CARES Act and other federal and DOD requirements:

  • procured information technology products and services to support operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • paid fair and reasonable prices for those products and services;
  • assessed whether known cybersecurity risks existed and developed risk mitigation strategies for the risks before procuring or using the information technology products; and
  • accurately reported the required COVID-19-related codes to USAspending.gov.

Read more here.

CRS Report on COVID-19 Relief Assistance to Small Businesses: Issues and Policy Options
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) updated its report on COVID-19 relief assistance to small businesses. The report provides a brief description of the Small Business Administration’s programs and examines congressional action to assist small businesses during and immediately following the 2008 recession and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.

Upcoming Government Contracts Presentations

WEBINAR: Exit Strategies for GOVCONs with Set Aside Contracts: 2021 Insights and Lessons Learned from Business Owners and Advisors, March 17, 2021, Cy Alba. Read more here.

WEBINAR: May the Clause Be with You: Certification/Information Regarding Responsibility Matters, March 23, 2021, Cy Alba and Katherine Burrows. Read more here.

WEBINAR: Navigation the FAR/DFARS: The Most Confusing and Little Known Clauses, April 26, 2021, Tim Valley and Christine Fries. Read more here.

WEBINAR: Understanding and Avoiding Affiliation Under Small Business Contracting Programs, June 1, 2021, Meghan Leemon. Read more here.

WEBINAR: Past Performance: How to Use Yours, Benefit from Others’, and Defend It from Attacks, June 30, 2021, Sam Finnerty. Read more here.

WEBINAR: Cybersecurity and 889 Compliance in 2021: What Government Contractors Need to Know, July 26, 2021, Cy Alba and David Shafer. Read more here.

LABOR & EMPLOYMENT

OSHA Will Investigate Complaints of Whistleblower Retaliation Under New Antitrust, Money Laundering Laws
The Department of Labor announced that its Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is now overseeing worker retaliation complaints filed under two new whistleblower statutes: the Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act and the Anti-Money Laundering Act. Read more here.

Employers Fight NLRB’s Case Prosecution
Bloomberg Law reported that, following the termination of the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) general counsel, Peter Robb, employers in NLRB cases are raising broad legal challenges to unfair labor practice complaints brought against them based on the argument that the new general counsel lacks the power to authorize complaints because Mr. Robb’s termination was illegal. Bloomberg Law further reported that the National Labor Relations Act, which sets forth the clear conditions for a president terminating an NLRB board member, is ambiguous when it comes to a president’s ability to terminate the general counsel. Read more here and here.

Upcoming Labor & Employment Presentations

WEBINAR: Catch Your Breath – A New Era of Labor Enforcement, March 10, 2021, Nichole Atallah. Read more here.

WEBINAR: Staying SCA Compliant in a COVID-19 Environment, March 11, 2021, Nichole Atallah. Read more here.

LITIGATION & DISPUTE RESOLUTION

Contractor in Djibouti Admits Fraudulent Conduct and Will Pay More than $12.5 Million
The Department of Justice announced that Colas Djibouti, a contractor for the Department of the Navy at Camp Lemonnier, Chabelley Airfield, and the U.S. Embassy in Djibouti, admitted that it faked testing results and submitted a series of false documents and false claims to the U.S. as part of a scheme to defraud the U.S. in the sale of substandard concrete used to construct U.S. Navy airfields in Djibouti. In accordance with an agreement with the U.S., Colas Djibouti will forfeit $8 million, pay another $2,042,002 to the Department of Navy in restitution, and pay a monetary penalty of $2.5 million. Read more here.

 

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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