PilieroMazza Earns “Highly Regarded” Nationwide Ranking in Chambers USA
PilieroMazza is proud to announce that the 2023 edition of Chambers USA ranks the Firm’s Government Contracts Group in its highest category nationwide and also rated the Mergers & Acquisitions Group, for a second consecutive year. Furthermore, Jessica duHoffmann, the head of PilieroMazza’s newly launched Construction Group, was ranked for a second consecutive year. Managing Partner Tony Franco remarked: “Our objective is to always provide the highest level of legal representation to our clients. A ranking in Chambers USA demonstrates the priority our entire team places on legal acumen and client service.” Read more here.
PilieroMazza Launches New Labor & Employment Podcast for Government Contractors
Do you have 10 minutes or less to stay on top of the ever-changing laws and regulations around labor and employment? Check out PilieroMazza‘s new podcast “Clocking in with PilieroMazza: Labor and Employment News for Government Contractors.” Each podcast offers bite-sized nuggets of valuable information to help employers—particularly those operating in the highly regulated world of government contracting—meet their compliance requirements and ultimately remain competitive. Visit the links below for the first series of episodes. Read more here.
Prime Another Day Networking Event – June 14, 2023 – WeWork in Arlington, VA
PilieroMazza is a proud sponsor of govmates’ “Prime Another Day” networking event for government contractors. If you’re a federal contractor in the DMV area and you’d like to join us for food and drink, networking, and potential teaming introductions to large primes and systems integrators, visit this link to register.
Debt Ceiling and Spending Deal: H.R. 3746 – Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023
The Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023, signed by President Biden on June 3, 2023, increases the federal debt limit, establishes new discretionary spending limits, rescinds unobligated funds, and expands work requirements for federal programs. Specifically, the bill suspends the federal debt limit through January 1, 2025, and increases the limit on January 2, 2025, to accommodate the obligations issued during the suspension period. Read more here.
Important Update for 8(a) Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Contractors on Upcoming Changes
The Small Business Administration (SBA) and General Services Administration (GSA) signed a revised 8(a) Program Partnership Agreement (PA). The new PA aims to increase contracting opportunities for 8(a) firms and make it easier for GSA customers to use the MAS program to access solutions from 8(a) contractors. Once fully implemented, the PA will provide for increased ordering flexibility under the MAS Program, including authority for sole source awards to 8(a) firms. Read more here.
Lapse in SAM Registration Disqualifies Government Contractor from Contract Award
The Court of Federal Claims (COFC) recently interpreted FAR Clause 52.204-7, which requires offerors to register in the System for Award Management (SAM), to indicate that even a slight lapse in a contractor’s SAM registration status could disqualify them from potential award. Read more here.
General Services Administration (GSA) Launches Podcast
GSA launched the first episode of its first agency-wide podcast. GSA Does That!? provides a platform to share the latest news and insights and discuss the impactful – and sometimes surprising – efforts that help GSA and government deliver for the American people. Read more here.
Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Inspector General (OIG): Serious Concerns Regarding the Return of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Funds
The OIG issued a management advisory to bring attention to concerns regarding the return of PPP funds. Establishing clear and detailed guidance for borrowers, lenders, and financial institutions on how to return PPP funds and implementing a process for SBA to accurately handle and track the returned funds should mitigate the risk of financial loss. The OIG recommended that SBA take immediate action to ensure it has processes and procedures in place to adequately accept, process, and account for returned PPP funds. Read more here. The full report is available here.
Small Business Lending Under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (Regulation B)
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is amending Regulation B to implement changes to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) made by section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act). Consistent with section 1071, covered financial institutions are required to collect and report to the CFPB data on applications for credit for small businesses, including those owned by women or minorities. The final rule also addresses the CFPB’s approach to privacy interests and the publication of data; shielding certain demographic data from underwriters and other persons; recordkeeping requirements; enforcement provisions; and the rule’s effective and compliance dates. Read more here. The final rule is effective August 29, 2023. Compliance with the rule is expected beginning October 1, 2024; April 1, 2025; or January 1, 2026.
Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR): Prohibition on a ByteDance Covered Application
The Department of Defense (DOD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are issuing an interim rule amending the FAR to implement the prohibition on having or using the social networking service TikTok or any successor application or service developed or provided by ByteDance Limited or an entity owned by ByteDance Limited (“covered application”). The rule prohibits the presence or use of a covered application on information technology, including certain equipment used by federal contractors. This prohibition applies to devices regardless of whether the device is owned by the government, the contractor, or the contractor’s employees. Under the interim rule, contracting officers must include the clause at FAR 52.204–27, Prohibition on a ByteDance Covered Application, in solicitations issued on or after June 2, 2023, and in solicitations issued before the effective date, provided award of the resulting contract(s) occurs on or after the effective date. The amendment of the solicitation must be accomplished by July 3, 2023. Interested parties should submit written comments on or before August 1, 2023, to be considered in the formation of the final rule. Read more here.
Priority Open Recommendations: Department of Energy (DOE)
In May 2023, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) identified nine additional priority recommendations for DOE, bringing the total number to 30. These recommendations involve the following areas: improving project, program, and portfolio management; improving contract management; enhancing energy reliability, security, and resilience; addressing nuclear modernization challenges; addressing DOE’s environmental and disposal liability; improving cybersecurity; and addressing worker protections Read more here. The full GAO report is available here.
Priority Open Recommendations: Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
In May 2023, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) identified recommendations to OMB which include developing a federal program inventory, improving government performance, increasing availability and transparency of government data, improving acquisition management and reducing costs, reducing government-wide improper payments, strengthening cybersecurity, establishing controls for disaster relief, improving federal real property asset management, and improving information management. Read more here. The full GAO report is available here.
Priority Open Recommendations: Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
In May 2023, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report outlining 29 open recommendations that VA should prioritize. Among the recommendations are improvements to acquisition management and that VA revise its guidance so that it uses funds for health care services more efficiently. Read more here. The full GAO report is available here.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA): Assessments of Major Projects
NASA acquisition management is on Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) High Risk List. Total cumulative cost performance for NASA’s current portfolio of 16 major projects in development improved since 2022, with cost overruns significantly decreasing from $12 to $7.6 Billion. Cost overruns were smaller in 2023 than last year because the James Webb Space Telescope launched, and its $4.5 Billion in overruns from prior years are no longer part of the portfolio. In prior work, GAO made multiple recommendations to improve NASA’s management of major projects. As of March 2023, NASA had not yet fully addressed 16 recommendations. Read more here. Highlights are available here. The full GAO report is available here.
General Services Administration (GSA) Acquisition Workforce: Supplement 1 to MV-2023-02; Ensuring Only Approved Software is Acquired and Used at GSA
In May 2023, GSA was notified that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is working on a process to extend the deadlines, including for collecting software attestations, contained in OMB Memo M-22-181. Read more here.
Top 20: Alliant 3 in Limbo While General Services Administration (GSA) Adjusts to Polaris Ruling
Plans for the big Alliant 3 IT services contract, a follow-on to the $75 Billion Alliant 2 vehicle, could change as GSA considers the wider impact of a recent Court of Federal Claims ruling on the agency’s 10-year Polaris small business IT services solicitation. Bloomberg Government, Paul Murphy. Read more here (subscription required).
Government Accountability Office (GAO) Identifies New Information Security Deficiencies in Internal Revenue Service (IRS) System Controls
In May 2023, GAO audited the financial statements of the IRS and issued opinions regarding these statements and related internal controls. GAO identified new issues related to IT systems, tax refunds, and safeguarding assets. For example, IRS did not adequately correct certain tax return errors according to its own procedures. Government Executive, Tech, Carten Cordell. Read more here.
Upcoming Government Contracts Presentations
WEBINAR: Size and Status Recertification: What Is It and Why Does it Matter? June 14, Sam Finnerty. Read more here.
WEBINAR: FAR Session 13, Parts 19 & 26, June 28, Cy Alba. Read more here.
LABOR & EMPLOYMENT
Department of Labor (DOL) Is Hiring Managers as Need for Wage Investigators Escalates
DOL’s Wage and Hour Division, the federal agency leading the Biden Administration’s fight to enforce child labor laws, is hiring additional leadership staff in its local offices, an expansion of management at a moment when growing workloads and attrition plague the DOL sub-agency. Bloomberg Government, Rebecca Rainey. Read more here (subscription required).
Upcoming Labor & Employment Presentations
WEBINAR: FAR Session 14, Parts 22 & 23, July 12, Nichole Atallah. Read more here.
FALSE CLAIMS ACT / AUDITS & INVESTIGATIONS
Thousands of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Contractor Employees Need Better Whistleblower Protections
Government Executive reports that thousands of employees of contractors who receive funds from HUD lack protections against retaliation from blowing the whistle on wrongdoing. Based on recent investigations, the HUD inspector general believes that many HUD contracts entered into before July 1, 2013––when an anti-retaliation law for contractors that was part of the fiscal 20213 National Defense Authorization Act initially took effect––haven’t been modified to include the protections. Government Executive, Courtney Bublé. Read more here.
Department of Justice (DOJ): Red Ventures, LLC and MYMOVE, LLC Agree to Pay $2.75 Million to Resolve False Claims Act Allegations Arising from Agreements with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS)
Red Ventures, LLC and MYMOVE, LLC agreed to pay the U.S. $2.75 Million to resolve allegations they violated the False Claims Act by knowingly withholding funds owed to the USPS under contractual agreements connected to the USPS change of address process. Read more here.
Upcoming False Claims Act / Audits & Investigations Presentations
EVENT: 8(a) Participants and the False Claims Act: Are You Ready for Increased Enforcement?, June 13, Matthew Feinberg. Read more here.