Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR): Sustainable Procurement, Case 2022-06
Department of Defense, General Services Administration, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration are proposing to amend the FAR to restructure and update the regulations to focus on current environmental and sustainability matters and to implement a requirement for agencies to procure sustainable products and services to the maximum extent practicable. The unpublished proposed rule is available here. Comments are due October 3, 2023.
Civil Monetary Penalties Inflation Adjustments, Small Business Administration (SBA)
The Small Business Administration (SBA) is amending its regulations to adjust for inflation the amount of certain civil monetary penalties that are within the jurisdiction of the agency. These adjustments comply with the requirement in the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, to make annual adjustments to the penalties. The final rule is available here and is effective August 1, 2023.
Audit of the Office of Justice Programs’ (OJP) Procurement Awarded to ICF Incorporated, LLC, to Support the Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center, Office of Inspector General (OIG), Department of Justice (DOJ)
A DOJ OIG audit of ICF’s performance on OJP’s oversight of the contract at issue found that OJP could have provided better oversight and administration of the procurement. In addition, acquisition planning was inadequate, potentially resulting in the government not receiving the best value available. OIG also found that OJP did not obtain key documents for invoice review, which increased the risk for unallowable transactions. While OIG did not identify significant concerns regarding ICF’s performance, ICF did not timely submit some of its required reports. Read more here.
Failure to Bring in Small Businesses Undercuts Department of Defense Innovation, Bloomberg Government
At a Defense Innovation Board meeting on July 18, board member and former Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Will Roper presented a report analyzing DOD efforts to do business with innovative companies working in defense tech. Read more here (subscription required).
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and Department of Defense (DOD) Highlight President Biden’s AM Forward Initiative
Small Business Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman met with Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks at the Pentagon to highlight President Biden’s AM Forward Initiative, as well as discuss collectively advancing critical technology and manufacturing priorities vital to U.S. national security and the potential of the SBA’s Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program to help entrepreneurs overcome any barriers to access. Read more here.
Upcoming Government Contracts Presentations
CONFERENCE: 2023 National HUBZone Conference, “Joint Venture Eligibility: Refresher on Requirements for Small Business Contractors,” August 22, 2023, Jon Williams. Read more here.
CONFERENCE: 2023 National HUBZone Conference, “GovCon Mergers and Acquisitions: Plan Today for a Stronger Tomorrow,” August 23, 2023, Isaias “Cy” Alba, IV. Read more here.
WEBINAR: Unlocking the Secrets of Debriefings, Government Evaluation of Proposals and Protests
September 7, 2023, Peter B. Ford and Meghan F. Leemon. Read more here.
WEBINAR: How to Use and Protect Your Intellectual Property When Performing Federal Contracts
September 27, 2023, Isaias “Cy” Alba, IV. Read more here.
LABOR & EMPLOYMENT
Impact of New Health and Welfare Rates on SCA Government Contracts, PilieroMazza Client Alert, Sarah L. Nash, Nichole D. Atallah
It’s that time of the year again when the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) issues new Service Contract Act (SCA) health and welfare (H&W) rates. In June 2023, WHD increased the prevailing H&W fringe benefits from a rate of $4.80 per hour to $4.98 per hour. Where a contractor is obligated to comply with Executive Order (EO) 13706 sick leave obligations, the rates have increased from $4.41 per hour to $4.57 per hour. Updated rates of $2.15 per hour (without the EO) and $1.74 (with the EO) also apply to employees in Hawaii covered by the Hawaii Prepaid Health Act. For government contractors with an existing SCA contract, obtaining a new SCA contract, renewing options, or modifying existing contracts with a new wage determination, PilieroMazza covers below what you need to know. Read more here.
TSA Employees Are Finally Earning Similar Wages to Most Other Federal Workers, Government Executive
Officials celebrated the arrival of an up-to-30% pay raise for Transportation Security Administration employees this week but warned that House spending plans could derail recent progress. Read more here.
A Basic Flaw in the Federal Pay System, Government Executive
The system wasn’t designed to be competitive with the private sector, and that’s a problem in today’s job market. A growing number of federal agencies are understaffed. Some have announced plans to add significant numbers of new hires, but they face increased competition from employers in other sectors that are also experiencing costly worker shortages. Observers often contend that federal salaries are too low to attract talent. Read more here.
House Republicans Question the SEC’s Hiring and Pay Practices, Government Executive
The chairman of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee wants to know more about the agency’s use of a program designed to bring on skilled hires for short-term rotations. Read more here.
Upcoming Labor & Employment Presentations
CONFERENCE: 2023 National HUBZone Conference, “New Employment Issues in Government Contracting,” August 22, 2023, Sarah L. Nash. Read more here.
BGOV Bill Summary: House-Passed H.R. 4366, FY2024 MilCon-VA Funds, Bloomberg Government
The Veterans Affairs Department, military construction projects, and related agencies would receive $155.7 Billion in discretionary funding for FY2024 under the House-passed version of the Fiscal Year 2024 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, H.R. 4366, $1.5 Billion more than the FY2023 enacted level and $799.4 Million more than requested. Read more here (subscription required).