Weekly Update Newsletter - July 2015

by PilieroMazza PLLC
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GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS

DoD, GSA, and NASA Issue Final Rule to Amend FAR: Inflation Adjustment of Acquisition Related Thresholds

The Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) issued a final rule to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to implement the inflation adjustment of acquisition-related dollar thresholds, 80 Fed. Reg. 38293. It is required that an adjustment be made every five years to the acquisition-related thresholds for inflation using the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers, except for the Construction Wage Rate Requirements statute (formerly Davis-Bacon Act), Service Contract Labor Standards statute, and trade agreements thresholds. DoD, GSA, and NASA have also used the same methodology to adjust nonstatutory FAR acquisition-related thresholds.  The final rule will become effective October 1, 2015. 

DoD, GSA, and NASA Issue Final Rule to Amend FAR: Prohibition on Contracting with Inverted Domestic Corporations – Representation and Notification

The Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) issued a final rule to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to require additional actions by contractors to assist contracting officers in ensuring compliance with the Government-Wide statutory prohibition on the use of appropriated (or otherwise made available) funds for contracts with any foreign incorporated entity that is an inverted domestic corporation or to any subsidiary of such entity, 80 Fed. Reg. 38306.  The final rule will become effective November 1, 2015. 

DoD, GSA, and NASA Issue Final Rule to Amend FAR: Update to Product and Service Codes

The Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) issued a final rule to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to correct the terminology relating to preparation and transmittal of synopses and update the descriptions of Federal product and service codes related to exemptions from service contract labor standards, to conform to the current Federal Procurement Data System Product and Service Codes Manual, 80 Fed. Reg. 38307.  The final rule will become effective August 3, 2015. 

DoD, GSA, and NASA Issue Final Rule to Amend FAR: Clarification on Justification for Urgent Noncompetitive Awards Exceeding One Year

The Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) issued a final rule to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to clarify that a determination of exceptional circumstances is needed when a noncompetitive contract awarded on the basis of unusual and compelling urgency exceeds 1 year, either at the time of award or due to post-award modifications, 80 Fed. Reg. 38308.  The final rule will become effective August 3, 2015. 

DoD, GSA, and NASA Issue Final Rule to Amend FAR: Permanent Authority for Use of Simplified Acquisition Procedures for Certain Commercial Items

The Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) issued a final rule to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to implement a section of the Carl Levin and Howard P. “Buck” McKeon National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2015 that makes the authority to issue solicitations using special simplified procedures for acquisition of certain commercial items permanent, 80 Fed. Reg. 38311.  The final rule will become effective August 3, 2015. 

DoD, GSA, and NASA Issue Small Entity Compliance Guide

The Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) issued the Small Entity Compliance Guide, 80 Fed. Reg. 38313.  The Guide has been prepared in accordance with section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. It consists of a summary of the rules appearing in Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) 2005-83, which amends the Federal Acquisition Regulation.

DoD Issues Final Rule to Amend DFARS: Allowability of Legal Costs for Whistleblower Proceedings (DFARS Case 2013-D022)

The Department of Defense (DoD) adopted as final, without change, an interim rule that amends the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to implement a section of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 that addresses the allowability of legal costs incurred by a contractor related to whistleblower proceedings, 80 Fed. Reg. 36719.  The final rule became effective June 26, 2015.

NIST Publishes Final Guidance Regarding Protecting Controlled Unclassified Information in Nonfederal Information Systems and Organizations (NIST Special Publication 800-171)

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has published the final version of its guidance for federal agencies to ensure that sensitive federal information remains confidential when stored in nonfederal information systems and organizations.  NIST worked jointly with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to draft guidance for protecting Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) on information systems outside of the immediate control of the federal government and published them for public comment last fall.  The final guidance, Protecting Controlled Unclassified Information in Nonfederal Information Systems and Organizations (NIST Special Publication 800-171), provides federal agencies with recommended requirements to protect the confidentiality of CUI residing in nonfederal systems and organizations consistent with law, regulation or Government-Wide policy. The final guidance is designed for federal employees with responsibilities for information systems development, acquisition, management and protection. The requirements apply to all components of nonfederal information systems and organizations that process, store or transmit CUI, or provide security protection for those components.

SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

SBA Issues 2014 Government-Wide Performance Small Business Procurement Scorecard

The Small Business Administration (SBA) issued the 2014 Government-Wide Performance Small Business Procurement Scorecard.  Agency buyers met and exceeded the statutory goal of awarding 23% of contract dollars to small businesses in fiscal 2014 by awarding 24.99% of awards to eligible small firms.  According the SBA’s scorecard, small businesses received $91.1 billion in federal contracts, an increase of $8 billion over the fiscal 2013. 

SBA Publishes Interest Rate for July through September Quarter of Fiscal Year 2015

The Small Business Administration (SBA) published the optional interest rate, “peg” rate (13 CFR 120.214), of 2.250% for the July through September quarter of FY 2015, 80 Fed. Reg. 37351.   The rate is a weighted average cost of money to the government for maturities similar to the average SBA direct loan. The rate may be used as a base rate for guaranteed fluctuating interest rate SBA loans. 

NOTICES

Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled 
The Following Notices Were Issued:

80 Fed. Reg. 38178, July 2, 2015, to add a product (Bag, Insulated, Thermal, Reusable, MR 408--Small, MR 409—Large) and service (Base Operations Service, US Army, US Army Garrison-Detroit Arsenal, 6501 East Eleven Mile Road, Warren, MI) and delete a service (Grounds Maintenance Service, Golf Course, Fort Ord, CA; Ballfields, Fort Ord, CA; Hospital, Fort Ord, CA) from the Procurement List.   The additions and deletion will become effective July 31, 2015. 

80 Fed. Reg. 38179, July 2, 2015, proposing to add products (Towel, Paper, Single-Fold, Natural, 9-1/4'' W; Aquapad Sand-less Sandbag) and a service (Sourcing, Warehousing, Assembly and Kitting Service, Montana Army National Guard, Ft Harrison, MT) to the Procurement List.  Comments on the proposed additions are due July 31, 2015. 

80 Fed. Reg. 36773, June 29, 2015, proposing to add products (Floor Finish/Sealer, Black, Asphalt Floors, Water-Based, Slip-Resistant; Vest, Physical Training, Name Tag Velcro; Non-rechargeable, 9V alkaline battery) and services (Janitorial Service, USDA Forest Service, White Mountain National Forest Headquarters, 71 White Mountain Drive, Campton, NH; Custodial Service, US Navy, Marine Corps Base, 1005 Michael Road, Camp Lejeune, NC; Document Scanning Service, Executive Office of the President, Washington, DC) to the Procurement List, 80 Fed. Reg. 36773.  Comments are due July 27, 2015. 

80 Fed. Reg. 36775, June 29, 2015, to delete a service (Janitorial/Custodial & Grounds Maintenance Service, Naval & Marine Corps Reserve Center, 261 Industrial Park Drive, Ebensburg, PA) from the Procurement List. The deletion will become effective July 27, 2015

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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