SBA Adjusts Economic Disadvantage Thresholds for 8(a) and EDWOSB Programs and Currency-Based Size Standards11/18/22, Megan Leemon And James Rhodes
For year definitive provisional rule Released on November 17, 2022, the Small Business Administration (SBA) is adjusting for inflation the three economic disadvantage thresholds applicable to the 8(a) and Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB) programs. The SBA’s interim final rule will also raise its revenue-based small business size standards. These changes will go into effect on December 19, 2022. The SBA changes are expected to be welcomed by small businesses and 8(a) and EDWOSB program participants and those wishing to apply. Read more here.
Act Fast: ESOP-owned defense contractors eligible for exclusive awards in DOD’s new pilot program17.11.22, Kevin Barnet
The Department of Defense recently launched a pilot program allowing Contracting Officers (COs) to award exclusive follow-on contracts to contractors who are 100% owned by an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). While there are already exclusive awards for specific types of small businesses, this program marks the first time the government has authorized a retirement program for ESOPs. Like most pilot programs, however, the ESOP rest program is limited, with strict eligibility criteria and only nine contracts available. Considering these limitations, ESOPs interested in participating in the program should act quickly to determine if they are eligible and discuss participation with their CO. Read more here.
GSA’s draft OASIS+ MAC Request for Proposal
The General Services Administration (GSA) has released its draft request for proposal (RFP) for the OASIS+ program. GSA is seeking feedback from industry on identity verification, cybersecurity supply chain risk management, performance evaluation, the 10-year performance period and sustainability. Comments on the draft RFP are expected on December 31, 2022. Read more here.
GSA optimizes opportunities for small businesses through the SBA 8(a) Partnership Agreement.
The General Services Administration (GSA) and Small Business Administration (SBA) recently signed a new 8(a) Program Partnership Agreement (PA) designed to increase 8(a) procurement opportunities and make it easier for GSA customers to l use of the Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) to access contractor solutions 8(a). According to GSA, the full implementation of this PA will provide the following benefits:
- increased opportunities for contractors 8(a) to enable them to compete in a safe set-aside environment;
- access to a large number of 8(a) contractors and other socio-economic contractors to achieve socio-economic objectives for a wide range of products and services;
- increased flexibility in ordering under the MAS program, including exclusive 8(a) business awards;
- streamlined procurement processes to incentivize agencies to use 8(a) solutions; And
- standardized processes for reaching agreement on acquisition strategies between GSA and SBA.
GSA anticipates PA implementation in spring 2023. Read more here.
White House gives federal agencies May 2023 deadline to provide list of vulnerable quantum cryptosystems
The Office of Management and Budget has given federal agencies until May 4, 2023 to provide an inventory of assets containing cryptographic systems that could be cracked by quantum computers. According to a recent memorandum, the White House set a deadline and said government departments should subsequently provide an annual vulnerability report through 2035. The new guidance comes amid fears that significant advances in quantum technology are being made by countries hostile to the United States, including which China, could allow existing forms of secure encryption to be broken much more quickly. Read more here.
Notice of updated NAICS codes for use in the Female Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program
The Small Business Administration (SBA) announced it is updating the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes authorized for use in the Federal Contracting Program for Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSB Program). This update was made to reflect the Office of Management and Budget’s 2022 NAICS revision, identified as NAICS 2022. These changes would impact 85 of the 2017 NAICS codes eligible for use under the WOSB program. The industry designations in SBA’s notice apply to all solicitations issued on or after October 1, 2022. Read More here.
Acquisitions and Research and Development Regulatory System
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has issued a final rule amending the VA Acquisition Regulation (VAAR) to align with the Federal Acquisition Regulation. In particular, the legislation reviews the VAAR coverage regarding the VAAR System and Research and Development. It will also review stakeholders regarding definitions of words and terms, required sources of supplies and services, types of contracts and solicitation provisions, and contract terms. The final rule will go into effect on December 21, 2022. Read more here.
Upcoming presentations on government contracts
DOL seeks public comment on proposed improvements to the Voluntary Trust Correction Program for Employers
The Labor Department has announced that its Employee Benefits Safety Administration he proposed updates to his Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program, including a self-correction component for employers who fail to send withholding contributions on employee compensation or repayments of equity loans to retirement plans in a timely manner. “The Employee Benefits Security Administration is seeking public comment on planned changes to the voluntary fiduciary correction program that will make it easier and more cost-effective for plan officers to correct violations and for the department to improve compliance,” he explained Assistant Secretary for Employee Benefits, Security Lisa Gomez. Comments on the proposed amendments are expected on January 20, 2023. Read more here.
Florida Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Plan and Association to Pay $51 Million to Settle False Claims Act Charges
The Florida Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Plan and its administrator, the Florida Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Association (NICA), have agreed to pay $51 million to settle allegations that they violated the False Claims Act by causing participants to filing their health care claims with Medicaid rather than NICA, in violation of Medicaid’s status as a payor of last resort under federal law. The civil settlement resolves a lawsuit brought and pursued by Veronica Arven and the estate of Theodore Arven III against NICA under the qui tam or whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act, which allow a private party to bring a lawsuit on behalf of the United States and receive a portion of any recovery. The Arvens will receive $12,750,000 as part of the recovery in this case. Read more here.