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Government Contracts Monitor

Contracting Rules and Regulations

Debriefings Get Even Better …. At Least With the Department of Defense

As most of our readers know, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) has long provided a right to a post-award debriefing for both successful and unsuccessful offerors. FAR 15.506(b). 

On March 18, 2022, the Department of Defense (DoD) published a FINAL RULE: (i) to enhance this post-award debriefing right for competitively awarded contracts, task orders, and delivery orders that exceed $10…

Buy American Changes Yet Again

March 7, 2022, marked the publication of yet another final rule implementing changes to “Buy American” requirements for federal contractors. Final BAA Rule. There are very few surprises in this rule, largely because it closely tracks the proposed rule published last July.  That said, the final rule significantly changes FAR Part 25 – the regulations implementing the Buy American Act (BAA).

First,…

*UPDATED* Section 889 of the National Defense Authorization Act

Section 889 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY 2019 contains two prohibitions related to Federal contracting:  

First, as set forth in section 889(a)(1)(A) (Part A), effective August 13, 2019, the US Government (USG) is prohibited from procuring or obtaining, or extending or renewing a contract to procure or obtain, any equipment, system or service that uses telecommunication…

Prompt Payment Act & Contract Disputes Act Interest Rate Decreased to 2.125%, Effective 1/1/20

The Treasury Department has announced that the Prompt Payment Act (“PPA”) and Contract Disputes Act (“CDA”) interest rate is decreasing to 2.125% per annum for the first half of 2020 – i.e., January 1, 2020 through June 30, 2020.  This interest rate is used to calculate the interest penalty paid by the Government when it fails to timely pay contractors for goods and services, as well as interest…

Covered Government Contracts Minimum Wage Increases to $10.80, Effective January 1, 2020

The Department of Labor (DOL) recently published a Notice [84 Fed. Reg. 49345 (9/19/19)] announcing that, effective January 1, 2020, the minimum hourly wage rate required to be paid to workers performing work on or in connection with covered federal contracts, per Executive Order 13658, will increase from the present $10.60 to $10.80.  The minimum hourly tipped wage will increase from $7.40 to…

Prompt Payment Act & Contract Disputes Act interest rate decreased to 2.625%, effective 7/1/19

The Treasury Department has announced that the Prompt Payment Act (“PPA”) interest rate decreased to 2.625% per annum for the last half of 2019 – i.e., July 1, 2019, through December 31, 2019.  This interest rate is used to calculate the interest penalty paid by the Government when it fails to timely pay contractors for goods and services, as well as interest due under the Contract Disputes Act…

BYE BYE DUNS - HELLO SAMMI

Last month the General Services Administration (GSA) awarded a $41 million, five-year contract to Ernst and Young LLP (EY) to replace Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) as the contractor supplying entity validation services – the well-known, long-standing Data Universal Number System (DUNS).  All federal agencies and federal contractors (and grant recipients) – everyone doing any kind of business with the…

SBA Area Offices Are Precluded from Reviewing a Duly-Approved 8(a) Mentor/Protégé Joint Venture Agreement, and May, But Are Not Required to, Refer Any Concerns to SBA’s Office of Business Development

The Small Business Administration (SBA)’s Office of Hearings & Appeals (OHA) recently reaffirmed that SBA Area Offices are precluded from reviewing the substance of an 8(a) Mentor-Protégé’s Joint Venture Agreement (JVA), once such agreement has been approved by the servicing SBA District Office.  OHA further held that, while an Area Office has the discretion to refer any concerns the Area Office…

Exemption 4: Protection of Confidential Information - The Ground May be Shifting

The Supreme Court recently granted a petition for writ of certiorari over (that is, agreed to review) an Eight Circuit decision involving Exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”).  What is Exemption 4?  It is the exemption that protects from public disclosure “trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential.” Why is this…

Will DoD Change How It Procures "Readily Available" Commercial Items?

The Section 809 Panel has recommended some drastic changes that would impact government contractors doing business with the Department of Defense (DoD).  What is the Section 809 Panel? It is a panel created in Section 809 of the FY 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) with goals outlined in the NDAA such as: (i) reviewing DoD’s acquisition regulations with a view toward improving the…

GAO Sustains Limiting the Number of Projects Allocable to a Large Business Mentor's Experience, but Rejects Treating a Mentor-Protégé Joint Venture Differently than a Prime/Subcontractor Contractor Teaming Agreement

One of the principal advantages of an approved Mentor/Protégé Agreement (MPA) is that the Mentor and Protégé can enter into a joint venture (JV) that can compete as small for any contract for which the Protégé would be eligible (see, e.g., 13 C.F.R. § 125.109(d)(1)).  In turn, one of the principal advantages of a JV - now enshrined in statute and regulation - is that in evaluating experience and…

Hopewell Darneille to Present at DYNET 2019, Fairmont, WV -- April 11, 2019

Hopewell Darneille, of the Firm’s Washington, DC office, will be a presenter at the 10th annual Dynamic Networking for Small Business (DYNET) Conference, a federal and prime contracting event in Fairmont, West Virginia, on April 11, 2019 at the Robert H. Mollohan Research Center.

Mr. Darneille will co-present a Workshop on “Negotiating and Drafting a Compliant and Workable Joint Venture Agreement…

 

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