RESOURCES & ANNOUNCEMENTS
Helpful Procurement Websites
Procurement Technical Assistance Program
DLA PTAP - https://www.dla.mil/SmallBusiness/PTAP/
SBA Counseling & Help - https://www.sba.gov/federal-contracting/counseling-help
Find Your Local PTAC - https://www.dla.mil/SmallBusiness/PTAP/PTAC/
Required Government Certifications
Federal Business Opportunities
FedBizOpps - https://fbohome.sam.gov/
General Services Administration - https://www.gsa.gov/
DLA (Defense Logistics Agency) - https://www.dla.mil/SmallBusiness/
DoD (Department of Defense) - https://business.defense.gov/Small-Business/Marketing-to-DoD/
Small Business Certification Programs
Small Businesses - https://www.sba.gov/federal-contracting
Veteran Owned Businesses - https://www.va.gov/oalc/
Find a Government Prime Contractor
Government Purchasing History
Federal Procurement Data System - https://www.fpds.gov/fpdsng_cms/
Fedspending.org - https://www.fedspending.org
Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR)
Federal Procurement Issues
Indian Incentive Program
Federally Recognized Tribes
Tribes Recognized by States
State Indian Affairs Offices
DOD Issues Guidance on Effect of Inflation on Government Contractors
Kevin Barnett, PilieroMazza
On May 25, 2022, the Department of Defense (DOD) issued Guidance on Inflation and Economic Price Adjustment (Guidance Memorandum). It was long overdue. Inflation is steadily rising and, as a result, contractors with fixed-price contracts are forced to shoulder skyrocketing supply costs since fixed-price contractors bear the risk of increased costs. As these cost increases erode profit margins and continue to drive contracts into loss positions, contractors are seeking some type of relief. PilieroMazza recently hosted a webinar, Supply Chain Pain: How Contractors Can Get Relief from a Supply Chain-Related Claim, detailing relief options and best practices when a contractor faces inflation and supply chain delays. DOD previously provided some high-level thoughts about inflationary problems facing contractors in a letter to Congress. But now, DOD has added policy-level direction to contracting officers detailing the agency position on allocating inflation risks in ongoing contracts and new contracts. Contractors affected by inflation on their federal contracts should pay close attention to this guidance as they negotiate and enter new government contracts. READ MORE HERE.
Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE) Transfer Frequently Asked Questions
Updated as of September 29, 2021
What is CVE and who needs it? As stated by the Department of Veterans Affairs, “the Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and Information Technology Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-461) provides VA with unique authority for Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) and Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) set-aside and sole source contracts. VA refers to this program as the Veterans First Contracting Program. The Vets First Verification Program affords verified firms owned and controlled by veterans and service-disabled veterans the opportunity to compete for VA set asides. During Verification, the Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE) verifies SDVOSBs/VOSBs according to the tenets found in Title 38 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 74 and 13 CFR Part 125 that address veteran eligibility, ownership, and control. In order to qualify for participation in the Veterans first Contracting Program, eligible SDVOSBs/VOSBs must first be verified.” Due to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2021, the functions of VA’s CVE are being transferred to the SBA on January 1, 2023 in order to streamline the process of all other small business certification programs.
Why is VA’s CVE verification program moving to the SBA? The NDAA for Fiscal Year 2021 transfers the function currently at VA for verifying SDVOSBs and VOSBs for VA contracts to the SBA on January 1, 2023. The agencies are cooperatively working on the transfer to ensure there is a seamless transition and to maintain efficiencies already in place.
How will the SBA address the VA’s Veterans First authority once the database transfers to the SBA? There is no effect on VA’s Veterans First contracting authority. VA will continue to implement this policy utilizing SBA’s certification program and database for verification purposes as of January 1, 2023. There is no government-wide VOSB program, but VA will retain its unique authority to award set-asides to VOSBs and SDVOSBs. VA’s database of verified firms will also transfer to SBA’s Administrator, who will own and maintain the database. VA contracting officers will use SBA’s database to confirm a firm’s eligibility when awarding on SDVOSB or VOSB set-asides.
After the transfer, how will the SBA determine veteran status? VA will continue to determine status for veterans and service-disabled veterans and maintain records. The SBA will rely on VA to provide that information once the database is transferred.
My business is CVE verified. How will this change impact me? What do I need to do? As a CVE verified business, you will need to keep your verification active and renew your status according to CVE requirements. The SBA offers a full complement of training and counseling services available nationwide. Firms previously verified by CVE will not lose their status unless their program eligibility time has expired.
My business is currently self-certified. What do I need to do? As of January 2023, self-certified SDVOSBs can begin submitting their certification applications to the SBA. Self-certified SDVOSBs will
Frequently Asked Questions
receive a one-year grace period, and applicants during this period will maintain eligibility until SBA reviews the application. There is no action required at this time. Self-certified firms can reach out to their local SBA resources for additional guidance and help preparing for government-wide certification.
Will there be any changes to the existing CVE verification program during the database transfer to the SBA? Congress has not authorized changes to the CVE program, only that the ownership and maintenance of the database will be transferred to the SBA. No changes will be made to the program – it is being transferred as-is to the SBA.
I am a contracting officer. What do I need to know about this change? Until the transfer date, verification of SDVOSBs and VOSBs seeking VA contracts will remain with VA and contracting officers outside of VA should continue to award set-asides using self-certification for SDVOSBs. After the transfer to the SBA on January 1, 2023, any small business wanting to compete in the federal market as a VOSB or SDVOSB will need to be certified by the SBA. VA will retain its unique authority to make contract award set-asides to VOSBs and will rely on the SBA’s certification beginning January 2023 to verify SDVOSB or VOSB eligibility.
Will the SBA make changes to the VA’s CVE program when VOSB and SDVOSB become part of the SBA government-wide certification program? The SBA will continue to look for opportunities for improvements and efficiencies for SDVOSBs and VOSBs. The SBA will provide opportunities to the public to provide input during the rulemaking process.
Where can I go for more information about the CVE transfer? The SBA created an email address for all CVE-related questions and is distributing monthly updates about the transfer. To be added to the distribution list, please email email@example.com.
Indian Health Services Buy Indian Act Final Rule
IHS’s final rule on the Buy Indian Act to strengthen its requirements to set-aside contracts for Indian-owned and controlled businesses. The final rule clarifies the preference for Indian-owned and controlled businesses and removes barriers by alleviating unnecessary regulatory burdens. IHS is committed to improving economic conditions and providing more opportunities for Indian-owned businesses. Read the fact sheet here.
United States Joint Certification: How to fill out the DD Form 2345 (USA version)
Basic JCP Certification:
DVIDS: United States Joint Certification: How to fill out the DD Form 2345 (USA version) (open caption) https://www.dvidshub.net/video/826732/united-states-joint-certification-fill-out-dd-form-2345-usa-version-open-caption
YOUTUBE: United States Joint Certification: How to fill out the DD Form 2345 (USA version) (open caption) https://youtu.be/tgT5vGUmE18
Welcome to the United States Joint Certification Office video where you will learn the steps on how to properly fill out the DD Form 2345. This form is the military critical technical data agreement for U.S. vendors who want joint certification. For more information please visit: https://www.dla.mil/HQ/LogisticsOperations/Services/JCP/
Enhanced JCP (EJCP) Needed to sell to DLA:
2022 NDAA Makes Significant Changes to Federal Procurement Policy
On December 27, 2021, President Biden signed the FY22 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law, authorizing more than $700 billion in defense spending. The NDAA also contains several provisions that shape federal procurement policies and forecast areas that Congress believes warrant attention in the future. PilieroMazza examines three themes in this year’s NDAA that contractors should know to take advantage of contract opportunities and maintain compliance requirements. Read more here.
Certain federal contractors are required to register and certify their affirmative action programs by June 30, 2022
Supply and service contractors with 50 or more employees who meet contract thresholds will have to register and certify compliance by the end of the month. Click here to read the full article.
GSA modified the rule requiring two years in business
In a recent article published by Govology Legal Analyst and Faculty Instructor Steven Koprince, he shares some good news for start-up companies interested in obtaining a GSA schedule contract. GSA no longer requires firms to be in business for two years before receiving a GSA schedule contract. Click here to read the full article on the Govology blog.
GSA’s federal marketplace strategy (Spring ‘22) release is here!
On April 26th, 2022, GSA announced the launch of their federal marketplace (FMP) strategy spring 22 release, which focuses on the launch of buy.gsa.gov, “a plain language, easy to navigate, location for all of your initial acquisition questions and resources,” according to GSA. Suppliers can click here to read (and watch a short video) about the major highlights of this release.
WOSB/EDWOSB Certification Renewal
To remain eligible as an EDWOSB or WOSB, program participants must submit an annual attestation to SBA each year, per 13 CFR Part 127.400. Currently, SBA is experiencing technical difficulties with the annual attestation process. As an interim solution and to mitigate negative impact to firms, SBA is suspending annual attestation until 1 Mar 2022. SBA will notify firms when the issue has been resolved to allow participants to complete their annual attestation.
As a reminder, 13 CFR Part 127.401 states, “Once certified, a WOSB or EDWOSB must notify SBA of any material changes that could affect its eligibility within 30 calendar days of any such change. Material change includes, but is not limited to, a change in the ownership, business structure, or management.” Currently, reporting material changes is fully available under beta.Certify.sba.gov and instructions are available within the beta.Certify Knowledgebase. A participant’s failure to notify SBA of a material change may result in decertification and removal from SAM and DSBS (or any successor system) as a designated certified WOSB/EDWOSB concern. In addition, SBA may seek the imposition of penalties under §127.700.
Once a help ticket has been responded to it is moved to a closed status and the help desk is unable to directly view any updated responses. If there is any follow-up question or concern, please create a new ticket and if needed please include the previous ticket’s Case Number for reference.
Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program Office of Government Contracting & Business Development, U.S. Small Business Administration https://beta.certify.sba.gov/help-csh/
CMMC 2.0: 7 Key Takeaways to Help Government Contractors Prepare
PilieroMazza’s Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Team
On November 4, 2021, the Department of Defense (DOD) dropped a bombshell press release stating it plans to retract the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) 1.0 and replace it with a simplified, streamlined 2.0. The press release does not explain how DOD plans to simplify and streamline CMMC, but an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued concurrently with the press release (and removed later the same day) contains some insights into the key changes DOD intends to make. An archived copy of the notice is available here, which DOD also provided during a CMMC Accreditation Body town hall meeting on November 10, 2021. PilieroMazza’s Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Team offers 7 key takeaways government contractors need to know to prepare for CMMC 2.0. Read more here.
Current DoD Assistance Award Position Regarding Executive Order 14042, “Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors”
Executive Order (E.O.) 14042 “Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors,” issued September 9, 2021, requires all workers “performing on or in connection with Federal Government contract or contract-like instruments to obtain the [coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)] vaccination.” Read the revision here.
Transfer of the Veteran Small Business Verification Program to the SBA
Previously, veteran-owned small businesses interested in being certified by the Federal Government received their certification through the VA. In order to streamline this process with all other small business certification programs, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2021 officially requested that CVE’s responsibilities be transferred to the SBA by January 1, 2023. Answers to your questions here & Read more here.
DOD/Navy/NAVSEA SBIR/STTR 22.1/22.A Broad Agency Announcement (BAA)
2022 is rapidly approaching and so are the latest DoD SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) and STTR (Small Business Technology Transfer Research) topics. Check out how your businesses can benefit the US Navy!
On 1 December 2021 the DoD SBIR/STTR Program Management Office will release the SBIR/STTR instructions and topics on DSIP (https://www.dodsbirsttr.mil/submissions/login).
FAR Issues Final Rule on Limitations on Subcontracting John Holtz, Koprince McCall Pottroff LLC
It has been a long time coming, but the Department of Defense, in conjunction with the GSA and NASA, are finally issuing a final rule amending the FAR guidance regarding limitations on subcontracting. In this post, we are going to explore just what these changes are and what they mean for government contractors such as yourself. The hope is this brief summary and analysis will provide you some insight as to just what the new rules do.
If you can believe it, this latest rule change is based on regulatory changes made by the SBA all the way back in May of 2016 to implement statutory requirements from the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013! In fairness, the DoD, GSA, and NASA did propose this rule back in December 2018, although we wonder why it took another two and a half years to reach this point. In any event, this new rule will come into effect on September 10, 2021. Read more here & MEMORANDUM FOR CIVILIAN AGENCIES
Major Changes Proposed to Buy American Rules Peter Terenzio, Michael Wagner and Nooree Lee, Covington & Burling LLP
On July 30, the Biden administration issued a proposed rule billed as “the most robust changes to the implementation of the Buy American Act in almost 70 years.”
Aimed at strengthening domestic content requirements and bolstering domestic procurement preferences, it comes on the heels of several other actions by the administration to limit reliance on foreign sources of critical components and promote greater economic and national security by supporting domestic manufacturing. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposed three major changes. Read more here.
New Developments in President Biden’s COVID-19 Requirements for Government Contractors PilieroMazza’s Labor & Employment Group for Government Contractors
On September 16, 2021, President Biden released new guidance on implementing COVID-19 mandates for businesses working with the federal government. PilieroMazza’s Labor & Employment Group highlights important guidelines government contractors need to follow in order to comply. Read more here & Executive Order UPDATE: Contractor Personnel Must Get COVID-19 Vaccines By December 8, 2021 - GovConBrief
SBA Announces Moratorium on Bona Fide Place of Business Requirements for the 8(a) Business Development Program
Release Date: August 26, 2021 ~ Release Number: 21-73
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration today announced a moratorium on the requirement that participants in SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program must establish a bona fide place of business in a specific geographic area in order to be awarded any construction contract through the 8(a) Program due to the ongoing challenges of COVID-19. The moratorium is effective August 25, 2021, and applies to all 8(a) construction contracts offered to the 8(a) Program between August 25, 2021, and September 30, 2022. Read more here.
SBA Issues New HUBZone Guidance and Map Updates
August 24, 2021, by Jon Williams, Anna R. Wright, PilieroMazza
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has once again updated its HUBZone FAQs—this time with welcome changes for HUBZone firms with principal offices located in Redesignated Areas and / or Qualified Disaster Areas (QDA). The latest FAQs, available here, state that they were effective June 24, 2021, but we saw them for the first time on SBA’s website earlier this month. Read more here.
Everything You Need to Know About CMMC
Rob Thurston, Chief Technology Officer, Ampersand
With the rollout of the CMMC, contracting with the DoD is more specialized than ever—especially if you’re dealing with controlled unclassified information (CUI). But these new guidelines also means the space will become more lucrative. It’s estimated that 129,810 businesses will likely pursue CMMC certification in the first 5 years. Read more here.