What’s new in Federal Contracting?
Final Rule: Increasing the Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors (Executive Order 14026)
On November 22, 2021, the Department announced publication of the final rule, “Increasing the Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors.” The Department has finalized regulations to implement Executive Order 14026, “Increasing the Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors,” which was signed by President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on April 27, 2021. Executive Order 14026 states that the Federal Government’s procurement interests in economy and efficiency are promoted when the Federal Government contracts with sources that adequately compensate their workers. The Executive Order raises the minimum wage paid by those contractors to workers performing work on or in connection with covered federal contracts to $15.00 per hour, beginning January 30, 2022; and beginning January 1, 2023, and annually thereafter, an amount determined by the Secretary of Labor (Secretary). This final rule establishes standards and procedures for implementing and enforcing the minimum wage protections of Executive Order 14026, and is effective on January 30, 2022. [December 2021]
GSA Recap of the New Unique Entity ID
GSA issued the November 2021 edition of the SAM.gov Update newsletter which includes articles on What Do I Need to Know About the New Unique Entity ID in SAM.gov; Recap of the August 2021 Stakeholder Forum program about Unique Entity ID (SAM), What’s New (Overall) in SAM.gov, What’s New in Reports in SAM.gov, What’s New for Exclusions and Wage Determinations, and What’s Coming Soon in SAM.gov. [November 2021]
SAM Identity Proofing of Entity Administrators
Early in FY 2022, SAM will begin requiring Identity Proofing of entity administrators. Note this may delay a business’s ability to update their SAM registration. Businesses may want to go through the Identity Proofing months before the expiration of their SAM registration.
Identity Proofing is the process of verifying that Entity Administrators are who they say they are. For SAM.gov, it involves supplying identifying information about yourself to login.gov. Login.gov will use the information to check your identity. You will be asked to provide your Social Security Number (SSN) and upload a photograph (front and back) of your state-issued ID so that login.gov can verify that information against Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) records. You must also provide your phone number, which is validated against your known phone bill to verify your address. Your address can also be verified by U.S. mail as a backup method.
Currently, the identity proofing renewal process will be required every four years. [September 2021]
Veteran Employment Preference for VA Contracts
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently received the authority to include an evaluation factor in their solicitations for offerors who employ veterans on a full-time basis. VA contracting officers may elect to use this authority to include evaluation factors that may rank offerors employing veterans on a full-time basis higher than those offerors who do not. The VETS-4212 compliance report with the Department of Labor may be used by the offeror to document full-time veteran employment. The evaluation factor may be used to assist in the “best value” award determination. VA may impose penalties for misrepresentation that includes debarment for a period of not less than five years. [November 2021]
SBA Scorecard Released
The U.S. Small Business Administration announced the federal government exceeded its FY2020 small business federal contracting goal, awarding 26.01 percent or $145.7 billion in federal contract dollars to small businesses, a $13 billion increase from the previous fiscal year. It has been estimated that that the federal government also added almost a million jobs to the American economy through the $145.7 billion in prime contract dollars and $82.8 billion in subcontracts awarded to small businesses.
To see the entire report card, please click here. [August 2021]
NEW UNIQUE ENTITY ID (SAM)
As you are probably aware, all entities wanting to register to do business with the federal government must first obtain a DUNS number. The DUNS number is the current unique identifier that the government uses to verify your entity.
On April 4, 2022, the U.S. government will switch from using the DUNS number to a new Unique Entity ID (SAM), also known as a UEI. IAE systems such as SAM.gov (entity registration, contract award notification) FPDS.gov, eSRS, FSRS, FAPIIS, and CPARS will require the use of your UEI after April 4, 2022.
Depending on how you use SAM.gov, here are some things you need to know at this point:
1: I’m an entity already registered in SAM.gov:
You’ve already been assigned a new Unique Entity ID! It’s viewable in your entity registration record in SAM.gov. (Note: If you have a DUNS Number but are not registered in SAM.gov, you will not have a UEI assigned to your entity.)
2: I’m a sub-awardee NOT registered in SAM.gov and I currently provide a DUNS number for sub-award reporting:
Starting in October 2021, you’ll be able to request a new UEI-only in SAM.gov; full SAM.gov registration will not be required if you only need a UEI. Sub-award reporting will not require the Unique Entity ID (SAM) until April 2022. Work closely with your primes to determine their timeline for providing them the Unique Entity ID (SAM).
3: I pull award data and reports from IAE sites and view the DUNS number:
The Unique Entity ID (SAM) is available now, along with the DUNS number, in SAM.gov APIs, data extracts, contract data reports, and the FPDS Atom Feed. In April 2022, only the new UEI will be provided in the data and reports, and the DUNS field will go away.
4a. I’m going to register my entity in the future but prior to April 4, 2022. Do I still need the DUNS number? How do I get a Unique Entity ID (SAM)?
Prior to April 2022, you will continue going to D&B to get a DUNS number to register your entity in SAM.gov. You will be assigned a Unique Entity ID (SAM) as a part of the SAM.gov registration process.
4b. I’m going to register my entity in the future but after April 4, 2022. Do I still need the DUNS number? How do I get a Unique Entity ID (SAM)?
After April 2022, you will be assigned a Unique Entity ID (SAM) as part of the SAM.gov registration process. You will no longer need a DUNS number for registration.
In preparation for the full transition to the Unique Entity ID (SAM), you should prepare any of your own internal systems to accept the new identifier and to stop using the DUNS number for federal awards processes by April 2022.
5: When should I start using my new Unique Entity ID (SAM)?
That depends on how you interact with federal award systems. Federal agencies will begin to migrate to the Unique Entity ID between now and April 2022. Pay special attention to instructions they provide regarding the use of the new identifier.
You can also start to include the new Unique Entity ID (SAM) on your capabilities statement.
If you need assistance with your SAM.gov account or have other questions on the new Unique Entity ID (SAM), contact Carol Murphy at CarolM2@wispro.org. [August 2021]