Federal Government

 

What’s new in Federal Contracting?


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 Announces Moratorium Regarding 8(a) Program’s Place of Business Requirement

The U.S. Small Business Administration recently 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.

During the moratorium, any 8(a) Program participant seeking an 8(a) construction contract (either on a sole source or competitive basis) will not be required to have or establish a bona fide place of business in any specific geographic location.”

https://www.sba.gov/article/2021/aug/26/sba-announces-moratorium-bona-fide-place-business-requirements-8a-business-development-program  [August 2021]


Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) 2021-07

Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) 2021-07, dated August 11, 2021, contains essential information for both large and small businesses.  The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) is updated by FACs and this one becomes effective September 10, 2021.

Large business prime contractors will need to know:

Good Faith in Small Business Subcontracting – This rule may impact large business prime contractors required to have small business subcontracting plans.    FAR 19.705-7 now includes examples of a good faith effort to comply with the subcontracting plan, and examples of failure to make a good faith effort.  Liquidated damages may be assessed to large businesses that fail to make a good faith effort.  Prime contractors are now required to include indirect costs in their subcontracting goals within their commercial subcontracting plan.

Small business prime contractors will need to know:

Limitations on Subcontracting – This rule impacts small business set asides and addresses both the Limitations on Subcontracting and the Nonmanufacturer Rule.  The clauses are applicable for procurements set aside for 8(a), WOSB, SDVOSB, HUBZone programs, regardless of dollar value.  (Note VA may have different guidance for SDVOSB and VOSB set asides.)  The clauses are applicable for small business set asides, over the Simplified Acquisition Threshold (SAT), currently $250,000.

     The Limitations on Subcontracting defines “similarly situated entity” as a first-tier subcontractor that has the same small business program status as that which qualified the prime contractor for the award and is considered small for the NAICS code the prime contractor assigned to the subcontract.  The actual limitations on subcontracting are for the following types of procurements.

     Services – Not pay more than 50 percent of the amount paid by the Government for contract performance to subcontractors that are not similarly situated entities.  Any work that a similarly situated entity further subcontracts will count towards the prime contractor’s 50 percent subcontract amount that cannot be exceeded.

     Supplies – Not pay more that 50 percent of the amount paid by the Government for contract performance, excluding the cost of materials, to subcontractors that are not similarly situated entities.  Any work that a similarly situated entity further subcontracts will count towards the prime contractor’s 50 percent subcontract amount that cannot be exceeded.

     General Construction – Will not pay more that 85 percent of the amount paid by the Government for contract performance excluding the cost of materials, to subcontractors that are not similarly situated entities.  Any work that a similarly situated entity further subcontracts will count towards the prime contractor’s 85 percent subcontract amount that cannot be exceeded.

     Special Trade Construction – Will not pay more that 75 percent of the amount paid by the Government for contract performance excluding the cost of materials, to subcontractors that are not similarly situated entities.  Any work that a similarly situated entity further subcontracts will count towards the prime contractor’s 75 percent subcontract amount that cannot be exceeded.

     The Nonmanufacturer Rule defines a nonmanufacturer as a concern including a supplier that provides an end item it did not manufacture, process, or produce.  Under the rule a contractor shall provide an end item that a small business has manufactured, processed, or produced in the United States or its outlying areas, be primarily engaged in the retail or wholesale trade and normally sell the type of item being supplied, and take ownership or possession of the item(s) with its personnel, equipment, or facilities in a manner consistent with industry practice; for example, providing storage, transportation, or delivery.  When the end item is a kit, at least 50 percent of the total cost of the components of the kit shall be manufactured, processed, or produced in the United States or its outlying areas by small business concerns. [August 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]