What’s new in Federal Contracting?
“The Federal Government is Still Open for Business.”
The latest version of the beta.SAM.gov Update newsletter (February 2021) is available at https://www.gsa.gov/cdnstatic/20210225_-betaSAMgov_Update.pdf. [February 2021]
E-Verify Records Purge Scheduled for May 14, 2021 – USCIS purges records that are more than ten years old from its E-Verify system. https://www.natlawreview.com/article/e-verify-records-purge-scheduled-may-14-2021 [February 2021]
New Security Offering for SAM.gov for Entity Administrators Available May 24 – The new security enhancements – called identity proofing – will be voluntary (and recommended) at first, and will become mandatory in fiscal year 2022. Posted by the Integrated Award Environment (IAE) Industry Community https://interact.gsa.gov/blog/new-security-offering-samgov-entity-administrators-available-may-24 [February 2021]
GSA Leadership Talks Priorities and Future of Trump-Era Initiatives – The General Services Administration’s acting administrator and commissioner of the acquisition division discuss its technology programs, the beta.SAM migration, D-U-N-S transition, SolarWinds and more. https://www.nextgov.com/cio-briefing/2021/02/gsa-leadership-talks-priorities-and-future-trump-era-initiatives/172031/ [February 2021]
FORECAST OF CONTRACTING OPPORTUNITIES – The goal of this tool is to provide a nationwide dashboard of upcoming federal contracting opportunities. All projected procurements are subject to revision or cancellation. Final decisions on the extent of competition, small business participation, estimated value, or any aspect of the procurement are made if/when a solicitation is posted to beta.SAM.gov. Forecast data is for planning purposes only and is not a commitment by the Government to purchase the described products and/or services. Visit the site at https://hallways.cap.gsa.gov/app/#/dv/federal-business-forecast [February 2021]
SAM INTERFACES ARE CHANGING – As a user of SAM.gov data you will need to be aware of the following changes occurring on 05/24/2021 – details available at https://sam.gov/SAM/transcript/SAM_Interface_Changes.pdf. [February 2021]
Effective Feb. 16, 2021 – Section 880 of the FY 19 NDAA. The new rule amends Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 15.101-2 Lowest Price Technically Acceptable source selection process by adding new criteria agencies must consider before using LPTA. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/01/14/2020-29087/federal-acquisition-regulation-lowest-price-technically-acceptable-source-selection-process [February 2021]
Interagency Suspension and Debarment Committee (ISDC) Reports to Congress
As required by Section 873, this report describes Governmentwide progress in improving the suspension and debarment process and provides a summary of each agency’s suspension and debarment activities for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019.2 https://www.acquisition.gov/sites/default/files/page_file_uploads/ISDC%20FY19%20873%20Report.pdf [January 2021]
Executive Order on Ensuring the Future Is Made In All of America by All of America’s Workers
Federal financial assistance awards and Federal procurements to maximize the use of goods, products, and materials produced in, and services offered in, the US https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/01/25/executive-order-on-ensuring-the-future-is-made-in-all-of-america-by-all-of-americas-workers/ [January 2021]
As 2021 began, Congress passed two landmark laws that will help improve the transparency of federal contractors and combat the use of anonymous shell companies for money laundering. https://www.pogo.org/analysis/2021/01/defense-bill-includes-two-landmark-transparency-provisions/
From the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense
SUBJECT: FY 2020 Procurement Management Review “Year in Review” Newsletter https://www.acq.osd.mil/dpap/policy/policyvault/USA002501-20-DPC.pdf [January 2021]
Final Rule Implements Changes to the Buy American Act Regulations
Effective Date: 01/21/2021 – DoD, GSA, and NASA published a proposed rule at 85 FR 56558 on September 14, 2020, to implement E.O. 13881, Maximizing Use of American-Made Goods, Products, and Materials (84 FR 34257, July 18, 2019). In order to implement the E.O., this final rule changes FAR clauses implementing the Buy American statute by increasing the— 1. Domestic content requirements; and 2. Price preference for domestic products. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/01/19/2021-00710/federal-acquisition-regulation-maximizing-use-of-american-made-goods-products-and-materials [January 2021]
The Defense Department has announced the succession plan for Jan. 20, 2021.
MEMO for Senior Pentagon Leadership Defense Agency and DOD Field Activity Directors https://media.defense.gov/2021/Jan/20/2002567440/-1/-1/0/SUCCESSION-PLAN-FOR-JANUARY-20-2021-OSD000392-21-RES-FINAL.PDF?source=GovDelivery [January 2021]
The Department of Defense (DOD) releases the Fiscal Year 2020 Industrial Capabilities Report
The FY20 Industrial Capabilities Report transcribes the defense department’s priority industrial base risks and vulnerabilities; major developments and impacts of the coronavirus pandemic; and industrial base investments and initiatives executed in the previous fiscal year. The report promotes a strategy for a robust, resilient, secure, and innovative industrial base, which will require a substantial commitment of capital investment and resources, and continuation of the reforms undertaken in the past several years.
DOD Releases Report on Defense Spending by State in Fiscal Year 2019
Read more at defense.gov. The FY19 report, as well as previous years’ reports, can be found on the OLDCC website at: https://oea.gov/defense-spending-state-fiscal-year-2019. [January 2021]
On January 6, 2021, the Department of Labor announced a final rule clarifying the standard for employee versus independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The effective date of the final rule is March 8, 2021. https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/flsa/2021-independent-contractor [January 2021]
The latest version of the beta.SAM.gov Update newsletter (December 2020) is now available.
The new edition has articles covering:
– The upcoming transition of SAM.gov into beta.SAM.gov;
– Recent improvements and changes at the Federal Service Desk (FSD.gov); and
– Product Service Codes (PSC) updates and changes. [January 2021]
OFCCP’s Year in Review – U.S. DOL Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs bulletin https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDOLOFCCP/bulletins/2b3c2ed [January 2021]
(DOD) Class Deviation 2021-O0002 Verification of Eligibility for the Women-Owned Small Business Program. Contracting officers shall verify in the Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS) that the concern is designated as an economically disadvantaged women-owned small business concern (EDWOSB) or as a WOSB concern eligible for the WOSB Program. A concern is not eligible for a set-aside or sole-source award under the WOSB program unless designated as either an EDWOSB or WOSB in DSBS. DSBS is available at https://web.sba.gov/pro-net/search/dsp_dsbs.cfm. https://www.acq.osd.mil/dpap/policy/policyvault/USA002184-20-DPC.pdf [December 2020]
The Federal Register published the final rule titled “National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual (NISPOM)” (32 CFR part 117) today. The rule can be found here. The NISPOM establishes requirements for the protection of classified information disclosed to or developed by contractors, licensees, grantees, or certificate holders to prevent unauthorized disclosure. The rule will become effective February 24, 2021, and authorizes the contractor no more than 6 months to comply with changes from the effective date of the rule. [December 2020]
This week, FSD.gov got a makeover, with a new skin and some new functionalities. Following the same trajectory as a number of the General Services Administration’s acquisition tools and websites this year, the Federal Service Desk—the go-to help desk for all of the agency’s procurement tools and services—got a new look and stronger security measures.
Upcoming MAS Solicitation Changes to Implement the Verified Products Portal (VPP) – represents an integral piece of FAS’s Catalog Management effort under the Federal Marketplace (FMP) initiative https://interact.gsa.gov/blog/upcoming-mas-solicitation-changes-implement-verified-products-portal-vpp-0 [December 2020]
The legacy SAM.gov will be shuttered and all the capabilities will be folded into the new SAM.gov, which currently goes by beta.SAM.gov.
Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has issued a Technical Assistance Guide (guide) to serve as a self-assessment tool for contractors to review the practices they have in place to eliminate discrimination and achieve their EEO goals. https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/OFCCP/SupplyService/files/508_OFCCP_SS_TAG.pdf [December 2020]
On 11/30/20, GSA will be updating the SAM mail server to require TLS 1.2 or higher. This is a behind-the-scenes update, meaning that your access to SAM.gov via browser or web service client will not be affected at all. Since the SAM mail server will require TLS 1.2, if you utilize email on aging or insecure mail servers will no longer receive SAM email alerts once these changes are in place. You will still be able to communicate with SAM via browser and conduct business, but emails such as Entity expiration notifications or role notifications will no longer arrive at your mailbox.
This requirement should be seamless to most users, particularly if you use popular Cloud hosted mail services such as Gmail or Hotmail.
To ensure that your system is compliant with the TLS changes, please do the following self-test:
- Go to https://www.checktls.com/TestReceiver
- In the Input Fields section, enter your email address as the eMail Target and select “SSLDetail” as the Output Format. Click the Run Test button to run the scan.
- When the results return, scan for the following line “SSLVersion in use:” in the results. Observe the TLS / SSL version, if any to see the highest version of TLS that your mail server is configured for.
You may also reach out to your mail provider or security officer verify the security settings of your mail system. If your system already supports TLS 1.2/1.3, no further changes are necessary. If your mail system only supports TLS 1.1 or lower, you will no longer receive notification emails from SAM once these changes are in place. Once your mail system is updated to TLS 1.3, regular email notifications with SAM will resume. If your system only supports TLS 1.1 or lower and you have any additional questions, please reach out to the Federal Service Desk (https://www.fsd.gov/). [November 2020]
The Defense Department will soon release a new guide to help engineers and the acquisition community as they pursue new capabilities for the military. The initiative comes as the Pentagon is trying to implement the 2018 National Defense Strategy and engage in great power competition with China and Russia. LEARN MORE [November 2020]
As of Nov. 30, 2020, contractors will use DocuSign to digitally sign documents in eOffer and eMod. This change to DocuSign aligns with GSA’s overall IT modernization efforts to support security and provide a solution that is legally recognized internationally. LEARN MORE [November 2020]
From Department of Defense Improving Compliance with Buy American Laws memo https://www.acq.osd.mil/dpap/policy/policyvault/USA002277-20-DPC.pdf [October 2020]
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) directed federal agencies to finalize their transition to using the SAM-generated unique entity identifier (unique entity ID or UEI) by April 2022. GSA will be contracting with Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) to ensure full continuity of services—including DUNS number assignment, monitoring, and validation of entity uniqueness—during the extended transition period. LEARN MORE [October 2020]
CONTRACT DATA REPORTS NOW OFFICIAL AT beta.SAM.gov – GSA, General Services Administration sent this bulletin at 10/17/2020 02:49 PM EDT
Today, the IAE is pleased to announce that the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) reports module has successfully migrated to beta.SAM.gov. From now on, beta.SAM.gov is the only place to create and run static, standard, administrative, and ad hoc contract data reports. LEARN MORE [October 2020]
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has revamped the Employment Referral Resource Directory (ERRD). The ERRD lists government and nonprofit organizations as references to assist federal contractors’ hiring of qualified applicants. ERRD was developed as a compliance assistance tool to help federal contractors identify local job referral services for veterans, individuals with disabilities, women, and minority groups. LEARN MORE [October 2020]
The MAS PMO and National Industrial Operations Analyst (IOA) Program are excited to announce that the MAS Contractor Assessment (CA) Reference Guide is now available for download at the Vendor Support Center. This reference guide provides a foundational, transparent understanding of the MAS CA process for our industry partners. CAs are conducted regularly by GSA’s IOAs and verify contractors are complying with their contractual terms and conditions and have the support necessary to be successful. READ MORE [October 2020]
WASHINGTON: The Pentagon’s top acquisition official says the military is doubling down on efforts to move microelectronics manufacturing away from China, citing worries about the security of supply chains.
A full 75% of microelectronics manufacturing and 98% of packaging takes place in Asia, acquisition boss Ellen Lord said at the ComDef conference today.
“While the U.S. continues to serve as the leader in microelectronics research and development,” Lord said, “our lack of ability to manufacture, package and test, has resulted in the loss of employment opportunities, economic growth and the lack of ability to fulfill DoD requirements.” LINK [October 2020]
From GSA Interact For MAS Schedule holders – Happy FY 2021 from the MAS PMO! We worked through some unprecedented situations in FY 2020 – grateful for all of your engagement and continued participation in our MAS Consolidation efforts. Important information and deadlines contractors should be aware of READ HERE. [October 2020]
Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Assessing Contractor Implementation of Cybersecurity Requirements (DFARS Case 2019-D041)
A Rule by the Defense Acquisition Regulations System on 09/29/2020 – DoD is issuing an interim rule to amend the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to implement a DoD Assessment Methodology and Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification framework in order to assess contractor implementation of cybersecurity requirements and enhance the protection of unclassified information within the DoD supply chain. This rule adds a new DFARS subpart, Subpart 204.75, Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), to specify the policy and procedures for awarding a contract, or exercising an option on a contract, that includes the requirement for a CMMC certification. Specifically, this subpart directs contracting officers to verify in SPRS that the apparently successful offeror’s or contractor’s CMMC certification is current and meets the required level prior to making the award. Dates: Effective November 30, 2020. DOCUMENT [September 2020]
New GSA FAS ID Contractor Login Coming to eBuy on October 10th
On Saturday, October 10, 2020, the eBuy contractor login is moving to a two-step, multi-factor authentication (MFA) process using GSA FAS ID – a secure, centralized identity management system that lets contractors access many GSA applications with one email and password. LEARN MORE [September 2020]
The National Institute for Standards and Technology released the draft of NIST Special Publication 800-172 (“NIST SP 800-172”) on July 6, 2020. This draft special publication succeeds the prior draft NIST SP 800-171B that NIST published in June 2019, and operates as a supplement to the NIST SP 800-171 controls that federal contractors generally must comply with in order to transmit, process, and store Controlled Unclassified Information (“CUI”). [August 2020]
The National Security Agency released a Limiting Location Data Exposure Cybersecurity Information Sheet (CSI) today to guide National Security System (NSS) and Department of Defense (DoD) mobile device users on how they might reduce risk associated with sharing sensitive location data. The guide summarizes how and why mobile devices expose location data and explains potential risk that comes with using them. It provides mitigations to limit the sharing of this information, but warns there is no solution to fully mitigate a mobile device from being located. [August 2020]
Multi-Factor Authentication Replaces Digital Certification and PIN Requirements for Signing Mass Mods on Aug. 8, 2020. Attention contract holders! Updates to GSA’s IT infrastructure mean changes to the way you access our Mass Mod Portal. [August 2020]
DoD, GSA, and NASA issued an interim rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to implement section 889(a)(1)(B) of the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 (Pub. L. 115-232). Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) 2020-08 published in the Federal Register on July 14, 2020.
Implementation of the Section 889(a)(1)(B) Prohibition on Contracting with Entities Using Certain Telecommunications and Video Surveillance Services or Equipment. The purpose of this memorandum is to facilitate implementation of interim FAR rule 2019-009, published on July 14, 2020, and effective on August 13, 2020.
As of July 15, 2020, the certification process for Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSBs) and Economically Disadvantaged WOSBs (EDWOSBs) has changed. SBA has implemented Congress’ changes to the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program (WOSB Federal Contracting Program), as put forth in the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). These updated regulations make it easier for qualified small businesses to participate in the WOSB Federal Contracting Program by improving the customer experience. At the same time, SBA is strengthening oversight and maintaining the integrity of the certification process. Updates on US SBA website Need help? – contact Kim Garber at WPI KimG@wispro.org.
Copy of Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) Ver. 1.02 (March 18, 2020)