Alabama Contracting News

Extension of the 8a Program

The 2021 National Defense Authorization Act and the Appropriations Act permit businesses who were participants in the 8(a) Business Development program on or before September 9, 2020, to extend their participation in the program for a period of one year. SBA is expected to publish a final rule incorporating this mandate on January 13, 2021.

Below are key takeaways for government contractors seeking to extend participation in the 8(a) program.
 
Eligibility Requirements
 
Through the unpublished rule, SBA has further clarified that it believes that any firms participating in the 8(a) program as of the date the national disaster was declared due to the COVID-19 pandemic (March 13, 2020) should receive the program extension.
 
Accordingly, to be eligible for the one-year extension you must:

  • Have been in the 8(a) program as of March 13, 2020, or September 9, 2020.

You are not eligible for the one-year extension if you:

  • Graduated or otherwise left the program prior to March 13, 2020;
  • Were a participant between March 13, 2020, and September 9, 2020, but were terminated, early graduated, or voluntarily withdrew; or
  • Were admitted after September 9, 2020.

How Will the Extension Be Implemented?

  • If you were an 8(a) participant between March 13, 2020, and the date the rule is published, the extension is automatic, unless your company declines the extension.
  • If you were a participant as of March 13, 2020, but have since graduated, you must notify SBA of your intent to be readmitted for a period of one year from date of completion of the program term (e.g., if you graduated on November 25, 2020, your program participation would be extended until November 25, 2021).
    • This notification must be received by SBA no later than 60 days after the rule is published.
    • You must certify that you continue to meet the eligibility requirements.
    • All requests for re-admittance must be submitted to: Associate Administrator, Office of Business Development, Small Business Administration, 409 Third Street SW, Washington, DC 20416 or via email to 8aQuestions@sba.gov.

It is important to keep in mind that participants must continue to comply with all applicable 8(a) eligibility requirements. Additionally, SBA has confirmed that in order to be eligible to receive 8(a) sole-source contracts during the extended program term, the participant must have met the 50% non-8(a) business activity target (or made good faith efforts to meet that target) during its ninth program year.

The final rule, which will have immediate effect, is expected to be published January 13. While the rule will have immediate effect, SBA is providing for a 60-day comment period.

Source: Piliero-Mazza-Law

GSA Webinar on Public Building Services 10/28/20

Join the GSA Region 4 Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization for an overview on Doing Business with GSA Region 4 Public Building services. During this webinar our Acquisition Director for GSA Region 4 PBS will provide training on how to do business with Public Building Services, understand Internal IDIQ’s, Construction Projects (to include Capital Courthouse), Janitorial, and Facilities Management.

Wednesday, October 28, 202010:30 am – 12:00 pm, EST
Web-Conferencing via MeetingSpace
Webinar URL will be provided once you register.
Registration closes TUESDAY, October 27, 2020 at 1:30 pm, est.
LINK WILL BE SENT ON TUESDAY, October 27, 2020 by 5:00 pm, est.
This event is free of charge, but space is limited.

Invitations are not transferableRegister here: https://forms.gle/i6zXvnSJYdT49pp37

Now Hiring: PTAC Procurement Specialist

The Alabama PTAC is accepting applications for a full time Procurement Specialist at Alabama State University (ASU). Do you have experience in government contracting? Do you have a passion for helping small businesses succeed? Can you help companies compete for contract opportunities at the federal, state, and local level?

Apply online with ASU.
Position closes 9/10/20.

TKO Seminar June 23

The Defense Logistics Agency is offering a virtual Training, Knowledge, and Opportunities (TKO) Seminar on June 23rd, 2020.

Click here to register: https://tko.dla.mil/
Then select DLA Land & Maritime.

“The TKO seminar is a session that teaches vendors how to START doing business with Defense Logistics Agency. Vendors learn how to find open solicitations, how to submit a quote through the DLA Internet Bid Board System (DIBBS), the procedures for viewing/downloading drawings, and how to use Wide Area Work Flow (WAWF) to get paid. There will also be many other relevant topics of discussion. This course is designed for dealers, distributors, and manufacturers, but NOT a company that provides services.

TKO Frequently Asked Questions

Defense Pricing & Contracting COVID-19 Resources

DPC Announcements

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Limited Exemption and Waiver from Certain Federal Contracting Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Requirements, as of March 17, 2020Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-2019): Emergency Acquisition Flexibilities and National Interest Action (NIA) Code, as of March 13, 2020

DPC Memorandums

Determining and Making Commercial Item Procurements to Respond to COVID-19, dated March 31, 2020Reporting COVID-19 Related Actions to the Federal Procurement Data System, dated March 31, 2020Managing Defense Contracts Impacts of the Novel Coronavirus, dated March 30, 2020Doing Business with the Department – Supporting the Response to COVID-19, dated March 27, 2020Defense Industrial Base Contract Considerations, dated March 20, 2020Contract Place of Performance – Public Health Considerations, dated March 20, 2020Planning for Potential Novel Coronavirus Contract Impacts, dated March 11, 2020Emergency Acquisition Flexibilities – Disaster or Emergency Assistance Activities, dated March 6, 2020Continuation of Essential Contractor Services, dated March 5, 2020

Class Deviations

Class Deviation 2020-O0011 – Submission of Interim Vouchers Under Classified Contracts, dated March 27, 2020Class Deviation 2020-O0010 – Progress Payment Rates, dated March 20, 2020

USD(A&S) Memorandums

Defense Industrial Base Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce, dated March 20, 2020

OMB Resources

OMB Memorandum on Managing Contract Performance Issues Associated with COVID-19, dated March 20, 2020

Military Component Memorandums

USAF – Creative Contracting Techniques for Maintaining Financial Health of DIB, dated March 26, 2020USAF – AF Acquisition Task Force on COVID-19, dated March 25, 2020USAF – Mission Essential Activities during COVID-19, dated March 21, 2020USAF – Department of the Air Force Mission Essential Activities during COVID-19, dated March 17, 2020USN – Use of COVID-19 Language within DON Contracts, dated March 26, 2020USN – (Intent and Direction) Withholds and Retentions During COVID-19, dated March 20, 2020USA – Promoting Resiliency of the DIB during COVID-19 Pandemic (to industry), dated March 24 2020USA – Promoting Resiliency of the DIB during COVID-19 Pandemic (internal), dated March 24 2020USA – Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Procurement) (DASA(P)) Response to the Cornoavirus Disease (COVID-19), dated March 12, 2020

Acquisition Related COVID-19 Resources and Links

https://www.acquisition.gov/coronavirus Provides quick access to key COVID-19 documents of interest to the acquisition community.https://intelshare.intelink.gov/sites/ocs/COVID-19 Joint Staff J-4 site that provides Operational Contract Support information related to COVID-19. (Website is CAC enabled access only.)https://community.max.gov/x/dUCafg Enables rapid information-sharing within the acquisition workforce of agency generated artifacts (e.g., templates, best practices) related to COVID-19. (Website is CAC enabled/government authorized access only.)

SBA Disaster Assistance in Response to the Coronavirus

• The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Upon a request received from a state’s or territory’s Governor, SBA will issue under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President, an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration.
• Any such Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance declaration issued by the SBA makes loans available to small businesses and private, non-profit organizations in designated areas of a state or territory to help alleviate economic injury caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
• SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance will coordinate with the state’s or territory’s Governor to submit the request for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance.
• Once a declaration is made for designated areas within a state, the information on the application process for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance will be made available to all affected communities as well as updated on our website: SBA.gov/disaster.
• SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance per small business and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
• These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
• SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.
• SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans are just one piece of the expanded focus of the federal government’s coordinated response, and the SBA is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible.
• For additional information, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center. Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.
• Visit SBA.gov/disaster for more information.

Note: Alabama PTAC cannot provide assistance with disaster loan applications, as they are not directly related to government contracting; our funding partner, the Defense Logistics Agency, specifically restricts us from providing this type of business assistance. Our colleagues across the hall, at the Alabama SBDC Network may be able to provide additional assistance.

OSHA Handbook

Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. OSHA’s role is to promote the safety and health of America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health.

American employers and workers want safe and healthful places in which to work. They want everyone on the job to go home whole and healthy each day. Determined to make that dream possible, OSHA is committed to assuring – so far as possible – that every working man and woman in the nation has safe and healthful working conditions. OSHA believes that providing workers with a safe workplace is central to their ability to enjoy health, security and the opportunity to achieve the American dream.

OSHA seeks to cut unnecessary rules, regulations and red tape. It is eliminating thousands of pages of outdated regulations and continues to rewrite standards in plain English. OSHA is paring down its regulatory agenda so that it more accurately reflects realistic goals that best serve the needs of American employers and employees. Confronted by the realities and demands to keep pace with the workforce and problems of the future, OSHA is developing new strategies to reduce occupational fatalities, injuries and illnesses. Coupled with strong, effective and fair enforcement, OSHA strives to provide improved outreach, education and compliance assistance to America’s employers and employees.

OSHA’s Small Business Handbook is available for download here:
https://www.osha.gov/Publications/smallbusiness/small-business.pdf

Air Force’s ‘Base of the Future’ Ideas Will Be Tested on Tyndall Rebuild

With 2020 in full swing, the Air Force’s cross-sector outreach program—AFWERX—announced this year’s innovation focus: the base of the future.

After Hurricane Michael decimated Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida in 2018, Air Force leadership saw an opportunity to rebuild with the future in mind.

“With the rebuild of Tyndall Air Force Base, the Air Force has an opportunity to create from scratch an installation that will be recognized as a center of excellence for innovation,” according to a notice posted to the beta.SAM.gov Contracting Opportunities site.

As the service looks to revamp a key base, AFWERX will be hosting a series of workshops across the country to get feedback on emerging technologies in a number of fields. As part of its mission, AFWERX brings military leaders together with innovators from across the private sector, including industry, academia and “non-traditional contributors” through challenge workshops focused on specific needs.

“AFWERX enables thoughtful, deliberate, ground-up innovation across the Air Force,” the notice explains. “This is accomplished through an innovative approach that combines startup urgency with the largest pool of motivated talent in the world to uncover opportunities to improve Air Force capabilities, connect and engage the right stakeholders, and facilitate outcomes.”

For the Base of the Future challenge, AFWERX plans to hold workshops focused on six areas. From the notice:

  • Installation Security: Examine and improve the existing security and defense systems that protect the people and critical resources they house.
  • Installation Resiliency: Energy and utility systems issues need to be addressed to support the various missions carried out by Air Force bases.
  • Leveraging Operational Technology: Tyndall AFB has the potential to be a model for Air Force bases of the future by becoming a leader in operational technology, automation, artificial intelligence, digital integration and cybersecurity.
  • Culture of Innovation: From bad Wi-Fi to old or inadequate hardware, airmen aren’t receiving the best, existing tools to succeed in their missions.
  • Additive Manufacturing: Leveraging additive manufacturing techniques—3D printing—for on-demand manufacturing of critical aircraft components, rapid and repeatable deployment of structures, etc.
  • Construction Logistics: The Air Force is expected to face logistical challenges surrounding housing and feeding the contractor workforce in the rebuild of the Tyndall Air Force Base. With large volumes of people and materials entering the base, it will be challenging to manage workers and deliveries to construction sites safely and efficiently to mitigate security risks, maximize work productivity and minimize negative economic impacts on the local community.  Ideally, the service is exploring the possibilities to scale up and scale down various logistics based on the overall construction schedule.

The notice stresses the workshops are not contracting opportunities. However, the events are used as a basis for future solicitations and contracts, as Air Force officials get a sense of what is possible.

Source:
https://www.nextgov.com/emerging-tech/2020/01/air-forces-base-future-ideas-will-be-tested-tyndall-rebuild/162545/

OASIS Contracts

OASIS: One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services

OASIS and OASIS Small Business (SB) are multiple award, Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts that provide flexible and innovative solutions for complex professional services. Details of OASIS Contract include:

  • Span many areas of expertise and mission space;
  • Span multiple professional service disciplines;
  • Allow flexibility for all contract types, including hybrids and cost-reimbursement, at the task order level; and
  • Allow ancillary support components, commonly referred to as Other Direct Costs (ODC), at the task order level.

The core disciplines/scopes of the contracts include:

  • Program management services;
  • Management consulting services;
  • Logistics services;
  • Engineering services;
  • Scientific services; and
  • Financial services.

OASIS Contract Features

  • Commercial and non-commercial services;
  • CONUS and OCONUS requirements;
  • Classified and unclassified services; and
  • Ancillary Support necessary to deliver a total solution, such as:
    Labor, Materials, ODC’s, or
  • Hybrid of any of the above;
  • Designated Best-in-Class (BIC) solution helping agencies meet their spend under management goals; and
  • Download this OASIS BIC profile [PDF – 196 KB].

For more information, please review the GSA website, or contact your local Alabama PTAC Procurement Specialist.

https://www.gsa.gov/buying-selling/products-services/professional-services/buy-services/one-acquisition-solution-for-integrated-services-oasis

Goodbye DUNS, Hello SAMMI

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) recently announced the award of a $41.8 million-dollar five-year contract to Ernst and Young LLP (EY) that will replace the decades-long contract held by Dun & Bradstreet to provide entity validation services, currently known as the Data Universal Number System (DUNS®.)

This move will affect every federal agency and the hundreds of thousands of contractors, individuals, and other organizations registered to do business with or receive grants from the U.S. federal government in this all-encompassing transition away from the DUNS to a non-proprietary unique identity identifier.

This March 18 notification is a huge blow to Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) which in just the last fiscal year was awarded over $68 million in 192 federal transactions across defense and civilian agencies. And in the last ten years, D&B realized over $639 million in federal revenues providing similar proprietary DUNS-related services to all federal agencies, according to USASpending.gov.

Every entity receiving contracts or grants must be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) website at SAM.gov, where the DUNS has served as a public-facing unique identification number, thereby keeping sensitive tax identification numbers private.

Through this new contract, the government will transition from the DUNS numbering system to a new government-owned SAM Managed Identifier (SAMMI), which will be used as a primary key to identify every existing and new entity within SAM.gov. GSA plans to enable a successful transition to the SAMMI to be completed by 2020.

In replacing the DUNS with SAMMI, the government will no longer be dependent upon a proprietary D&B-owned data system. The SAMMI unique entity identifier is tied in SAM.gov to the legal entity name, ‘doing business as’ name, and the physical address that corresponds to it. All entities awarded federal procurement and grants actions, with rare exceptions, are required to register in SAM.

The information from SAM is used throughout the government, to include all aspects of the procurement and financial assistance processes. For historical purposes, DUNS information will continue to be available for awards made prior to the SAMMI transition

GSA acknowledges that this transition to SAMMI will be complicated, and states in its interact.gsa.gov website that specific transition plans will be published at a later date. All businesses, individuals and government entities using sam.gov will receive notification through existing communication channels and updates will be posted to the GSA Interact platform at https://interact.gsa.gov/.

Source:
https://www.targetgov.com/articles/gsa-awards-43m-contract-to-replace-duns-with-sammi/