Just when we thought that the ARRA reporting requirements couldn’t get more intensive and despite the fact that over 80% of the Recovery Act funds have already been spent, an interim rule to change FAR clause 52.204-11 went into effect July 2nd requiring first-tier subcontractors with awards above $25,000 to report on job creation and retention. This new provision will apply only to awards issued after July 2, 2010. Although the rule requires subcontractors to capture the job data and report, prime contractors should be aware of the provision as they are responsible for flowing this requirement down to its first-tier subcontractors and submitting their subcontractors’ data to FederalReporting.gov.
Additionally, prime contractors will now be required to file reporting for new ARRA contracts within 10 days of the end of the quarter in which the contract is awarded, as opposed to the first quarter in which the contract is invoiced. The interim rule is open for comments through August 31, 2010. Welcome to the Brave New World – next stop, DNA samples?
DON’T FORGET, YOUR ARRA REPORTING FOR APR-JUN IS DUE JULY 10th!
As part of Phase II of its Goldstar Initiative, GSA will be issuing mandatory modifications to ALL Schedule Contracts on June 24th to baseline its contractors’ current terms and conditions, along with negotiated exceptions. This process will be much more onerous then a standard mandatory modification. It is extremely important to read the instructions and complete the modification carefully. Continue reading »
Are you a small business trying to get your foot in the door of the federal market? Are you looking for teaming and subcontracting opportunities, but don’t know how to meet prime contractors? If so, you may be interested in attending GSA’s premiere event connecting small businesses to the government. GSA Opening Doors 2010, to be held August 9-11, 2010 in Los Angeles, CA, offers all categories of small businesses opportunities for scheduled matchmaking (with agencies and primes), networking, workshops, town hall meetings, and exhibits.
New workshops this year cover contract negotiations, exporting, going green, and small business certifications and qualifications. Sponsoring agencies include the Department of Veteran Affairs, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Small Business Administration, and Los Angeles World Airports. This event is not limited to GSA Schedule Contract holders and it SOLD OUT last year, so we encourage interested parties to register quickly!
Stimulus Workload Delays Awards of, and Modification Processing for, non-Recovery Contracts and Grants
“As many agencies attempt to implement Recovery Act (ARRA) requirements while carrying out their ongoing programs and operations, the awarding of contracts and grants is being delayed … and the oversight and monitoring of awards — especially non-Recovery Act contracts and grants – are expected to decline. ” This, according to the March 2010 Commerce Department’s Inspector General (IG) report. Several federal agency survey respondents acknowledged that without additional resources they will not be able to devote enough attention to processing modifications, updating contract management plans, monitoring contractor systems or tracking deliverables for their non-stimulus contracts. One agency (the Small Business Administration (SBA)) issued a memorandum to OMB on 4/9/10, describing workload challenges and outlining interim potential options such as use of another agency’s contracting services on a cost-reimbursable basis.
According to GovExec, the IG report, which was mandated by the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and conducted via survey by the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board (RAT) further notes: Workforce challenges appear dire among officials administering grants, which represent a significantly higher portion of Recovery spending than contracts. Delays in awarding non-Recovery Act contracts have also been acknowledged. Continue reading »
The Administration raised the stakes for contractors or grantees that receive stimulus funding but fail to file the required reports. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act requires quarterly reporting but did not include consequences for those recipients who fail to submit reports. During the last calendar quarter of 2009, more than 1,000 recipients failed to file reports, most of them grantees as opposed to contractors.
On April 6, 2010 President Obama directed Executive Agencies to use every means available to ensure that every recipient of stimulus funds has filed the required reports. The agencies must intensify their efforts to ensure compliance by terminating awards, pursuing suspension and debarment, reclaiming funds, and initiating other punitive actions whenever authorized and appropriate. Agencies are also required to report the names of non-compliant recipients to the Office and Management and Budget (OMB)along with the actions the agency is taking to obtain the reports. OMB also has 30 days to provide agencies with additional guidance on how to handle non-reporting recipients.
It was presumably good news when your organization received some of the stimulus money. Do not turn good news into bad news by failing to file the required reports.
SBA’s training portal offers free online training courses designed to assist entrepreneurs during this period of economic recovery. Courses provide targeted self-paced training for small businesses, including those owned by women, minorities, disadvantaged individuals and veterans. The self-paced, instructional guides provide an overview of the federal procurement process, provide information about the federal marketplace, contract rules and, most importantly, how to sell to the government and where to find contract and Recovery Act opportunities. This is part of a federal government-wide initiative to strengthen access to contracting opportunities being led by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Department of Commerce.
- The Recovery Act Opportunities course (www.sba.gov/fedcontractingtraining) is indexed by subject matter to allow ease of use, includes direct links that highlight the best contracting resources, and includes practical and fundamental steps to engage business owners in the federal contracting arena. It is one of more than 24 online tutorials offered by the SBA, and is available 24/7.
- In addition, SBA introduced its newest online course for women small business owners in September 2009, Winning Federal Contracts: A Guide for Women Entrepreneurs. This training module is also free, very comprehensive and includes numerous resources, including many targeted for women-owned businesses.
Have questions? Contract the government contracting professionals at Aronson & Company for assistance obtaining new contracts, administration and compliance of existing government contracts, and proposal pricing support among our many offerings!
Now that the second quarter of FY10 (or the first, depending on who you ask!) has officially ended, it is time for contractors to start preparing and submitting reporting required under their Federal contracts. Three of the most important upcoming deadlines include:
- ARRA / Stimulus Contract Reporting (Due April 10th)
- eSRS Small Business Subcontracting Plan Reporting, Individual Subcontract Reports (Due April 30th)
- GSA 72A Sales Reporting and IFF Remittance (Due April 30th)
Follow the hyperlinks above to access the reporting sites. If you have any questions about your reporting requirements or the reporting process, try searching FedPoint or contact Aronson & Company directly for guidance.
The Montgomery County Department of Economic Development launched the FREE Stimulus Opportunity System (SOS) to help local businesses learn about, and better compete for, the more than $787 billion worth of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) contracting and grant opportunities, as well as other federal contracting opportunities.
20-25%+ of all federal contracts occur in Washington regional area. The Stimulus Opportunity System (SOS), located at at www.smartmontgomery.org, is a searchable online tool which provides essential information including department, agency, solicitation number, contract or grant name, online link and post date. Click on the following link for background material from the June 25 Stimulus Opportunities System Workshop.
President Obama recently signed a new law extending the COBRA subsidy that was previously enacted by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Under ARRA, employees that are involuntarily terminated and lose employer-sponsored health insurance between September 1, 2008, and December 31, 2009, are eligible for the subsidy. Employees that are involuntarily terminated for gross misconduct are not eligible for the subsidy. Subsidy eligible employees are responsible for only 35% of their COBRA premiums. Employers are initially responsible for the remaining 65%, but have these amounts refunded as a credit when payroll taxes are remitted.
The new law extends the cut-off date by two months until February 28, 2010, and extends the eligibility period from nine months to fifteen months. Employers will be responsible for providing notices to laid-off workers. This includes workers that previously lost the subsidy who will now have additional time to pay the reduced premium. For additional information or assistance please contact Mark Flanagan of Aronson & Company’s Benefit Plan Services Group via email or at 301-231-6257.
Although we are entering a new calendar year, the emphasis on transparency and accountability that began in 2009 will continue to be a major pressure point for Federal Contractors in the immediate future. Increases to budgets and personnel at oversight agencies will flow down to contractors in the form of increased inquiries and audits. Furthermore, due to the political and economic climate, contractors should expect more scrutiny from legislators, the press and the public, especially in regard to projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and the controversial eVerify system. Penalties for non-reporting can be substantial and can result in consequences up to and including contract cancellation and debarment.
Please follow the link below to see a summary listing of major reporting requirements that may apply to your company. This list is not meant to be comprehensive for all users; please review your contract files to ensure individual compliance. Continue reading »
What We Are Writing
- A Marriage of Inconvenience: GSA Schedule Contracts & The Contractor Code of Business Ethics & Conduct Clause
- Emerging Small Businesses: To Grow Your Business, You Must Plan For Growth
- Government Contracting: Look Before You Leap!
- GSA Schedules – Strategies for Success
- New Employee vs. Independent Contractor Considerations
- Pay on Display – Understanding the Executive Compensation and Subcontractor Data Reporting Requirements & Ramifications
- The GSA Schedule: Your Ticket to the Federal Market (May 2010)
- The New FAR Codes of Conduct and Compliance Program Provisions
- The Seven Deadly Sins (of contract compliance)