While outsourcing your E-verify employee eligibility verification may be a great solution, it can have hidden risks or costs. An Immigration Solutions blog post recommends asking the following questions:
- Who owns the I-9 E-Verify data under the terms of the agreement?
- Can the employer request a backup of the electronic I-9 and E-Verify data at no or little cost?
- How often can the employer request such a backup and in what format will it be delivered?
- What happens if the vendor closes shop or decides to assign the data to another provider?
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced today that it is beta testing E-Verify Self Check, a new program that allows people to voluntarily check their own employment eligibility status, securely and at no cost, in E-Verify to ensure that there are no errors in the system. According to the USCIS, “once you have confirmed your employment eligibility using Self Check, you are unlikely to encounter difficulties upon being hired by an E-Verify participating employer“. If you do find errors (or “mismatches”) in your record, the system will lead you through the process of correcting them. The Self Check Program is being rolled out in phases according to state of residence. Right now, the only states where you can self-check are Continue reading »
Aronson & Company presented a webinar last week entitled Hot Topics in GSA Contract Administration. During the course of the webinar, attendees raised a number of excellent questions of value to the GSA Schedule Contracting community. Covering issues from executive compensation disclosures to elements of a good GSA compliance program, we are pleased to present the questions and our responses Continue reading »
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 »
GSA’s Management Services Center (MSC), which manages the MOBIS, PES, LOGWORLD, Language, Consolidated, and Environmental Schedule Contracts, is based in Washington state – 3,000 miles from the majority of Schedule holders. Fortunately for DC-area contractors who hold one or more of these Schedules, the MSC will be hosting Industry Days in Crystal City, VA on May 25-26, 2010. This is the second Industry Day sponsored by MSC in the DC Metro area offering contractors a unique opportunity for specialized training and networking. The first session filled quickly, so register now to take advantage of this free event. More information about the program schedule and registration is located after the jump. Continue reading »
E-Verify, always a controversial topic, may be moving to the forefront of many Federal Contractors’ attention with the recent inclusion of the Employment Eligibility Verification Clause (FAR 52.222-54) into GSA Schedule contracts. With this change, thousands of contractors likely found themselves needing to comply with E-Verify regulations for the first time. In order to assist the contractor community with understanding and utilizing E-Verify, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) will be offering multiple sessions of free training called “Federal Contractor E-Verify” next week. The training course includes a topic overview, a demonstration of the proper use and key features of the E-Verify system, and a question and answer session. Continue reading »
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 »
Most Government contractors receiving contracts on or after September 8, 2009 will be required to use the Government’s E-Verify system to verify the employment eligibility of their employees. E-Verify will not be required for contracts less than $100,000 or to be performed overseas or for COTS products. E-Verify must be flowed down to subcontracts valued at $3,000 or above. Contractors subject to the E-Verify requirement must begin using the system to verify the employment status of all new hires and any existing employees assigned to work on that contract. Generally, contractors will have 30 days from contract award to enroll in E-Verify and another 90 days to begin verifying employment status. Less time is allotted if the contractor is already enrolled in E-Verify.
The Department of Homeland Security is conducting series of E-Verify webinars. The webinar advertisement may be accessed at the following link.
Contractors can expect continued “diligence” from DCAA for the foreseeable future. GAO’s latest draft report (leaked) indicated that, of the 37 audits reviewed, ALL were found deficient with General Accepted Government Auditing Standards (GAGAS). Contractors will inevitably continue to feel the additional squeeze as DCAA continues to tighten audit procedures to regain the Agency’s reputation.
The latest GAO report will result in more criticism of DCAA and justifiably so. A public accounting firm would be out of business if a peer review resulted in such significant negative findings. But that said; everyone should keep in mind that this review covered audits conducted in 2004-2006 BEFORE the initial scathing GAO report was released. So while DCAA does have internal quality issues, it is logical to assume that the deficiencies would be similar to the one’s identified in last year’s report. At this point, the more important question is “has quality improved on current audits”? That question will not be formally answered until GAO reviews DCAA’s 2008 / 2009 audits which were mostly conducted after the first report was issued and after DCAA implemented new quality control procedures.
Aronson strongly recommends that contractors take this time to focus on their internal systems. Review your systems for proper compliance, documentation, and implementation. Contractors should maintain written policies and procedures specifically related to timekeeping, travel, accumulation of direct and indirect costs, and exclusion of unallowable costs at a minimum. Contractor should educate appropriate employees on the Federal Acquisition Regulation and the basics of the Cost Accounting Standards. Due to recent scrutiny over compensation contractors should have adequate documentation of performance based compensation plans. Finally, keep the communications open between your organization and your DCAA representative, be prepared to respond to DCAA’s requests for reasonable information within 5 days, and document your responses and interactions in writing.
Also, Aronson would like to obtain feedback from our loyal blog readers assessing the current state of DCAA audits. You can respond by commenting to this posting or you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We promise to keep all individual email responses confidential and we will only share the compiled results in a future blog post. Please share your thoughts on the following:
On July 8, 2009, Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano announced that it will require certain federal contractors to utilize the E-Verify system to electronically verify all new employees and other current employees are legally eligible to work in the United States. The rule will apply to federal solicitations and contract awards Government-wide starting September 8, 2009.
“E-Verify is a smart, simple and effective tool that reflects our continued commitment to working with employers to maintain a legal workforce,” said Secretary Napolitano. “Requiring those who seek federal contracts to use this system will create a more reliable and legal workforce. The rule complements our Department’s continued efforts to strengthen immigration law enforcement and protect critical employment opportunities. As Senator Schumer and others have recognized, we need to continue to work to improve E-Verify, and we will.”
The final FAR ruling was issued in November 2008, but delayed four times by the Obama Administration to allow DHS to review the final rule. In April the Customer Satisfaction Index Survey of the E-Verify system scored 83 out of 100 points exceeding the government’s satisfaction index of 69. This as well as new system enhancements have led to the full implementation of the system.
Click here to read more about e-Verify in our previous postings or, for more information on E-Verify, contact Nicole Mitchell at 301.222.8231.
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)