Weekly Update for Government Contractors and Business Enterprises – March 2021 # 3 | PilieroMazza SARL

LITIGATION AND DISPUTE RESOLUTION

Do businesses have Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination? The rights of the legal person in a FRCP 30 (b) (6) filing, March 10, 2021, Megan Benevento
Anyone who has watched a televised drama in the courtroom is aware of their Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. But “pleading the fifth” is not something that a witness can generally invoke to avoid answering questions, particularly when a witness testifies on behalf of a company as an agent under the Act. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30 (b) (6). In these circumstances, knowing your available options when preparing a company-appointed witness is essential to managing any risk of potential self-incrimination. Read more here.

GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS

American Rescue Plan Act Raises Support for Small Businesses in Response to COVID-19
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced that the American Rescue Plan Act (Act) will add new efforts and provide additional relief through SBA programs. More specifically, the law includes:

  • $ 7.25 billion in additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program and expanded eligibility to other nonprofits and digital information services;
  • Additional funds for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program;
  • $ 15 billion in additional funding for targeted economic disaster loan (EIDL) advance payments, including $ 5 billion for EIDL additional targeted advance payments for those hardest hit;
  • $ 28.6 billion for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund for Industry-Focused Grants; and
  • $ 100 million to establish a community navigator pilot program – program grants will go to eligible organizations supporting efforts to improve access to programs and resources to help with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more here. Additional information on the law is available on the White House website here.

COVID Relief Bill Increases Funding For CISA, GSA And US Digital Service
Nextgov reported that the American Rescue Plan Act includes significant technology funding for several agencies, including the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the General Services Administration (GSA) and the US Digital Service, which is based within the office. executive of the President. Read more here.

Paycheck Protection Program Changes Increase Equitable Access to Relief
The Small Business Administration has announced that early indications show that recent Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) reforms and related efforts to authentically engage with communities are working in a meaningful way. The cornerstone of the reforms included a fourteen-day exclusivity period (February 24 to March 9) during which only businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees could apply for relief through the PPP. As of March 7, a comparison of the average daily rate for loans granted during the exclusivity period and the average daily rate ten days before the exclusivity period shows loans at:

  • Minority-owned businesses up 20%, or 1,000 more businesses accessing relief every day;
  • Women-owned businesses grew by 14%, or 600 more businesses accessing relief every day; and
  • Small businesses in rural areas grew 12%, with 1,000 more businesses accessing help every day.

In total, more than 400,000 small businesses and associations with less than 20 employees were served during the exclusivity period on March 7. Compared to the ten days preceding the period of exclusivity, the reforms show that nearly 200,000 are PPP first-time borrowers. Read more here.

Revisions to the calculation of PPP loan amount and eligibility
The Small Business Administration has issued an interim final rule that implements changes related to the Paycheck Protection Program (P3). The interim final rule allows people who file an IRS Form 1040, Schedule C to calculate their maximum loan amount using gross income, removes the eligibility restriction that prevents businesses whose owners have been convicted of fraudulent offenses in the last year of obtaining P3 loans, and removes the eligibility restriction that prevents businesses whose owners are past due or in default on their federal student loans from obtaining P3 loans. Unless otherwise specified in the rule itself, the provisions of the Interim Final Rule entered into force on March 4, 2021. Read more here.

SBA Extends Deferral Period for All COVID-19 EIDL and Other Disaster Loans Until 2022
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced extended deferment periods for all disaster loans, including the COVID-19 Economic Disaster Lending Program (EIDL), until 2022. Specifically, the SBA has stated that:

  • All SBA disaster loans made during calendar year 2020, including COVID-19 EIDL, will have an extended first payment due date from twelve months to twenty-four months from the date of the note.
  • All SBA disaster loans made during the 2021 calendar year, including COVID-19 EIDL, will have a first payment due date extended from twelve months to eighteen months from the date of the note.

Read more here.

Lawmakers outline plans to expand paycheck protection program as deadline approaches
CNBC reported that as the March 31 deadline for the SBA’s paycheck protection program looms, a bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced legislation to extend the paycheck protection program to the House of Representatives, which would extend the expiration date to May 31 and give the SBA the power to continue processing pending applications for an additional 30 days after that date. An accompanying bill with the same stipulations was presented to the Senate. Read more here.

GSA Extends Deadlines For COVID-19 Policies
The General Services Administration (GSA) has announced extensions for two procurement policies that have been implemented to help the government respond to COVID-19. Specifically, GSA has extended a purchasing exception for the AbilityOne program, which waives certain AbilityOne requirements for products whose capacity exceeds demand. The exception has been extended until September 30, 2021. Additionally, GSA has extended a moratorium on the minimum sales requirement for GSA Schedule contracts until September 30, 2021. Learn more about extending the purchase exception here. Learn more about extending minimum sales here.

GSA plans a “summer” release for the final Polaris tender
The Bloomberg government has announced that the General Services Administration (GSA) plans to issue a final request for proposals (RFP) for its Polaris IT contract for small businesses by summer 2021. Read more here. Related information from GSA is available here.

GSA publishes policy for entrepreneur self-assessments
The General Services Administration (GSA) has issued an Acquisition Alert (AA) to provide advice to contracting officers (CAs) on contractor self-assessments. Self-assessments can be used to report to the contractor’s performance appraisal system. Country offices may request, but not require, evaluation during the post-award phase of contract administration. The AA provides a template letter to COs requesting the self-assessment, and the procedures to be followed if the CO and the contractor disagree on the assessment. According to the GSA, assessments should be requested annually. Read more here.

Upcoming presentations on public procurement

WEBINAR: May the clause be with you: Certification / Information regarding liability issues, March 23, 2021, Cy alba and Katherine burrows. Read more here.

WEBINAR: Roadmap for Joint Venture Agreements: Legal and Accounting Considerations, April 6, 2021, Tony Franco. Read more here.

WEBINAR: Navigating FAR / DFARS: The Most Confusing and Lesser-Known Clauses, April 26, 2021, Tim Valley and Christine Fries. Read more here.

WORK AND EMPLOYMENT

No more paid holidays guaranteed in new COVID-19 relief law
Federal Computer Week reported that the American Rescue Plan Act includes an extension of a section 3610 provision of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act that allows agencies to continue paying federal contractors if they cannot. not work due to the pandemic. The provision was set to expire at the end of March, but the new COVID-19 relief program extends these protections until September 30, 2021. Read more here.

DOL proposes to rescind independent contractors and joint employers rules of the FLSA
The Department of Labor (DOL) has published two notices of regulatory proposal and requests for comment (NPRM).

  • The first NPRM proposes to withdraw the final rule titled “Independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act”, which was published on January 7, 2021, with an effective date of May 7, 2021. Comments on the proposed regulations are expected on April 12. , 2021. Read the published version here.
  • The second NPRM proposes to repeal the final rule titled “Joint Employer Status under the Fair Labor Standards Act”, which was published on January 16, 2020 and came into effect on March 16, 2020. The proposed regulation would remove the regulations established by this law. to reign. Comments on the proposed regulations are expected on April 12, 2021. Read the published version here.

Coverage of the two proposed regulations is available from DOL here.

OSHA improves worker protection against COVID-19
In response to President Biden’s decree on protecting the health and safety of workers, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the Department of Labor launched a national emphasis program focused on law enforcement efforts on companies that put the greatest number of workers at serious risk of contracting COVID. -19. The program also prioritizes employers who retaliate against workers for complaints about unsafe or unsanitary conditions, or for exercising other rights protected by federal law. Read more here.

Upcoming presentations on work and employment

WEBINAR: Collective bargaining for the federal contractor, March 24, 2021, Nicolas atallah. Read more here.

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