FedGovContracts.com

Panoptic Enterprises'

FEDERAL CONTRACTS PERSPECTIVE

Federal Acquisition Developments, Guidance, and Opinions


September 2008
Vol. IX, No. 9

CONTENTS


DFARS Amended to Address Competition For Purchases from Federal Prison Industries
Increased Limits Proposed for SBIR Awards
GSAR Rewrite Begins to Show Results
VA Proposes Veteran-Owned Small Business Set-Asides
NASA Proposes Personal ID Verification of Contractors



DFARS Amended to Address Competition
For Purchases from Federal Prison Industries

The Department of Defense (DOD) has amended the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to require the use of competitive procedures in the acquisition of items for which Federal Prison Industries (FPI) has a significant market share. In addition, DOD has revised the DFARS to update and clarify requirements for unique identification and valuation of items delivered under DOD contracts, to update text addressing contractor standards of conduct and the handling of extraordinary contractual actions, and several other topics.



Increased Limits Proposed for SBIR Awards

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is proposing to increase the limit for Phase I awards under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program from $100,000 to $150,000, and the limit for Phase II awards from $750,000 to $1,000,000. The current limits have been in effect since 1992, and since then the general price level has increased by almost 39%. This increase in the limits would restore the average economic value of the SBIR awards.

Comments on the proposed increases must be submitted no later than September 15, 2008, by any of the following means: (1) eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov; (2) mail: Office of Technology, 409 Third Street, SW, Washington, DC 20416; or (3) hand delivery or courier: Edsel Brown, Assistant Director, Office of Technology, 409 Third Street, SW, Washington, DC 20416. Identify comments as “RIN 3245-AF61.”



GSAR Rewrite Begins to Show Results

The rewrite of the General Services Administration (GSA) Acquisition Regulation (GSAR), which started in June, produced the first finalized GSAR part – GSAR Part 522, Application of Labor Laws to Government Acquisitions – and the publication of six more proposed GSAR parts.



VA Proposes Veteran-Owned Small Business Set-Asides

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is proposing to add to the VA Acquisition Regulation (VAAR) Subpart 819.70, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned and Veteran-Owned Small Business Acquisition Program, to restrict competition for certain VA acquisitions to veteran-owned small businesses (VOSB) and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses (SDVOSB). In addition, VA would add VAAR Subpart 819.71, VA Mentor-Protégé Program, which would assist SDVOSBs and VOSBs. These new VAAR subparts would implement Sections 502 and 503 of the Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and Information Technology Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-461), which authorized VA to create these unique procurement programs to support its mission.

The following would be the significant provisions of VAAR Subpart 819.70:

The following would be the significant provisions of VAAR Subpart 819.71:

The following would be additional provisions that would assist SDVOSBs and VOSBs:

Comments on the proposed rule must be submitted no later than October 20, 2008, by any of the following means: (1) eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov; (2) fax: 202-273-9026; or (3) by mail/hand-delivery: Director, Regulations Management (02REG), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Ave., NW, Room 1068, Washington, DC 20420. Identify comments as “RIN 2900-AM92--VA Acquisition Regulation: Supporting Veteran-Owned and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses.”



NASA Proposes Personal ID Verification of Contractors

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) proposes to revise the NASA FAR Supplement (NFS) to update procedures for compliance with FAR Subpart 4.13, Personal Identity Verification of Contractor Personnel. FAR Subpart 4.13 requires that agencies include their implementing guidance of FIPS 201, Personal Identity Verification (PIV) of Federal Employees and Contractors, and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Memorandum M-05-24, Implementation of Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD) 12 –- Policy for a Common Identification Standard for Federal Employees and Contractors, in solicitations and contracts that require the contractor to have routine physical access to federally-controlled facilities and/or access to federally-controlled information systems. NASA further proposes to designate the Assistant Administrator, Office of Security and Program Protection as the official with overall responsibility for verifying contractor employee personal identity. (EDITOR’S NOTE: For more on FAR Subpart 4.13, see the December 2006 Federal Contracts Perspective article “FAC 2004-14 Addresses Trade Agreements, Contractor IDs.”)

Section 304(A) of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 (codified at 42 U.S.C. 2455, Security Requirements) provides that the NASA Administrator “shall establish such security requirements, restrictions, and safeguards as he deems necessary in the interest of the national security,” and he may arrange “for the conduct of such security or other personnel investigations of the Administration’s officers, employees, and consultants, and its contractors and subcontractors and their officers and employees, actual or prospective, as he deems appropriate for such personnel.” NASA’s implementing guidance, which is to be used in conjunction with FAR 52.204-9, Personal Identity Verification of Contractor Personnel, is in NASA Policy Regulation (NPR) 1600.1, NASA Security Program Procedural Requirements (with Change 1) (available at http://nodis.hq.nasa.gov or from the Contracting Officer).

This proposed rule would establish a new NFS Subpart 1804.13, Personal Identity Verification of Contractor Personnel, which would consist of NFS 1804.1303-70, NASA Contract Clause. NFS 1804.1303-70 would require that new NFS 1852.204-77, NASA Procedures for Personal Identity Verification of Contractor Personnel, be included in solicitations and contracts when the Center Chief of Security has determined that a contractor will require routine access to generally-controlled facilities or access to federally-controlled information systems. “The Center Chief shall make such a determination, on a case-by-case basis, as part of acquisition planning. [NFS] Section 1807.104(a) [General Procedures for Acquisition Planning] requires the contracting officer to coordinate new requirements with the security office and cites NASA NPR 1600.1, NASA Security Program Procedural Requirements, as the procedural document for identifying and processing contractor employees requiring personal identity verification. [NFS] Clause 1852.204-77 will be used in conjunction with the clause at FAR 52.204-9 Personal Identity Verification of Contractor Personnel.”

NFS 1852.204-77 would require the contractor to apply for NASA badges for all employees and subcontractor employees at any tier requiring physical access to NASA facilities and/or access to federally-controlled information systems. The contractor must apply for the badges following the procedures in NPF 1600.1. In addition, the contractor is responsible for collecting and submitting all requests for subcontractor badges, regardless of subcontract tier.

If approved by the Center Chief of Security, the badges will be issued for no longer than the contract period of performance inclusive of options, but not to exceed five years. Badge renewal will be required for additional periods. All personnel issued badges must display the badge conspicuously above the waistline on the outermost garment, and must comply with all requirements applicable to badges in effect at the center.

NASA will make suitability/access determinations, and the Center Chief of Security or the PIV Authorizer, will approve the issuance of badges based upon a background investigation in accordance with NPR 1600.1, Section 6.2. At a minimum, a National Agency Check with Written Inquiries (NACI) will be required. NPR 1600.1 also specifies higher level reinvestigation requirements which may be applicable; for example, due to position risk level changes or time since last investigation.

Other employees who may require access on a non-routine or infrequent basis are to be identified by the contractor for approval and registered on an access list under the control of the center security office in accordance with center procedures.

Prior to the commencement of contract performance, the contractor must designate a person responsible for determining that an employee (or an employee of a subcontractor at any tier) requires physical access to NASA-controlled facilities and/or access to federally-controlled information systems to perform work under the contract. This designated person acts as the contractor’s “requestor.” Also, the contractor’s requestor will be responsible for providing updated information as changes occur during the period of contract performance (such as additions, deletions, and position risk changes), and for managing all subcontractor requests.

Finally, the contractor would be required to include the terms of NFS 1852.204-77 (except for the paragraph regarding the duties and responsibilities of the contractor’s requestor), in all subcontracts when the subcontractor is required to have routine physical access to federally-controlled facilities and/or access to federally-controlled information systems. NFS 1852.204-77 is not to be used when contractors require intermittent access to federally-controlled facilities.

Comments on the proposed rule must be submitted no later than October 6, 2008, by any of the following means: (1) eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov; (2) e-mail to: Leigh.Pomponio-1@nasa.gov; or (3) by mail: Leigh Pomponio, NASA Headquarters, Office of Procurement, Contract Management Division, Washington, DC 20546. Identify comments as “RIN number 2700-AD38.”



Copyright 2008 by Panoptic Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.

Return to the Newsletters Library.

Return to the Main Page.