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FEDERAL CONTRACTS PERSPECTIVE

Federal Acquisition Developments, Guidance, and Opinions


October 2019
Vol. XX, No. 10
[pdf version]

CONTENTS


FAC 2019-06 Bans Kaspersky Lab Products, Reflects CPARS/PPIRS Merger
Three New FAR Rules Proposed
DOD Unleashes Deluge of DFARS Changes
Federal Minimum Wage Increased to $10.80/Hour for 2020
VA Keeps Scrubbing the VAAR



FAC 2019-06 Bans Kaspersky Lab Products,
Reflects CPARS/PPIRS Merger

Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) 2019-06 consists of four final rules that amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR): (1) to prohibit contracting for hardware, software, and services developed or provided by Kaspersky Lab; (2) to update the definition of “affiliates” and to remove an obsolete requirement from Section 8(a) clauses; (3) to reflect the merger of the Past Performance Information Retrieval System (PPIRS) database into the Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS) database; and (4) to add Australia as a World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement country.



Three New FAR Rules Proposed

Besides the issuance of FAC 2019-06 (see above article), the FAR Council has published three proposed FAR rules: two to address taxes, and one to provide policies and procedures for prohibiting contracting with institutions of higher education that prohibit Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) units or military recruiting on campus.



DOD Unleashes Deluge of DFARS Changes

During September, the Department of Defense (DOD) cranked up its regulatory machinery, releasing a torrent of ten final rules, three proposed rules, one advanced notice of proposed rulemaking, one deviation, and one contract-related memorandum!



Federal Minimum Wage Increased to $10.80/Hour for 2020

The Department of Labor (DOL) has announced that the applicable minimum wage rate to be paid to workers performing work on or in connection with federal contracts covered by Executive Order 13658, Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors, beginning January 1, 2020, is increased from $10.60 to $10.80 per hour.

Executive Order 13658 was signed by President Obama on February 12, 2014 (see the March 2014 Federal Contracts Perspective article “President Issues Executive Order Mandating $10.10/Hour Minimum Wage”), which raised the hourly minimum wage paid by contractors to workers performing work on covered federal contracts to $10.10 per hour, beginning January 1, 2015. Further, the executive order stated that the Department of Labor (DOL) would adjust the minimum wage annually (beginning January 1, 2016) to reflect inflation during the year as reflected in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers.

In 2015, the DOL determined that the CPI increased by 0.345% in 2015, so the minimum wage became $10.15 per hour beginning January 1, 2016 (see the October 2015 Federal Contracts Perspective article “Federal Minimum Wage Increased to $10.15/Hour for 2016”).

In 2016, the DOL determined that the CPI increased by 0.278% in 2016, so the minimum wage became $10.20 per hour beginning January 1, 2017 (see the October 2016 Federal Contracts Perspective article “Federal Minimum Wage Increased to $10.20/Hour for 2017”).

In 2017, the DOL determined that the CPI index increased by 1.691% in 2017, so the minimum wage became $10.35 per hour beginning January 1, 2018 (see the October 2017 Federal Contracts Perspective article “Federal Minimum Wage Increased to $10.35/Hour For 2018”).

In 2018, the DOL determined that the CPI index increased by 2.337% in 2018, so the minimum wage became $10.60 per hour effective January 1, 2019 (see the October 2018 Federal Contracts Perspective article “Federal Minimum Wage Increased to $10.60/Hour for 2019”).

Now, the DOL has determined that the CPI index increased by 2.036% in 2019, and this produces a minimum wage of $10.80 per hour effective January 1, 2020.

In addition, the required minimum cash wage that must be paid to tipped employees performing work on or in connection with covered contracts is increased from $7.40 to $7.55 per hour.



VA Keeps Scrubbing the VAAR

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) continues cleaning up the VA Acquisition Regulation (VAAR) to revise or remove any policy that has been superseded by changes in the FAR; remove any procedural guidance that is internal to the VA; incorporate new regulations and policies; correct inconsistencies within the VAAR; remove redundant and duplicate material already covered by the FAR; delete outdated material or information; and renumber VAAR text, clauses, and provisions to conform to the FAR format, numbering, and arrangement.

This rule primarily revises VAAR part 815, Contracting by Negotiation, and VAAR part 837, Service Contracts, along with several associated VAAR sections, as follows:





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