Later this month, the GSA will issue a refresh to all GSA Multiple Award Schedules (MAS) to incorporate new provisions and clause updates. Even if you are already a GSA Schedule holder, keep reading – a bilateral modification will be issued for your contract.
Among the changes in the refresh are the following:
Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors.
For solicitations and contracts subject to the Service Contract Labor Standards statute, the refresh adds FAR 52.222-62, Paid Sick Leave Under Executive Order 13706, which requires contractors to allow all employees performing work under a covered contract to accrue and use paid sick leave in accordance with E.O. 13706 and 29 CFR Part 13. Covered contracts are contracts and subcontracts at all tiers performed in whole or in part in the United States that are covered by the Service Contract Labor Standards statute.
Basic Safeguarding of Covered Contractor Information Systems.
For solicitations and contracts under which a contractor’s information system may contain federal contract information, FAR 52.204-21, Basic Safeguarding of Covered Contractor Information Systems, has been added. This clause requires the contractor to employ basic safeguarding tools, such as limiting information system access to authorized users, escorting and maintaining logs of visitors, and reporting information system flaws in a timely manner. These represent a basic set of requirements; inclusion of this clause does not relieve a contractor of other safeguarding requirements relating to covered contractor information systems.
Small Business Subcontracting Plan.
The most significant change is the incorporation of the updated clause at FAR 52.219-9, Small Business Subcontracting Plan. A final rule published on July 14, 2016, made a number of changes including:
- Requiring subcontracting plans even for modifications under the subcontracting plan threshold if said modifications would cause the contract to exceed the plan threshold.
- Requiring prime contracts with subcontracting plans on task and delivery orders to report order level subcontracting information after November 2017. The Electronic Subcontracting Reporting System (eSRS) will be updated for contractors to report this information.
- Most significantly, the updated clause provides contracting officers the discretion to require a subcontracting plan when a small business re-represents its size as other than a small business.
- However, in a helpful summary of upcoming changes, GSA notes that “[a]s a matter of policy, contractors re-representing their business size from a ‘small’ to ‘other than small’ business will be required to submit a subcontracting plan to their CO at the time of the re-representation.”
GSA has also issued an updated model subcontracting plan incorporating the new requirements.
Current and future GSA Schedule holders should take a thorough look at these changes to mitigate the risk of noncompliance.