OMB issues guidance on Buy America preference in federal infrastructure contracts
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has released new guidelines to help federal agencies implement the “Build America, Buy America” provisions of the bipartisan Infrastructure Act, standards that will help ensure that projects Federally funded infrastructure projects use American-made iron, steel and building materials. , and manufactured goods. However, the guidelines acknowledge that agencies will need to strategically issue waivers as manufacturers expand to meet demand due to gaps in U.S. supply chains. The guidelines also provide preliminary guidelines for agencies to determine when building materials are “made in America.” Read more here.
GSA Announces Actions to Advance Supplier Equity and Diversity in Federal Government Procurement
The General Services Administration (GSA) announced steps to advance supplier equity and diversity in federal government procurement consistent with recent changes to the Category Management Program and other actions to reduce barriers to small disadvantaged enterprises (SDB). These measures will help the GSA meet the Biden administration’s goal of increasing the share of contracts awarded to SDBs by 50% by 2025. Learn more here.
States routinely use consulting engineers for federally aided highway construction projects
According to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) survey, transportation departments in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico have hired engineering consultants to help with government-funded highway construction projects federal. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act authorized an average of $54.6 billion per year from fiscal year 2022 to 2026 for the federal highway assistance program. The most important factors in the decisions of state departments of transportation to hire outside engineering consultants were the size and skills of their own workforce. Half of state transportation departments reported that at least 60% of their engineering and design expenditures for these federal aid projects were for engineering consultants. Read more here.
SBA adds two courses aimed at women entrepreneurs
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced the launch of two new educational modules on the Ascent digital platform, which targets the needs of women entrepreneurs. One focuses on the value of business partnerships and the other on entrepreneurial leadership. Learn more here.
Upcoming Presentations on Government Contracts
Pennsylvania health agency to pay over $1.15 million for overtime violations
Nursing Care in Home LLC, doing business as Meridius Health in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and its owner, Rustam Suvanidze, will pay a total of $1,158,955 to 193 direct social workers under a court-ordered consent judgment Pennsylvania Federal. Department of Labor investigators determined that the employer was paying employees the straight-time rate for all hours worked and had failed to consider premiums and hazard pay when calculating overtime. The judgment requires the employer to pay $579,477 in back wages and an equal amount in damages to the workers. In addition, the employer and its owner must pay $37,921 in civil monetary penalties due to the deliberate nature of their violations. Read more here.
Delaware landscaper must pay over $100,000 in back wages and damages to 10 temporary workers
A federal court has ordered DeVilbiss Landscape Architects Inc., of Lewes, DE, and company owner and president Paul DeVilbiss, to pay $50,622 in back wages and an equal amount in damages to 10 temporary workers . The jury rejected the company’s argument that its employees were agricultural workers exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act and found that DeVilbiss operated a landscaping business rather than a farm. Read more here.
Upcoming Labor and Employment Presentations
Government contractor pleads guilty to bribing official
The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that Jennifer A. Strickland, president of SDC Contracting LLC, pleaded guilty to bribing a General Services Administration contracting officer to award federal construction contracts to her company. . The DOJ said that from July 2018 to December 2019, Strickland paid the official $43,500 in cash in exchange for awarding about $1.4 million in federal construction contracts for his company to provide construction services. construction and renovations in federal buildings throughout Virginia. Read more here.