On September 14, 2015, the Small Business Administration (SBA) published a final rule in the Federal Register to allow women-owned small businesses (WOSBs) and economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSBs) to be eligible to receive sole-source awards under the WOSB program set forth in the Code of Federal Regulations (13 C.F.R. § 27.101). These changes are mandated by § 825 of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The new rule becomes effective on October 14, 2015.
On September 11, 2015, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued a final rule that prevents government contractors from having pay secrecy or confidentiality policies. Specifically, the rule prohibits discharging or otherwise discriminating against an employee or applicant because the employee or applicant inquired about, discussed, or disclosed the compensation of the employee or any other employee. But the rule allows contractors to require human resources personnel (who have access to employee compensation information as part of their job responsibilities) to keep such compensation information confidential.
On August 26, 2015, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) issued an interim rule that affects almost all government contractors. The interim rule requires government contractors to report “cyber incidents” that result in real or actual adverse effects on contractor information systems. The rule went into effect immediately.
Update: On Labor Day (September 7, 2015), President Barack Obama signed an executive order requiring all government contractors to provide paid sick leave.
Earlier this year, Lanier Ford’s Federal Government Contracting team earned a favorable decision in a security-clearance revocation before the Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA) within the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The matter came before the DoD after the agency became concerned about the security clearance level held by an employee of a private-sector contractor. The DOD issued a statement of reasons to the employee (the applicant) in which the DoD sought to revoke applicant’s security clearance because of financial difficulties the applicant faced. After a hearing on the matter, the DOHA determined that the applicant was not a security risk and was therefore eligible for security clearance. See In the Matter of: *** Applicant for Security Clearance, ISCR Case No. 12-11841, 2015 WL 1881742, at *1 (DOHA Apr. 20, 2015).