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Effective January 1, 2018, the minimum wage for federal contractors working on or in connection with contracts covered by Executive Order 13658 will increase to $10.35 per hour. The current minimum wage under Executive Order 13658 is $10.20 per hour. The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor posted notice of the increased wage requirement in the Federal Register on September 15, 2017. See 82 Fed. Reg. 43408. Contracts awarded on or…
The federal government dramatically has increased its spending in recent years on Internet of Things (“IoT”) devices, including biosensors that can gather medical and security data from soldiers and vehicles in the field; smart-building applications that reduce energy (such as desks that automatically power on when an employee scans his or her identification badge upon entering the building); and myriad other devices.  Despite its rapid increase in procurement of IoT devices, the government has yet…
The House and Senate Armed Services Committees recently completed their respective markups of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The House version requires the Pentagon to establish the “U.S. Space Corps” – the first new military branch in 70 years – by January 1, 2019. The proposed Space Corps would fall under the secretary of the U.S. Air Force, but would have a separate and equal member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, similar…
The GAO recently sustained a protest challenging the U.S. Coast Guard’s evaluation of past performance in a task order competition to obtain information technology support services under a multiple-award IDIQ enterprise acquisition gateway for leading edge solutions (EAGLE II) contract. Despite being decided in April, the decision was released recently to the public. SITEC Consulting, LLC, B-413526.4-.7 (April 3, 2017). The RFQ advised offerors that the government would evaluate “relevant past performance.” The RFQ…
In efforts to bring the VA Acquisition Regulation (VAAR) “in line” with Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), the US Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) has proposed amendments to its acquisition regulation.  The VA proposes to eliminate any procedural guidance from the VAAR that is internal to the VA, to incorporate new regulations and policies, and to revise or remove any policy that has been superseded by changes in the FAR. The Agency’s proposed rule and procurement…
Non-federal entities that receive federal assistance—such as colleges and universities, hospitals, nonprofits, and state, local and tribal governments—have been given an additional year to comply with the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) revised procurement standards for grants and federal funding. In December 2013, OMB overhauled its guidelines for the oversight and administration of federal grants and other federal financial assistance. The sweeping changes included revisions to procurement standards codified at 2 CFR §§ 200.317-200.326. …
The revised Modernizing Government Technology Act (HR 2227) passed the House by voice vote May 17. Identical legislation already has been introduced in the Senate by Sens. Gerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.), and with strong bipartisan and industry support, the bill is expected to advance to the president in upcoming weeks. As Reed Smith recently advised, the legislation aims to modernize federal IT infrastructure and to reduce wasteful government spending on the maintenance…
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee recently passed the revised “Modernizing Government Technology Act,” and the bill will proceed to the House floor for a vote.  The legislation aims to modernize federal IT infrastructure and to reduce wasteful government spending on the maintenance of existing “legacy” IT systems.  The bill has bipartisan, bicameral and widespread industry support, as well as support from the White House.  The MGT Act stresses the importance of modernized information…