Sen. Warner Seeks Directive to Protect Federal Contractors

In a letter to the Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., wrote asking to “consistently implement” relief for contractors amid the novel Coronavirus outbreak.

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“Without such overarching directive, I fear that agencies and their contracting officers will take disparate approaches, leading to uncertainty and instability in the contractor industrial base, if not a permanent loss of capability,” Sen. Warner wrote.

Sen. Warner requests that OMB issues a directive for Federal agencies that will:

  • Support contractors teleworking or otherwise working remotely and payment of contractors consistent with the Office of Personnel Management Memorandum M-18-20, “Managing Federal Contract Performance Issues associated with the Novel Coronavirus;”
  • Apply to contractor work – classified or unclassified – at government or contractor facilities or sites equally;
  • Provide fair cost reimbursement methodology for “reasonable direct and indirect costs and in-progress payments for work normally paid on a lump-sum basis;”
  • Provide language to maintain on-call contractor capabilities, reflect dependency on subcontractors and suppliers who may have been impaired by Coronavirus;
  • Allow for “expedited consideration of extensions in periods of performance and adjustments in contract ceiling values to minimize unnecessary disruption in contract execution for the duration of the emergency;” and
  • Apply to contractor work for all Federal agencies to promote consistency for existing and new work.

“Agencies are already issuing memoranda on this topic that potentially diverge from one another. In addition, I want to avoid draconian cutbacks that may create significant counterintelligence risks,” Sen. Warner wrote.

Jordan Smith
About Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.

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