The Catholic University of America

Summary of Federal Laws

Government Contracts

Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)

Compliance Partners

Associate Provost for Research

Director of Grants and Contracts

Information Security Officer

48 C.F.R. Parts 1-99

Relevant cites to the FAR have been identified throughout this Summary of Federal Laws. Technically the FAR as a whole does not apply to non-profits. Instead, non-profits follow the rules in the OMB Supercircular.

However, individual clauses in the  FAR will be applicable to non-profits. 

Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order 13763 (July 31, 2014)

The Order will require prospective federal contractors to disclose their violations of certain workplace protection laws before receiving a contract award. 


Federal Acquisition Regulation; Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces; Final Rule published at 81 Fed. Reg. 58562, August 25, 2016 by NASA, GSA and the Department of Defense. **

This rule which is designed to increase efficiency and cost savings in Federal contracting by improving
contractor compliance with labor laws. The Department of Labor is simultaneously issuing final Guidance to assist Federal agencies in implementation of the Executive Order in conjunction with the FAR final
rule. The regulations will apply to new contracts and subcontracts for goods and services, including construction, where the estimated value exceeds $500,000 over the life of the contract.

Disclosure of Labor Law Violations

Beginning October 25, 2016, federal contracts of $50 million or more will require prime contractors to disclose violations of 14 federal laws for the previous year. Also, contractors and subcontractors with federal contracts of at least $1 million are prohibited from forcing employees to sign pre-dispute agreements to arbitrate sexual assault or civil rights claims.

On April 24, 2017, federal contractors must disclose violations of 14 federal laws from the previous year whenever they seek a federal contract of $500,000 or more.

On October 25, 2017, subcontractors must disclose violations of 14 federal laws from the previous year whenever they seek a federal contract of $500,000 or more.

On October 25, 2018, all federal contractors and subcontractors must begin disclosing violations of 14 federal laws for the previous three years.

Federal workplace laws covered by rule:

  • Fair Labor Standards Act
  • Occupational Safety and Health Act (and state law equivalents)
  • Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act
  • National Labor Relations Act
  • Family and Medical Leave Act
  • Davis-Bacon Act
  • Service Contract Act
  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
  • Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act
  • Executive Order 11246 (affirmative action and equal employment opportunity)
  • Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act
  • Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act
  • Executive Order 13658 (federal contractor minimum wage)

Note that the state law equivalents will also require disclosures subject to future rulemaking. 

See 48 CFR 52.222-59 for text on compliance w/labor laws. See FAQ #6 for how contractors will disclose their labor law violations. 

Paycheck Transparency Provisions
The final FAR rule implementing the paycheck transparency provisions specifies that contracting officers will be required to insert the paycheck transparency contract clause into covered contracts beginning on January 1, 2017. FAR 22.2007(d).  This section requires covered contractors and subcontractors to provide all individuals performing work under the contract for whom the contractor maintains wage records under the FLSA, the DBA, the SCA or equivalent state laws with a document each pay period containing information concerning that individual's hours worked, overtime hours, pay and any additions made to or deductions from pay. The final FAR rule provides that contractors have the option of providing wage statements either by paper-format (e.g., paystubs), or electronically if the contractor regularly provides documents electronically and if the worker can access the document through a computer, device, system, or network provided or made available by the contractor.

See 48 CFR 52.222-60 for details on what needs to be included by January 1, 2017. 

Prohibition on Mandatory Pre-Dispute Arbitration Clauses

For contracts exceeding $1 million the contractor must agree not to require arbitration for Title VII or any sexual assault or harassment complaint in advance of the complaint. Only voluntary consent of an employee after the dispute arises will suffice. Effective Oct. 25, 2016.

Final Guidance published by the Department of Labor on Executive Order 13673, 81 Fed. Reg. 58653, August 25, 2016, Effective October 25, 2016. 

Note pre-assessment begins Sept.12, 2016 for contractors who wish to ask for a voluntary assessment of labor compliance. Note guidance under section V for subcontractor responsibility. 

Resources on New Guidance and Regulations

DOL Fact Sheet on the Final Guidance and Regulations*** 

DOL website on Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces**

PPT on Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces***

FAQs on Executive Order 13673: Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces**

Wolters Kluwer, August 24, 2016, Final blacklisting rule and guidance: What do they mean?**

Ogletree Deakins: White House Announces Release of Final Contractor Blacklisting Rules: Phased Implementation for Prime Contractors and Subcontractors, by James Murphy, August 24, 2016. **

Note Murphy's comment on the expansive definition of labor law violations:

Unfortunately for government contractors, the DOL and the FAR Council appear to have ignored the avalanche of regulatory comments from employers and industry groups calling for limits on the use of “administrative merits determinations” in responsibility determinations. The White House does not identify any change in the approach to this concept or to the low and elastic thresholds for “serious, willful, repeated, and pervasive” violations. Consequently, federal contractors can expect contracting officers to treat unilateral, non-adjudicated enforcement decisions by agency staff as predicate violations that could limit access to federal contracts. Regrettably, the National Labor Relations Board, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and the DOL will be positioned to pressure contractors into agreeing to concessions and settlements as the price of access to federal contracting opportunities.

See page 58668 of the DOL guidance, for example: 

The Department retains reasonable cause letters as a type of administrative merits determination. An EEOC reasonable cause determination reflects an assessment of a charge's merits: ``that there is reasonable cause to believe that the charge is true.


Final Rule, FAR: Basic Safeguarding of Contractor Information Systems, 81 Fed. Reg. 30439, May 16, 2016

DoD, GSA, and NASA issued this final rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to add a new subpart and contract clause for the basic safeguarding of contractor information systems that process, store or transmit Federal contract information. This rule deals specifically with the contract information system rather than the Federal contract information. The new clause has 15 security requirements that track the information system, which is servers, computers, routers, etc. These 15 requirements line up with NIST SP 800-171. The rule requires the following listed below. If the University has defense contracts as well as other contracts, note the DOD requires that breach or security incidents be reported in most cases, and there is a heightened requirement for reporting security around breaches. 

 

(i) Limit information system access to authorized users, processes acting on behalf of authorized users, or devices (including other information systems).
(ii) Limit information system access to the types of transactions and functions that authorized users are permitted to execute.
(iii) Verify and control/limit connections to and use of external information systems.
(iv) Control information posted or processed on publicly accessible information systems.
(v) Identify information system users, processes acting on behalf of users, or devices.
(vi) Authenticate (or verify) the identities of those users, processes, or devices, as a prerequisite to allowing access to organizational information systems.
(vii) Sanitize or destroy information system media containing Federal Contract Information before disposal or release for reuse.
(viii) Limit physical access to organizational information systems, equipment, and the respective operating environments to authorized individuals.
(ix) Escort visitors and monitor visitor activity; maintain audit logs of physical access; and control and manage physical access devices.
(x) Monitor, control, and protect organizational communications (i.e., information transmitted or received by organizational information systems) at the external boundaries and key internal boundaries of the information systems.
(xi) Implement subnetworks for publicly accessible system components that are physically or logically separated from internal networks.
(xii) Identify, report, and correct information and information system flaws in a timely manner.
(xiii) Provide protection from malicious code at appropriate locations within organizational information systems.
(xiv) Update malicious code protection mechanisms when new releases are available.
(xv) Perform periodic scans of the information system and real-time scans of files from external sources as files are downloaded,
opened, or executed.

 

 

From FAR Clause 52.204-21 (b)(1)

 

 

Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System, Final Rule, 75 Fed. Reg. 14059, March 23, 2010. This rule, effective April 22, 2010, will implement the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS). This system is designed to improve the Government's ability to evaluate the business ethics and expected performance quality of prospective contractors and protect the Government from awarding contracts to contractors that are not responsible sources. Under the final rule, contracting officers will be required to review information in FAPIIS in connection with contracts over the simplified acquisition threshold and document in the contract file how information in FAPIIS was considered. Before making a non-responsibility determination based on information in FAPIIS, contracting officers must provide contract offerors with an opportunity to provide additional information demonstrating their responsibility. Vendors submitting proposals on federal contracts over $500,000 and having more than $10 million in active contracts and grants as of the time of proposal submission must report in FAPIIS certain information pertaining to criminal, civil or administrative proceedings resulting in a determination of fault. If a contract is awarded, the information must be updated by the contractor on a semi-annual basis. Contractors will be notified whenever the government post new information to the contractor's record in FAPIIS and contractors will have the ability to post comments on such information.

 

Contractor Business and Ethics Compliance Program and Disclosure Requirements
72 Fed. Reg. 67064 Nov. 12, 2008. Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration
(GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Effective Date: December 12, 2008.
The final rule requires federal government contractors to establish and maintain internal controls and compliance programs to detect and prevent improper conduct in connection with the award or performance of government contracts; and to timely disclose to the applicable agency Office of Inspector General whenever in connection with the award, performance or close-out of a government contract or subcontract the contractor has credible evidence of a violation of federal criminal law involving fraud, conflict of interest, bribery or gratuity found in Title 18 of the U.S. Code, or a violation of the civil False Claims Act.

 

Resources

FAR Staff by Assignment

FAR Regulations and Other Documents

 

CCR updated CFR links 6/15/15

updated 9-19-16 to add Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces, mlo