OMB Providing Contractor Guidance to AgenciesawsDONOTREMOVE
The Deputy Director of Management at the OMB, Margaret Weichert, met in a meeting on Friday with agency heads where she encouraged them to work together with contractors to increase telework access & provide greater flexibility in project deadlines. The guidance encourages the agencies to take advantage of special emergency procurement authorities.
The Professional Services Council this past week, wrote a letter to the OMB director Russell Vought in which they made a point for increasing telework opportunities for federal workers. This followed a move from the government, in which federal workers can take advantage of teleworking opportunities. The PSC stated that their member companies appreciated the steps taken by the government to mitigate the damage done to federal workers and for stopping further spread of coronavirus infections while making sure that the government remained operating. The letter said that contractors were also just as important as federal workers for the running of every activity, every agency, and every mission. The PSC added that the March 15 memo and March 17 policy addressed only the needs of uniformed personnel and federal civilian workers and ignored contractors.
The group did acknowledge that while all contractors were governed by the terms established in their work contracts, it would be very helpful if the OMB provided guidance to all federal contracting authorities to make sure that the teleworking guidance was also applicable to the rest of the workforce.
In response the OMB set out guidance to its contractors on Friday where it urged agencies to work alongside their contractors for evaluating and maximizing telework opportunities for the contractor workers. It added that telework had a vital role to play in ensuring continued work contract performance without compromising the safety and health guidelines issued by the CDC, local and state public health officials. Weichert also said that agencies need to be flexible with their deadlines and provide extensions in case flexible work solutions were not possible or in case coronavirus-related interruptions like social distancing or quarantining affected their ability to fulfill projects on time. Additionally, agencies were also asked to evaluate whether their existing contracts, which were relevant for addressing logistics and security issues, could be used for augmenting pandemic response systems.
Weichert said that since national emergency had been declared by the President, agencies could use special emergency procurement authorities. The agencies were encouraged to utilize this power in the letter. We are The Benefit Coordinators: THE Federal Short Term Disability Insurance!