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FAR Circular Outlines State of Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces

The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council is out with another FAR Circular. This one collects the interim rule that requires contractors to allow all employees performing work on or connected to a contact to accrue and use sick leave. There’s also a section of the circular that includes caveats to the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Rule, that were indefinitely enjoined by a federal judge. The part of the rule requiring labor law disclosures and restricting arbitration agreements has been halted by the judge, but the paycheck transparency provision has not.

DIA Upgrades Needipedia

For the past three years, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) has used its “Needipedia” to publish its technology needs, and allow industry to pitch how they would fulfill those needs via whitepaper. But yesterday, DIA held a special industry day where companies could make 30-minute online presentations for how they would fulfill a specific need (in this case, a data aggregation tool). “It gives us the ability to see a live presentation of what these companies can do—this is not PowerPoint—and it lets our users see some of the knowns and the unknowns, so we can have further discussions,” said Robert Dixon, DIA’s special adviser for innovation. “From there, we can make a decision on whether we want to pilot that particular program and eventually bring it into our environment.”

Five Minutes to Better Communication with Industry

In the latest in Public Spend Forum’s five-minute training video series, PSF’s Director of Learning & Content Development Frank McNally walks through five ways agencies can communicate with industry while remaining compliant with regulations. The issue has come to the forefront with a new proposed rule issued last month encouraging industry engagement.

DoJ Obtains $4.7 Billion in Fraud and FCA Claims

The Department of Justice (DoJ) reported that it obtained more than $4.7 billion from false claims and fraud settlements and judgments in fiscal 2016. It’s the third-highest annual recovery since the establishment of the False Claims Act, and brings the total recovery to $31.3 billion since 2009. It’s the fifth year in a row the recoveries have exceeded $3.5 billion. Some $2.5 billion of those settlements came from cases of health care fraud.

Contractor Pays $1 Million to Settle FCA Claims in Connection to DHS Contracts

Thundercat Technology, LLC has agreed to pay $1 million to settle allegation of violating the False Claims Act, the Anti-Kickback Act and Procurement Integrity Act. According to the Department of Justice, ThunderCat solicited or submitted inflated third-party bids or “loser bids” during competitions for five government contracts and/or purchase orders awarded by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and one government contract awarded by the General Services Administration (GSA). On one Customs and Border Protection (CBP) contract, ThunderCat agreed to pay CBP employees 10 percent of ThunderCat’s profits on the contract in exchange for information prior to ThunderCat’s submission of its proposal.

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