The Pentagon’s Defense Pricing and Contracting (DPC) office is allowing payments to continue for contractors whose facilities have been shuttered or who have otherwise been unable to work since Jan. 31 through Sept. 30, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The office issued a class deviation to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) entitled, “CARES Act Section 3610 Implementation,” and will provide a framework for contracting officers to assess claimed allowable costs associated with the coronavirus and its impact, said Pentagon spokesman Air Force Lt. Col. Mike Andrews in an April 9 statement. “This deviation addresses section 3610 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act which allows agencies to reimburse contractors for payment to workers who are prevented from working due to COVID-19 facility closures or other restrictions,” he said.
The class deviation was implemented “recognizing the importance of supporting affected contractors to ensure that, together, we remain a healthy, resilient, and responsive total force,” Andrews said. It is the 17th new COVID-19 guidance the DPC has introduced in an effort to help the defense industry mitigate impacts of the pandemic.
“We remain committed to daily engagements with the defense industry, and will continue to leverage defense trade association calls to partner with them throughout the duration of this national emergency to ensure the safety of the workforce and accomplishment of the national security mission,” he added.
According to documents provided by the Defense Department, the new cost principle outlined in the class deviation would not be applicable for the following instances:
-when employees or subcontractor employees were able to work, including remote or telework;
-when costs were not associated with keeping employees in a ready state;
-for costs incurred prior to Jan. 31, 2020, or after Sept. 30, 2020;
-or when the contractor has been or can be reimbursed for employee leave costs by other means. Additionally, it is inapplicable for costs not related to COVID-19 and is subject to the availability of funds.
Contracts that used an other transaction authority as opposed to a FAR-based contracting action will be applicable for this class deviation. It does not apply to advanced payments. More details can be found via the Defense Department.