1 1 (March 24, 2020)

handle is hein.crs/govcaxw0001 and id is 1 raw text is: 









                  Resarh Servi kM-






COVID-19 and Federal Procurement Contracts



March 24, 2020

The COVID- 19 pandemic and related mandates and recommendations to practice social distancing, work
from home, shelter in place, and self-quarantine impact government contracts by disrupting supply chains
and business operations. These disruptions may make it difficult and potentially impossible for some
federal contractors to perform government procurement contracts as originally contemplated. Disruptions
will likely alter government procurement priorities and have prompted questions about how the novel
COVID- 19 pandemic might affect federal acquisitions and government contractor performance. The
pandemic's effect on existing federal contracts will depend in large part upon agency needs, the duration
of pandemic response actions, and each contract's type and terms. Legal principles underlying standard
contract clauses that often must be incorporated in procurement contracts under the Federal Acquisition
Regulation (FAR) and agency-specific FAR supplements like the Department of Defense's (DoD's)
Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) will likely guide how agencies and
contractors respond to the pandemic. Additionally, federal emergency response laws, such as the Robei T.
Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act) and the Defense Production Act of
1950 (DPA), could impact how agencies acquire goods and services to respond to the COVID- 19
outbreak.

OMB Guidance on Contract Performance

On March 20, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued guidance on steps to help ensure []
safety while maintaining continued contract performance in support of agency missions, wherever
possible and consistent with [public health] precautions. Although contractors establish many of their
own workplace standards, the guidance recommends that agencies work with their contractors.., to
evaluate and maximize telework for contractor employees, wherever possible. It also encourages
agencies to be flexible when administering contracts by providing extensions on deadlines when
necessary because of COVID-19 related interruptions. The guidance also notes that agencies should
evaluate whether it is beneficial to keep skilled professionals or key personnel in a mobile ready state for
activities the agency deems critical to national security or other high priorities. Finally, the guidance
urges agencies, when appropriate, to use procurement law flexibilities triggered when the President
declared the COVID- 19 outbreak an emergency under the Stafford Act.
Under some circumstances, an agency can use more streamlined procurement procedures, called
simplified acquisition procedures, for small-dollar purchases. The thresholds for simplified acquisition

                                                               Congressional Research Service
                                                                 https://crsreports.congress.gov
                                                                                   LSB10428

CRS Lega Sidebar
Prepaed for Membeivs and
Cornm ittees  o4 Cor~qress  ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What Is HeinOnline?

HeinOnline is a subscription-based resource containing nearly 2,700 academic and legal journals from inception; complete coverage of government documents such as U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Code, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Reports, and much more. Documents are image-based, fully searchable PDFs with the authority of print combined with the accessibility of a user-friendly and powerful database. For more information, request a quote or trial for your organization below.



Short-term subscription options include 24 hours, 48 hours, or 1 week to HeinOnline with pricing starting as low as $29.95

Access to this content requires a subscription. Please visit the following page to request a quote or trial:

Already a HeinOnline Subscriber?