OMB has issued further guidance on flexibilities recently enacted into law allowing agencies to extend contract performance dates and make other adjustments if a contractor is unable to perform in a timely manner due pandemic-related interruptions.
Memo M-20-22 notes that under the law and prior OMB guidance (Memo M-20-18) agencies must balance supporting the needs of their contractors and subcontractors against considerations such as restrictions on reimbursement of paid leave by contractor employees.
Considerations are to include whether reimbursing paid leave to keep the contractor in a ready state is in the best interest of the government for meeting current and future needs; the special challenges faced by small businesses; and the context of all strategies to promote contractor resiliency.
Agencies further are to work with their contractors to “secure necessary documentation to support reimbursement and prevent duplication of payment” and track their use of the authority.
OMB added that variation among agencies in applying those principles is to be expected but agency actions should “reflect the best interest of the government in any given situation, fully supported by contractor records that are subject to oversight, and that safeguard the taxpayers funding these efforts.”