LaRC Contractors Steering Council Meeting – October 21, 2021

Join us for the virtual Langley Contractor’s Steering Council (LCSC) meeting Thursday, October 21, at 2:00 pm. This month’s LCSC meeting will feature a Mentor-Protégé Program presentation and a Return to Onsite Work/LaRC Office of Procurement update from Susan McClain, Director of the Office of Procurement.

Please use the link below to join the meeting.

Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

Our meeting will address these topics:

  • Welcome and Opening Comments
  • VASBA Update– Laura Blumberg
  • LaRC Office of Procurement (OP) Update – Susan McClain
  • Return to Onsite Work (RTOW) Update – Susan McClain
  • Small Business Update – Rob Betts
  • Partnerships Update – Carrie Rhoades
  • Mentor-Protégé Program Overview – David Brock
  • DEVELOP Program Overview – Cecil Byles
  • Special Topics and Look Ahead

LaRC Small Business Update Slides by Rob Betts, October 21, 2021

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Safer Federal Workforce Task Force Guidance for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors

Susan McClain, Director of NASA LaRC’s Office of Procurement, requested that the following information, issued by the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force on September 24, 2021, be shared with LaRC Contractors Steering Council members.

The FAR council is finalizing a deviation and clause which should be completed on October 1, 2021.  If you haven’t already, please take a few minutes and review the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force guidance and the FAQs.  I expect that the FAQs will be updated frequently so please continue to monitor the site (see links at the bottom of this page).   You can submit questions related to NASA’s implementation of the COVID-19 Executive Order 14042 at https://www.nasa.gov/office/procurement/covid19-contractor-eo-questions.

COVID-19 Workplace Safety: Guidance for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors

Introduction

On September 9, President Biden announced his Path Out of the Pandemic: COVID-19 Action Plan. One of the main goals of this science-based plan is to get more people vaccinated.

As part of that plan, the President signed Executive Order 14042, Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors, (“the order”) which directs executive departments and agencies, including independent establishments subject to the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act, 40 U.S.C. § 102(4)(A), to ensure that covered contracts and contract-like instruments include a clause (“the clause”) that the contractor and any subcontractors (at any tier) shall incorporate into lower-tier subcontracts. This clause shall specify that the contractor or subcontractor shall, for the duration of the contract, comply with all guidance for contractor or subcontractor workplace locations published by the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force (“Task Force”), provided that the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) approves the Task Force Guidance (the or this “Guidance”) and determines that the Guidance, if adhered to by covered contractors, will promote economy and efficiency in Federal contracting.

The actions directed by the order will ensure that parties who contract with the Federal Government provide COVID-19 safeguards in workplaces with individuals working on or in connection with a Federal Government contract or contract-like instrument. These workplace safety protocols will apply to all covered contractor employees, including contractor or subcontractor employees in covered contractor workplaces who are not working on a Federal Government contract or contract-like instrument. These safeguards will decrease the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, which will decrease worker absence, reduce labor costs, and improve the efficiency of contractors and subcontractors performing work for the Federal Government.

Pursuant to this Guidance, and in addition to any requirements or workplace safety protocols that are applicable because a contractor or subcontractor employee is present at a Federal workplace, Federal contractors and subcontractors with a covered contract will be required to conform to the following workplace safety protocols:

  1. COVID-19 vaccination of covered contractor employees, except in limited circumstances where an employee is legally entitled to an accommodation;
  2. Compliance by individuals, including covered contractor employees and visitors, with the Guidance related to masking and physical distancing while in covered contractor workplaces; and
  3. Designation by covered contractors of a person or persons to coordinate COVID-19 workplace safety efforts at covered contractor workplaces.

The order also sets out a process for OMB and the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force to update the Guidance for covered contractors, which the Task Force will consider doing based on future changes to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) COVID-19 guidance and as warranted by the circumstances of the pandemic and public health conditions. It also sets out a process for the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council (“FAR Council”) to implement such protocols and guidance for covered Federal procurement solicitations and contracts subject to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (“FAR”) and for agencies that are responsible for covered contracts and contract-like instruments not subject to the FAR to take prompt action to ensure that those covered contracts and contract-like instruments include the clause, consistent with the order.

Covered contractors shall adhere to the requirements of this Guidance. The Director of OMB has, as authorized by Executive Order 14042, approved this Guidance and has, an exercise of the delegation of authority (see 3 U.S.C. § 301) under the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act determined that this Guidance will promote economy and efficiency in Federal contracting if adhered to by Government contractors and subcontractors. The Director has published such determination in the Federal Register.

Definitions

Community transmission – means the level of community transmission as set forth in the CDC COVID-19 Data Tracker County View.

Contract and contract-like instrument – has the meaning set forth in the Department of Labor’s proposed rule, “Increasing the Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors,” 86 Fed. Reg. 38,816, 38,887 (July 22, 2021). If the Department of Labor issues a final rule relating to that proposed rule, this term shall have the meaning set forth in that final rule.

That proposed rule defines a contract or contract-like instrument as an agreement between two or more parties creating obligations that are enforceable or otherwise recognizable at law. This definition includes, but is not limited to, a mutually binding legal relationship obligating one party to furnish services (including construction) and another party to pay for them. The term contract includes all contracts and any subcontracts of any tier thereunder, whether negotiated or advertised, including any procurement actions, lease agreements, cooperative agreements, provider agreements, intergovernmental service agreements, service agreements, licenses, permits, or any other type of agreement, regardless of nomenclature, type, or particular form, and whether entered into verbally or in writing. The term contract shall be interpreted broadly as to include, but not be limited to, any contract within the definition provided in the FAR at 48 CFR chapter 1 or applicable Federal statutes. This definition includes, but is not limited to, any contract that may be covered under any Federal procurement statute. Contracts may be the result of competitive bidding or awarded to a single source under applicable authority to do so. In addition to bilateral instruments, contracts include, but are not limited to, awards and notices of awards; job orders or task letters issued under basic ordering agreements; letter contracts; orders, such as purchase orders, under which the contract becomes effective by written acceptance or performance; exercised contract options; and bilateral contract modifications. The term contract includes contracts covered by the Service Contract Act, contracts covered by the Davis-Bacon Act, concessions contracts not otherwise subject to the Service Contract Act, and contracts in connection with Federal property or land and related to offering services for Federal employees, their dependents, or the general public.

Contractor or subcontractor workplace location – means a location where covered contract employees work, including a covered contractor workplace or Federal workplace.

Covered contract – means any contract or contract-like instrument that includes the clause described in Section 2(a) of the order.

Covered contractor – means a prime contractor or subcontractor at any tier who is party to a covered contract.

Covered contractor employee – means any full-time or part-time employee of a covered contractor working on or in connection with a covered contract or working at a covered contractor workplace. This includes employees of covered contractors who are not themselves working on or in connection with a covered contract.

Covered contractor workplace – means a location controlled by a covered contractor at which any employee of a covered contractor working on or in connection with a covered contract is likely to be present during the period of performance for a covered contract. A covered contractor workplace does not include a covered contractor employee’s residence.

Federal workplace – means any place, site, installation, building, room, or facility in which any Federal executive department or agency conducts official business, or is within an executive department or agency’s jurisdiction, custody, or control.

Fully vaccinated – People are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 two weeks after they have received the second dose in a two-dose series, or two weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine. There is currently no post-vaccination time limit on fully vaccinated status; should such a limit be determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that limit will be considered by the Task Force and OMB for possible updating of this Guidance.

For purposes of this Guidance, people are considered fully vaccinated if they have received COVID-19 vaccines currently approved or authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson [J&J]/Janssen COVID-19 vaccines) or COVID-19 vaccines that have been listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization (e.g., AstraZeneca/Oxford). More information is available at Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines | CDC.

Clinical trial participants from a U.S. site who are documented to have received the full series of an “active” (not placebo) COVID-19 vaccine candidate, for which vaccine efficacy has been independently confirmed (e.g., by a data and safety monitoring board), can be considered fully vaccinated two weeks after they have completed the vaccine series. Currently, the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine meets these criteria. More information is available at the CDC website here.

Mask – means any mask that is consistent with CDC recommendations as set forth in Types of Masks and Respirators | CDC. This may include the following: disposable masks, masks that fit properly (snugly around the nose and chin with no large gaps around the sides of the face), masks made with breathable fabric (such as cotton), masks made with tightly woven fabric (i.e., fabrics that do not let light pass through when held up to a light source), masks with two or three layers, masks with inner filter pockets, and filtering facepiece respirators that are approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health or consistent with international standards. The following do not constitute masks for purposes of this Guidance: masks with exhalation valves, vents, or other openings; face shields only (without mask); or masks with single-layer fabric or thin fabric that does not block light.

Guidance

Covered contractors are responsible for ensuring that covered contractor employees comply with the workplace safety protocols detailed below. Covered contractor employees must also comply with agency COVID-19 workplace safety requirements while in Federal workplaces.

Consistent with applicable law, agencies are strongly encouraged to incorporate a clause requiring compliance with this Guidance into contracts that are not covered or directly addressed by the order because the contract is under the Simplified Acquisition Threshold as defined in section 2.101 of the FAR or is a contract or subcontract for the manufacturing of products.

Agencies are also strongly encouraged to incorporate a clause requiring compliance with this Guidance into existing contracts and contract-like instruments prior to the date upon which the order requires inclusion of the clause.

Vaccination of covered contractor employees, except in limited circumstances where an employee is legally entitled to an accommodation

Covered contractors must ensure that all covered contractor employees are fully vaccinated for COVID-19, unless the employee is legally entitled to an accommodation. Covered contractor employees must be fully vaccinated no later than December 8, 2021. After that date, all covered contractor employees must be fully vaccinated by the first day of the period of performance on a newly awarded covered contract, and by the first day of the period of performance on an exercised option or extended or renewed contract when the clause has been incorporated into the covered contract.

A covered contractor may be required to provide an accommodation to covered contractor employees who communicate to the covered contractor that they are not vaccinated against COVID-19 because of a disability (which would include medical conditions) or because of a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance. A covered contractor should review and consider what, if any, accommodation it must offer. Requests for “medical accommodation” or “medical exceptions” should be treated as requests for a disability accommodation.

Should a Federal agency have an urgent, mission-critical need for a covered contractor to have covered contractor employees begin work on a covered contract or at a covered workplace before becoming fully vaccinated, the agency head may approve an exception for the covered contractor—in the case of such limited exceptions, the covered contractor must ensure these covered contractor employees are fully vaccinated within 60 days of beginning work on a covered contract or at a covered workplace. The covered contractor must further ensure that such employees comply with masking and physical distancing requirements for not fully vaccinated individuals in covered workplaces prior to being fully vaccinated.

The covered contractor must review its covered employees’ documentation to prove vaccination status. Covered contractors must require covered contractor employees to show or provide their employer with one of the following documents: a copy of the record of immunization from a health care provider or pharmacy, a copy of the COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card (CDC Form MLS-319813_r, published on September 3, 2020), a copy of medical records documenting the vaccination, a copy of immunization records from a public health or State immunization information system, or a copy of any other official documentation verifying vaccination with information on the vaccine name, date(s) of administration, and the name of health care professional or clinic site administering vaccine. Covered contractors may allow covered contractor employees to show or provide to their employer a digital copy of such records, including, for example, a digital photograph, scanned image, or PDF of such a record.

The covered contractor shall ensure compliance with the requirements in this Guidance related to the showing or provision of proper vaccination documentation.

Covered contractors are strongly encouraged to incorporate similar vaccination requirements into their non-covered contracts and agreements with non-covered contractors whose employees perform work at covered contractor workplaces but who do not work on or in connection with a Federal contract, such as those contracts and agreements related to the provision of food services, onsite security, or groundskeeping services at covered contractor workplaces.

Requirements related to masking and physical distancing while in covered contractor workplaces

Covered contractors must ensure that all individuals, including covered contractor employees and visitors, comply with published CDC guidance for masking and physical distancing at a covered contractor workplace, as discussed further in this Guidance.

In addition to the guidance set forth below, CDC’s guidance for mask wearing and physical distancing in specific settings, including healthcare, transportation, correctional and detention facilities, and schools, must be followed, as applicable.

In areas of high or substantial community transmission, fully vaccinated people must wear a mask in indoor settings, except for limited exceptions discussed in this Guidance. In areas of low or moderate community transmission, fully vaccinated people do not need to wear a mask. Fully vaccinated individuals do not need to physically distance regardless of the level of transmission in the area.

Individuals who are not fully vaccinated must wear a mask indoors and in certain outdoor settings (see below) regardless of the level of community transmission in the area. To the extent practicable, individuals who are not fully vaccinated should maintain a distance of at least six feet from others at all times, including in offices, conference rooms, and all other communal and work spaces.

Covered contractors must require individuals in covered contractor workplaces who are required to wear a mask to:

Wear appropriate masks consistently and correctly (over mouth and nose).

Wear appropriate masks in any common areas or shared workspaces (including open floorplan office space, cubicle embankments, and conference rooms).

For individuals who are not fully vaccinated, wear a mask in crowded outdoor settings or during outdoor activities that involve sustained close contact with other people who are not fully vaccinated, consistent with CDC guidance.

A covered contractor may be required to provide an accommodation to covered contractor employees who communicate to the covered contractor that they cannot wear a mask because of a disability (which would include medical conditions) or because of a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance. A covered contractor should review and consider what, if any, accommodation it must offer.

Covered contractors may provide for exceptions to mask wearing and/or physical distancing requirements consistent with CDC guidelines, for example, when an individual is alone in an office with floor to ceiling walls and a closed door, or for a limited time when eating or drinking and maintaining appropriate distancing. Covered contractors may also provide exceptions for covered contractor employees engaging in activities in which a mask may get wet; high intensity activities where covered contractor employees are unable to wear a mask because of difficulty breathing; or activities for which wearing a mask would create a risk to workplace health, safety, or job duty as determined by a workplace risk assessment. Any such exceptions must be approved in writing by a duly authorized representative of the covered contractor to ensure compliance with this Guidance at covered contractor workplaces, as discussed further below.

Masked individuals may be asked to lower their masks briefly for identification purposes in compliance with safety and security requirements.

Covered contractors must check the CDC COVID-19 Data Tracker County View website for community transmission information in all areas where they have a covered contractor workplace at least weekly to determine proper workplace safety protocols. When the level of community transmission in the area of a covered contractor workplace increases from low or moderate to substantial or high, contractors and subcontractors should put in place more protective workplace safety protocols consistent with published guidelines. However, when the level of community transmission in the area of a covered contractor workplace is reduced from high or substantial to moderate or low, the level of community transmission must remain at that lower level for at least two consecutive weeks before the covered contractor utilizes those protocols recommended for areas of moderate or low community transmission.

Designation by covered contractors of a person or persons to coordinate COVID-19 workplace safety efforts at covered contractor workplaces.

Covered contractors shall designate a person or persons to coordinate implementation of and compliance with this Guidance and the workplace safety protocols detailed herein at covered contractor workplaces. The designated person or persons may be the same individual(s) responsible for implementing any additional COVID-19 workplace safety protocols required by local, State, or Federal law, and their responsibilities to coordinate COVID-19 workplace safety protocols may comprise some or all of their regular duties.

The designated individual (or individuals) must ensure that information on required COVID-19 workplace safety protocols is provided to covered contractor employees and all other individuals likely to be present at covered contractor workplaces, including by communicating the required workplace safety protocols and related policies by email, websites, memoranda, flyers, or other means and posting signage at covered contractor workplaces that sets forth the requirements and workplace safety protocols in this Guidance in a readily understandable manner. This includes communicating the COVID-19 workplace safety protocols and requirements related to masking and physical distancing to visitors and all other individuals present at covered contractor workplaces. The designated individual (or individuals) must also ensure that covered contractor employees comply with the requirements in this guidance related to the showing or provision of proper vaccination documentation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Vaccination and Safety Protocols

Q1: How do covered contractors determine vaccination status of visitors to covered contractor workplaces?

A: Covered contractors should post signage at entrances to covered contractor workplaces providing information on safety protocols for fully vaccinated and not fully vaccinated individuals, including the protocols defined in the masking and physical distancing section above, and instruct individuals to follow the appropriate workplace safety protocols while at the covered contractor workplace. Covered contractors may take other reasonable steps, such as by communicating workplace safety protocols to visitors prior to their arrival at a covered contractor workplace or requiring all visitors to follow masking and physical distancing protocols for not fully vaccinated individuals.

Q2: Do covered contractors need to provide onsite vaccinations to their employees?

A: Covered contractors should ensure their employees are aware of convenient opportunities to be vaccinated. Although covered contractors may choose to provide vaccinations at their facilities or workplaces, given the widespread availability of vaccinations, covered contractors are not required to do so.

Q3: What should a contractor employee do if a covered contractor employee has lost or does not have a copy of required vaccination documentation?

A: If covered contractor employees need new vaccination cards or copies of other documentation proof of vaccination, they should contact the vaccination provider site where they received their vaccine. Their provider should be able to provide them with new cards or documentation with

up-to-date information about the vaccinations they have received. If the location where the covered contractor employees received their COVID-19 vaccine is no longer operating, the covered contractor employees should contact their State or local health department’s immunization information system (IIS) for assistance. Covered contractor employees should contact their State or local health department if they have additional questions about vaccination cards or vaccination records.

An attestation of vaccination by the covered contractor employee is not an acceptable substitute for documentation of proof of vaccination.

Q4: Who is responsible for determining if a covered contractor employee must be provided an accommodation because of a disability or because of a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance?

A: A covered contractor may be required to provide an accommodation to contractor employees who communicate to the covered contractor that they are not vaccinated for COVID-19, or that they cannot wear a mask, because of a disability (which would include medical conditions) or because of a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance. A covered contractor should review and consider what, if any, accommodation it must offer. The contractor is responsible for considering, and dispositioning, such requests for accommodations regardless of the covered contractor employee’s place of performance. If the agency that is the party to the covered contract is a “joint employer” for purposes of compliance with the Rehabilitation Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, both the agency and the covered contractor should review and consider what, if any, accommodation they must offer.

Q5: Are covered contractor employees who have a prior COVID-19 infection required to be vaccinated?

A: Yes, covered contractor employees who have had a prior COVID-19 infection are required to be vaccinated. More information from CDC can be found here.

Q6: Can a covered contractor accept a recent antibody test from a covered contractor employee to prove vaccination status?

A: No. A covered contractor cannot accept a recent antibody test from a covered contractor employee to prove vaccination status.

Workplaces

Q7: Does this Guidance apply to outdoor contractor or subcontractor workplace locations?

A: Yes, this Guidance applies to contractor or subcontractor workplace locations that are outdoors.

Q8: If a covered contractor employee is likely to be present during the period of performance for a covered contract on only one floor or a separate area of a building, site, or facility controlled by a covered contractor, do other areas of the building, site, or facility controlled by a covered contractor constitute a covered contractor workplace?

A: Yes, unless a covered contractor can affirmatively determine that none of its employees on another floor or in separate areas of the building will come into contact with a covered contractor employee during the period of performance of a covered contract. This would include affirmatively determining that there will be no interactions between covered contractor employees and non-covered contractor employees in those locations during the period of performance on a covered contract, including interactions through use of common areas such as lobbies, security clearance areas, elevators, stairwells, meeting rooms, kitchens, dining areas, and parking garages.

Q9: If a covered contractor employee performs their duties in or at only one building, site, or facility on a campus controlled by a covered contractor with multiple buildings, sites, or facilities, are the other buildings, sites, or facility controlled by a covered contractor considered a covered contractor workplace?

A: Yes, unless a covered contractor can affirmatively determine that none of its employees in or at one building, site, or facility will come into contact with a covered contractor employee during the period of performance of a covered contract. This would include affirmatively determining that there will be no interactions between covered contractor employees and non-covered contractor employees in those locations during the period of performance on a covered contract, including interactions through use of common areas such as lobbies, security clearance areas, elevators, stairwells, meeting rooms, kitchens, dining areas, and parking garages.

Q10: Are the workplace safety protocols enumerated above the same irrespective of whether the work is performed at a covered contractor workplace or at a Federal workplace?

A: Yes. The Guidance applies to all covered contractor employees and to all contractor or subcontractor workplace locations. While at a Federal workplace, covered contractor employees must also comply with any additional agency workplace safety requirements for that workplace. Because covered contractor employees working on a covered contract need to be fully vaccinated after December 8, 2021, covered contractor employees who work only at a Federal workplace need to be fully vaccinated by that date as well, unless legally entitled to an accommodation.

Q11: How does this Guidance apply to covered contractor employees who are authorized under the covered contract to perform work remotely from their residence?

A: An individual working on a covered contract from their residence is a covered contractor employee, and must comply with the vaccination requirement for covered contractor employees, even if the employee never works at either a covered contractor workplace or Federal workplace during the performance of the contract. A covered contractor employee’s residence is not a covered contractor workplace, so while in the residence the individual need not comply with requirements for covered contractor workplaces, including those related to masking and physical distancing, even while working on a covered contract.

Scope and Applicability

Q12: By when must the requirements of the order be reflected in contracts?

A: Section 6 of the order lays out a phase-in of the requirements for covered contracts as follows:

  • Contracts awarded prior to October 15 where performance is ongoing – the requirements must be incorporated at the point at which an option is exercised or an extension is made.
  • New contracts – the requirements must be incorporated into contracts awarded on or after November 14. Between October 15 and November 14, agencies must include the clause in the solicitation and are encouraged to include the clause in contracts awarded during this time period but are not required to do so unless the solicitation for such contract was issued on or after October 15.

Q13: Must the order’s requirements be flowed down to all lower-tier subcontractors and, if so, who is responsible for flowing the clause down?

A: Yes. The requirements in the order apply to subcontractors at all tiers, except for subcontracts solely for the provision of products. The prime contractor must flow the clause down to first-tier subcontractors; higher-tier subcontractors must flow the clause down to the next lower-tier subcontractor, to the point at which subcontract requirements are solely for the provision of products.

Q14: Does the Guidance apply to small businesses?

A: Yes, the requirement to comply with this Guidance applies equally to covered contractors regardless of whether they are a small business. This broad application of COVID-19 guidance will more effectively decrease the spread of COVID-19, which, in turn, will decrease worker absence, reduce labor costs, and improve the efficiency of contractors and subcontractors at workplaces where they are performing work for the Federal Government.

Q15: What steps are being taken to promote consistent application of the order’s requirements across agencies?

A: The FAR Council will conduct a rulemaking to amend the FAR to include a clause that requires covered contractors performing under FAR-based contracts to comply with this Guidance for contractor and subcontractor workplace locations. Prior to rulemaking, by October 8, 2021, the FAR Council will develop a clause and recommend that agencies exercise their authority to deviate from the FAR using the procedures set forth in subpart 1.4. Agencies responsible for contracts and contract-like instruments that are not subject to the FAR, such as concession contracts, will be responsible for developing appropriate guidance by October 8, 2021 to incorporate requirements into their covered instruments entered into on or after October 15, 2021.

Q16: If the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force updates this Guidance to add new requirements, do those requirements apply to existing contracts?

A: Yes. Covered contractors are required to, for the duration of the contract, comply with all Task Force Guidance for contractor or subcontractor workplace locations, including any new Guidance where the OMB Director approves the Guidance and determines that adherence to the Guidance will promote economy and efficiency in Federal contracting. The Task Force and OMB plan to ensure any workplace safety protocols reflect what is necessary to decrease the spread of COVID-19.

Q17: What constitutes work performed “in connection with” a covered contract?

A: Employees who perform duties necessary to the performance of the covered contract, but who are not directly engaged in performing the specific work called for by the covered contract, such as human resources, billing, and legal review, perform work in connection with a Federal Government contract.

Q18: Do the workplace safety protocols in the Guidance apply to covered contractor employees who perform work outside the United States?

A: No. The workplace safety protocols in the Guidance do not apply to covered contractor employees who only perform work outside the United States or its outlying areas, as those terms are defined in section 2.101 of the FAR.

Compliance

Q19: Does this clause apply in States or localities that seek to prohibit compliance with any of the workplace safety protocols set forth in this Guidance?

A: Yes. These requirements are promulgated pursuant to Federal law and supersede any contrary State or local law or ordinance. Additionally, nothing in this Guidance shall excuse noncompliance with any applicable State law or municipal ordinance establishing more protective workplace safety protocols than those established under this Guidance.

Q20: Can a covered contractor comply with workplace safety requirements from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, including pursuant to any current or forthcoming Emergency Temporary Standard related to COVID-19, instead of the requirements of this Guidance?

A: No. Covered contractors must comply with the requirements set forth in this Guidance regardless of whether they are subject to other workplace safety standards.

Q21: What is the prime contractor’s responsibility for verifying that subcontractors are adhering to the mandate?

A: The prime contractor is responsible for ensuring that the required clause is incorporated into its first-tier subcontracts in accordance with the implementation schedule set forth in section 6 of the order. When the clause is incorporated into a subcontract, a subcontractor is required to comply with this Guidance and the workplace safety protocols detailed herein. Additionally, first-tier subcontractors are expected to flow the clause down to their lower-tier subcontractors in similar fashion so that accountability for compliance is fully established throughout the Federal contract supply chain for covered subcontractor employees and workplaces at all tiers through application of the clause.

Links to the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force website: 

https://www.saferfederalworkforce.gov/

https://www.saferfederalworkforce.gov/new/

https://www.saferfederalworkforce.gov/faq/

Attachments:

Safer Federal Workforce Task Force Guidance for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors 210924.pdf

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Update on Executive Order 14042 Vaccine Requirements

Susan McClain, Director of NASA LaRC’s Office of Procurement, requested that the following information be shared with LaRC Contractors Steering Council members. This information from Assistant Administrator for Procurement Karla Smith Jackson is current as of September 20, 2021.

On September 9, 2021, President Biden announced his Path Out of the Pandemic: COVID-19 Action Plan. As part of that plan, the President signed Executive Order 14042 (E.O.) on Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors that directs Executive departments and agencies, including independent establishments subject to the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act, 40 U.S.C. 102(4)(A), to ensure that contracts and contract-like instruments include a clause that the contractor and any subcontractors (at any tier) shall incorporate into lower-tier subcontracts. This E.O. promotes economy and efficiency in Federal procurement by ensuring that parties contracting with the Federal Government provide adequate COVID-19 safeguards to their workers performing on or in connection with Federal Government contracts or contract-like instruments.

NASA Procurement is working with the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Federal Procurement Policy to develop the contract clause required to be implemented by the E.O. and the associated guidance. The clause will specify that the contractor or subcontractor shall, for the duration of the contract, comply with all guidance for contractor or subcontractor workplace locations published by the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force. Upon receiving the approved guidance from the Task Force, NASA anticipates that the contract clause will be issued on or about October 8, 2021, with an effective date of October 15, 2021.

Until your firm’s contract has been modified to incorporate this new clause, contractors are required to continue to comply with the guidance for entering a NASA facility provided in the memorandum for NASA contractor community entitled “Revised Procedures for Entering NASA Facilities During Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic,” dated August 16, 2021. As conveyed in this memo, unbadged personnel who are not fully vaccinated or who decline to provide information about their vaccination status as part of the attestation form process will be required, beginning September 20, 2021, to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within the previous three days in order to enter a NASA facility. Any COVID-19 test authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to detect current infection and produce a dated result is acceptable. Once a NASA contract employee is issued either a permanent or visitor badge, they will not be required to present the signed certification or negative COVID-19 test result, if necessary, prior to entering a NASA facility.

NASA Procurement has established a webpage for the submission of contract-related questions pertaining to the E.O.. Please submit all questions on the website https://www.nasa.gov/office/procurement/covid19-contractor-eo-questions.

We will do our best to answer all questions that are submitted. Please note that similar questions may be consolidated to reduce redundant answers. Responses will be posted under the “NASA Contractor Frequently Asked Questions” section of the Office of Procurement Contractor Related COVID-19 Information webpage found at https://www.nasa.gov/office/procurement/covid19-contractor-information.

A copy of Assistant Administrator for Procurement Karla Smith Jackson’s memorandum is attached below.

Global Contractor Letter – Update on EO Vaccine Requirement

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LaRC Contractors Steering Council Meeting – September 16, 2021

Join us for the virtual Langley Contractor’s Steering Council (LCSC) meeting Thursday, September 16, at 2:00 pm. This month’s LCSC meeting will feature a Hall of Honor Campaign presentation, a Minority Serving Institutions Exchange presentation, and a Return to Onsite Work/LaRC Office of Procurement update from Susan McClain, Director of the Office of Procurement.

Please use the link below to join the meeting.

Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

Our meeting will address these topics:

  • Welcome and Opening Comments
  • VASBA Update– Laura Blumberg
  • LaRC Office of Procurement (OP) Update – Susan McClain
  • Return to Onsite Work (RTOW) Update – Susan McClain
  • Small Business Update – Rob Betts
  • Partnerships Update – Carrie Rhoades
  • Hall of Honor Campaign – Kathy Ferrare
  • Minority Serving Institutions Exchange – Sharon Fitzgerald
  • Special Topics and Look Ahead

LaRC Small Business Update Slides by Rob Betts, September 16, 2021

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COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing FAQs for NASA Contractors

Susan McClain, Director of NASA LaRC’s Office of Procurement, requested that the following information be shared with LaRC Contractors Steering Council members. This information is current as of August 30, 2021.

NASA Office of Procurement Contractor FAQs – Vaccine Attestation Guidelines

Attestation Form

  1. As a contractor, if I do work for another agency and attested to my vaccination status with that agency, do I need to complete a separate attestation form for NASA?

Yes, or your parent company can manage the attestations for their employees and attest to NASA that you have one on file and whether you are required to test.

  1. Proof of attestation cards are not printing from the site. Not all of these contractors have ready access to printers. Can they screen shot the confirmation number or reference it?

Contractor employees who have a NASA issued badge who complete the certification through the online attestation are not required to print a confirmation of submission of the form.
Contractor employees or visitors who do not have a NASA issued badge prior to arrival at the NASA facility who complete the paper version of the attestation certification at the NASA facility badging office will be required to carry the completed certification on their person while on the NASA facility.

  1. Are people who are not going to a NASA facility required to complete a certification of vaccination status? Or does this apply to all regardless of whether or not they are going to NASA facilities?

All NASA civil servants and contractor employees, whether working remotely or on site, are required to complete and submit a Certification of Vaccination Status.

  1. On the certification form, does the contractor identify its contract Program Manager as the supervisor or do they list the CO or COR?

Contractor employees should identify their company supervisor, or any other person designated by the company, if applicable.

  1. The tool isn’t user friendly – is there a POC who can answer questions on the software tool?

If you have any questions about the software tool, please contact Azhar Rafiq in the Office of the Chief Health and Medical Officer at azhar.rafiq@nasa.gov.

  1. On the online certification form should a contractor employee choose “Employee” or “Guest”? Is there any difference for subcontractor employees?

The online form has been updated to read “Employee/Contractor”. All Contractor employees, including subcontractor employees, should choose “Employee/Contractor”.

  1. If subcontractor’s employer name is not included in the “Employer” dropdown listing, do subcontractors input the prime contractor’s name?

This is not a required field, so if the employer’s name is not found the individual can leave the field blank.

  1. The “Global Letter for Vaccination and Access to Centers” indicates “Contract employees and visitors that do not complete the certification online will be required to report to the NASA facility badging office to complete and sign…” If a visitor does complete online, how will the badging office be able to confirm this?

Contractor employees who have a NASA issued badge who complete the certification through the online attestation are not required to print a confirmation of submission of the form.
Contractor employees or visitors who do not have a NASA issued badge prior to arrival at the NASA facility must complete the paper version of the attestation certification at the NASA facility badging office and will be required to carry the completed certification on their person while on the NASA facility.

  1. It was the contractor’s understanding that all contractor employees are required to complete the online attestation, however, the “Global Letter for Vaccination and Access to Centers” indicates contract employees who do not complete it online will be required to report to the badging office to complete the form. Only visitors should be completing the paper form.

Correct, Contractor employees who have a NASA issued badge (other than a temporary badge issued at the NASA badging facility) are required to complete the certification through the online attestation form. For contract employees without computer access, their company will
ensure certification is accomplished.

  1. Is the attestation and associated 72 hour repetitive testing policy only during the Stage 2 surge or is this policy permanent?

The policy related to attestation and associated testing is a requirement recently received from the Office of Management & Budget (OMB). This OMB requirement is not associated with NASA’s Stage 2 or connected to NASA’s stage changes. It is likely to continue until OMB changes it.
Additional guidance regarding testing requirements is forthcoming.

  1. Will the contractor receive reports, based on the Vaccination Certification Form, on who needs to be tested prior to coming onsite and on who is fully vaccinated? If not, then why is the government collecting that information directly rather than through the contractor? How will NASA monitor compliance with completing the Vaccination Certification Form?

No, NASA will not provide reports to contractors. Alternatively, your parent company can manage the attestations for their employees and attest to NASA that you have one on file and whether you are required to test. When completing the NASA attestation form online, contractor employees should identify their company supervisor, or any other person designated by the company, if applicable. Supervisors or designees will receive an automated email notifying them when an employee under their supervision submits a certification form.

  1. What if my vaccination status changes?

Any NASA employee or contractor employees who have a NASA issued badge (other than a temporary badge issued at the NASA badging facility) may update their status by submitting a new Certification of Vaccination form using the same link.

Vaccination

  1. Is NASA requiring employees to be fully vaccinated?

Not at this time.

  1. If the contractor teammates wish to pursue vaccination, is a single dose sufficient or does the standard duration, post vaccination apply for site access?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers an individual fully vaccinated if they are:
• 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
• 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine

Testing (e.g. Procedures, Cost)

  1. How will NASA contractors be reimbursed for the cost of testing employees, including time spent getting tested?

Costs related to testing and time spent getting tested for contractor employees shall be charged in accordance with company disclosure statement and accounting policies. Additional guidance regarding testing requirements is forthcoming.

  1. What happens if a civil servant, contractor employee or visitor who is fully vaccinated tests positive for COVID?

If an individual tests positive for COVID-19 on or after August 16, 2021, the individual is required to notify their supervisor, or company designee, and local NASA facility health clinic in addition to quarantine requirements as established by the CDC.

  1. Seeking to confirm that non-vaccinated personnel will need to be tested every 72 hours regardless of any known exposure?

Additional guidance regarding testing requirements is forthcoming.

  1. The requirement for a negative COVID test will start on or about Monday, August 23, 2021. NASA will not provide testing for contract employees and visitors. Additional guidance regarding test requirements is forthcoming. How does this relate to the 8/16 date above?

The August 23, 2021 date was the anticipated start date for the requirement for a negative COVID test report to be provided. The timing of this requirement was updated recently by the White House to September 20, 2021. The August 16, 2021 date was the start date for when individuals were required to complete the attestation form prior to entering the NASA facility.

  1. Should the test be no older than 72 hours old or should the results be no more than 72 hours old?

Additional guidance regarding testing requirements is forthcoming.

  1. Memo states “However, anyone working on site who is not fully vaccinated will be required to be tested weekly for COVID-19 before coming onsite.” However, memo states “provide proof of having received a negative COVID-19 test result from an FDA-authorized test for COVID, that is less than 72 hours old prior to entering the facility,” which would require more frequent than weekly testing. What is the correct testing timeline requirement?

Additional guidance regarding testing requirements is forthcoming.

  1. Can a TO be issued to cover COVID related costs?

NASA will not provide testing for contract employees and visitors. Costs related to testing and time spent getting tested for contractor employees shall be charged in accordance with company disclosure statement and accounting policies. Additional guidance regarding testing requirements is forthcoming.

  1. We have the Bimax, FDA approved testing kits. If a person tests negative with this test, how does NASA know it was done within the last 72 hours. Must we test at some place that can date stamp the test? Can we test on-site? Because of HIPA requirements, our crew supervisors do not know who is or is not vaccinated, so there’s not a way to only send vaccinated persons to respond to a trouble call.

Additional guidance regarding testing requirements is forthcoming.

  1. If we are required to be tested, how long will this testing go on for?

The policy related to attestation and associated testing is a requirement recently received from the Office of Management & Budget (OMB). It is likely to continue until OMB changes it.
Additional guidance regarding testing requirements is forthcoming.

  1. If testing is required and performed, what documentation is there for this? I have already been tested and never received any written documentation for my results.

Additional guidance regarding testing requirements is forthcoming.

  1. Appointments will be required every single time testing is required. What happens if I cannot get an appointment that week?

Additional guidance regarding testing requirements is forthcoming.

  1. Will my testing be accomplished on my duty day?

Additional guidance regarding testing requirements is forthcoming.

  1. Why isn’t the Occupational Health Facility on the NASA facility providing the necessary testing? They offer the FLU VACCINATION to employees.

NASA will not provide testing for contract employees and visitors. Additional guidance regarding testing requirements is forthcoming.

  1. Who do I report my testing to if I have to get tested?

Additional guidance regarding testing requirements is forthcoming.

  1. What are the COVID testing requirements for contractor employees located at off-site contractor facilities?

Testing requirements only apply to contractor employees seeking access to the NASA facility.

Personnel/Labor Relations

  1. Has this process and certification form been cleared by contractor unions?

This requirement has been implemented across the US Government with the intent of improving health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic and this current wave of the Delta variant. Because of the emergency nature of the situation and the expediency of implementing the requirement notification and any bargaining with labor needed to be accomplished after implementation.

  1. What if contractor union employee refuse to comply?

The contractor is still obligated to perform. NASA doesn’t direct how a contractor manages its employees.

  1. Delayed test results may require the individual to be off-site until results are available; would this be considered excused leave (i.e. COVID-19 Advanced Agreement)?

Additional guidance regarding testing requirements is forthcoming. The timing for the start date for the requirement for a negative COVID test report was updated recently by the White House to September 20, 2021.

  1. Will contractors be responsible for monitoring our employees’ compliance?

Yes, contractors are responsible for monitoring their employees’ compliance with this certification requirement.

  1. By contractor, is NASA referring just to the prime contractor, or is NASA referring to the prime and any of their part-time, 1099 independent contractors, or subcontractors?

All NASA civil servants and contractors, including subcontractors, whether working remotely or on site, are required to complete and submit a Certification of Vaccination Status.

  1. Is the contractor responsible for sending out this information and providing the link?

Yes, the prime contractor would be responsible for flowing down these guidelines to lower tiered subcontractors.

  1. In paragraph two (2) it also mentions “Contractors are responsible for monitoring their employees’ compliance with this certification requirement”. Is there a specific requirement for Contractors to fill out a Certification of Vaccination on a corporate basis, i.e. for all employees, or is the requirement for Employees of Contractors on an employee by employee basis depending upon whether the employee is intent upon attendance at a NASA facility whether in person or remotely?

All civil servants and contract employees, whether working remotely or on site, are required to complete a Certification of Vaccination Status. The requirement to complete the attestation certificate is on an employee by employee basis.

  1. I want to verify that there is a distinction in the class of people identified in the memorandum specifically the memorandum is discussing the class of Civil Servants and the class of Contract Employees and it is not discussing the class of Employees of Contractors. Is this a correct interpretation of this memorandum.

“Contract employees” as used in the memorandum means contractor employees working under a contract supporting NASA facilities, both on and offsite. The distinction between groups of contractor employees is between badged and unbadged individuals. Contractor employees who have a NASA issued badge are required to complete the certification through the online attestation form as soon as possible. Contractor employees or visitors who do not have a NASA issued badge prior to arrival at the NASA facility will be required to complete a paper version of the certification at the facility badging office beginning August 16, 2021. In addition, if the unbadged contractor employee or visitor attests to anything other than “fully vaccinated”, the individual will be required to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result report in accordance with Agency guidelines beginning September 20, 2021.

  1. In paragraph two (2) it mentions “In order to enter a NASA facility, all civil servants and contract employees, whether working remotely or on site, …” We are trying to understand the application of this requirement as it applies to “working remotely”. Our interpretation of “working remotely” is that the person is not on-site but working through a NASA remote VPN or conferencing tool such as Zoom, so I am not understanding why this policy would apply in this situation. Please explain where our interpretation of this particular sentence is in error.

All civil servants and contract employees, whether working remotely or on site, are required to complete a Certification of Vaccination Status.

  1. In the last substantive paragraph of the memorandum it specifically indicates that “Contractors are responsible for ensuring that its employees monitor local radio, television stations, and other communication channels.” We are trying to understand how we can implement this specific element of the memorandum as the personal tastes and news sources for each of our employees varies dramatically between from employee to employee and many of our employees are still working remotely from home.

NASA is not dictating what communication channels contractor employee monitor. The intent of this statement is to ensure that contractors and their employees continue to remain vigilant of the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic so that they comply with local, state, and federal guidelines and policies that are being implemented to ensure the safety of the NASA workforce, including support contract employees.

  1. Is the following assumption valid? As the August 13 email stated that form completion notification to the supervisor was “intended only to enable supervisors to ensure all employees under their supervision have completed the form,” we assume that actual compliance with the attestation, meaning action by the employee to comply as if they are vaccinated or not vaccinated, will remain on the ‘honor system’ as the contractor will not have access to information concerning if the employee is vaccinated or not, unless that information is volunteered by the employee to the company by some other means. Consequently, as a contractor, we can only be responsible for form completion, not overall compliance with NASA facility access direction.

Contractors are responsible for monitoring their employees’ compliance with the completion of the attestation certification requirement. Contract employees that are not fully vaccinated may be denied access if they cannot provide a negative COVID test report. NASA expects that individuals will complete the attestation certification truthfully and will comply with the guidelines set forth by the agency with integrity.

  1. Is this a “Condition of Employment” now?

NASA does not manage the conditions of employment for contractor employees.

Facility Access

  1. Are there any exceptions to the Vaccination Attestation and Testing requirements for certain contractor employees that are “transient”, such as contractor employees making deliveries, or other contractor employees who would not enter a Federal Building for an extended period of time or those primarily working outdoors?

In order to both comply with guidance from the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force on the COVID Model Safety Principles, while also minimizing impacts to operations the following adjustments to the NASA COVID-19 Vaccination Attestation and Testing requirements can be made for access to NASA facilities and sites by certain contractor employees as follows:
• “Transient” contractor employees who are making deliveries to a NASA facility or site (e.g. package delivery services; propellant supplier) but will not enter a Federal Building for an extended period of time, are not required to complete and submit a Certification of Vaccination Status or show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result report;
• Construction contractor employees, who principally work outside, can be exempt from the attestation and testing requirements. Consideration should be given to limiting indoor activities for these employees, such as limiting them to only food pickup at a dining facility.

Center/Installation Leadership has discretion to approve additional exemptions, for other infrequent situations where access of individuals does not represent increased risk of exposure or spreading of COVID-19 in the facility/installation. These exemptions may be most efficient when applied to a contract company when all of their employees represent the same low risk.

  1. Once completed and signed, the contract employee or visitor must present the signed certification form to enter the facility. This is at the main gate? Does this include folks that completed the questionnaire on-line?

Contractor employees who have a NASA issued badge are required to complete the certification through the online attestation form. Contractor employees or visitors who do not have a NASA issued badge prior to arrival at the NASA facility will be required to complete a paper version of the certification at the facility badging office and provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result report, if necessary. Once a NASA contract employee or visitor is issued a badge they will not be required to present the signed certification or negative COVID-19 test result, if necessary, prior to actually entering the NASA facility. Additional guidance regarding testing requirements is forthcoming. The timing of this requirement was updated recently by the White House to September 20, 2021.

  1. Who on Center can ask to see a visitor’s completed form? Should it be assumed that if the person has a valid badge they have complied?

Prior to visitors being issued a badge, security officials at entry points to facilities or sites are authorized to ask visitors to complete the attestation form, and if appropriate, to require proof of a negative test report prior to allowing access to the NASA facility. The timing of the requirement for a negative COVID test report was updated recently by the White House to September 20, 2021. Additional guidance regarding testing requirements is forthcoming. Once a NASA contract employee or visitor is issued a badge they will not be required to present the signed certification or negative COVID-19 test result, if necessary, prior to actually entering the NASA facility

  1. Any individual who fails to complete and sign the Certification of Vaccination Status form or fails to provide any required negative COVID-19 test results (if/when required) may be denied entry to the facility. How will this be enforced and who is checking? Again, including subcontractors?

Yes, these guidelines apply to all individuals entering a NASA facility, including subcontractors. Contractors are responsible for monitoring their employees’ compliance with the completion of the attestation certification requirement and testing if required. NASA expects that individuals will complete the attestation certification truthfully and will comply with the guidelines set forth by the agency with integrity. If the attestation certificate has not been completed or proof of the negative COVID-19 test report provided (if necessary), it could result in an administrative action including an adverse personnel action.

Prior to being issued a badge, security officials at entry points to facilities or sites are authorized to ask visitors to complete the attestation form, and if appropriate to require proof of a negative test report prior to allowing access to the NASA facility. The requirement for a negative COVID test report will start on September 20, 2021. NASA will not provide testing for contract employees and visitors. Additional guidance regarding test requirements is forthcoming.

  1. If a non-NASA contractor employee or visitor has business with a non-NASA tenant entity (e.g. DOD, commercial business) on a NASA facility, will the contractor employee or visitor be required to attest to their vaccination status or provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test report?

No, if the contractor employee or visitor is on the NASA facility to conduct non-NASA business, they will not be required to attest to their vaccination status or provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test report.

  1. Memo describes requirements for non-vaccinated personnel to carry proof of COVID testing – does not require vaccinated personnel to carry proof of vaccination. Is this an “honor system” best effort requirement?

Once a NASA contract employee or visitor is issued a badge they will not be required to present the signed certification or negative COVID-19 test result, if necessary, prior to actually entering the NASA facility. NASA expects that individuals will complete the attestation certification truthfully and will comply with the guidelines set forth by the agency with integrity.

  1. If an employee does not have a valid COVID-19 test, and is therefore denied entry onto the facility, is this considered denied entry per 1852.242-72 Denied Access to NASA Facilities (Oct 2015) in the contract.

No. If a contract employee cannot provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test report in accordance with Agency guidelines, and is denied entry onto the facility, the contractor is still obligated to perform.

  1. The guidance makes no reference to visitors showing proof of vaccination. Do the badging clerks just take the person’s word they are vaccinated? If the visitor keeps their form, how can anyone verify the info was correct? Will the badging clerks be liable if someone has a fake/forged negative test result?

Prior to visitors being issued a badge, security officials at entry points to facilities or sites are authorized to ask visitors to complete the attestation form, and if appropriate, to require proof of a negative test report prior to allowing access to the NASA facility. NASA expects that individuals will complete the attestation certification truthfully and will comply with the guidelines set forth by the agency with integrity. The badging clerks will not be liable if someone has a fake/forged negative test result.

  1. For permanently badged employees (federal and contractor) how will the security officer at the gate know that person’s status? If the employee is not fully vaccinated, unvaccinated or chose not to provide their status and is subjected to the testing requirement, who monitors this and who does the employee show the negative test to?

Once a NASA contract employee or visitor is issued a badge they will not be required to present the signed certification or negative COVID-19 test result, if necessary, prior to actually entering the NASA facility. NASA expects that individuals will complete the attestation certification truthfully and will comply with the guidelines set forth by the agency with integrity. If the attestation certificate has not been completed or proof of the negative COVID-19 test report provided (if necessary), it could result in an administrative action including an adverse personnel action.

  1. On weekends and after hours when the badging office is closed, visitors receive their temp/local badge at the gate. How will this attestation form be handled in those situations?

During non-business hours, visitors will be provided with the attestation form at the gate where they are receiving their visitor badge.

Other

  1. How do I know that the link I am providing my information on is legitimate?

The link is a NASA.gov link. This link will open a medgate.com site managed by NASA’s Office of the Chief Health and Medical Officer through a third-party vendor, Cority. In addition, the link was included in an email from NASA Deputy Associate Administrator and the letter from the Office of Procurement to the NASA Contractor Community both of which outlined the revised procedures for entering NASA facilities during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

  1. I received a letter from the Office of Procurement regarding procedures for entering a NASA facility and the completion of a Certification of Vaccination Status and an email related to the same topic. Are these different processes?

No, they are not different processes. The Office of Procurement letter to the contractor community was to ensure the widest possible distribution of this new procedure.

  1. If a contractor cannot be compliant, would it be considered an excusable delay under the contract, FAR 52.212-4, such as due to an epidemic?

No, the completion of the Certification of Vaccination Status and testing procedures, if necessary, are not beyond the reasonable control of the Contractor.

  1. Is this considered a unilateral change to the contract?

No, this is a stipulation of accessing the facility to ensure the safety of the NASA workforce including support contract employees.

NASA Procurement published this information in op-faqs-contractors-vaccine-attestation-guidelines.pdf. Please check the NASA Procurement Contractor Related COVID-19 Information page for the latest updates to this information, as well as additional memos and documents on COVID-19.

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