“Ready… Fire… Aim…” This seems to be the tagline for Section 3610 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. As the federal contracting community struggles to interpret and consistently apply the section of the CARES Act, which aims to support the federal contracting workforce, the clock is ticking and April invoices are stacking up. We must stay focused on the intent—maintenance of a “ready state” workforce. The Department of Defense (DoD) has taken a bold move to pause and review all FAQs and develop a process for 3610 reimbursement, a draft of which is anticipated on May 11, 2020. The DoD Process for Section 3610 Reimbursement states:
“With this policy framework in place and the number of potential approaches to implement the section, the Department of Defense (DoD) must now move rapidly to provide overarching implementation guidance to our workforce. This guidance will address the reimbursement process from requesting the contracting officer’s determination of an “affected contractor” to providing a checklist to guide collection, and evaluation of costs from the industry partner seeking reimbursement within the parameters of the section and the class deviation. This guidance must also provide the flexibility our contracting professionals need to resolve the numerous reimbursement requests expected under Section 3610 at the contract, business unit or the corporate level.”
Those within the government are just as frustrated as the contracting community. We are #InThisTogether and are left to determine the practical application of 3610 approval, payments, and overall contract performance. One clear fact stands: Not much in federal contracting is agile and swift, and if something is agile and swift, it is subject to much scrutiny and difficulty at a later time. I commend the DoD and many other agencies, specifically ONDI and NSA, who are working closely with the contracting community to provide information and guidance. Now let’s get a process and get April invoices paid!