The General Services Administration (GSA) released Mass Modification #A837 on October 8 to implement Executive Order 14042 Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors into the Multiple Award Schedule (MAS). Contractors are required to accept the modification by November 14, 2021. The Executive Order mandates the following:
- Covered contractor employees must be fully vaccinated by January 4, 2022;
- Covered contractors must ensure employees follow CDC protocols;
- Covered contractors must designate a lead person for compliance.
This applies to contracts for services, construction, or a leasehold in excess of the Simplified Acquisition Threshold (SAT). GSA is encouraging application of the rule on orders at or below the SAT, as well as product-based orders.
GSA recently held a webinar to discuss implementation of the EO in the schedules program. Aronson encourages schedule holders to listen to the recording of the webinar when it is posted on October 22. GSA defined the applicability of the vaccine mandate and a covered employee as follows:
- Any contractor employee working on a covered contract (any contract or subcontract including new clause 52.223-99)
- Any contractor employee working “in connection with a covered contract” – e.g. anyone in an overhead pool (necessary for the performance of the contract).
- Anyone who could potentially come into contact with the individual listed in 1 or 2 at contractor facilities (ex. office elevator, restroom, cafeteria, parking garage, etc.)
Individuals who work from home or remotely on a covered contract are still subject to the vaccine mandate. Reasonable accommodations exist for both medical and religious exemptions. Schedule holders utilizing subcontractors should keep in mind that FAR 52.223-99 is an automatic flow down to all subcontractors at any tier who are party to a covered contract.
Acceptance of the mass modification will incorporate the mandate into both new and existing MAS orders. Failure to accept the modification by November 14, 2021 will result in the following:
- Inability to exercise any options to contractor’s MAS contract
- Ineligibility for new work against MAS contract
- Temporary removal from GSA eLibrary or flagging contract as non-compliant in system
Contractors may visit GSA’s COVID website for the most up-to-date resources. Specific questions about the mandate should be directed to your government contracts counsel.