ARLINGTON, VA — With rising concern for the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on the defense industrial base, NDIA’s Hawk Carlisle has asked Congress for actions that ensure businesses and contractors can keep working and keep national security intact.
Calling the Coronavirus crisis a threat the nation has not seen since World War II, Carlisle, president and CEO of the National Defense Industrial Association, asked House<https://content.ndia.org/-/media/sites/press-media/covid19-letter-to-house.ashx?la=en> and Senate<https://content.ndia.org/-/media/sites/press-media/covid19-letter-to-senate.ashx?la=en> leaders in a March 19 letter for the following:
* Protect small businesses, which are at the greatest risk during the crisis. This would include accelerated payments, tax breaks and credits, and zero-interest loans in a timely fashion.
* Exempt contractors, as appropriate, from state and local orders that restrict facility access for businesses.
* Protect contractors and their employees should the government close an organization’s operations because of Coronavirus. Continue to pay contractors as it will government employees.
* Assure contracting authorities will excuse delays, entitle vendors to equitable adjustment of a contract price, and pay contractors on time when vendors confront challenges caused by the pandemic.
In declaring a national emergency, the administration activated some protections to defense contractors as provided by the Federal Acquisition Regulations. “However, it does not provide them protections for loss of pay due to delays caused by an epidemic or quarantine,” Carlisle said, “nor does it protect them if the supply chain is impacted by a global crisis.”
Non-compensable delays entitle contractors to a time extension but do not include monetary compensation, Carlisle said. “Cashflow is the life blood of companies and is necessary for them to pay their workforce,” he said, “which, in turn, protects the economy at large.”
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