Arlington, Va. (Aug. 2, 2021)
PSC Calls for 3610 Extension Following GAO Report
The Professional Services Council (PSC) called for a key contractor retention program, known as Section 3610, to be extended and permanently authorized following the release of the Government Accountability Office’s report "Contractor Paid Leave Reimbursements Could Provide Lessons Learned for Future Emergency Responses (GAO-21-475)”
on July 28.
“This GAO report highlights what contractors have shared since Section 3610 was enacted: the program is utilized, valuable, and retains critical personnel as intended,” said PSC’s Executive Vice President David Broome.
In the report GAO examined how selected federal agencies have used Section 3610 authority and highlighted selected contractors’ perspectives on COVID-19 paid leave reimbursement. GAO reviewed the following four agencies: the Departments of Defense, Energy, and Homeland Security, and NASA. Twelve out of the 15 contractors GAO interviewed reported that paid leave reimbursement had a great or moderate effect on their ability to retain employees, especially those with specialized skills or clearances.
“GAO makes the case for establishing a permanent stand-by authority that can be utilized when needed and be in place when the next emergency happens—be it a pandemic, a cyber-attack or natural disaster,” Broome continued. “Establishing this authority now would be a prudent step to implement one lesson learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure that the government and contractors are prepared for the next one.”
PSC wrote to the Congress on June 15, 2021,
to request both an extension past the September 30 expiration date and authorization for a permanent authority that can be used during future emergencies.
Director, Media Relations