Arlington, Va. (Sept. 2, 2021)
PSC Welcomes Inclusion of Contractor Retention Authorities in the NDAA
The Professional Services Council (PSC) today welcomed the inclusion of language in the House Armed Services Committee-passed Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to provide a permanent stand-by authority for retaining contractor workforces during declared pandemics.
“PSC is grateful for the efforts of Reps. Wittman and Brown, and the Armed Services Committee members, to include this provision in the House NDAA,” said David Broome, PSC’s Executive Vice President for Government Relations. “Utilizing Section 3610’s proven and effective model to establish a permanent stand-by authority now, prior to the next emergency, is a prudent and proactive step to ensure the government is better prepared for adverse events in the future.”
Originally enacted as a part of the CARES Act, Section 3610 authorizes federal agencies to reimburse certain company expenses for keeping skilled personnel and key employees in a ready state when they are unable to perform work either on site or remotely due to government-imposed restriction. The provision included in the NDAA would provide for similar authorities for Department of Defense contractors during the COVID-19 emergency and future pandemics.
A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report
, highlighted that the authority has been essential to preserving the contractor community’s highly skilled workforce— 80% of the contractors surveyed indicated that “paid leave reimbursement had a great or moderate effect on their ability to retain employees, in particular those with specialized skills or clearances.”
“No one predicted the duration or magnitude of COVID-19 and we cannot predict when and where the next emergency will occur,” Broome continued. “This amendment is a great first step to prepare for unforeseen future emergencies. PSC looks forward to working with Congress to strengthen and expand this authority to all federal contractors when the next emergency happens—be it a pandemic, cyber-attack, or natural disaster.”