Lisa Schwarzkopf, AAP Specialist

For a printer-friendly copy of this Affirmative Action Alert, click here.

In this Issue:

It’s Here! Welcome the VETS-100A
As expected, the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (“VETS”) has adopted the new VETS-100A Report, which will coordinate with the revised categories of covered veterans in the 2002 Jobs for Veterans Act.

Contractors and subcontractors with government contracts of $100,000 or more entered into on or after December 1, 2003, are covered by the Jobs for Veterans Act and will be required to submit the new VETS-100A. Contractors and subcontractors with contracts entered into before December 1, 2003, and valued at $25,000 or more will continue to file the VETS-100 report in compliance with reporting requirements provided for under the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974.  

Contractors and subcontractors with contracts entered into before and after December 1, 2003, that meet the applicable monetary thresholds are covered under both sets of rules and are required to file both the VETS-100 and the VETS-100A.

The contractor community had voiced concerns about the proposed reporting requirement. They contended that it would be burdensome and confusing for the contractors who would be required to file two reports because they would have to collect two different sets of data on the same workforce. In response to these concerns, VETS merely noted that approximately 80 percent of contractors will have to file only one form.

Affected contractors must begin collecting the data for the VETS-100A immediately, as the first VETS-100A filing will be due September 30, 2009. Therefore, it is important for contractors to determine which report(s) apply to them and to ensure that they are collecting the appropriate data for the applicable reports. For additional information on the categories of veterans found on the VETS-100 and VETS-100A reporting forms and the differences between the two reports, click here.           

Is Your Code of Ethics Ready Yet?
Constangy is available to help any contractors who need assistance developing the code of business ethics and employee compliance programs required by the amendments to the Federal Acquisition Regulations that became effective last December. The amendments to FAR require all companies doing business with the federal government, whether through prime contracts or subcontracts, to “conduct themselves with the highest degree of integrity and honesty,” to adopt written codes of business ethics, and to take steps to promote employee compliance.

In addition to the written codes, contractors should have employee business ethics and compliance training programs and internal control systems that: (1) are suitable to the size of the company; (2) promote timely discovery of improper conduct concerning government contracts; and (3) establish procedures for prompt corrective action.

Companies with contracts expected to exceed $5 million with a performance period of 120 days or more are subject to additional requirements. These “major” contractors must include applicable clauses in all covered subcontract agreements, and may be required to post fraud hotline posters. In addition, they must not only establish written codes of business ethics and integrity, but they must also do so within 30 days of the contract awards and distribute copies of the codes to all employees involved in the performance of the contracts. Finally, major contractors must also establish awareness programs and internal controls systems governing their codes within 90 days of the contract awards. Contractors who have represented themselves as “small business concern[s] pursuant to the award of the contract” are not required to establish awareness programs or internal controls systems.

The FAR amendments do not apply to contracts awarded for the acquisition of commercial items and contracts that are to be performed entirely outside of the United States.

If you have questions about these or other topics related to affirmative action plan development or compliance, please contact a member of Constangy’s Affirmative Action Practice Group or the Constangy attorney of your choice.

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