In a March 5 letter to agency contractors, Soraya Correa, the Department of Homeland Security's chief procurement officer told her contracting staff to keep advised of the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) using the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's guidelines.
Correa told contractors that "if contract performance is affected due to the COVID-19 situation, such as the need for alternate work locations, or travel or schedule changes, the contracting officer is the authority to discuss this with your company."
Since the COVID-19 outbreak in the nation's capital within the past week, federal agencies have begun preparations for possible restrictions that could be implemented in response to the epidemic.
"If your employees must travel to affected areas, please have them contact you prior to their return to discuss possible telework or leave options," she advised. She added that managers have their employees contact them if they've been in close contact with a person "known to have COVID-19" or if airport screeners told them to self-quarantine after returning from travel overseas.
The predicted contracting adjustments will continue to change government contracting regulations as COVID-19 remains a prevalent threat. For example, for federal meetings, officials urged contractor attendees to have an alternate representative ready to send, if the primary contractor falls ill.
Correa will serve as a keynote speaker during Potomac Officers Club's 2020 Procurement Forum on Thursday, March 19th. Register here to save your spot for the forum. During her keynote address, she will discuss the short term and long term strategies, acquisition, workforce initiatives, tech modernization and collaboration between government and industry.