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Acquisition Policy Flash! 18-03

What's New?

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria Exemptions for Equal Opportunity Clauses

Purpose:  To provide the acquisition workforce with guidance regarding the U.S. Department of Labor’s, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issuance of a temporary exemption from certain federal contracting Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) requirements.

FAR Parts Referenced:  FAR Part 22

Effective Date:  Immediately

Background:  The U.S. Department of Labor’s OFCCP has issued a temporary exemption from certain federal contracting requirements.  For a period of three months, subject to possible extension, new Federal contracts to provide hurricane relief efforts have been exempt from having to develop written affirmative action programs as required by Executive Order 11246; The Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act; and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended requiring that all Federal contracting agencies include in all covered supply & service and construction contracts an equal opportunity clause.

Applicability:  This notification applies to all VA contracting activities.

Action Required:  Contracting officers should use the following clauses when entering into contracts that specifically provide relief for Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

Due to the devastation of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, OFCCP has issued a temporary exemption from certain federal contracting requirements related to equal opportunity for contracts supporting hurricane relief.

For complete details regarding National Interest Exemptions due to the hurricanes, please see OFCCP’s memo which provides draft fill-in text for the existing FAR clauses.

When the contracting officer (CO) enters into a contract which specifically provides relief for Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, the contracts are required to contain clauses 52.222-26, 52.222-35 and/or 52.222-36.  The CO should use the following Alternate 1 version of the FAR Clauses:

Alternate I of 52.222-26 with the following fill in:  “The contractor will not be obligated to develop the written affirmative action program required under the regulations implementing EO 11246.”

Alternate I of 52.222-35 with the following fill in:  “The contractor will not be obligated to develop the written affirmative action program required under the regulations implementing VEVRAA.”

Alternate I of 52.222-36 with the following fill in:  “The contractor will not be obligated to develop the written affirmative action program required under the regulations implementing Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.”

The exemption and waiver are granted for a period of three months, subject to an extension should special circumstances in the national interest so require.  The exemption periods are as follows:

  • Hurricane Harvey:  September 1, 2017 to December 1, 2017
  • Hurricane Irma:  September 8, 2017 to December 8, 2017
  • Hurricane Maria:  September 21, 2017 to December 21, 2017

Additional Information:  Direct any questions or comments to Procurement Policy and Warrant Management Services via email at va.procurement.policy@va.gov or (202) 632-5288.