George Mason University (GMU) and industry executives discussed the implications of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic for both agencies and companies during a webinar hosted by GMU’s Center for Government Contracting.
“Panelists noted that businesses need to take an extremely proactive role in communicating and engaging with their government customers and that government agencies need to likewise recognize the centrality of the contract workforce for their respective missions,” Jerry McGinn, executive director of the GMU GovCon Center and GovCon Expert for Executive Mosaic, told GovConWire.
McGinn said the center reviewed contracting data amid the COVID-19 response and found a fourfold increase in the amount of spending obligations just over a five-day period.
He added that government agencies often seek a 24-hour solicitation response timeline in efforts to accelerate the delivery of materials and products to areas of greatest need.
Aside from McGinn, the other panelists at Monday’s Webinar: COVID-19 and Implications for the Government Contracting Community were John Hillen, CEO of EverWatch Solutions and a former Wash100 awardee; Jeff Bialos, partner at Eversheds Sutherland; and Jim Fontana, co-founder and managing partner of Dempsey Fontana.
Maury Peiperl, dean at the GMU School of Business, provided the introductory comments.
One key takeaway from the event was that the enacted $2T Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes a provision to reimburse contractors for any paid leave they provide to ensure that workers or subcontractors maintain a “ready state” status.