The Paycheck Protection Program is a
forgivable loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to
keep their workers on the payroll. The Small Business Association will forgive
loans if used for expenses related to payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or
Starting April 10th, independent contractors and
self-employed individuals can apply. Officials are encouraging business owners
to apply as quickly as possible because there is a funding cap. The Paycheck
Protection Program will be available through June 30, 2020. You can apply
through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured
depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System
institution that is participating.
https://sabre88.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/ppp.jpg390750Nakira Whiteheadhttps://sabre88.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/sabre88_bc_logo_trans-Copy.pngNakira Whitehead2020-04-24 11:59:472021-03-23 11:44:39Small Business Association’s Paycheck Protection Program and Benefits
In April 2020, the U.S. Government Accountability Office
(GAO) Published a report which focused Telecommunications and Call Center
federal contracts. The reason being that agencies spend billions on telecom and
call center work every year. Majority of these services are provided by
contractors, thus prompting the GAO to dig a bit deeper to highlight important
key factors of this industry, such as amount spent and by whom, data security
requirements, and even the use of foreign equipment.
As per the GAO report, The Federal Government obligated over
$30 billion for telecommunications contracts and almost $4 billion for call
center contracts, from fiscal years 2014 through 2018. On average for the
5-year period, telecommunications and call center obligations were a nominal
portion of total federal spending—accounting for 1.2 percent and less than 0.2
percent, respectively. Defense agency obligations accounted for the majority of
federal telecommunications spending to support a range of information
capabilities across the full spectrum of military operations. The Department of
Health and Human Services accounted for the majority of call center obligations
to support customer inquiries about Medicare and the health insurance
marketplace, among other services.
The GAO also found that many agencies are concerned with
security as it pertains to call center and telecom work. Contractors must
follow various requirements to protect the systems and the privacy of personal
data, which includes implementing controls that limit or detect inappropriate
access to data, and not using equipment from certain foreign manufacturers that
could include harmful hardware or software and pose national security risks. In
addition, most contracts also required that work be conducted in the United
States or by U.S. citizens.
In our current global climate, cyber security is paramount.
This means that agencies must take substantial precautions when hiring a
contractor to perform government work. Watch for more strict requirements to be
implemented in the future regarding personnel, equipment, cyber security, and
https://sabre88.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/CALL-CENTER.png159318Nakira Whiteheadhttps://sabre88.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/sabre88_bc_logo_trans-Copy.pngNakira Whitehead2020-04-17 11:59:562021-03-23 12:35:58GAO Report: Telecom and Call Center Federal Contracts
Virtually all states and locales have
policies on what are “essential” services during the pandemic. So does the
federal government — basically, healthcare, grocery stores, pharmacies, transportation,
etc. In the case of contracts with federal agencies, Department of Defense
contracts are considered essential, but those federal contracts and others may
not also meet the test of all states and locales for being essential.
Federal guidance on essential services is
general in nature, and Office of Management and Budget guidance to agencies on
essential contract services also lacks specifics. The Department of Homeland
Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has provided more detail on essential industries, such as the defense
industrial base, but its guidance is not binding on states.
State guidance on essential services is
varied. What can federal government contractors do to keep open?
Federal contractors should inquire from
their contracting officer (CO) in writing whether certain of their services are
federally essential or not. With a confirming letter from the CO, contractors’
offices and employees with copies of the CO’s letter on hand will be able to
show local officials that they are essential and can remain open, as long as
local officials are reasonable and agreeable.
Facility and work site closures also may
result from the virus. Implied or express government “stop work” orders can
have an effect on contractors. CO “directives” can lead to excusable
and/or compensable delays. The contractor cannot be defaulted by
government-caused delays, and may be entitled to an extended schedule
adjustment and equitable adjustment if the contract costs increase. However, if
an order is not directed toward a particular contract but to the public in
general, that is a sovereign act not entitling a contractor to an equitable
adjustment, only extra time. This ventures into new territory. Preserve
your rights with a notice of change letter to the CO.
Finally, beware of the “lessons learned”
after other crises, such as Hurricane Katrina. At the outset, emergency
government services (food service, equipment, personal protective equipment,
housing, construction, etc.) were scrambled for, but down the road inspectors
general noted contractor billing errors that resulted in the freezing of
payments and false claims issues. Even in emergencies, do not overlook
government billing details and the keeping of records and logs of performance.
Keep that bad ghost of Christmas future away, while doing the real work.
https://sabre88.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/image-1.png224408Nakira Whiteheadhttps://sabre88.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/sabre88_bc_logo_trans-Copy.pngNakira Whitehead2020-04-10 11:59:272021-03-23 12:41:56Essential Federal Contracts During COVID-19 Pandemic
As the world adjusts standard routines and a large majority
of businesses transition to working from home, we at Sabre88 have done our best
to uphold and incorporate our core values into our new normal. Changing the
setting of business has its challenges, but it appears that it certainly has
its opportunities, as well. This can be a time to strengthen teams, learn new
things, sharpen problem-solving skills, and discover new ways of communicating.
Sabre88’s core values are the following: Teamwork,
Customer Service, Community Service ,and Technology. As a
company, we have had the opportunity to create new ways of doing things, all
while remaining true to these core values.
Teamwork and communication have played a large role in continuing
to operate successfully as we work from home. This means maintaining regular
hours, creating a morning routine, taking time to meet virtually to maintain a
team environment. It is important to keep communication strong during times of
separation. Equally important is staying connected with team members and
continuing to draw from the strength of our diverse pool of skills.
Accountability comes from keeping these communications
consistent and open. The team relies on each other to perform and must know
that each member is accountable for their work. When a unit operates in a
manner such that each member is accountable to each other, great work can be
done and the result is great customer service and a stronger team.
Customer service is now directly related to our
utilization of technology. Making sure to use a VPN on network you don’t
control ensures the safety of the information that customers and clients expect
to be protected. Technology also drives customer service by allowing quick,
effective collaboration in real-time, allowing for smooth communication and
decision making to solve every potential problem that may arise. The use of
technology also allows for innovation and is presents opportunity for business
Finally, community service is what we are able to engage
in by remaining productive in our homes during this unprecedented time. By
staying home and adhering to the guidelines provided by our leaders, we ensure
that we are serving the community as best we can by helping to flatten the
curve, as it is appropriately put.
We do wish all our customers and clients health and
safety, and we at Sabre88 will continue to prove Precise. Swift. Solutions as
we always have.
The following is a list of tips and best practices for maintaining