The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) has issued a proposed rule to amend and update the VA Acquisition Regulation (VAAR), and to bring it “in line” with the broader Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). Federal health care contractors providing supplies and/or services to the VA should pay particular attention to the Agency’s proposed rule and procurement reform initiative because the changes may require contractors to modify or update their internal procurement policies and practices when doing business with the VA. Notable changes under the proposed rule include a prohibition from making reference to VA contracts in commercial advertising, updating policies on improper business practices and personal conflicts of interest, explaining the calculation of overtime wages for contractors providing nursing home care to veterans, and revamping sealed bidding procedures. Contractors must submit public comments on the proposed rule by July 17, 2017, to be considered in the VA’s formulation of the final rule.
The VA’s proposed rule to amend and update its acquisition regulation (82 FR 22635) is part of the Agency’s initiative to bring the VAAR into conformity with the broader FAR. The VA proposes to remove any procedural guidance from the VAAR that is internal to the VA, to incorporate new regulations and policies, and to revise or remove any policy that has been superseded by changes in the FAR.