In efforts to bring the VA Acquisition Regulation (VAAR) “in line” with Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), the US Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) has proposed amendments to its acquisition regulation. The VA proposes to eliminate 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is internal to the VA, to incorporate new regulations and policies, and to revise or remove any policy that has been superseded by changes in the FAR.
The Agency’s proposed rule and procurement reform should be of particular interest for federal health care contractors providing supplies and/or services to the VA, such as health care products, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, or nursing home care services. The proposed changes may require modifications to contractors’ internal procurement policies and practices when doing business with the VA. For example, the VA proposes clarifications to the calculation of overtime wages for contractors providing nursing home care to veterans. Other suggested changes include a prohibition from making reference to VA contracts in commercial advertising, updating policies on improper business practices and personal conflicts of interest, and revamping sealed bidding procedures.
Federal health care contractors impacted by the proposed changes should submit public comments on the proposed rule on or before July 17, 2017 for the Agency’s consideration in formulating the final rule. To learn more about the proposed amendments to VAAR, click here.