Home COVID-19 and Government Contractors – Requirements and Opportunities

COVID-19 and Government Contractors – Requirements and Opportunities


The Covid -19 pandemic has created major alterations in government contracting. Since the outbreak, government contractors have suffered significantly due to lack of staff, facilities, delayed communication, operational disruptions, supply chain challenges, labour and employment issues, lack of access to government worksites and unforeseen shifts in Government priorities.

In light of this, on March 28, 2020, a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus was signed into law known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act. The act contains provisions aimed at contractors affected by facilities closures or other restrictions due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

On September 9, 2021, President Biden released an Executive Order about Covid-19 safety protocols for federal contractors and subcontractors as part of the administration’s continued efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19. 

The Safer Federal Workforce Task Force (the “Task Force”) is assigned to develop the COVID-19 safety rules that will apply to contractors and subcontractors by September 24, 2021. A mandatory immunisation for everyone will be included in the guidelines. While this is an option, there are a few other workplace standards like masks, tests, and sanitation that could be added.

Executive Order for Federal Contractors

Status of the Executive Order

It is impossible to say exactly how the executive order will impact businesses until additional specifics are disclosed, but government contractors and subcontractors should take immediate steps to be prepared.  

  • For the time being, federal contractor personnel who have not been vaccinated will be allowed to enter a federal worksite as long as they can present negative COVID-19 test results.
  • Agencies must first check if all “onsite” contractor employees have a vaccination certificate before allowing them into any federal building or worksite.

At this time, based on the instructions described, it appears that no agency-wide mandate will be issued unless a contractual requirement accompanies it. 

Vaccine Requirements for federal contractors

Other Vaccine Requirements 

To assist in compliance with President Biden’s COVID-19 Action Plan, contractors and subcontractors should pay attention to relevant COVID-19 requirements particular to their field. They should also be aware of the broader standards that they may be subjected to under the Vaccinate the Unvaccinated initiative. 

Under these circumstances, contractors that are not federally covered are still subject to identical restrictions established by federal contracting policies such as OSHA or Medicare and Medicaid regulations. Additionally, Executive Order covered contractors will need to manage overlapping criteria in each of these contexts, such as whether employees can give weekly test results instead of verification of vaccination status. Also, under the federal contractor Executive Order, stricter state and local regulations will continue to apply.

Opportunities for Government Contractors


Despite the Vaccine Requirements for U.S. Government Contractors, the most extensive opportunities in government contracting are expected to be in vaccines and technology itself. State agencies that administer viral tests and immunisations have gotten a large share of the stimulus money that the government has just provided.

  1. There has been a significant increase in the demand for medical staffing services.
  2. Since government regulations keep demanding that agencies retain greater supplies of PPE, manufacturers of personal protective equipment (PPE) are likely to benefit from this.
  3. IT, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and other technologies are experiencing an uptick in demand in these areas as well.

The $900 billion COVID-19 Relief Act passed on December 21 provides $730 million in expanding broadband service, including $635 million for the ReConnect program, which is an increase of $80 million over FY 2020.

Spending is also expected to increase for technology initiatives that support the military, such as unmanned satellites, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence. But contractors also face regulatory and policy challenges ranging from cyber security to contract consolidation. One of the critical issues government contractors are facing is the slow implementation of new standards governing cyber security.

On January 31, 2020, the Defense Department announced the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) to test the capabilities of every contractor who works with the Department of Defense. According to the standards of CMMC, contractors will have to be certified at one of five levels based on the type of services they deliver.

federal contracting trends

Other federal contracting trends to expect this year include: 

  1. With the increase in remote-work capabilities, federal contractors can opt to hire qualified workers from around the country. Contractors who are successful in lower wages and overhead will be able to offer more competitive pricing to the government, which may allow them to win more contracts. 
  2. Contracting set-aside targets are becoming a priority for federal agencies. It’s great news for women-owned and minority-owned firms, as well as businesses that are HUBZone accredited.
  3. Federal agencies are growing their use of cloud computing in tandem with government-wide information technology modernization and standardisation efforts. Those providing technical upgrades might find great opportunities here.
  4. Rapid advances in new weapons technology, such as artificial intelligence,robotics and hypersonic weapons, in addition to basic research and development is in demand. Prospective contractors in these regions may have growth prospects.


Until the Task Force issues more clarity on September 24, 2021, the actual scope of the compliance requirements under the Federal Contractors Executive Order will remain unclear. Therefore government contractors and subcontractors must keep track of the shift in government safety protocols and comply with the changing requirements.

BidFortune keeps track of the latest developments in government contracting and provides businesses with all-in-one tools to help discover new opportunities and succeed at federal contracting.