Construction and Government Contractors are Critical Infrastructure — Government Guidance to Contractors


As we all continue to deal with the rapidly evolving Coronavirus/COVID-19 situation, government contractors should be aware of policy guidance issued by government and DoD leadership that may impact them.

On 19 March 2020, the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Director issued guidance announcing CISA's initial advisory list of "Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers" to identify workers conducting a range of operations and services essential to continued critical infrastructure viability. In that memo (available here), Director Krebs identifies the Defense Industrial Base as part of the critical infrastructure, along with healthcare, first responders, food, utilities, and other industries.

In the past days, various States have imposed restrictions ranging from orders to "shelter in place" to temporary limitations on the numbers of people in establishments or public gatherings. On 23 March 2020, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam issued an executive order requiring the closure of certain non-essential businesses. During the press conference, the Governor responded to a reporter's question to clarify that the construction industry is not impacted by that order, nor are construction-related retail businesses. These restrictions generally follow the Federal guidelines in determining what are considered essential businesses, so the construction industry and government contractors supporting the Defense Industrial Base are not impacted.

The Commander of Naval Facilities Engineering Command, responsible for construction and public works for the Navy, issued a memo (available here) to the NAVFAC contractor community on 20 March 2020 in which he noted the exemptions of many NAVFAC contractors from such restrictions.

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