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Recovery | For DC Gov Contractors/Grantees

Q1: What initial steps are agencies taking to implement the vaccination requirement for contractors and grantees? [08/17/2021]

A1: Agencies should first identify the contractors and grantees of the agency that are subject to the vaccination requirement. (See the response to Q2 for a description of the activities that subject contractors and grantees to this requirement.) OCP has sent a notification to all vendors in the PASS system (including both contractors and grantees that use the system) about the Mayor’s Order, and agencies that authorize grants or have independent procurement authority should send additional notice to their contractors and/or grantees using the template provided.

Q2: Which District government contractors and grantees are subject to the August 10, 2021 Mayor’s Order (2021-099) on COVID-19 Vaccination Certification Requirement for District Government Employees, Contractors, Interns, and Grantees? [08/17/2021]

A2: The following categories of District government contractors and grantees are subject to the Order’s vaccination requirements:

a. District government contractors and grantees who provide services at District government facilities; and
b. District government contractors and grantees whose work is regularly directed by District government employees and who have in-person contact with other persons in order to complete their work under the contract or grant.

By way of example, contracted food service workers who work at DCPS schools and contracted security personnel who work at District government buildings are subject to the requirement, because they perform their work at District government facilities. In addition, grantees under the COVID-19 Community Corps are subject to the requirement because their work is regularly directed by District government employees and the contract or grant staff have in-person contact with other individuals in order to complete their work.

In contrast, grantees who received emergency funds to maintain business operations that are unrelated to District government functions and whose operations are not directed by District government offices are not covered by the vaccination requirement. Additionally, attorneys and consultants who perform work under a contract with an agency would likely be exempt from this requirement if all of their duties are carried out remotely. Moreover, non-profit organizations that receive grants from or through District government may be exempt if the extent of their interaction with the government is to receive and report on the use of those funds, but otherwise are not operating regularly as an extension or agent of the government.

For information on the requirements outlined in the September 20, 2021 Mayor’s Order (2021-109) on COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement for Adults Regularly in Schools or Child Care Facilities and for Student-Athletes and the requirements for healthcare workers please see Questions 24 and 25.

Q3: Are contractors or grantees required to show proof of vaccination status to enter District government facilities? [08/17/2021]

A3: At this time, there is no requirement to provide proof of vaccination to enter District government facilities.

Q4: How should contractors or grantees track vaccination status, weekly COVID-19 test results, and process exemptions within their organizations? [08/17/2021; updated 10/18/2021]

A4: Contractors and grantees are responsible for ensuring that their eligible personnel are in compliance with the vaccine requirement outlined in Mayor’s Order 2021-099 and Mayor’s Order 2021-109, and should manage the tracking and exemption processes internally. However, the Order(s) do(es) not require a particular tracking system and contractors and grantees should develop a process that works for their systems and operations. There is no requirement for District agencies to preemptively or regularly request vaccination statuses from current contractors or grantees at this time unless specifically requested by the contracting officer or the grant administrator.

Q5: Is the requirement as mandated in the Mayor’s Order applicable to volunteers, independent contractors, or subcontractors? [08/17/2021, 9/8/2021; updated 10/18/2021]

A5: Yes, the Mayor’s Order applies to all agents of a grantee or contractor, including employees and volunteers, to the extent that the agents provide services regularly in school or childcare buildings or facilities in the District, at a District government facility or their work under the contract or grant is regularly directed by District government employees and they have in-person contact with other persons in order to complete that work. It also applies, to the same extent, to independent contractors and subcontractors of a grantee or contractor.

Mayor’s Order 2021-109 applies to all adults regularly in school or childcare buildings or facilities.

Q6: I am a contractor or grantee supporting the District government virtually. Does this requirement apply to my employees or me? [08/17/2021]

A6: No, the Mayor’s Order does not apply to those contractors or grantees supporting the District government in a solely virtual capacity.

Q7: Is there a vaccination certification form for contractors or grantees to complete? [08/17/2021; updated 9/8/2021; updated 10/18/2021]

A7: There is no requirement on District agencies to preemptively or regularly request vaccination statuses from current contractors or grantees at this time, unless specifically requested by the contracting officer or the grant administrator.

Q8: Will the District provide COVID-19 testing? [08/17/2021]

A8: For information on testing options, please visit: coronavirus.dc.gov/testing.

Q9: Grantees are not under OCP. Which agency or executive entity will provide further guidance and standardized forms for grantees should they become needed? [08/17/2021; updated 9/8/2021]

A9: Standardized forms and further guidance will be disseminated from grantor agencies to grantees as needed. Sample language for solicitations is included in the answer to Question 14 below. Similar language should be included in award letters.

Q10: What records will contractors or grantees be required to maintain for a future audit to prove compliance with the Mayor’s Order? [08/17/2021]

A10: At any time, contractors or grantees may be asked by District government to certify their compliance with the vaccination requirement. Therefore, contractors and grantees should maintain and update records as necessary to be able to promptly supply this certification if requested. Grant Administrators or Contracting Officers may provide additional instructions for certifying compliance with the vaccine requirement and may request access to documents and records to audit this certification.

Q11: Will contractors or grantees have to collect proof of vaccination/a doctor’s order/negative tests and keep them on file for audits or site visits, or merely collect employee statements? [08/17/2021]

A11: Contractors and grantees should collect proof of vaccination status, test results, and/or documentation of medical or religious exemption as part of their comprehensive auditable files. Contractors and grantees should not send any vaccination certification records to their contracting officer or grant administrator unless requested to do so.

Q12: If one of their employees (i.e., an accountant) is not paid from the contract or grant, but works for the organization on an aspect of the funding (e.g., signature on payroll checks), and they perform work in-person, does the order apply to them? [08/17/2021; updated 9/8/2021; updated 9/23/2021]

A12: Contractors and grantees should make an initial determination of which of their employees are required to comply with the vaccination certification requirement; those determinations will be subject to agency reviews and audits. The Mayor’s Orders apply to employees, agents, and subcontractors who provide goods or perform services regularly in school or childcare buildings or facilities in the District, in person in District government facilities or worksites, or who have in-person contact with other persons in order to provide services or fulfill other obligations under the contract or grant. The following categories of District government contractors and grantees are subject to Mayor’s Order 2021-099 vaccination requirements:

a. District government contractors and grantees who provide services at District government facilities; and
b. District government contractors and grantees whose work is regularly directed by District government employees and who have in-person contact with other persons in order to complete their work under the contract or grant.

See Question 3 for the categories of District government contractors and grantees who are subject to Mayor’s Order 2021-109.

In the course of auditing contractor and grantee compliance District government agencies may identify additional individuals working for the contractor or grantee that should be subject to the requirement of Mayor’s Order 2021-099 or Mayor’s Order 2021-109. Contractors and grantees must comply with this finding.

Q13: Can a contractor or grantee impose stronger vaccination requirements for their employees? [08/17/2021]

A13: Yes, the Mayor’s Order allow private employers to impose stronger vaccination requirements on their employees, agents, or subcontractors/subgrantees, subject to applicable federal and local laws and regulations.

Q14: What language should I include in my agency’s forthcoming Request for Applications, pending award agreements and notification letters, and natural agreement renewals? [08/17/2021, 9/8/2021; updated 10/18/2021]

A:14: In all RFAs to be published henceforth, and in all award agreements and grant notifications at the earliest time practicable, agencies should include the following text or a substantially similar provision:

The grantee(s) selected in response to this Request for Applications is/are required to comply with Mayor’s Order 2021-099, COVID-19 Vaccination Certification Requirement for District Government Employees, Contractors, Interns, and Grantees, dated August 10, 2021, Mayor's Order 2021-109 - COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement for Adults Regularly in Schools or Child Care Facilities and for Student-Athletes, dates September 20, 2021, and all substantially similar vaccine requirements including any modifications to Mayor’s Order 2021-099 and Mayor’s Order 2021-109, unless and until they are rescinded or superseded.

Q15: What language should I include in my agency’s forthcoming contractor solicitations? [08/17/2021; updated 9/8/2021; updated 10/18/2021]

A15: All solicitations published henceforth, should include the following text:

The Contractor is required to comply with Mayor’s Order 2021-099, COVID-19 Vaccination Certification Requirement for District Government Employees, Contractors, Interns, and Grantees, dated August 10, 2021, Mayor's Order 2021-109 - COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement for Adults Regularly in Schools or Child Care Facilities and for Student-Athletes, dated September 20, 2021, and all substantially similar vaccine requirements including any modifications to Mayor’s Order 2021-099 and Mayor’s Order 2021-109, unless and until they are rescinded or superseded. At the request of the District government, Contractors may be asked to provide certification of compliance with this requirement and/or documents and records in support of this certification.

The Contractor is required to comply with City Administrator’s Order 2021-4, Resumption of Requirement for All Persons to Wear a Mask Inside District Government Buildings and While on Duty as a District Government Employee or Contractor, dated July 30, 2021, and all substantially similar mask requirements including any modifications to this Order, unless and until they are rescinded or superseded.

Q16: [Deleted.]

Q17: Does the vaccination certification requirement apply to subgrantees, such as an organization that receives a subgrant of federal grant funds from a District agency? [09/7/2021]

A17: If the grant funds are administered by the District, the vaccination certification requirement applies regardless of the original source of the funding.

Q18: What is a District facility? [9/8/2021]

A18: A District facility is any facility owned or managed by the government of the District of Columbia, including space leased by or otherwise made available to a District agency for its use.

Q19: Do existing grant agreements and contracts need to be reopened and revised to add a vaccination requirement provision? [9/8/2021; updated 10/18/2021; updated 11/9/2021]

A19: No, at this time, current contracts and grant agreements do not need to be amended to add language regarding the vaccine requirement.

Q20: How and when might agencies request an attestation of compliance from grantees? [9/23/2021; updated 10/18/2021]

A20: At any time during an open grant period, agency grant administrators may utilize the text below to certify grantees’ compliance with Mayor’s Order 2021-099:

I, [Name of authorized representative of organization], as the authorized representative of [Organization Name], attest that my organization is in compliance with Mayor’s Order 2021-099, COVID-19 Vaccination Certification Requirement for District Government Employees, Contractors, Interns, and Grantees, dated August 10, 2021, Mayor's Order 2021-109 - COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement for Adults Regularly in Schools or Child Care Facilities and for Student-Athletes, dated September 20, 2021, and all substantially similar vaccine requirements including any modifications to Mayor’s Order 2021-099 and Mayor’s Order 2021-109, unless and until they are rescinded or superseded.

I also attest that my organization is in compliance with City Administrator’s Order 2021-4, Resumption of Requirement for All Persons to Wear a Mask Inside District Government Buildings and While on Duty as a District Government Employee or Contractor, dated July 30, 2021, and all similar mask requirements including any modifications to this Order, unless and until they are rescinded or superseded.

Name: ____________________________

Signature: _________________________

Date: _____________________________

It is within the agency discretion to determine when and where to request the certification of a grantee.

When on a site visit, or with any reasonable notice, grants monitors and program officials may request to see evidence of compliance with the requirements and may interview staff about the vaccination program and compliance with it.

Q21: How and when might agencies request an attestation of compliance from contractors? [10/12/2021; 10/18/2021]

A21: A contracting officer, in his or her discretion, may request an attestation of compliance from a contractor at any time. For new contract awards and option renewals, bidders/offerors will be required to certify compliance with Mayor’s Orders 2021-099 and 2021-109 as well as City Administrator’s Order 2021-04. The following attestation, or a substantially similar form of attestation, may be requested:

The Contractor is required to comply with Mayor’s Order 2021-099, COVID-19 Vaccination Certification Requirement for District Government Employees, Contractors, Interns, and Grantees, dated August 10, 2021, Mayor's Order 2021-109 - COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement for Adults Regularly in Schools or Child Care Facilities and for Student-Athletes, dated September 20, 2021, and all substantially similar vaccine requirements including any modifications to Mayor’s Order 2021-099 and Mayor’s Order 2021-109, unless and until they are rescinded or superseded. At the request of the District government, Contractors may be asked to provide certification of compliance with this requirement and/or documents and records in support of this certification.

The Contractor is required to comply with City Administrator’s Order 2021-4, Resumption of Requirement for All Persons to Wear a Mask Inside District Government Buildings and While on Duty as a District Government Employee or Contractor, dated July 30, 2021, and all substantially similar mask requirements including any modifications to this Order, unless and until they are rescinded or superseded.

It is within the contracting officer’s discretion to determine when and where to request the certification and supporting documentation of a contractor.

Q22: What may an agency review when auditing a contractor’s or grantee’s compliance? [9/23/2021]

A22: An agency may audit any file, system, verbal description/attestation, or direct observation the agency deems relevant to affirming that the contractor or grantee is in compliance with the Mayor’s Order. This may include, but is not limited to, the contractor’s or grantee’s policies and procedures for maintaining compliance, staff interviews of how and how well the policies and procedures work, the technical or other systems used to collect and store proof of vaccination, exemptions and test results, and the proof of vaccination, exemptions and test results itself.

Q23: If an agency audits the proof of vaccination, exemptions and test results held by the contractor or grantee for their employees and agents, how should the agency do so? [9/23/2021]

A23: It is recommended that agencies prioritize visually reviewing this proof as and where stored by the contractor or grantee, rather than asking the contractor or grantee to provide records to the government. If the agency deems it necessary to collect copies of this proof, the agency must do so via secure transfer and storage that is only accessible by agency staff with an operational need to review.

Q24: Which District government contractors and grantees are subject to the September 20, 2021 Mayor’s Order (2021-109) on COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement for Adults Regularly in Schools or Child Care Facilities and for Student-Athletes? [10/26/2021]

A24: The following categories of District government contractors and grantees are subject to the Order’s vaccination requirements, and, unless granted a medical or religious exemption must be vaccinated against COVID-19:

  • District government contractors and grantees who are working in person or regularly entering as part of their work any public, public charter, independent, private, or parochial school in the District of Columbia
  • District government contractors and grantees who are working in person or regularly entering as part of their work any childcare facility regulated by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education

Persons who enter schools and childcare facilities on a one-time basis are not covered by this Order, but if a person’s ordinary duties or practices include regularly entering schools, such as off-site administrators who regularly visit school sites, or contractors who regularly service schools, they must comply with this Order’s vaccination requirement.

The Mayor’s Order also applies to contractors of public charter, private, parochial and independent schools who are not employed by the District of Columbia directly or via subcontract but whose duties or assignments are on-site and require entry on more than a one-time basis, including volunteers.

Q25: What are the requirements of the August 27th regulations from DC Health for healthcare professionals? [10/26/2021]

A25: All health professionals who are licensed, registered, or certified by the Department of Health (DC Health), and all unlicensed personnel in a healthcare setting are required to have received the first dose of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine (i.e., Moderna or Pfizer) or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine no later than September 30, 2021, unless granted an exemption as provided in 22B DCMR § 230.1 (Exemption for receiving a W.H.O. approved vaccination, a religious or medical exemption) by DC Health. Individuals who are subject to this requirement should follow the guidance provided by DC Health and provide “Vaccination Attestation” directly through the DC Health portal. DC Health is responsible for reviewing vaccination status and any exemption requests for licensed and unlicensed professionals under this requirement. Employers must ensure that employees are compliant with the DC Health requirements.

Employees who are subject to both the DC Health regulations, and the vaccination requirements outlined in either Mayor’s Order 2021-099 or Mayor’s Order 2021-109 must comply with both regulations and requirements. Schools, childcare centers, or other businesses that employ individuals who are subject to both are responsible for collecting evidence of vaccination or reviewing the medical/religious exemption requests from their employees. Employers should not wait for D.C. Health’s determination of whether to grant a religious or medical exemption before reviewing requests for medical or religious exemptions requested by their staff, and an employer is not required to grant a religious exemption solely because DC Health has done so. Employees who remain unvaccinated for any reason, including those with approved exemptions, must continue to test weekly for COVID-19. Employers are responsible for collecting and reviewing test results of unvaccinated staff.