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Todd Overman has over fifteen years of experience advising companies on the unique aspects of doing business with the federal government. Over the last decade, he has advised on more than 50 transactions involving the purchase or sale of a government contractor.

In a May 4 article published by American City Business Journals’ The Playbook, I offered insight on the opportunities for small businesses to engage with federal contracting and practical steps to get started.

The federal government spent more than $665 billion on contracts in FY2020, and a variety of special programs for contracts are designed to meet the goal of spending at least 23% of all contracting dollars with small business owners.

Continue Reading Opportunities for Small Business within Federal Contracting Space

I will join a host of presenters including Josh Frank (RSM Federal), Thomas Mercer (US Army Corps of Engineers), JW Cole (Tennessee Valley Authority) and Veronica Clark (UT PTAC) for the West Tennessee Procurement Opportunities Virtual Conference on Wednesday, July 13, 2022. The virtual conference will take place from 9 A.M – 2 P.M CST

I am looking forward to presenting a panel titled “Intellectual Property” at the UT Procurement Technical Assistance Center’s Spring 2022 Small Business Innovation Conference on May 5, 2022. The conference is sponsored by The University of Tennessee in cooperation with the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Defense.

Conference

In a memorandum circulated during “National Sunshine Week” celebrating the importance of open government, Attorney General Merrick Garland directed heads of executive agencies and departments to favor transparency and disclosure when considering Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. The memorandum was released in the wake of bipartisan calls for increased Department of Justice (DOJ) guidance on agency FOIA responses. In February, six Democrat and Republican lawmakers co-signed a letter asking the Attorney General to issue a “clear message” to improve transparency and “encourage agencies to improve FOIA implementation.” The letter cited a 2021 Government Accountability Office report finding that agency’s use of FOIA’s limited disclosure exemptions had increased 135% between 2012 and 2019. This increased reliance on exemptions drove a 76% increase in partial denials and a 10% increase in full denials of FOIA requests in the same period.

Continue Reading New FOIA Guidelines Favor Transparency

With a contracting budget approaching $650 billion per year, the United States government is the largest consumer of goods and services globally. In 2020, the federal government spent $145 billion, an equivalent of 26% of its total procurement spending, with small businesses. Breaking into government contracting can be a tremendous opportunity for small and emerging

I am looking forward to presenting a session titled “Intellectual Property” for the Oak Ridge Small Business Innovation Conference on January 25, 2022 at 12:30 p.m. EDT. The conference is hosted by the UT Center for Industrial Services, Institute for Public Service. Conference highlights include:

  • Tips regarding proposal strategies for SBIR/STTR funding
  • Understanding how to

On December 8, 2021, President Biden issued Executive Order (EO) 14057 “Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs Through Federal Sustainability.” The EO is the administration’s most recent effort to achieve “a carbon pollution-free electricity sector by 2035 and net-zero emissions economy-wide by no later than 2050.”

Federal agencies, government suppliers, and American businesses are urged to embrace the administration’s sustainability objectives and attain cleaner and more sustainable operation standards.

Federal Sustainability Plan

The EO describes the Biden administration’s efforts to adopt green technology by focusing on five aspects.

Continue Reading Biden’s “Clean Energy” Directive’s Impact on Government Contractors

A 2016 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report noted that the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) did not have an official method of validating contractors’ affirmative action plans or programs (AAP) compliance. GAO recommended that OFCCP progress from an “honors” or self-representation system to a mechanism that regularly monitors AAP compliance. In September 2020, OFCCP published a notice seeking comment on the possibility of an annual AAP certification and verification process.

On December 2, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced that federal service and supply contractors and subcontractors presently required to create and maintain written AAPs will also be required to certify whether they meet annual AAP requirements. Certification will be through a secure online Contractor Portal developed and monitored by OFCCP. Contractors can also upload their AAPs to the portal during a compliance evaluation. Certifying compliance in the Contractor Portal does not exempt a contractor or subcontractor from compliance evaluations. Contractors and subcontractors that are only construction and not supply and service contractors are not required to certify AAP compliance.

Continue Reading OFCCP’s New Affirmative Action Program Oversight Tool

For nearly two years, we have been reporting on this blog about the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) program. CMMC is a training, certification, and third-party assessment program designed to protect federal contract information (FCI) and controlled unclassified information (CUI) shared by DoD with its contractors and subcontractors through federal acquisition programs.

On November 4, the DoD announced that CMMC 2.0 would replace CMMC 1.0. The announcement was followed by a publication in the Federal Register of a summary of DoD’s CMMC 2.0 plans, which explains that the changes will be implemented through the notice and comment rulemaking process, proposing revisions/additions to titles 32 and 48 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

The decision was driven in large part by the more than 850 public comments submitted to the DoD in response to the CMMC 1.0 interim DFARS rule released on September 29, 2020, focusing on the need to enhance CMMC by doing the following, according to CMMC Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Reducing costs, particularly for small businesses.
  2. Increasing trust in the CMMC assessment ecosystem.
  3. Clarifying and aligning cybersecurity requirements to other federal requirements and commonly accepted standards.


Continue Reading DoD Scraps CMMC 1.0 for CMMC 2.0

The $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) that President Biden signed on November 15, expands the provisions supporting American manufacturing through federal procurement. The IIJA statutory directives impose novel domestic origin requirements and standards for construction materials and products acquired for federally-aided public works infrastructure projects at state and local levels.

Overview

Prior efforts to protect and promote the U.S. industrial base consisted of President Trump’s July 15, 2019 Executive Order 13881, Maximizing Use of American-Made Goods, Products, and Materials, and President Biden’s January 25, 2021 Executive Order 14005, Ensuring the Future is Made in All of America by All of America’s Workers. Find more information about these two executive orders on our blog post titled “Heightened Buy American Act Requirements Are Here and More Are on the Way.”

President Biden’s EO 14005 was reinforced by the statutory authorities detailed in the domestic preference provisions of the IIJA. The three key concepts of the IIJA are:

Continue Reading Advancing the “Made-in-America” Movement