U.S. Department of Defense

On April 22, the Department of Defense, General Services Administration, and National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) promulgated a final rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to implement an agency requirement to procure sustainable products and services to the maximum extent practicable.Continue Reading New Rule Requires Agencies to Procure Sustainable Products and Services

On March 12, the Department of Defense (DOD) promulgated a final rule that expands the eligibility criteria for the Defense Industrial Base (DIB) Cybersecurity Program, a voluntary initiative aimed at bolstering the DIB’s ability to safeguard critical information. Continue Reading Final Rule Expands Defense Industrial Base Cybersecurity Program Eligibility Criteria

On January 29, the Biden administration announced several policy initiatives aimed at addressing pay transparency and equity, including a proposed rule issued by the Department of Defense (DOD), General Services Administration (GSA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP). Continue Reading Proposed Rule Seeks to Bring Gender Pay Equity to Federal Contracting Community

On December 26, the Department of Defense (DoD) published its long-awaited Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) Program proposed rule, which places comprehensive cybersecurity and information security requirements on DoD contractors and subcontractors. Continue Reading Department of Defense Publishes Long-Awaited CMMC Proposed Rule

On November 17, the Department of Defense (DoD) issued a final rule, implementing Section 874 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), clarifying that certain DoD-unique statutes and Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) clauses are inapplicable to DoD commercial item procurements, including acquisitions of commercial off-the-shelf items and commercial services. The changes aim to reduce barriers to entry and administrative burden for nontraditional defense contractors and streamline DoD procurement of innovative technologies from the private sector.Continue Reading New Rule Seeks to Streamline DoD Commercial Product and Service Procurements

The health of the Defense Industrial Base (DIB) has been brought to the fore as the United States responds to wars in Ukraine and Israel. Unfortunately, according to the National Defense Industrial Association’s “Vital Signs” report, the U.S. DIB faces numerous challenges due to limited capacity to surge production, political obstacles to defense budgeting, and labor challenges. Continue Reading GAO Assesses Health of the Defense Industrial Base

On July 8, the Department of Defense (DoD) Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment (OUSD (A&S)) announced its first update to the Other Transactions (OT) Guide since November 2018. The DoD OT Guide provides a detailed overview of the OT process and best practices, from pre-solicitation to award and post-award management. Continue Reading Department of Defense Issues First Update Since 2018 to Other Transactions Guide

Unprecedented inflation levels have caused substantial hardship on government contractors during the last year – especially those with firm fixed-price contracts. Fortunately, meaningful help may be on its way. The Senate recently passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of Fiscal Year 2023, which authorizes future spending of appropriations and outlines Department of Defense (DOD) policy priorities for the next fiscal year.Continue Reading Inflation Relief on Its Way for Government Contractors?

Generally, government agencies are given broad discretion to define their needs; however, last month, the United States Court of Federal Claims chose to curtail an agency’s authority to cancel and amend bid solicitations in Seventh Dimension, LLC v. U.S., No. 21-2275C (May 2022).
Continue Reading Broad Agency Discretion to Cancel Bid Solicitations Curtailed with Recent Court Decision – “The Tribe has Spoken”

Well, that was quick.  In four memos dated September 30 and October 1, contractors learned the terms of the contract provisions implementing the COVID-19 vaccine and masking requirements mandated by President Biden’s Executive Order (EO) 14042, discussed here, and the implementing guidance issued by the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force (Task Force) on September 24. In the next 10 days we expect to see most other agencies issue deviation memos similar to the General Services Administration (GSA) and Department of Defense (DoD) memos discussed below.

As discussed in this post, while the contract provisions, along with updated guidance from the Task Force, answer some of the open questions, contractors are still in the unfortunate position of rushing to ensure they are compliant with these requirements when the contract provisions apply to them without knowing the answers to some fundamental questions. Despite these open questions, companies have little time, for example, to ensure that covered employees are vaccinated by the December 8, 2021 deadline. After that deadline, any contractor that becomes subject to these requirements will have to ensure that on new contracts or options/extensions that incorporate the new clause, covered employees are fully vaccinated by the first day of performance, which of course is impossible unless contractors enforce these vaccine mandates in advance. That said, the memos do seem to clarify that compliance with the Task Force guidance will not be required for prime contracts solely for the manufacturing of products.

The FAR Clause

On September 30, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council issued a memo providing agencies with “initial direction” requiring the implementation of the Task Force guidance. It includes FAR 52.223-99, Ensuring Adequate COVID-19 Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors (OCT 2021) (Deviation), along with directions that agencies “expeditiously” issue class deviations to ensure that contracting officers can begin using the clause on or before October 15, 2021.Continue Reading And … They’re Off! Contractors Race to Comply Now that the COVID-19 Vaccination Deviations Have Arrived