FEMA Seeks Comments on the Draft “Planning Considerations for Cyber Incidents: Guidance for Emergency Managers”

FEMA is seeking feedback on the draft “Planning Considerations for Cyber Incidents: Guidance for Emergency Managers.” This document provides state, local, tribal and territorial emergency managers with foundational knowledge of cyber incidents to increase cyber preparedness efforts in their jurisdictions. FEMA will host four, 60-minute webinars to provide an overview of the document. The sessions will include facilitated discussions with stakeholders to help improve the existing draft. FEMA seeks input — especially real-world case studies — that can be incorporated into the document. This open comment period will conclude on Nov. 22, 2022. To read more, click here.

Georgia Woman Charged with Defrauding FEMA in Connection with $156 Million Hurricane Maria Contract

Tiffany Brown has been indicted for allegedly defrauding the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) in connection with a nearly $156 million contract she was awarded that required Brown to provide 30 million self-heating meals to the residents of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in 2017. Brown had submitted a proposal to FEMA falsely representing that her Georgia-based company, Tribute Contracting LLC (“Tribute”), could provide the necessary self-heating meals. Brown allegedly not only lacked any of these capabilities but had plagiarized significant portions of her proposal. Click here to read more.

DOD Releases Report on Defense Spending by State in Fiscal Year 2021

The Department of Defense’s Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation released its Fiscal Year 2021 Defense Spending by State report to help states and communities better understand the components of defense spending on procurement and personnel. The report’s graphs, maps, and tables present a range of findings, such as total spending figures, categories of contracted goods and services, major defense vendors, and numbers and types of defense personnel. This analysis primarily entailed an examination of DoD­ funded prime- and sub-award contract data and defense personnel and payroll figures drawn from an array of sources, including the DoD’s Defense Manpower Data Center and USAspending.gov, which is managed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. To read more, please click here.

The Buy American Act and Other Federal
Procurement Domestic Content Restrictions

Federal law imposes a number of restrictions requiring federal agencies to acquire items that are
produced or manufactured in the United States. The Buy American Act of 1933 (BAA), the first of the major domestic content restriction laws, requires federal agencies to apply a price preference for “domestic end products” and use “domestic construction materials” for covered contracts performed in the United States. Whether an end product (i.e., an article, material, or supply to be acquired for public use) is considered domestic for BAA purposes depends, in part, upon whether it is unmanufactured or manufactured and whether it “consist[s] wholly or predominately of iron or steel.” Federal law establishes a number of “exceptions” or circumstances in which an agency may purchase foreign end products or permit the use of foreign construction materials without violating the BAA. Click here to read more.

DOD Releases New List of Section 889 Banned Entities

The Department of Defense (DOD), in compliance with Section 889 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019, released an updated list (Blacklist) of banned People’s Republic of China (China) military companies. Some of the more ‘notable’ additions to the Blacklist include: BGI Genomics Co, a genetic testing company with a massive gene databank and DNA-sequencing contracts worldwide; CRRC Corp, which manufactures rail transit gear; and Zhejiang Dahua Technology, a Hangzhou-based surveillance equipment maker. To read more, click here.

Tracking the Funds: Specific Fiscal Year 2022 Provisions for Department of Defense

As part of FY22 appropriations, Members of Congress could request to designate a certain amount of federal funding for specific projects in their communities. While agencies often have discretion over how they award funds, Congress has directed them to distribute these funds to designated recipients. The U.S. Government Accountability Office is tracking the funds to help ensure transparency. The Department of Defense’s FY22 appropriations included $1.29 billion for 87 of these projects. To read more, please click here.

Federal Government to Prioritize US-made, Lower-Carbon Construction Materials

The U.S. government will for the first time prioritize the use of American-made, lower-carbon construction materials in federal procurement and federally funded projects, the General Services Administration (GSA) announced. To realize this goal, the GSA has issued a request for information about the availability of domestically manufactured, locally sourced “low-embodied-carbon” materials — or those that generate fewer carbon emissions during the process of constructing a building. The move is part of the Biden administration’s Federal Buy Clean Initiative, which aims to stimulate markets for low-carbon products made in the U.S., according to the GSA. Click here to read more.

Increasing the Share of Contract Dollars Awarded to Small Disadvantaged Businesses

Last year, the President made a commitment to increase the share of contract dollars awarded to small disadvantaged businesses (SDBs) to 15 percent by 2025. This memorandum provides guidance to agencies on steps they are expected to take in Fiscal Year (FY) 2023. Increasing the share of contract dollars awarded to SDBs is designed to support a more dynamic and resilient supplier base and create opportunities for entities owned by underrepresented individuals. To read more, click here.

Hurricane Ian Recovery and Disaster Contracting Primer

The recovery efforts from Hurricane Ian’s aftermath are underway. Federal, state, and local governments all have their unique jurisdictions as they help with the disaster recovery. To learn how your business can work with the government’s disaster recovery efforts, WPI has published a disaster contracting primer.