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Federal Acquisition Regulation: Effective Communication between Government and Industry

The DoD, GSA, and NASA are issuing a final rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to implement a section of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016. This rule clarifies that agency acquisition personnel are permitted and encouraged to engage in responsible and constructive exchanges with industry, so long as those exchanges are consistent with existing law and regulation and do not promote an unfair competitive advantage to particular firms. Effective: December 30, 2022. To read this regulation in its entirety, click here.

Fake parts: A Pentagon Supply Chain Problem Hiding in Plain Sight

In August, the Pentagon had halted delivery of F-35s after Honeywell, the maker of a key engine component in the F-35, told a Lockheed Martin-operated facility in Fort Worth, Texas it had new concerns about the provenance of one part. Specifically, the subcontractor had learned a magnet in the component had been made for years using raw materials sourced in China — a violation of federal procurement rules. The Defense Department ultimately decided the Chinese alloy didn’t endanger or compromise the F-35, and it granted a waiver in early October for deliveries to resume. But the high-profile incident spotlighted a quandary for Pentagon leaders, one the department has struggled to address and was warned about for more than a decade: how to keep counterfeit parts and other unauthorized material from sneaking into the department’s sprawling supply chain. To read more, click here.

Federal Acquisition Regulation: Effective Communication Between Government and Industry

DoD, GSA, and NASA are issuing a final rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to implement a section of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016. This rule clarifies that agency acquisition personnel are permitted and encouraged to engage in responsible and constructive exchanges with industry, so long as those exchanges are consistent with existing law and regulation and do not promote an unfair competitive advantage to particular firms. This rulling will be effective on December 30, 2022. To read more about this final rule, click here.

DoD Zero Trust Strategy

The Defense Department officially unveiled a zero trust strategy and roadmap, laying out how DoD components should direct their cybersecurity investments and efforts in the coming years to reach a “target” level of zero trust maturity over the next five years. The Zero Trust Framework employed across the Joint Force and the defense ecosystem protects our information systems from increasingly sophisticated attacks as our adversaries seek to affect our warfighters and DoD mission success. To read this strategy, click here.

Fixed-Price Contracts Mean Exactly What They’re Called: FIXED-Price

The Federal Drive with Tom Temin talked with Smith Pachter McWhorter procurement attorney, Zach Prince about fixed-price contracts and how the government uses this strategy. In this podcast, they talk about how contractors need to understand how important the wording is in this phrase and the different ways your costs can be driven up. To read a full transcription of this podcast, click here.

Treasury Debuts Plan to Penalize Foreign Investment Threatening National Security

The Biden administration released the first-ever enforcement and penalty guidelines for foreign companies and investors that violate national security review protocols, a move that comes as federal officials and lawmakers have expressed growing concerns about the involvement of China and other adversarial nations in the operations of major technology companies. The new guidelines for the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States—or CFIUS—describe how the committee will determine the imposition of penalties in instances where foreign investors or companies fail to properly safeguard national security. CFIUS, which is overseen by the Treasury Department, is responsible for identifying and mitigating national security risks related to foreign ownership of or investments in U.S. companies. To read more, click here.

DOD Makes Audit Progress, But Much More Needs to Happen, Official Says

The Defense Department made progress toward a “clean audit,” but not as much as officials hoped. The audit looks at every aspect of the department — an organization of about 2.9 million people with one of the federal government’s largest portfolios of real property. “The results of the fifth annual DOD-wide financial audit will be a disclaimer of opinion for DOD as a whole,” Michael J. McCord, the undersecretary of defense (comptroller)/chief financial officer, said. “This is the same as last year and … not unexpected. We did expect this disclaimer, but we will also sustain all of our prior year positive opinions, which cover approximately 39 percent of our assets.” To read more, click here.

Supply Chain Mapping Initiative

The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) has partnered with N-Tier Illumination (TM) to better understand potential supply chain vulnerabilities and develop risk mitigation strategies. N-Tier Illumination (TM) is a secure, commercial supply chain discovery and risk management tool that helps organizations understand key relationships across their supply chain. Supply chain mapping is a new requirement for DLA. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY2022, Section 841-10 USCA ? 2509, requires DOD to streamline and digitize its approach for identifying and mitigating risks to the defense industrial base. To learn more about this new initiative, click here.

Transactional Data Reporting: A Logical Step in the Evolution of the MAS Program

In 2016, the General Services Administration issued a final rule to amend the GSA Acquisition Regulation (GSAR) to require that vendors report transactional data from, among other things, GSA Schedules orders. Currently, in evaluating Schedules pricing, GSA makes use of two tools: the Commercial Sales Practices (CSP) format which identifies, for each Special Item Number (SIN) under a Schedules contract, the sales and pricing information juxtaposed to pricing (including discounts) provided to an identified Most Favored Customer (MFC), and the Price Reduction Clause (PRC), which requires the identification of a customer that serves as the basis of award and how changes in prices to that customer will affect the government. To read more, click here.