DOD Releases National Defense Industrial Strategy Interim Implementation Report

The Department of Defense (DoD) today published the National Defense Industrial Strategy (NDIS) Interim Implementation Report, detailing the progress that DoD is making toward implementing the actions laid out in the NDIS.

The NDIS, released in January by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Policy (OASD(IBP)), offers a strategic vision, and identifies four strategic priorities for modernizing the defense industrial ecosystem. The Interim Implementation Report outlines initiatives from across DoD, showcasing how efforts to build a resilient industrial base are an ongoing, DoD-wide priority. DoD will be sharing further details on NDIS implementation later this summer.

To read more, click here.

Fourteen Percent of Contract Obligations in the Past Decade Went to Small Disadvantaged Businesses and Those Owned by Women and Minorities

The federal government spent $14.9 billion on advertising contracts over the last 10 fiscal years to inform the public about programs and services, among other things. The government provides contract opportunities to businesses owned by minorities, women, and other socially or economically disadvantaged groups.

It was found that contracts with these businesses represented about 14% of total federal advertising spending, or $2.1 billion, during FYs 2014-2023. Additionally, federal agencies spent about $1.1 billion for COVID-related advertising contracts, and 3.5 percent, or about $37 million, was awarded to these businesses.

To read more, click here.

SBA Certification Upgrade

The SBA is upgrading how our customers apply for and manage their federal contracting certifications.

SBA’s certification upgrade will start on August 1st, 2024:

  • Initial certification applications will not be accepted during the upgrade period.
  • The upgraded system is expected to be available for new applications in early September.
  • New and prospective applicants for federal small business certification are encouraged to wait until the upgrade is complete before applying.
  • Most certified firms will not be impacted by the pause in applications. Firms needing to renew during the upgrade period will receive guidance from their certification program.
  • Applications submitted before August 1 will continue to be processed during the upgrade period in the order received.
  • If your firm is facing a deadline on a proposal that will be impacted by your certification status before August 1, 2024, please contact certifications@sba.gov and provide the contract number, agency, and bid due date.

To learn more, click here.

FAR Rules are Open for Comment

FAR Case 2023-013, HUBZone Program, published on June 7, 2024.

  • DoD, GSA, and NASA are proposing to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to implement a final rule published by the Small Business Administration (SBA) to implement a section of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022.
  • For more information, click here.
  • Comments for this case are due by August 6, 2024. For information on how to comment, please visit the Federal eRulemaking portal at https://www.regulations.gov/commenton/FAR-2023-0013-0001.

FAR Case 2023-001, Subcontracting to Puerto Rican and Covered Territory Small Businesses, published on June 7, 2024.

  • DoD, GSA, and NASA are proposing to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to implement regulatory changes made by the Small Business Administration to add incentives for certain United States territories under the Small Business Administration mentor-protégé program.
  • For more information, click here.
  • Comments for this case are due by August 6, 2024. For information on how to comment, please visit the Federal eRulemaking portal at https://www.regulations.gov/commenton/FAR-2023-0001-0001.

FAR Case 2023-008, Prohibition on Certain Semiconductor Products and Services, published on May 3, 2024.

  • DoD, GSA, and NASA are considering amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to implement paragraphs (a), (b), and (h) in section 5949 of the James M. Inhofe National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023 that prohibits executive agencies from procuring or obtaining certain products and services that include covered semiconductor products or services effective December 23, 2027.
  • For more information, click here.
  • Comments for this case are due by July 2, 2024. For information on how to comment, please visit the Federal eRulemaking portal at https://www.regulations.gov/document/FAR-2023-0008-0001.

Request for Information: FAR Part 40, Information Security and Supply Chain Security, published on April 9, 2024.

  • DoD, GSA, and NASA recently established Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) part 40, Information Security and Supply Chain Security. The intent of this RFI is to solicit feedback from the general public on the scope and organization of FAR part 40.
  • For more information, click here.
  • Comments for this case are due by June 10, 2024. For information on how to comment, please visit the Federal eRulemaking portal at https://www.regulations.gov/document/FAR-2024-0054-0001.

Defense Industrial Base Adoption of Artificial Intelligence for Defense Applications; Notice of Availability

The DoD Office of Industrial Base Resilience seeks public comment on actions it can take to enable the Defense Industrial Base (DIB) to continue to adopt artificial intelligence (AI) for defense applications. Of special importance to small businesses is the feedback sought on question #4: “How can the DoD support the involvement of non-traditional defense contractors and small businesses in the design, development, testing, and deployment of AI technologies for defense applications?”

Feedback from the public will guide the DoD in developing policies, initiatives, and resource distribution to ensure support for the DIB in integrating AI into defense systems. Public comments will also be used to formulate a Trusted AI Defense Industrial Base Roadmap. Public comments will be accepted until July 22, 2024.

For more information, click here.

Contract Financing: Factors That Influence the Use of Financing Methods and DOD’s Progress on Proposed Actions

The Department of Defense provides billions of dollars through contract financing to acquire things like weapon systems and satellites. This financing can help contractors avoid expensive commercial loans and may help DOD reduce costs. In April 2023, DOD published a study on the effect of its contract financing policies on the defense industry.

Based on its April 2023 Contract Finance study, DOD proposed 16 actions it could take to help expand the defense industrial base. As of January 2024, DOD had taken steps toward implementing the majority of the proposed actions. Several of these proposed actions are intended to help subcontractors and small businesses, and include:

  • Improving the ability of subcontractors to contact the contracting officer when they do not receive payments from prime contractors, and
  • Modifying various regulations, as needed, to improve timely payments to subcontractors, including small businesses.

For more information, click here.

Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) Contractor Portal

From the Department of Labor:
Contractors that meet certain jurisdictional thresholds have an obligation to develop and maintain written Affirmative Action Programs (AAPs). The Contractor Portal is OFCCP’s platform where covered federal contractors and subcontractors must certify, on an annual basis, whether they are meeting their requirement to develop and maintain annual AAPs. The portal allows multiple users from individual organizations to register, manage records, and certify each establishment and/or functional/business unit, as applicable.
Beginning April 1, 2024, federal contractors will be able to certify the status of their AAPs for each establishment and/or functional/business unit, as applicable. The deadline for certifying compliance is July 1, 2024.

For more information, click here.

Federal Acquisition Regulation: Establishing Federal Acquisition Regulation Part 40

DoD, GSA, and NASA are amending the FAR to add the framework for a new FAR part 40, which will contain the policies and procedures for managing information security and supply chain security when acquiring products and services. The creation of this new FAR part does not implement any of the policies or procedures related to managing information security and supply chain security. The rule simply establishes the new FAR part. Relocation of the related existing policies or procedures will be done through separate rulemaking. Effective May 1, 2024.

To read more, click here.

From Census Bureau: Current Mandatory Business Surveys

The Bureau of the Census (Census Bureau) will conduct the following current mandatory business surveys in 2024: Annual Integrated Economic Survey, Annual Business Survey, Business and Professional Classification Report, and the Business Enterprise Research and Development Survey. We have determined that data collected from these surveys are needed to aid the efficient performance of essential governmental functions and have significant application to the needs of the public and industry. The data derived from these surveys, most of which have been conducted for many years, are not publicly available from nongovernmental or other governmental sources.

To read more, click here.

The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) Commission 2035 Vision and Planning Report

The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) Commission approved an update to the MMSD Energy Plan.  The goals of the plan are to meet MMSD’s aggressive climate resilience targets identified in the 2035 Vision. When met, MMSD will use renewable energy sources to meet 100% of its energy needs, with 80% of these renewable energy sources coming from MMSD’s own renewable energy production. This effort will result in a 90% reduction in MMSD’s carbon footprint by 2035!

Learn more about the Energy Plan for MMSD Facilities here.

Learn more about MMSD’s 2035 Vision and Strategic Objectives here.