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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.

 

Advanced Notice for MAS Refresh 20 and Upcoming Mass Modification

The General Services Administration (GSA) Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) is planning to issue GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Solicitation 47QSMD20R0001 – Refresh # 20 and an associated mass modification (mass mod) to all existing contracts in April 2024.

NOTE: The Vendor Support Center (VSC) page information specific to MAS Solicitation Refreshes was recently updated to include the solicitation-level SF30 attachments for all MAS solicitation refreshes.

To learn more, click here.

Department of Defense (DoD) Defense Industrial Base (DIB) Cybersecurity (CS) Activities

The Pentagon has released a final rule that greatly expands the number of defense industrial base (DIB) companies that can receive cybersecurity intelligence from DoD on a voluntary basis. The latest rule updates the Defense Industrial Base (DIB) Cybersecurity (CS) Program and will allow all defense contractors “who own or operate an unclassified information system that processes, stores, or transmits covered defense information to benefit from bilateral information sharing.” The final rule comes after the DoD gathered public feedback on the changes last summer. “We do this to continue to move forward to reduce cyber risk and to bolster cybersecurity,” Diedra Padgett, deputy director of the DIB Operations Directorate, said in announcing the proposed revision to the program in May 2023. “This has been a long-fought battle for years in the making,” she said. The new rule will take effect on April 11, according to a notice posted to the Federal Register on Tuesday.

To read more, click here.

DOJ Announces Pilot Whistleblower Rewards Program and Increased AI Enforcement

On March 7, 2024, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco announced Department of Justice (DOJ) initiatives to incentivize whistleblowers with payouts from civil or criminal forfeitures and to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) into existing corporate enforcement programs and sentencing guidelines.  Speaking at the American Bar Association’s (ABA) 39th National Institute on White Collar Crime in San Francisco, Monaco also announced updates regarding DOJ’s investment of resources into the most serious cases, and the addition of a provision to the DOJ Justice Manual codifying the Mergers & Acquisitions Safe Harbor Policy launched last October.

To learn more, click here.

Cybersecurity Framework 2.0 – Now Released

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) today rolled out its Cybersecurity Framework (CSF) 2.0 – an update ten years in the making following the agency’s groundbreaking initial version of the cyber framework that has shaped security thinking across the private and public sectors in enduring ways. While the framework has always been positioned as a set of voluntary guidelines – and remains so – it has also become something of a de facto standard and starting point in many conversations that later morph into critical security decisions. “The CSF has been a vital tool for many organizations, helping them anticipate and deal with cybersecurity threats,” NIST Director Laurie Locascio said in a Feb. 26 press release. To read more, click here.