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A recent bill introduced by Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) is attempting to place heightened security standards on all Internet of Things (IoT) devices procured by any federal agency. Should the legislation be enacted, the expectations it sets forth regarding the security of IoT devices could be interpreted by courts as the minimal floor for any IoT product sold to the federal government and, potentially, sold commercially. Given IoT’s increasing prevalence and importance in the life…
Howard Roth authored an article on Buy America and Buy American for the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce. Below, learn about the differences between the two acts and why they matter to contractors. In this first year of Donald Trump’s administration, American sourcing requirements are receiving heightened focus that impacts business by providing opportunities and threats. For instance, President Trump’s “Buy American HireAmerican” executive order restates the policy of the government to buy American.…
On July 10, 2017, the U.S. Senate placed the FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act on its Legislative Calendar. This action means the historically must-pass legislation is now ready for amendment and debate. Just as it did last year, the Senate Armed Services Committee (“SASC”) has included two provisions focused on bid protest reform.  Given the absence of these bid protest reform provisions from the House version of the bill, and the SASC press…
Maritime government contracting is a multi-billion dollar industry involving the Navy, Army, Coast Guard and other agencies. Most contractors are familiar with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 33.211 provision at the end of each contracting officer’s (“CO’s”) decision on a Contract Disputes Act (“CDA”) claim stating: “Instead of appealing to the agency board of contract appeals, you may bring an action directly in the United States Court of Federal Claims (except as provided in 41 U.S.C.
A Request for Equitable Adjustment (REA) is not defined by the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), but is only referenced therein.  What then, is an REA? REAs are requests for additional monies or time based on contract clauses that provide for such relief, for instance the Changes clause of the contract or the Differing Site Conditions clause.  Historically, no less an authority than the Supreme Court has explained an REA is equal to a breach of…
Non-federal entities that receive federal assistance—such as colleges and universities, hospitals, nonprofits, and state, local and tribal governments—have been given an additional year to comply with the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) revised procurement standards for grants and federal funding. In December 2013, OMB overhauled its guidelines for the oversight and administration of federal grants and other federal financial assistance. The sweeping changes included revisions to procurement standards codified at 2 CFR §§ 200.317-200.326. …
On May 9, the Department of Defense Inspector General (“DoD IG”) released Audit Report No. DODIG-2017-081, Summary of Audits on Assessing Contractor Performance: Additional Guidance and System Enhancements Needed (the “Audit Report”). The audit identified weaknesses within the DoD’s contracting officials’ preparation of contractor Performance Assessment Reports (“PARs”) and potential improvements to the Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (“CPARS”). Because of insufficient training, lack of internal controls, and ineffective procedures for timeliness and PAR review,…
https://youtu.be/5lnus09vYo8 On April 18, 2017, President Trump signed the “Buy American Hire American” Executive Order (“EO”).  The EO restates the policy of the government to buy American.  Federal agencies are required to make an assessment of what the EO calls the “Buy American Laws” aimed at maximum use of United States materials. The EO states that “it shall be the policy of the executive branch to maximize, consistent with law . . . the use…
President Trump has signed Executive Order 13767 that directs a wall to be built on the Mexico-United States border.  The Department of Homeland Security has sought proposals to design and build a prototype of the border wall, and many contractors have submitted offers.  At the same time, several state and local governments (such as New York City, San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland, New York, Illinois, and California) are…
In these early days of Donald Trump’s administration, domestic sourcing requirements are receiving heightened focus.  President Trump’s Jan. 24, 2017, “Presidential Memorandum Regarding Construction of American Pipelines” asks the Secretary of Commerce to “develop a plan under which all new pipelines . . . inside the borders of the United States . . . use materials and equipment produced in the United States, to the maximum extent possible and to the extent permitted…