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In October 2023, the federal government released a Proposed Rule aimed at incorporating new cybersecurity reporting requirements into the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). In this second installment of PilieroMazza’s blog series “Protecting Our Nation’s Data,” we discuss the Proposed Rule which seeks to implement Executive Order 14028 (EO 14028) and increase the exchange of information between contractors and the government regarding cyber threats and incident reporting. As the government continues to roll out new cybersecurity requirements, government contractors should understand these requirements, how they could affect current and future contracts, as well as greater exposure to False Claims Act (FCA) liability. Read more here. Please visit this link for the first blog in this series.
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Issues Notice of Advancing Governance, Innovation, and Risk Management for Agency Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Draft Memorandum
On November 3, OMB issued a Federal Register Notice that it is seeking public comment on a draft memorandum titled Advancing Governance, Innovation, and Risk Management for Agency Use of AI. As proposed, the memorandum would establish new agency requirements in areas of AI governance, innovation, and risk management, and would direct agencies to adopt specific minimum risk management practices for uses of AI that affect the rights and safety of the public. The Notice is available here. The full text of the Draft Memorandum is available here. Comments close December 5, 2023.
Uncertainties In Cloud Security Update May Deter Contractors, Law360, Daniel Wilson
A long-awaited update to federal cybersecurity standards for cloud computing providers is likely to attract new contractors to work with the government, but uncertainties about exactly how proposed changes will be implemented could limit the effectiveness of the overhaul. Read more here (subscription required).
Commerce launches new safe AI center, NextGov/FCW, Alexandra Kelley
The U.S. Department of Commerce and its subcomponent, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, will open a new center dedicated to prioritizing safety in AI systems, part of the agencies’ updated roles and responsibilities to support President Joe Biden’s executive order on artificial intelligence. Read more here.
New bill aims to codify NIST AI risk management in federal procurement, NextGov/FCW, Alexandra Kelley
The Federal Artificial Intelligence Risk Management Act is designed to give statutory support to many of the efforts outlined in the Biden administration’s AI executive order. Legislation looking to bolster federal guidelines for artificial intelligence technologies was introduced in the Senate on Thursday, underscoring the ongoing executive actions to bring regulations to bear on the rapidly expanding AI industry. Read more here.
DHS lays out new ‘cybersecurity readiness’ metrics for contractors, Federal News Network, Justin Doubleday
The Department of Homeland Security will use a “cybersecurity readiness” assessment to evaluate whether contractors have cyber defenses in place prior to making contract awards. Read more here.
Small Business Administration (SBA) Issues Final Rule on Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)
On November 7, SBA issued a final rule updating its regulations for the SBDC Program, which has not comprehensively updated its regulations since 1995. The Final Rule clarifies the regulations to make them more efficient, effective, transparent, comprehensive, and aligns them with current SBA policy and guidance. The Final Rule includes policy and procedural changes to preserve the integrity and legislative intent of the SBDC. The Final Rule is available here and will be effective December 7, 2023.
Vendor Changeover Kicks Off $61 Billion IT Contract Follow-On, Bloomberg Government, Maika Ito
Nine awardees on the second iteration of a complex IT services vehicle have accounted for nearly 60% of the $14.2 billion obligated so far on the predecessor contract, according to Bloomberg Government data. Read more here (subscription required).
Upcoming Government Contracts Presentations
Return-to-office policies may bring potential federal workforce challenges, Government Executive, Carten Cordell
Deltek posited in its contracting outlook for fiscal 2024 a potential talent crunch tied to the Biden administration’s return-to-office policies. Read more here.
VA attributes record-breaking year to massive increases in hiring, Government Executive, Eric Katz
The department will now focus on keeping those employees through various incentives and process improvements, officials say. Read more here.
Federal labor coalition urges ‘prompt’ finalization of OPM’s anti-Schedule F proposal, Federal News Network, Drew Friedman
Federal unions are urging the Office of Personnel Management to put its final stamp on an effort to guard against the potential return of Schedule F as quickly as possible. In September, OPM issued a proposed rule to clarify and reinforce merit systems principles and other worker protections for career, non-political federal employees. Read more here.