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Executive Order Will Guide $52 Billion Chips Act Funding
A new executive order is creating an interagency steering council to assist in the disbursement of $52 billion in manufacturing subsidies and research funding from the CHIPS and Science Act. The goals of the council include ensuring accountability of the funds while meeting economic and national security needs to ensure American leadership in the sector and developing an equitable economic generation. Read more here.
Memo Released “Ensuring Free, Immediate, and Equitable Access to Federally Funded Research”
The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy released a memo requiring federal agencies to make all publicly available taxpayer funded research free to access. The memo requires agencies to finish implementing new policies by year end of 2025 and to remove the yearlong embargo for federally funded research. Read more here.
DOD to Release, Start Implementing New Zero Trust Strategy by October 1
The Department of Defense is expected to release a formal Zero Trust strategy by mid-September with full implementation by 2027. This plan follows an executive order on cybersecurity, which told all federal agencies to draw up plans to move to a zero trust architecture. Read more here.
DFARS: Reauthorization and Improvement of Mentor-Protégé Program
The Department of Defense (DOD) is amending the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement to implement a section of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 that reauthorizes and modifies the DOD Mentor-Protégé Program. The final rule is effective October 24, 2022. Read more here.
DOD Issues New Source Selection Procedures
The Department of Defense issued revised Source Selection Procedures, rescinding with some exceptions the previous version issued on April 1, 2016. The update includes new guidance on Streamlining Source Selection, Intellectual Property, and revises statutory and regulatory references, definitions, and tables. Read more here.
DFARS: Restriction on Acquisition of Tantalum
The Department of Defense adopted as final, with changes, an interim rule amending the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement to implement a section of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 that prohibits acquisition of tantalum metals and alloys from North Korea, China, Russia, and Iran. The final rule became effective August 25, 2022. Read more here.
DFARS: Employment Transparency Regarding Individuals Who Perform Work in the People’s Republic of China
The Department of Defense amended the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement to implement a section of the National Defense Authorization Act that requires a disclosure from entities that employ one or more individuals who will perform work in the People’s Republic of China. The interim rule became effective August 25, 2022. Read more here.
Industry Awaits Potential Congressional Resolution to ‘Extremely Difficult’ Procurement Process
The federal government’s IT procurement process could be getting a facelift with the Advancing Government Innovation with Leading-Edge—AGILE—Procurement Act of 2022, which experts viewed as a positive approach to address issues facing the process. The act aims to improve government IT procurement by modernizing the process and making it more efficient, in addition to removing roadblocks for small technology businesses to contract with the government. So far, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs has advanced the bill to full consideration on the Senate floor. However, the bill has just over four months to reach the president’s desk, before it would have to be reintroduced and face the legislative process over again. Read more here.
DHS Eyes Plan to Use Self-Assessments to Evaluate Contractor Cybersecurity
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is preparing a rule to ensure contractors are meeting cybersecurity requirements, with DHS touting a process for evaluating its vendor base through self-assessments rather than relying on a third-party certification program like the Pentagon. Read more here.
Upcoming Government Contracts Presentations
Appeals Court Partially Lifts Ban on Federal Contractor Vaccine Mandate
A federal appeals court recently ruled that the Biden Administration’s vaccine mandate for federal contractors can largely go back into effect—at least for now—overturning a lower court ruling that enjoined the contractor mandate nationwide. The majority ruling agreed that a narrow injunction to block the vaccine mandate would have been reasonable, but concurred that the lower court lacked the authority to apply the injunction nationwide. Read more here.
DOL Launches a New Portal for Construction Subcontractor Reporting
The Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs launched a new online platform referred to as the Notification of Construction Contract Award Portal to modernize how the agency receives required notices about construction contract and subcontract awards. Read more here.
Upcoming Labor & Employment Presentations
Essilor Agrees to Pay $16.4 Million to Resolve Alleged False Claims Act Liability for Paying Kickbacks
Essilor International, Essilor of America Inc., Essilor Laboratories of America Inc., and Essilor Instruments USA, headquartered in Dallas, have agreed to pay $16.4 million to resolve allegations that the company violated the False Claims Act by causing claims to be submitted to Medicare and Medicaid that resulted from violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute. Read more here.
Cockerell Dermatopathology to Pay $3.75 Million to Resolve Healthcare Fraud Claims
Cockerell Dermatopathology, a Dallas-based dermatopathology clinic, has agreed to pay the U.S. more than $3.7 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by submitting fraudulent lab claims to TRICARE and by knowingly concealing an obligation to repay the U.S. Read more here.
Upcoming Litigation & Dispute Resolution Presentations