Crowell & Moring’s “All Things Protest” podcast keeps you up to date on major trends in bid protest litigation, key developments in high-profile cases, and best practices in state and federal procurement. In this episode, host Christian Curran highlights a recent GAO decision with analysis on key personnel and discussions issues.
On November 2, 2023, the Department of Defense (DoD) released its 2023 DoD Data, Analytics, and Artificial Intelligence Adoption Strategy (2023 Strategy), and an accompanying Fact Sheet, to accelerate the adoption of analytics, data, and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies that will enable better and faster decision-making at all levels and across the DoD. The 2023 Strategy builds upon and supersedes the DoD’s first AI Strategy published in 2019, reported on here, and the revised Data Strategy published in 2020 to continue the DoD’s digital transformation, unifying previous guidance and enabling stronger alignment and synchronization to scale advanced capabilities for use across the DoD.Continue Reading DoD Releases Additional Guidance on the Department’s Artificial Intelligence Strategy
This week’s episode covers FedRAMP’s announcement about AI-related products, the White House’s next phase of the federal government’s enterprise procurement approach (the Better Contracting Initiative), NIST’s updates regarding protection of controlled unclassified information, and the HHS OIG publication of its General Compliance Program Guidance, and is hosted by Peter Eyre and Yuan Zhou. Crowell & Moring’s “Fastest 5 Minutes” is a biweekly podcast that provides a brief summary of significant government contracts legal and regulatory developments that no government contracts lawyer or executive should be without.
The following is an installment in Crowell & Moring’s 2023 Bid Protest Sustain of the Month Series. All through 2023, Crowell’s Government Contracts Practice will keep you up to date with a summary of the most notable bid protest sustain decision each month. Below, Crowell Partner Cherie Owen discusses several protest decisions issued in October that provide helpful insights about the GAO protest process.Continue Reading October Bid Protest Sustain of the Month
Artificial Intelligence, Small Business Subcontracting, JV Security Clearances
This week’s episode covers the Executive Order on the Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence, a final SBA rule allowing prime contractors to receive small business credit for lower-tier subcontracts in certain situations, and a notice providing guidance concerning joint ventures and access to classified information, and is hosted by Peter Eyre and Yuan Zhou. Crowell & Moring’s “Fastest 5 Minutes” is a biweekly podcast that provides a brief summary of significant government contracts legal and regulatory developments that no government contracts lawyer or executive should be without.
On November 8, 2023, the Biden-Harris Administration announced the Better Contracting Initiative (BCI), a four-pronged initiative to ensure that the federal government is getting the best terms and prices when purchasing goods and services. The federal government purchases billions of dollars’ worth of goods and services each year; however, the Administration is concerned that agencies pay inconsistent prices and often more than market price. The BCI strategy is to improve how federal agencies procure innovative technologies and leverage data to make smart buying decisions by utilizing the following four steps as detailed below.Continue Reading Biden-Harris Administration Announces the “Better Contracting Initiative” Strategy to Improve Federal Contracting
On November 9, 2023, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (“NIST”) released the Final Public Draft (“FPD”) of Special Publication (“SP”) 800-171 Revision (“Rev.”) 3, “Protecting Controlled Unclassified Information in Nonfederal Systems and Organizations” and the Initial Public Draft of NIST SP 800-171A Rev 3, “Assessing Security Requirements for Controlled Unclassified Information.” The FPD of SP 800-171 Rev. 3 condenses several control requirements from the initial public draft while adding new requirements under existing controls. The initial draft of SP 800-171A now aligns with SP 800-171 Rev. 3 and includes more detailed assessment procedures than its predecessor. Changes in both documents forecast the evolving compliance requirements for organizations required to safeguard Controlled Unclassified Information (“CUI”).Continue Reading The Holidays Come Early: NIST Unwraps Final Draft Revision 3 to NIST SP 800-171
On November 1, 2023, the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA) published its FY 2023 Report of Transactions and Proceedings, which provides statistics regarding the adjudication of appeals between contractors and the Army, Navy, Air Force, Corps of Engineers, Central Intelligence Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, Defense Contract Management Agency, other Defense agencies, Non-Appropriated Fund Instrumentalities, and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
According to this year’s report, contractors prevailed on 67% of the appeals decided on the merits, continuing a recent uptick in contractor success relative to the success rate of 53% in 2020 and 2021. The report also indicates that the Board’s alternative dispute resolution program remains highly successful, resolving 94% of appeals for which the parties completed ADR in FY 2023. Additionally, the Federal Circuit continued to see steady action from the ASBCA, docketing 14 new appeals beyond the 16 ASBCA matters already on appeal.
It is encouraging to see that the Board continues to have a high percentage of successful contractor appeals, but these statistics also show that the Board’s ADR program remains an important tool to successfully resolve disputes at the ASBCA.
On October 26, 2023, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its Annual Report on Bid Protests for Fiscal Year 2023.
The total number of protests filed and the number of protests sustained by GAO increased significantly compared to Fiscal Year 2022—and GAO’s “Sustain Rate” jumped to 31%. GAO downplayed these increases to a degree, highlighting that it received “an unusually high number of protests challenging a single procurement”—the Department of Health and Human Services’ award of Chief Information Officer-Solutions and Partners 4 (CIO-SP4) government-wide acquisition contracts—which resulted in over 100 sustained protests. Nonetheless, even excluding the CIO-SP4 protests, it appears that GAO’s “Effectiveness Rate” (the percentage of cases in which the protester received relief, such as voluntary corrective action or a GAO sustain) was comparable to prior years—at or near 50%. Thus, bid protests remain an important oversight mechanism for the federal procurement system.Continue Reading GAO’s Bid Protest Sustain Rate Soars, but Is There a Catch?
The following is an installment in Crowell & Moring’s 2023 Bid Protest Sustain of the Month Series. All through 2023, Crowell’s Government Contracts Practice will keep you up to date with a summary of the most notable bid protest sustain decision each month. Below, Crowell Partner Cherie Owen and Senior Law Clerk Emily Golchini discuss Guidehouse, Inc., B‑421740, B-421740.2, Sept. 18, 2023, 2023 CPD ¶ 217, which provides helpful insight regarding what an agency must demonstrate to support an adequate personal conflict of interest investigation.Continue Reading September 2023 Bid Protest Sustain of the Month