Photo of Lorraine M. CamposPhoto of Adelicia R. CliffePhoto of William B. O'Reilly

On March 15, 2024, the General Services Administration (GSA) issued Acquisition Letter MV-2024-01 providing guidance to GSA contracting officers on the use of upfront payments for acquisitions of cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).  Specifically, this acquisition letter clarifies that despite statutory prohibitions against the use of “advance” payments outside of narrowly-prescribed circumstances, upfront payments for SaaS licenses do not constitute an “advance” payment subject to these restrictions when made under the following conditions:

Continue Reading GSA Clarifies Permissibility of Upfront Payments for Software-as-a-Service Offerings
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On April 1, 2024, the Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) issued a final rule updating the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to add Part 40 on information security and supply chain security. This first action did not implement any new requirements; however, separate rulemakings will follow to relocate existing information security and supply chain security policies and procedures to the new Part 40. Additionally, new related regulations will be housed in Part 40. These actions suggest that the flow of information security and supply chain regulations is likely to continue unabated for at least the next few years.

Continue Reading New FAR Part 40 to Address Supply Chain and Information Security Requirements
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AI Governance, Bid Protests, Software Attestation

This week’s episode covers an OMB memo directing agencies to advance AI governance and innovation, a bid protest involving compliance with the Trade Agreements Act, and an updated Secure Software Development Attestation Form that must be used by certain software producers and suppliers of products containing software, 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.

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On January 30, 2024, the FAR Council issued a proposed rule entitled “Pay Equity and Transparency in Federal Contracting” (“Proposed Rule”). The Proposed Rule would: (1) prohibit contractors and subcontractors from seeking and considering information about job applicants’ compensation history when making employment decisions about personnel working on or in connection with a government contract; and (2) require contractors and subcontractors to disclose, in all advertisements for job openings involving work on or in connection with a government contract placed by or on behalf of the contractor or subcontractor, the compensation to be offered to the hired applicant for any position to perform work on or in connection with the contract.

Continue Reading U.S. Chamber Submits Comments on the FAR Council’s Proposed Rule Regarding Pay Transparency
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Did the Federal Circuit Open Another Jurisdictional Door for Protests?

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, Rob Sneckenberg and Anuj Vohra discuss a recent Federal Circuit decision that may open new doors for prospective protesters.

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AI remains a critical focus of both the federal government and industry, with multiple efforts in recent weeks to address governance of the development and use of AI in the United States.  On February 26, 2024, a U.S. Department of State-commissioned report, titled “Defense in Depth: An Action Plan to Increase the Safety and Security of Advanced AI” (Action Plan), proposed multiple U.S. Government and partner nation lines of effort to address growing national security risks posed by rapidly expanding AI capabilities, including the expectation of achieving artificial general intelligence (AGI).  Just days later, on March 5, 2024, House Chairman Comer and Ranking Member Raskin introduced the Federal AI Governance and Transparency Act.  This bipartisan bill would focus government resources on increasing transparency, oversight, and responsible use of federal AI systems and centrally codifying federal governance of agency AI systems.  Additionally, on March 28, 2024 the Office of Management and Budget released the final guidance on Memorandum M-24-10, Advancing Governance, Innovation, and Risk Management for Agency Use of AI as we address here.

Continue Reading Recent Developments from the Federal Government Relating to AI
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On March 28, 2024, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released Memorandum M-24-10Advancing Governance, Innovation, and Risk Management for Agency Use of Artificial Intelligence (Memo), updating and implementing OMB’s November 2023 proposed memorandum of the same name.  The Memo directs agencies “to advance AI governance and innovation while managing risks from the use of AI in the Federal Government.”  In the Memo, OMB focuses on three major areas – strengthening AI governance, advancing responsible AI innovation, and managing risks from the use of AI. 

Continue Reading OMB Releases Final Guidance Memo on the Government’s Use of AI
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What’s the Point?

To set the groundwork for future episodes, Nicole Owren-Wiest and Erin Rankin talk fundamentals: What is the purpose behind the often counter-intuitive and complex government contracts cost and pricing rules? What are the various price analysis techniques available to the world’s largest buyer of goods and services? “It All Adds Up” is Crowell & Moring’s podcast covering the latest government contract accounting, cost, and pricing developments.

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End User License Agreements, Whistleblower Incentives, GHG Disclosures

This week’s episode covers a Federal Circuit decision holding that an end user license agreement incorporated into another contractor’s agreement was sufficient to establish jurisdiction under the Contract Disputes Act, a new DOJ pilot program to incentivize whistleblowers to report corporate misconduct by offering monetary rewards, and a DOD Class Deviation prohibiting DoD from requiring certain defense contractors to disclose a greenhouse gas inventory or any other report on greenhouse gas emissions, 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.

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On March 11, 2024, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published an updated Secure Software Development Attestation Form, meaning that producers of software and providers of products containing software used by the federal government may be required to submit their attestations in the very near future. The Attestation Form, first published in April 2023, is a key cog in CISA’s implementation of software supply chain security requirements in accordance with Executive Order 14028, Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity and OMB Memoranda M-22-18 and M-23-16.

Continue Reading Software Developments: CISA Finalizes Attestation Form, Triggering Secure Software Development Implementation