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Yesterday, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released Memorandum M-22-18, implementing software supply chain security requirements that will have a significant impact on software companies and vendors in accordance with Executive Order 14028, Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity.  The Memorandum requires all federal agencies and their software suppliers to comply with the NIST Secure Software Development Framework (SSDF)NIST SP 800-­218, and the NIST Software Supply Chain Security Guidance whenever third-party software is used on government information systems or otherwise affects government information.  The term “software” includes firmware, operating systems, applications, and application services (e.g., cloud-based software), as well as products containing software.  It is critical to note that these requirements will apply whenever there is a major version update or new software that the government will be using. 

Continue Reading Going Hard on Software: OMB Unveils Mandatory Software Supply Chain Security Compliance Requirements

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Last week, the United States Congress passed the $280 billion CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 (CHIPS Act)[1] to bolster domestic semiconductor and microchip manufacturing in the United States. The bipartisan legislation will facilitate federal investments in the form of grants, loans, and loan guarantees to eligible entities and create significant business opportunities for companies in the U.S. The legislation also provides funding and new programs to boost advanced workforce training and research and development in a range of scientific and technology areas. The legislation now awaits the signature of President Biden, who hailed its passage as “exactly what we need to be doing to grow our economy right now.”

The legislation seeks to reverse the decades-long decline in U.S. microchip and semiconductor manufacturing and counter the rise of China as a source for technologically advanced manufacturing processes and products. By boosting domestic manufacturing and supply chains, the legislation also aims to relieve the global semiconductor shortage that has plagued manufacturers of a diverse set of products – everything from automobiles to children’s toys – and has contributed to the nation’s supply chain woes for more than two years.

The cornerstone of the legislation is $52 billion that will be allocated to the U.S. Department of Commerce semiconductor initiative to develop and expand domestic manufacturing capacity. Implementation of that program was already underway at the Department of Commerce[2], following Congressional authorization in the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (FY21 NDAA), and the legislation passed last week now provides the critical funding needed to commence direct federal incentives for the construction, expansion, or modernization of semiconductor manufacturing facilities.

Continue Reading The CHIPS Are Down and Incentives Flow as Congress Attempts to Vitalize the U.S. Semiconductor Industry

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Background and expected impact. The House and Senate have passed the CHIPS Bill of 2022 (HR 4346), and President Biden has said that he will sign it. In furtherance of the broad goal of reducing U.S. reliance on foreign suppliers of semiconductor chips, the Bill will add the Advanced Manufacturing Investment Credit (the “AMI Credit”) to the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”). 

The CHIPS Bill could produce more than $20 billion in AMI Credit for the semiconductor industry. However, its expected value could be significantly reduced if the minimum corporate tax on book earnings, revived as part of the Manchin-Schumer deal and endorsed by the President, is enacted. 

Continue Reading The CHIPS Bill Introduces New Tax Credit to Incentivize U.S. Semiconductor Industry

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During December 2021, the House and Senate reached agreement on a compromise National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022.  On December 23, 2021, Congress presented S. 1605 to President Biden, which he signed on December 27, 2021.

The FY2022 NDAA contains numerous provisions relating to acquisition policy—which provide new opportunities for government contractors, will result in the imposition of new clauses or reporting requirements on government contractors, require government reporting to Congress on acquisition authorities and programs, alter processes and/or procedures to which government contractors are subject, etc.  Crowell & Moring’s Government Contracts Group discusses the most consequential changes in the FY2022 NDAA for government contractors below.
Continue Reading National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022: Acquisition Policy Changes of Which Government Contractors Should Be Aware

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The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (“Infrastructure Act”)[1] signed by President Biden on November 15, 2021 includes funding for research and development of critical minerals mining, recycling, and reclamation and permits loan guarantees for domestic critical minerals supply projects in an effort to eliminate U.S. reliance on critical minerals sources susceptible to supply disruptions. 

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Yesterday, President Biden issued a Fact Sheet entitled Biden Administration Efforts to Address Bottlenecks at Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Moving Goods from Ship to Shelf to help address the “delays and congestion” across the transportation supply chain. As has been widely reported in recent weeks and months, the global supply chain has

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This week’s episode covers the Department of Commerce’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking relating information and communications technology and services, an update from the Procurement Collusion Strike Force, GAO testimony about ongoing supply chain challenges at the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the American Jobs Plan, and is hosted by partner Peter Eyre and counsel Monica

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On November 6, the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Supply Chain Risk Management (SCRM) Task Force, a public-private supply chain risk management partnership, published Lessons Learned During the COVID-19 Pandemic. In laying out the challenges posed by the pandemic, the report highlights the inevitable tension in supply chain risk management between achieving efficiencies and

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Companies have less than one week to submit comments regarding a recent interim rule that provides the responsibilities, processes, and procedures for the Federal Acquisition Security Council (“FASC”), established by the Federal Acquisition Supply Chain Security Act of 2018.  Under the immediately effective interim rule, the FASC is responsible for assessing supply chain risk and