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Rina M. Gashaw is an associate in the firm's Washington, D.C. office, where she is a member of the Government Contracts Group. Rina’s practice focuses on a range of government contracts issues, including government investigations, client counseling, and providing government contracts due diligence in transactional matters. Her practice also includes bid protests before the Government Accountability Office and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

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

On January 11, 2024, the Department of Defense (DoD) announced its first-ever National Defense Industrial Strategy (NDIS) focused on building a modernized industrial ecosystem that provides a sustained competitive advantage to the US over its adversaries.  Specifically, the NDIS provides a strategic framework to guide the DoD’s engagement, policy development, and investment in the industrial base over the next three to five years.  As part of this investment strategy, the NDIS highlights several investment tools and opportunities that DoD is already using to spur growth and innovation in key industries.Continue Reading DoD Announces First Ever Strategy for a Modernized Defense Industrial Ecosystem

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024, signed into law on December 22, 2023, makes numerous changes to acquisition policy. Crowell & Moring’s Government Contracts Group discusses the most consequential changes for government contractors here. These include changes that impose a new conflict of interest regime for government contractors with a connection to China, impose new restrictions and requirements, require government reporting to Congress on acquisition authorities and programs, and alter other processes and procedures to which government contractors are subject. The FY 2024 NDAA also includes the Federal Data Center Enhancement Act, the American Security Drone Act, and the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY 2024.Continue Reading The FY 2024 National Defense Authorization Act: Key Provisions Government Contractors Should Know

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

When faced with a dissatisfying debriefing, a contractor may choose to respond to the agency to question or even rebut its evaluation.  However, the recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) decision in NikSoft Systems Corporation (NikSoft) serves as an important reminder that those communications can be interpreted as agency-level protests, with potential to render subsequent GAO protests untimely. 

Continue Reading Bite Your Tongue or Eat Your Words: GAO Reminds Contractors that Correspondence with the Agency Can Be Construed as an Agency-Level Protest, Doubling Down on a Timeliness Trap

On May 1, 2023, the Biden Administration announced its plan to issue an Executive Order in the coming days to rescind the existing executive order that imposes COVID vaccine requirements and safety protocols on federal contractors.  Specifically, Executive Order 14042 on Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors will be rescinded effective May 12

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023, signed into law on December 23, 2022, makes numerous changes to acquisition policy. Crowell & Moring’s Government Contracts Group discusses the most consequential changes for government contractors here. These include changes that provide new opportunities for contractors to recover inflation-related costs, authorize new programs for small businesses, impose new clauses or reporting requirements on government contractors, require government reporting to Congress on acquisition authorities and programs, and alter other processes and procedures to which government contractors are subject. The FY 2023 NDAA also includes the Advancing American AI Act, the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY 2023, and the Water Resources Development Act of 2022, all of which include provisions relevant for government contractors. Continue Reading FY 2023 National Defense Authorization Act: Key Provisions Government Contractors Should Know

On October 28, 2022, the Department of Defense (DoD) amended the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) by issuing two final rules related to contract cost and pricing.  Specifically:

  • Requiring Data Other Than Certified Cost or Pricing Data – DoD issued a final rule to implement a section of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 National

The Safer Federal Workforce Task Force issued updated guidance for federal contractors on October 14, 2022, announcing that it will reevaluate enforcement of the federal contractor vaccine mandate and safety requirements issued under Executive Order 14042.  This is the first pronouncement from the Task Force after it had indicated that it would not enforce the

On August 31, 2022, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force announced that the Federal Government “will take no action to implement or enforce Executive Order 14042,” the contractor vaccine mandate, “to ensure compliance with an applicable preliminary nationwide injunction, which may be supplemented, modified, or vacated, depending on the course of ongoing litigation.”

This announcement