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On February 3, 2021, the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC) issued an update to its Top Challenges in Pandemic Relief and Response, identifying new challenges in funding oversight and reiterating others identified in its original report issued in June 2020. The updated report, based on feedback received from Offices of Inspectors General (OIG) at more than 40 agencies, identifies four new challenges focused on ferreting out fraud related to pandemic funding and the health and safety of federal employees: (1) preventing and detecting fraud against government programs; (2) informing and protecting the public from pandemic-related fraud; (3) data transparency and completeness; and (4) federal workplace safety. The PRAC also identifies contributory risk factors within each new challenge and makes recommendations for agencies to conduct additional oversight. This PRAC update, along with a recently-issued quarterly report from the Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery (SIGPR), confirm the rising tide of civil enforcement activity with respect to pandemic relief funds and the attendant risks to recipients and entities involved in administering such funds, particularly in light of the punitive damages provided for by the government’s most powerful civil fraud enforcement tool, the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3729.

Continue Reading February Reports from PRAC and SIGPR Confirm Government’s Focus on Pandemic Funding Oversight and Enforcement Challenges

On January 24, 2021, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a memo which provides guidance to federal agencies on maintaining a safe federal workplace during the COVID-19 pandemic. This memo instructs federal agencies to require face masks and social distancing in all Federal buildings, as directed by President Biden’s Executive Order (EO) on 

On January 13, 2021, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published a final rule that requires advanced communications providers to review their equipment and services within their networks and either: (1) certify that they do not include any covered equipment; or (2) file an annual report with the FCC that identifies covered communications equipment or services

On December 11, 2020, Congress presented to President Trump H.R. 6395, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021. On December 23, 2020, President Trump vetoed the bill. Subsequently, the House voted on December 28, 2020 and the Senate voted on January 1, 2021 to override the veto.

This Act contains numerous provisions that

Yesterday, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence & Security, Department of Defense (DoD) published a final rule codifying the National Industrial Security Program Operation Manual (NISPOM) (DoDM 5220.22) into 32 C.F.R. Part 117. For the most part, this action simply inserts the long-applicable NISPOM requirements into the CFR, but DoD has

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

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

Today, August 13, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published a series of changes to the OMB Guidance for Grants and Agreements, including the addition of 2 CFR 200.216, Prohibition on certain telecommunication and video surveillance services or equipment, which prohibits grant and loan recipients and subrecipients from using federal funds to

On August 10, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), under the Department of Homeland Security, will be extending and revising a Temporary Final Rule (first issued in April this year) that invokes the Defense Production Act (DPA) to allocate certain Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for domestic use and prohibit exportation of that PPE from the

Last week, the General Services Administration (GSA) announced that the Office of Governmentwide Policy would hold a live and recorded virtual webinar panel on August 12, 2020 to discuss the new interim rule implementing the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act Section 889(a)(1)(B) covered telecommunications prohibition.

The panel is expected to address the implementation and application