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Stephanie L. Crawford is a counsel in Crowell & Moring’s Washington, D.C. office, practicing in the Government Contracts group.

Stephanie’s practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, contract and regulatory compliance reviews, and counseling on supply chain, sourcing, and national security issues. Her practice supports clients in the aerospace & defense, communications, energy, information technology, and consumer products sectors.

On September 8, 2022, the Department of Defense (“DoD”) issued Class Deviation 2022-O0009 (the “Deviation”) immediately authorizing contracting officers to allow active registration in the System for Award Management (“SAM”) within 30 days of contract award or three days prior to submission of the first invoice (whichever comes first) rather than at the time of award—provided the contractor can prove it has initiated or attempted to start the SAM registration process.  The Deviation is in effect through October 31, 2022 unless rescinded or extended.

The SAM registration process, which changed in April 2022 when GSA switched from the DUNS number to the Unique Entity Identifier (“UEI”), has suffered from significant delays and system errors.  These system challenges continue, and SAM incident tickets continue to take weeks to process in many cases.  With this Deviation, DoD joins a number of other agencies that have already issued guidance for managing SAM delays that may affect contracts or grants.

Continue Reading DoD Issues Deviation for SAM Registration Requirement Due to Ongoing Processing Delays

On August 25, 2022 the Defense Acquisition Regulations System published two new DFARS clauses prohibiting the award of covered Department of Defense (“DoD”) contracts to contractors that leverage resources in China unless those resources are disclosed.  Implementing Section 855 of the FY22 National Defense Authorization Act and effective immediately, the clauses are DFARS 252.225-7057 “Preaward Disclosure of Employment of Individuals Who Work in the People’s Republic of China” and DFARS 252.225-7058 “Postaward Disclosure of Employment of Individuals Who Work in the People’s Republic of China.” These clauses will be incorporated into DoD solicitations and contracts with an estimated value over $5 million unless a senior procurement executive waives the disclosure requirements due to national security interests.  The requirements do not apply to contracts for commercial products and commercial services, including contracts for commercially available off-the-shelf (“COTS”) items, or to contracts at or below the simplified acquisition threshold (currently $250,000).

Continue Reading DoD Rule on Reporting Employees in China Published and In Effect This Week

President Biden will soon sign into law the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which provides $750 billion in funding and major federal policy changes impacting the U.S. energy, environment, healthcare and tax sectors. On August 7, 2022, the IRA passed the U.S. Senate by an all-Democrat 50-50 party line vote, with Vice President Harris breaking the tie and ensuring passage. On August 12, 2022, the IRA passed the U.S. House by a vote of 220 to 207. The President’s signature, will make the bill law, and allow President Biden, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to claim a major victory while making progress on a portion of the President’s Build Back Better agenda just three months before the mid-term elections on November 8, 2022.

The Crowell and Moring LLP and Crowell & Moring International (CMI) teams have put together this Client Alert with two main purposes. The first is to provide a summary of the highlights of the bill, which is included in Section I, and the second is to provide a more detailed section-by-section review of the bill, which is provided in Section II.

Continue Reading President Biden To Sign New Inflation Reduction Act

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

The General Services Administration (GSA) transition from the Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Number System (DUNS) to the Unique Entity Identifier (UEI), which took effect on April 4, 2022, has faced challenges.  Substantial verification and validation delays continue, agencies have had to issue guidance for the management of SAM delays, and even Congress is showing concerns.  

According to the Federal Service Desk (FSD), GSA requires entities to submit new validation documentation, despite the years of submissions to Dun & Bradstreet, because data rights limitations prevent SAM.gov from using previously validated data.

Continue Reading SAM Transition to UEI Plagued with Registration Processing Delays

On June 6, 2022, President Biden issued a White House Fact Sheet (“Fact Sheet”) outlining President Biden’s “Bold Executive Action to Spur Domestic Clean Energy Manufacturing” along with five related Defense Production Act (“DPA”) Presidential Determinations[1] (“Presidential Determinations”) and a Declaration of Emergency and Authorization for Temporary Extensions of Time and Duty-Free Importation of Solar Cells and Module from Southeast Asia (the “Declaration”).  The Fact Sheet states the President is (1) authorizing use of the DPA to accelerate domestic production of clean energy technologies; (2) encouraging domestic solar manufacturing capacity through the use of master supply agreements with enhanced domestic preferences; and (3) creating a two-year trade regulation bridge as domestic manufacturing for solar products scales up.  The White House stated that these actions are being taken to lower energy costs, reduce risks to the power grid, and mitigate climate change.  The Department of Energy (“DOE”) also released a statement on June 6 about the DPA Presidential Determinations which describes DOE’s concerns with regard to each material or technology for which a determination was issued.  The statements made by the White House and DOE also make clear that these actions to employ the DPA are part of the Administration’s broader “all of government” approach to addressing Environmental Justice, with the intention to “strongly encourage projects with environmental justice outcomes that empower the clean energy transition in low income communities historically overburdened by legacy pollution.”

Continue Reading President Biden Employs Defense Production Act and Tariff Act in Domestic Clean Energy Manufacturing Push

In an effort to boost the domestic mining industry for critical minerals, on March 31, 2022, President Biden issued Presidential Determination 2022-11, the Memorandum on Presidential Determination Pursuant to Section 303 of the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended (“Presidential Determination”).  The Presidential Determination states that sustainable and responsible domestic mining, beneficiation, and

As of April 4, 2022, the federal government will stop using the Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Number Systems (DUNS) Number to uniquely identify entities and will fully transition to using the Unique Entity Identifier (UEI). All entities will be using the UEI number for SAM and other government systems (including FPDS.gov, eSRS.gov,

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

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.