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On May 2, 2024, the Department of Defense (DoD) issued a class deviation to DFARS 252.204-7012,  Safeguarding Covered Defense Information and Cyber Incident Reporting (DFARS 7012), specifying that contractors subject to the clause must comply with NIST SP 800-171, Revision 2.  The deviation (labeled Deviation 2024-O0013) will delay the incorporation of NIST

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On January 31, 2024, the Department of Defense (DoD) updated the 1260H List of entities identified as “Chinese military companies” operating in the United States, as it is required to do at least annually by Section 1260H of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021.  Section 1260H defines a “Chinese military company” as an entity that is:Continue Reading DoD is Making its List, and Checking it Twice: DoD Updates 1260H Chinese Military Companies List

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Front of mind for many federal contractors is the proposed FAR rule that would make federal contract awards contingent upon meeting mandatory greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions requirements. But a provision in the recently enacted National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 scales back the reach of that potential rule on Department of Defense (DoD) contracts.Continue Reading FY 2024 NDAA Pumps the Brakes on Mandatory GHG Emissions Disclosure Requirements for DoD Contracts

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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

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The Department of Defense (DoD) recently published a memorandum clarifying what it means for a cloud service provider (CSP) to be Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) Moderate baseline “equivalent” and meet incident reporting requirements under Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) Clause 252.204-7012, Safeguarding Covered Defense Information and Cyber Incident Reporting (DFARS 7012). The memorandum states, in order to be considered FedRAMP equivalent going forward, CSPs must (1) be FedRAMP Moderate/High-Authorized, or (2) secure a third-party assessment confirming their compliance with all FedRAMP Moderate baseline security controls.Continue Reading No Longer Cloudy: DoD Issues New Guidance on FedRAMP Moderate Equivalency Cloud Security Requirements

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On June 29, 2023, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its second report[1] on Department of Defense (DoD) artificial intelligence (AI) acquisition efforts.  This latest report examines the DoD’s lack of formal AI acquisition guidance and identifies key principles from the private sector that can be applied to the DoD’s AI acquisition efforts. 

Although

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On June 23, 2023, a coalition of companies, including venture capital firms like Kleiner Perkins, General Catalyst and Founders Fund, and start-up defense technology companies, published an open letter to the Department of Defense (DoD), addressed to Secretary Lloyd J. Austin, petitioning DoD to consider procurement reform to help “overcome barriers to innovation.”  The group asserts these barriers create “antiquated methods for developing requirements and selecting technologies that have drastically limited” DoD’s access to “the best commercial innovation.”  In particular, the coalition endorsed adopting four recommendations pulled from a report by The Atlantic Council, a non-partisan international affairs think tank.

First, the letter suggests that DoD modernize to align with the 21stcentury industrial base.  The letter acknowledges that DoD has already taken a strong step in this direction by establishing the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), which reports directly to Secretary Austin and whose mission is to accelerate the adoption of commercial technology. The coalition also encouraged DoD to provide DIU with additional staffing and resources to tap into the non-traditional defense industrial base, reinforce “buy before build” commercial practices, and help DoD speed up validation and approval of needs and funding. Continue Reading Venture Capital Firms and Non-Traditional Defense Technology Contractors Push for DoD Procurement Reform and Defense Industrial Base Expansion

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This week’s episode covers resolution of False Claims Act allegations relating to alleged payments in violation of the Anti-Kickback Act, cessation of certain emergency contracting measures deployed early in the COVID-19 pandemic, and DoD Instruction 8310.01 relating to DoD IT, and is hosted by Peter Eyre and Yuan Zhou. Crowell & Moring’s “Fastest 5 Minutes”

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On April 18, 2023, the Department of Defense (“DoD”) issued guidance to DoD contracting officers directing the cessation of certain emergency contracting measures utilized during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Following the termination of the COVID-19 national emergency declaration through President Biden’s April 10, 2023 signing of H.J. Res. 7, DoD released a memorandum titled “

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In Triple Canopy, Inc., ASBCA Nos. 61415, et al. (March 23, 2023), the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA) resolved a long-running dispute in favor of the contractor over reimbursement of fees imposed by the Afghan government on large security firms operating in the country. The ASBCA found the fees were akin to after-imposed taxes, reimbursable by the U.S. government, and not penalties for illegal conduct. 

Triple Canopy had six fixed-price contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to provide private security services to military bases in Afghanistan. These contracts, awarded between March 2009 and September 2010, required Triple Canopy to comply with local laws. The contracts also included FAR 52.229-6, Taxes-Foreign Fixed Price Contracts, which states that the contract price shall be increased by the amount of any after-imposed tax the contractor is required to pay. In March 2011, the Afghan government issued a directive limiting the number of employees of any private security company to 500, imposing a fee for each employee over the cap. Triple Canopy was assessed a fee in March 2011, with the right to appeal, and that same month, the DoD issued a memo to the Afghan government requesting that Triple Canopy be exempted from the 500-employee limit. Triple Canopy appealed the assessment, which the Afghan government reduced, and Triple Canopy paid the reduced amount in July 2011. Triple Canopy submitted claims to the Contracting Officer (CO) for reimbursement of the fees, and then appealed to the ASBCA on the basis of the CO’s deemed denials. The ASBCA initially found Triple Canopy’s claims were barred by the Contract Dispute Act’s six-year statute of limitations and denied the appeals, which the Federal Circuit reversed and remanded in Triple Canopy, Inc. v. Sec’y of Air Force, 14 F.4th 1332 (Fed. Cir. 2021). Continue Reading Third Time’s A Charm: Government Must Reimburse Triple Canopy for Afghan Taxes