On September 17, 2015, Covington hosted a Symposium in the firm’s Washington office focusing on key trends and emerging issues for government contractors. Both Senator John McCain and former Attorney General Eric Holder addressed the procurement and enforcement challenges faced by the government and contractors, and several panels of leading experts discussed a wide variety of topics ranging from cybersecurity developments to contractor responsibility. The full-day program also offered a series of break-out sessions focused on operational business considerations, including the increasing importance of contractor supply chain management. That topic now appears to have been particularly timely in light of DoD’s September 21, 2015 announcement of a new proposed rule addressing counterfeit electronic parts in contractor supply chains.
The new proposed rule is further implementation of section 818 of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (“NDAA”), which required the Secretary of Defense to assess DoD’s “acquisition policies and systems for the detection and avoidance of counterfeit electronic parts.” As discussed below, because the proposed rule would impose new substantive sourcing requirements and apply far more broadly than existing regulations, it would, if adopted, further increase the overall compliance burden on the defense contracting community. Continue Reading Proposed Counterfeit Parts Rule Envisions New Restrictions, Universal Applicability for DoD Contractors