Susan Cassidy

Ms. Cassidy represents clients in the defense, intelligence, and information technologies sectors.  She works with clients to navigate the complex rules and regulations that govern federal procurement and her practice includes both counseling and litigation components.  Ms. Cassidy conducts internal investigations for government contractors and represents her clients before the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA), Inspectors General (IG), and the Department of Justice with regard to those investigations.  From 2008 to 2012, Ms. Cassidy served as in-house counsel at Northrop Grumman Corporation, one of the world’s largest defense contractors, supporting both defense and intelligence programs. Previously, Ms. Cassidy held an in-house position with Motorola Inc., leading a team of lawyers supporting sales of commercial communications products and services to US government defense and civilian agencies. Prior to going in-house, Ms. Cassidy was a litigation and government contracts partner in an international law firm headquartered in Washington, DC.

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DoD Issues Further Guidance on Implementation of DFARS Cyber Rule

On September 21, 2017, the Director of the Defense Pricing/Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy (DPAP) issued guidance to Department of Defense (DoD) acquisition personnel in anticipation of the December 31, 2017 date for contractors to implement the security controls of NIST Special Publication (SP) 800-171.  The guidance outlines (i) ways in which a contractor may … Continue Reading

Pentagon Reverses Course and Rolls Back The IR&D Technical Interchange Rule

On September 14, 2017, the Department of Defense issued a new class deviation that eliminates the requirement on major contractors to engage with the Government in technical interchange meeting prior to the generation of independent research and development (IR&D) costs.  This class deviation represents a continuing reversal in position for the Pentagon, which had been … Continue Reading

NIST Releases Fifth Revision of Special Publication 800-53

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (“NIST”) released on August 15, 2017 its proposed update to Special Publication (“SP”) 800-53. NIST SP 800-53, which was last revised in 2014, provides information security standards and guidelines, including baseline control requirements, for implementation on federal information systems under the Federal Information Systems Management Act of 2002 … Continue Reading

Protecting Intellectual Property as Government R&D Funding Rises

The U.S. Government’s research and development (“R&D”) spending is on the rise.  For instance, the U.S. Government spent $139 billion in on R&D in FY 2015 and approximately $148 billion in FY 2016.  It is slated to spend as much as $154 billion on R&D in FY 2017.  With this funding comes great opportunities for … Continue Reading

Six Takeaways from President Trump’s Executive Order on Assessing Manufacturing and the Defense Industrial Base

[This article was originally published in Law360.] On July 21, 2017 – and during “Made in America Week” – President Trump issued Executive Order 13806 on “Assessing and Strengthening the Manufacturing and Defense Industrial Base and Supply Chain Resiliency of the United States” (the “Manufacturing EO”).  The Manufacturing EO sets forth a policy stressing the … Continue Reading

Highlights from DoD Industry Day on DFARS Cyber Rule

The Department of Defense (“DoD”) held an “Industry Information Day” on June 23, 2017 to address questions regarding DFARS Case 2013-D018 “Network Penetration and Reporting for Cloud Services,” including DFARS clauses 252.204-7012 “Safeguarding Covered Defense Information and Cyber Incident Reporting” and 252.239-7010 “Cloud Computing Services.”   DoD’s presentation lasted approximately four hours and covered a wide range of … Continue Reading

USSC Issues RFP For Report On Supply Chain IT Vulnerabilities From China

On May 11, 2017, the U.S. China Economic and Security Review Commission (“Commission”) issued a Request for Proposal to “to provide a one-time unclassified report on supply chain vulnerabilities from China in U.S. federal information technology (IT) procurement.” Congress established the Commission in 2000 to monitor and report to Congress on the national security implications … Continue Reading

Challenges and Priorities for the New Secretary of Labor

Alex Acosta was confirmed by the Senate to be the next Secretary of Labor.  He now takes responsibility for several high-profile issues with critical implications for government contractors. As we have previously written, the Labor Department was an exceptionally active regulator from 2013 through the end of the Obama Administration.  Although few of us expect … Continue Reading

DoD Further Clarifies Its DFARS Cybersecurity Requirements

On January 27, 2017, the Department of Defense (DoD) issued an updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) regarding the application and requirements of DFARS 252.204.7012 Safeguarding Covered Defense Information and Cyber Incident Reporting. Though questions remain regarding various nuances of the rule, the FAQ is a helpful document for those contractors still working on implementation of … Continue Reading

More Cybersecurity Changes Expected for Contractors in 2017

In 2016, the dangers presented by an increasingly digital world clearly were on display. A cyber-attack using an army of Internet of Things devices interfered with the operations of major commercial websites. And the Presidential Election was plagued with allegations of state-sponsored cybersecurity hacking (for which the Obama Administration just issued sanctions against the Russian … Continue Reading

Cybersecurity Update: DoD Releases Long-Awaited Final Rule

On October 21, 2016, the Department of Defense (DoD) issued its long-awaited Final Rule—effective immediately—imposing safeguarding and cyber incident reporting obligations on defense contractors whose information systems process, store, or transmit covered defense information (CDI). The Final Rule has been years in the making and is the culmination of an initial rule issued in November … Continue Reading

DoD Finalizes Rule on Policies for Cyber Incident Reporting

On October 4th, the Department of Defense (DoD) issued a Final Rule implementing mandatory cyber incident reporting requirements for DoD contractors and subcontractors who have “agreements” with DoD.  The Final Rule also highlights DoD’s desire to encourage greater participation in the voluntary Defense Industrial Base (DIB) cybersecurity information sharing program.  This Rule is effective on … Continue Reading

DoD Finalizes Rule Expanding Contractor Rights in Technical Data

DoD has issued a Final Rule that gives added protections to the technical data of privately developed commercial items incorporated into major systems, including major weapon systems.  This rule implements Section 813(a) of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2016 and modifies 10 U.S.C.§ 2321(f).… Continue Reading

NARA Sets the Stage for a Final FAR Cyber Clause

On September 14, 2016, the National Archives and Record Administration (“NARA”) issued a Final Rule, effective November 13, 2016, establishing cross-agency practices and procedures for safeguarding, disseminating, controlling, destroying, and marking Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI).  Although the Final Rule only applies directly to executive branch agencies that designate or handle information that meets the standards … Continue Reading

DOD Final Rule Addresses Source Requirements and Cost Recovery for Use of Counterfeit Electronic Parts

Supply chain protection has been a point of increasing emphasis by the Government and especially the Department of Defense (“DoD”) in recent years. In no area is this more true than ensuring that Government systems and equipment are free from counterfeit electronic parts, which can raise both security and defect concerns. DoD has accordingly taken several steps, many of which have taken the form of new requirements on contractors, to protect against counterfeit electronic parts. With these requirements has come added risk to contractors that even mistakenly use electronic parts in the goods they sell to DoD. However, an August 30, 2016, final DFARS rule (implemented at DFARS 2301.205-71) seeks to mitigate some of this risk by allowing contractors to recover the cost of replacing counterfeit electronic parts, as long as the contractor has taken certain steps to prevent the use of such parts.… Continue Reading

DoD Finally Issues Proposed Rule Addressing 2012 NDAA Changes to Technical Data Rights

On June 16, 2016, the Department of Defense (DoD) issued a proposed rule to implement Section 815 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, which was originally enacted in December 2011.  Under the proposed rule, DoD would be given additional flexibility to release technical data or computer software to third parties (including … Continue Reading

Supreme Court on False Claims Act: Implied Certification OK, But Materiality Is No Gimme

Last week, in Universal Health Services Inc. v. U.S. ex rel. Escobar, the Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the viability of the “implied false certification” theory of False Claims Act liability, at least in certain circumstances.  Writing for a unanimous Court, Justice Thomas explained that a defendant can face FCA liability under an implied certification theory … Continue Reading

Final FAR Cyber Rule Issued on Basic Safeguarding Requirements

On May 16, 2016, the Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) issued a Final Rule to add a new subpart and contract clause (52.204-21) to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) “for the basic safeguarding of contractor information systems that process, store, or transmit Federal contract … Continue Reading

DoD Rule Would Help Contractors Protect Their Technical Data Rights in Commercial Items Used in Major Systems

The Department of Defense (DoD) is considering a proposed rule that would help contractors protect their technical data rights in privately-developed commercial items that are incorporated into major systems, including major weapons systems. The proposed rule likely will be welcomed news to the defense industry, which has long sought to defend contractors’ intellectual property rights … Continue Reading

Civil Penalties Across All Federal Agencies Set to Increase Significantly by August 2016

On May 3, 2016, the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board (“RRB”) issued an interim final rule adjusting civil False Claims Act (“FCA”) and Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act (“PFCRA”) monetary penalty amounts for the RRB.  The interim final rulemaking resulted in an increase of the PFCRA maximum to $10,781 and a new FCA range of $10,781-$21,563.  … Continue Reading

DHS Seeking Input on ISAO Standards

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced a public meeting on May 18-19, 2016 to “discuss and debate Voluntary Standards for Information Sharing and Analysis Organizations (ISAOs) as they relate to” Executive Order 13691 (EO 13691).  See 81 Fed. Reg. 23506.  This meeting follows the recent passage of the Cybersecurity Act of 2015, which … Continue Reading

President Obama Unveils Cybersecurity National Action Plan and Issues Two New Executive Orders Directed at Cybersecurity and Privacy Concerns

President Obama unveiled on February 9, 2015 his Cybersecurity National Action Plan (CNAP), a combination of near-term actions and long-term strategy to “enhance cybersecurity awareness and protections, protect privacy, maintain public safety as well as economic and national security, and empower Americans to take better control of their digital security.”  In conjunction with this unveiling, … Continue Reading

District Court Invalidates Important FHWA Exemptions to the “Buy America” Requirement

On December 22, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia invalidated a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) memorandum setting out the Agency’s position on the “Buy America” waiver for steel manufactured products.  The decision creates uncertainty as to the proper administration of Buy America requirements, and will likely reduce demand for steel and … Continue Reading
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