As the Senate approaches the end of its debate on the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019, provisions of the bill regarding access to and review of information technology code deserve close attention.  These sections, if enacted, would significantly impact Department of Defense contractors and also would affect matters associated with investments subject to review by U.S. national security agencies.

As drafted, the provisions could expose current and prospective contractors to intrusive scrutiny and significant risks.  They lack clarity on key definitions, leaving the precise scope of those risks unclear.  We summarize major issues and concerns below.  We expect these provisions to receive scrutiny during the House-Senate conference on the NDAA over the summer. 
Continue Reading Senate Armed Services Committee Proposes Expansive but Unclear Software Review Provisions

Congress has weighed in on Executive Order 13673, known officially as the “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Order” and unofficially as the “Blacklisting Order.”  While the Office of Management and Budget reviews the Labor Department’s draft of the final regulations and guidance, the House and Senate Armed Services Committees have added language to the Fiscal

Mac Thornberry is taking a sledgehammer to the Pentagon’s $600 hammer.

That particular bogeyman of wasteful defense spending never actually existed, but many real (and larger) inefficiencies continue to plague the defense procurement process.  Last month, the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee released draft legislation designed to make fundamental reforms to the government’s acquisition of defense-related goods and services.  Chairman Thornberry’s bipartisan initiative, which he drafted with HASC Ranking Member Adam Smith, aims to increase the transparency, flexibility, and responsiveness of the defense acquisition system.  The Chairman launched his initiative before a standing-room-only audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), where he argued that the accelerating pace of technological development and the proliferation of strategic threats compel the need for rapid, comprehensive reform.  In this post, we review some highlights of the proposal and examine the potential implications for government contractors.


Continue Reading Another Attempt at Defense Procurement Reform Begins