It’s that time of year again: the House and Senate have each passed their respective version of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2024 (“NDAA”) (H.R. 2670, S. 2226). The NDAA is a “must pass” set of policy programs and discretionary authorizations to fund Department of Defense (“DoD”) operations. Lawmakers are currently undertaking the arduous process of reconciling these bills, while jockeying to include topics of importance in the final legislation. The engrossed bills contain a number of significant provisions for defense contractors, technology providers, life science companies and commercial-item contractors – many of which we discuss briefly below and others that we will analyze in more depth in our NDAA series in the coming weeks. Subscribe to our blog here so that you do not miss these updates.
As the House and Senate Armed Services Committees prepare to mark up the Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), they are very likely to consider a number of China-related measures that have been recommended by the national security community and which could enjoy bipartisan support. These recommendations are generally focused on countering Chinese influence in the United States or increasing the United States’ relative power advantage in the Pacific region. …
Last week, the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency released guidance on Security-by-Design and Security-by-Default principles for technology manufacturers that was jointly developed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency, as well as cybersecurity authorities in Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, and New Zealand. The guidance builds on the White…
This is the eleventh in a series of Covington blogs on implementation of Executive Order 14028, “Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity,” issued by President Biden on May 12, 2021 (the “Cyber EO”). The first blog summarized the Cyber EO’s key provisions and timelines, and the second through tenth blogs described the actions taken by various Government agencies to implement the EO from June 2021 through February 2022, respectively. This blog summarizes key actions taken to implement the Cyber EO during March 2022. As with steps taken during prior months, the actions described below reflect the implementation of the EO within the Government. However, these activities portend further actions, potentially in or before June 2022, that are likely to impact government contractors, particularly those who provide software products or services to the Government.
Continue Reading March 2022 Developments Under President Biden’s Cybersecurity Executive Order
Addressing climate change has been a priority for President Biden since his first day in office. On December 8, 2021, President Biden continued that focus by issuing Executive Order (EO) 14057, Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs Through Federal Sustainability, which includes a number of requirements directed at introducing sustainability to federal acquisitions.
This most recent EO announces an administration policy to achieve net-zero emissions from federal procurement by 2050 and comes on the heels of the public comment period extension to January 13, 2022 in response to EO 14030, Climate-Related Financial Risk. Although the administration will likely be rolling out additional sustainability requirements in the coming months, contractors currently have an opportunity to help shape an initial requirement that may end up effectively establishing an environmental, social, and governance or “ESG” reporting requirement. …
Continue Reading Contractors Have an Opportunity to Help Shape ESG Requirements
The government is moving forward with further changes to Buy American Act (“BAA”) regulations. But based on yesterday’s public meeting to discuss the July 30 notice of proposed rulemaking (“NPRM”) to revise existing BAA regulations, it remains to be seen exactly where those changes are headed.
As discussed in our prior client alert, the NPRM implements Executive Order 14005 (“Ensuring the Future Is Made in All of America by All of America’s Workers”) by proposing three major changes to existing BAA regulations: (1) higher domestic content thresholds; (2) enhanced price preferences for “critical” items and components; and (3) new domestic content reporting requirements for “critical” items and components. The agenda for the public meeting covered each of these changes, as well as other questions raised in the NPRM related to BAA waivers and exceptions.…
On May 12, 2021, the Biden Administration issued an Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity (the “EO”). The EO sets out a list of deliverables due from a number of governmental entities in June 2021 and successive months. Our overall summary of the EO and its deliverables can be found here, and our discussion of the EO deliverables that were due in June 2021 can be found here. This blog addresses the EO deliverables in July 2021.
Continue Reading July 2021 Developments Under the Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity
Last month, the Biden administration released its report on the results of its 100-day review of U.S. supply chains for critical products: “Building Resilient Supply Chains, Revitalizing American Manufacturing, and Fostering Broad-Based Growth” (the “Report”). Alongside the Report’s slate of policy recommendations, the Biden administration also announced immediate actions to strengthen supply chains and stimulate domestic competitiveness.
The Report is the result of President Biden’s February 24 “Executive Order on America’s Supply Chains” (the “Order”), which directed federal departments and agencies to conduct a review of supply chain risks in four critical product areas, including pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients (“APIs”). The Report and its recommendations further the Biden administration’s broader goal of rebuilding the U.S. industrial base, reducing reliance on foreign competitors, and bolstering national and economic security.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) led the review of the supply chain for pharmaceuticals and APIs, which focused primarily on drugs, in particular small-molecule drugs and therapeutic biological products. The Report makes a number of recommendations discussed herein that have the potential to impact pharmaceutical companies’ business plans and generate significant opportunities, though many such recommendations are long-term and will require dedicated funding so the actual impact of the Report’s suggestions remains to be seen.
Continue Reading Biden Administration 100-Day Supply Chain Assessment: Insights for Pharmaceutical Manufacturers
On May 12, 2021 the Biden Administration issued an “Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity” (EO). Among other things, the EO sets out a list of deliverables from a variety of government entities. A number of these deliverables were due in June, including a definition of “critical software,” the minimum requirements for a software bill of materials, and certain internal actions imposed on various federal agencies.
Continue Reading June 2021 Developments Under the Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity
The American Rescue Plan, signed into law last month, includes $1.9 trillion in economic stimulus, healthcare, and related funding. And just last week the Biden administration released an infrastructure proposal, the American Jobs Plan, that includes $2.3 trillion in transportation, connectivity, power, and other critical infrastructure investments.
Contractors are right to view these plans as massive opportunities — but should be cognizant of the regulatory strings that often attach to government spending. In general, these can include Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and agency-specific FAR supplements for federal procurements, as well as the nonprocurement uniform requirements (2 C.F.R. Part 200) and related agency-specific regulations that attach to Federal grant funds even when disbursed by state or local entities.
Now, some Congressional members are seeking to add new restrictions that would significantly overhaul the existing domestic preference regime for Federal procurements — mere weeks after the promulgation of new Buy American regulations and the release of a new Executive Order to further tighten the application of these rules.…