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Government Contracts Monitor

Sourcing Restrictions

China's Continuing Threat

Pentagon leaders have been speaking out, increasingly, regarding the risks to U.S. military operations created if and when Chinese technology is used in any military related 5G wireless telecommunications networks. Specifically, officials (former and current) are warning that using Chinese firms (for example, Huawei) to outfit military networks creates a high risk ... indeed a probability ... of…

A Preference for U.S. Goods and Services: Buy American Receives A Booster Shot

On January 31, 2019 President Trump signed yet another Executive Order addressing Buy American issues: Buy American, Hire American [here]. This Order requires that federal agencies purchase U.S. goods and services in any and all infrastructure projects including, interestingly, cybersecurity projects. Among other things, this recent Order underscores the Trump Administration’s policy of enforcing…

Are there Cybersecurity Risks in Your Supply Chain?

By now we all know that the Federal Government has dramatically increased its efforts to reduce threats to cybersecurity: witness a case in the Court of Federal Claims (COFC) where the Social Security Administration (SSA), in acquiring new printers, was determined to avoid supply chain risks it suspected were present in a bidder’s offer. The bidder protested, but the COFC agreed with the agency.

The “Buy American and Hire American” Executive Order Is Here; Stay Tuned for What It Means for Federal Contractors and Grant Recipients

This Tuesday, President Trump signed a new Executive Order in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Speaking to a group of technical students and manufacturing employees prior to the signing ceremony, the President explained that the Order would “aggressively promote [the] use of American-made goods” and “ensure that American labor is hired to do the job.” Senior administration officials took up the President’s…

Short Take: Democratic Representative to Introduce Bill to Broaden CFIUS Review

Representative Rosa DeLauro (D – Connecticut) intends to introduce a bill before the 114th Congress that will broaden the powers of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a United States government committee tasked to review business transaction that result in foreign ownership of US corporations.  At present, CFIUS is directed to review transactions to determine…

Short Take: Counterfeit Electronic Parts – the Saga Continues

DoD is proposing to revise the DFARS rule entitled “Detection and Avoidance of Counterfeit Electronic Parts”. See Proposal here.

The rule proposes amendments to DFARS 246.870 and a new clause at DFARS 252.246-70XX, Sources of Electronic Parts, to require that DoD and its contractors and subcontractors, except in limited circumstances, acquire electronic parts from trusted suppliers in order to…

Short-Take: Opportunity to Help Shape List of Domestically Nonavailable Articles

In general, the Buy American Act (BAA) aims to ensure that, subject to certain exceptions, only domestically mined, produced, or manufactured articles are procured for public use in the United States. One of the recognized BAA exceptions applies to articles not mined, produced, or manufactured in the United States in sufficient and reasonably available commercial quantities and of a satisfactory…

Does Prefab Manufacturing Pass the “Substantial Transformation” Test ?

With or without legal advice, many contractors develop manufacturing processes to produce products they are confident certifying as Trade Agreement Act (TAA) compliant.  Procuring agencies accept the certification and make the purchase.   The Government Accountability Office (GAO) decision in Sea Box, Inc., B-409963.3 (February 4, 2015), suggests, however, that contractors…

Buy American – What Can A Government Contractor Deliver?

Many government contractors and subcontractors ask the question, “What does ‘Buy American’ mean?”  Unfortunately, Buy American refers to number of complex statutory and regulatory schemes that impose different requirements. One thing is certain, however:  whether you are conducting business with the federal government directly, as a prime contractor, or indirectly, as a subcontractor,…

Taiwanese Circuit Boards Cost a Contractor Four Months in Prison

In a recent case, United States v. Precision Image Corporation, Inc. and Chih-Kwanh Hwa, No.13-CR-00226, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington, the owner of a circuit board supplier was sentenced to prison for selling Taiwanese-manufactured circuit boards to the U.S. Navy. Chih-Kwanh Hwa, Precision Image’s owner, successfully bid on $180,034 of Navy contracts for circuit…

Competitors Are Continuing to Police One Another on Compliance Issues

More and more, government contractors have their competitors to blame when they find themselves on the wrong end of government enforcement efforts.  Two recent cases involving General Services Administration (GSA) contractors underscore the dangers of non-compliance in today’s government marketplace – and how easily your business rivals can become whistleblowers.

In the first, contractor…

DoD Seeks to Change What It Means to “Produce” a Specialty Metal

Based on a comments process mandated by Section 823 of the FY 2011 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the Department of Defense (DoD) recently proposed to modify the definition of “produce” as it applies to the production of “specialty metals” (certain steel, titanium and other metal alloys).  77 Fed. Reg. 43474 (July 24, 2012).  The proposed change is the latest development…

 

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