Administrative

On May 3, 2024, the FAR Council published an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (the “Advanced Notice”) seeking to implement Section 5949 of the James M. Inohfe National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023 prohibition on procuring certain covered semiconductor products and services. The Congressional prohibition does not go into effect until December 2027, but the FAR Council was directed to promulgate regulations by December 2025. Though this only is an Advanced Notice at this time, the publication provides government contractors with information crucial to developing compliant infrastructures and preparing for the forthcoming rule’s publication. Interested parties
Continue Reading FAR Council Releases Rulemaking on Prohibitions for Semiconductors

The U.S. Government continues to increase its Federal investment in space – not for exploration, but rather as a defense strategy – and this continued investment provides significant opportunity for commercial entities to partner with the Federal Government on space projects. On April 2, 2024, the Department of Defense (“DoD”) released its first ever Commercial Space Integration Strategy (the “DoD Strategy”) and, just a few days later, on April 8, 2024, the U.S. Space Force released its Commercial Space Strategy (the “Space Force Strategy”) (together the “Strategies”). The Strategies are complementary and formalize the U.S. Government’s commitment to “making commercial
Continue Reading The Next Frontier: Key Takeaways from the New U.S. Government Commercial Space Strategies

On April 1, 2024, the FAR Council published a new Final Rule that establishes FAR Part 40 – but without any new provisions of substance. This Final Rule becomes effective on May 1, 2024. Subsequently, the FAR Council published a Request for Information (“RFI”) on April 10, 2024. The RFI seeks feedback on the scope and organization of FAR Part 40 and is open for comment until June 10, 2024.
Continue Reading Not an April Fools Joke – FAR Part 40 Final Rule Has Been Published

On March 28, 2024, the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) issued Memorandum M-24-10, Advancing Governance, Innovation, and Risk Management for Agency Use of Artificial Intelligence (the “Memo”). This is the final version of a draft memorandum OMB released for public comment on November 1, 2023. The Memo primarily focuses on agency use of AI and outlines minimum practices for managing risks associated with the use of AI in the federal government. The Memo also provides recommendations for managing AI risks in federal procurement of AI that industry should keep in mind, specifically entities developing AI tools to sell to
Continue Reading Better Safe Than Sorry: OMB Releases Memorandum on Managing AI Risks in the Federal Government

On April 1, 2024, the FAR Council published a new Final Rule that establishes FAR Part 40 – but without any new provisions of substance. This Final Rule becomes effective on May 1, 2024. Subsequently, the FAR Council published a Request for Information (“RFI”) on April 10, 2024. The RFI seeks feedback on the scope and organization of FAR Part 40 and is open for comment until June 10, 2024.
Continue Reading Not an April Fools Joke – FAR Part 40 Final Rule Has Been Published

The Federal Government spends more money annually through grants and cooperative agreements than it does through Federal contracts. Historically, these dollars primarily have been awarded to public sector and non-profit entities. That’s changing. Post-Covid, increasingly more Federal grant and cooperative assistance dollars are finding their way to for-profit entities (whether as recipients (i.e., prime contractors) or subrecipients (i.e., subcontractors)). Sheppard Mullin partner Ryan Roberts and Capital Edge Consulting CEO Chad Braley joined the Public Contracting Institute’s Practical Matters podcast to discuss what commercial companies need to know before accepting a Federal grant (and additional information can be found in our
Continue Reading Unlocking Opportunities: Ryan Roberts and Chad Braley Discuss Grant Awards to Commercial Entities

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (“CISA”) recently released its new Proposed Rule pursuant to the Cyber Incident Reporting for Critical Infrastructure Act of 2022 (“CIRCIA”), which was published in the Federal Register on April 4, 2024 and is open for public comment through June 3, 2024. The Proposed Rule will be published in Part 6 of the Code of Federal Regulations, in a new Section 226, as part of the Department of Homeland Security’s regulations on Domestic Security.
Continue Reading CISA Cyber Incident Reporting for Critical Infrastructure Will Significantly Impact Government Contractors, Suppliers, and Service Providers

In January 2022, we warned software companies selling indirectly against attempting to enforce the terms of their End User License Agreement (“EULA”) directly against the Federal Government based on the decision of the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (“CBCA”) in Avue Technologies Corp. Earlier this month, the Federal Circuit gave software companies some hope by vacating the CBCA’s decision. Read on, though, before filing your claim.
Continue Reading Finally Invited to the Party? Federal Circuit Opens the Door for Software Companies Selling Through Resellers to Bring a Contract Claim Against the Federal Government

GSA long has stated that the “MAS program is designed to mirror commercial buying practices.” (Don’t laugh – I’m serious! Slide 12 if you don’t believe me.) In the commercial marketplace, SaaS licenses are sold for set periods of time (typically annual terms) and paid for in advance. Historically, GSA refused to accept this commercial term, explicitly prohibiting customer agencies from paying in advance when acquiring SaaS through the MAS program. Software companies, rejoice, because GSA finally has seen the light!
Continue Reading Paid in Full: GSA Approves Advance Payment for SaaS Licenses

On March 11, 2024, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (“CISA”) and the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) released the highly-anticipated Secure Software Development Attestation Form (also known as the “Common Form”) and on March 18, 2024 CISA’s repository for the forms went live.
Continue Reading CISA Opens Repository for Submission of Software Security Attestation Forms

Class Deviation Prohibits DoD from Requiring Contractors to Disclose Emissions

Over the past two years, the FAR Council has been working to develop a rule that would amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (“FAR”) to require contractors to inventory and report their greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions and climate-related financial risk in order to be eligible for Federal awards. (Prior posts are available here and here.)
Continue Reading Updates on GHG Emissions Disclosure Requirements

In January 2024, the Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) published 31 bid protest decisions, two of which resulted in decisions sustaining the protesters’ challenges. There were also two requests for costs, one of which was denied, and one request for consideration, which was, unsurprisingly, denied. Below is a summary of the notable decisions from January and what potential protesters can learn from them.
Continue Reading Bid Protest Hub – January 2024

Welcome back to the Cost Corner, where we provide practical insight into the complex cost and pricing requirements that apply to Government contractors. The current topic is Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Cost Principles applicable to contracts with commercial organizations. The previous four Cost Corner articles addressed the Cost Principles pertaining to the general criteria for determining the allowability of costs, direct and indirect costs, accounting for unallowable costs, and penalties for unallowable costs. This article begins coverage of FAR 31.205, Selected Costs, which includes forty-seven Cost Principles, each of which governs the allowability of a particular type of cost. The
Continue Reading The Cost Corner: Government Contracts Cost and Pricing – Compensation for Personal Services (Part I)

On January 26, 2024, the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (“FedRAMP”) published a draft Emerging Technology Prioritization Framework developed in response to President Biden’s Executive Order 14110 on Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence (previously analyzed by our colleague here and discussed in a flash briefing available here). The Executive Order charged FedRAMP with developing a framework to prioritize Emerging Technologies in the FedRAMP authorization process, starting with generative AI.
Continue Reading Emerging AI Landscape: FedRAMP Publishes Draft Emerging Technology Prioritization Framework in Response to Executive Order on Artificial Intelligence

Welcome back to the Cost Corner, where we provide practical insight into the complex cost and pricing requirements that apply to Government contractors. The current topic is Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Cost Principles applicable to contracts with commercial organizations. The previous four Cost Corner articles addressed the Cost Principles pertaining to the general criteria for determining the allowability of costs, direct and indirect costs, accounting for unallowable costs, and penalties for unallowable costs. This article begins coverage of FAR 31.205, Selected Costs, which includes forty-seven Cost Principles, each of which governs the allowability of a particular type of cost. The
Continue Reading The Cost Corner: Government Contracts Cost and Pricing – Compensation for Personal Services (Part I)