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Government Contracts Blog

Welcome to the Holland & Knight Government Contracts Blog, featuring news, observations and analysis related to government contracting. We tackle not only the "hot" topics receiving widespread attention within the government contracting community, but at times lesser-known topics or unique perspectives that we hope will be of interest to our readers.

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The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently issued several proposed rules and a final rule amending the VA Acquisition Regulation (VAAR) as part of a phased approach intended to streamline the VAAR to eliminate duplication and incorporate new policies.
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September 19, 2018
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Identifying threats and improving network and supply chain security has been an ongoing effort by Congress and the Department of Defense (DoD) for the past several years.
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The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) recently issued several rules proposing to amend the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS).
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September 6, 2018
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On Aug. 31, 2018, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) issued Class Deviation 2018-O00018, which increases the micro-purchase threshold for DoD procurements from $5,000 to $10,000. The deviation implements Section 821 of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and diverges from the FAR and DFARS.
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September 5, 2018
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The Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals' (ASBCA) recent decision in CiyaSoft Corporation confirms that government agencies that procure commercial computer software will be subject to a seller's commercial license terms where the contract does not require any specific license terms, even if the agency has not reviewed or discussed the license terms with the seller.
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On Aug. 17, 2018, the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA) published a final rule amending its rules of procedures which will be effective for cases filed with the board on or after Sept. 17, 2018.
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President Donald Trump signed the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 20191 (NDAA) into law on Aug. 13, 2018. Among other things, the NDAA contains the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018 (FIRRMA), the first major legislative reform impacting reviews of foreign acquisitions by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) since Congress passed the Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007 (FINSA) in the wake of the Dubai Ports World imbroglio.
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For those of you who have ever protested a solicitation before the Government Accountability Office (GAO), you know about GAO’s strict rules regarding timeliness. Under GAO rules, a document is considered filed on a particular day if it is received in GAO’s new electronic filing system by 5:30 p.m. ET. This rule is strictly enforced, as shown by the recent dismissal of a protest in CWIS, Inc., B-416544. In that case, GAO dismissed a protest filed by 5:46 p.m, as untimely, even though the late filing resulted from an issue with GAO’s new electronic filing system.
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The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced the creation of a Task Force on Market Integrity and Consumer Fraud. Relevant to the contracting and healthcare community, the task force is designed to strengthen the government's efforts to investigate and prosecute crimes of fraud committed against the U.S. Government. The task force will also focus on combating fraud against consumers, and in particular the elderly, service members and veterans.
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July 18, 2018
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The Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) has issued a Final Rule to its 32 C.F.R. Part 2004 National Industrial Security Program (NISP) Directive. ISOO is part of the National Archives and Records Administration, and the NISP Directive is the overarching policy for federal agencies involved in industrial security. The new rule, issued on May 7, 2018, focuses mainly on high-level administrative issues. However, the rule also includes new policy regarding specific, operational matters.
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The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Inspector General in September 2016 published an audit report regarding compliance and enforcement of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).
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Amid the Trump Administration's plan to reduce China's access to U.S. intellectual property, the federal government is imposing tighter scrutiny over U.S. universities' research partnerships with Chinese entities. The move is meant to prevent technology transfers that could have national security implications.
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The potential security benefits of blockchain technology have received a great deal of media attention. The federal government has initiated several exploratory programs to study the application of blockchain to its procurement functions.
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On May 14, 2018, the General Accountability Office (GAO) issued GAO-18-407, a Report to the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, Committee on Armed Services, House of Representatives entitled, Protecting Classified Information: Defense Security Service Should Address Challenges as New Approach Is Piloted.
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June 12, 2018
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REAN Cloud LLC (REAN) entered into an Other Transaction (OT) Agreement with the Army (facilitated by DIUx) to provide prototype cloud migration services. While the prototype work was still being performed, the Army and REAN agreed (using a sole-source award) that REAN would provide follow-on production work valued up to $950 million. Oracle America, Inc. (Oracle) protested the follow-on production award to REAN.
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On May 1, 2018, the FAR Council published a final rule amending FAR 16.505(a)(10) to raise the minimum threshold for Government Accountability Office (GAO) protests of certain task and delivery order awards from $10 million to $25 million. While Section 835 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 immediately raised the threshold upon passage, this change implements the modification into the FAR.
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Most practitioners are aware that the statute of limitations under the False Claims Act (FCA) is six years after the date on which the violation is committed. 31 U.S.C. § 3731(b)(1).
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May 2, 2018
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The Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General (DoD IG) recently published a nonstatistical sample of 14 Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) IT service contracts, valued at $72 million. The Report presented the IG's findings with respect to the question of whether DCMA properly awarded and administered the contracts. DoD IG found that for 11 of the 14 IT service contracts reviewed, valued at $61 million, DCMA contracting officials did not properly award the contracts.
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May 1, 2018
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The latest revelations about cybersecurity breaches hit right at the core of the government contracting community. Last month the General Services Administration (GSA) issued a notice that the System for Award Management (SAM), in which all federal contractors must register, had been compromised and a number of contractors have been put at risk of having their government payments diverted by third-party fraudsters.
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Past performance information is a key indicator of an offeror’s ability to successfully perform a contract and is required to be considered by agencies when making most types of contract awards. Many small businesses, however, get their entrance into government contracting through subcontracts to prime contractors. These first-tier small business subcontractors often have a difficult time providing verifiable past performance because they are outside of the Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS) process that provides that information for prime contractors.
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April 30, 2018
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