Category Archives: Regulations

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FINRA Fetes Emerging Blockchain Technology at Industry Conference

Blockchain technology (“Blockchain”), also known as Distributed Ledger Technology, stands poised to transform the future of the financial industry. Generally speaking, Blockchain enables the creation of a continuously growing ledger of transactions that is resistant to alteration and ensures the integrity of new transactions through a system of checks-and-balances built into the system’s code. The … Continue Reading

Dear Congress: Your District Needs a New E-4 Visa for Promising Entrepreneurs

Procedural History In August 2016, the Department of Homeland Security proposed an “International Entrepreneur” parole rule that would allow qualifying foreign entrepreneurs to develop and grow their start-up companies in the United States. After public comment, the rule was finalized and released in the closing days of the previous Administration.… Continue Reading

FINRA Updates Its Sanction Guidelines

Earlier this month, FINRA announced changes to its Sanction Guidelines through Notice to Members 17-13. FINRA’s Sanction Guidelines are used by FINRA disciplinary hearing panels to decide what, if any, sanctions to impose in those enforcement actions in which a rule violation is found. FINRA enforcement staff and members of the defense bar utilize the … Continue Reading

Watching the Detectives: The SEC Launches a Dedicated FINRA Oversight Unit

The SEC has launched a dedicated team to oversee FINRA, according to remarks by Marc Wyatt, Director of the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”). Congress has vested the SEC with the power to supervise FINRA, including the authority to inspect and examine. The new unit, named FINRA and Securities Industry Oversight (“FISIO”), … Continue Reading

To Share or Not to Share (with the Government)? That is the Question: DHS Announces Interim Guidelines for Sharing Cyber Threat Indicators

On February 16, 2016, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson announced interim guidelines and procedures for sharing cyber threat indicators under the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 (“CISA”). Because the guidelines are voluntary, the next question is, should your company share information with the Government?… Continue Reading

REGULATORS, QUANT UP! New Rules from FINRA, SEC and CFTC Target Automated Algorithmic Trading

On February 11, 2016, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) filed a proposed rule with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) that would require individuals who “design, develop or significantly modify algorithmic trading strategies” (or “ATS”) as well as individuals responsible for the “day-to-day supervision or direction of the development process,” to pass a qualification … Continue Reading

HHS Recognizes Changing Environment of Research

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and other Federal Departments and Agencies closed the comment period for the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on January 6, 2016 after extending the initial period due to robust response. The proposed rulemaking is the most sweeping since 1991 … Continue Reading

Forward to the Past: NYSE Returns to Regulation

Everything old is new again.  On January 1, 2016, the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) – now owned by Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. – will be taking back some of the regulatory responsibilities it yielded to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”), starting in 2007 when the NYSE and National Association of Securities Dealers (“NASD”) merged … Continue Reading

Lots of Little Things – FAR Updates from the Federal Acquisition Circular

Every now and then, the FAR Councils issue a Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) – an update to the Federal Acquisition Regulation implementing a number of changes. Often these changes are rather pro forma. But occasionally, you get a Circular with many different (and interesting) issues. FAC 2005-67, issued in late-June 2013, with rules becoming effective … Continue Reading

“The Song Remains the Same” – DFARS Removes and Replaces Restrictions on Export Controls

By David Gallacher  Earlier this month, we wrote about a new proposed rule from the Department of Energy imposing new and onerous requirements relating to compliance with the U.S. export control laws. DOE claimed that this proposed rule was modeled on a prior rule included in the Department of Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) … Continue Reading

Buy American Redux – 15 Tips for Navigating the Buy American Maze

By David Gallacher Two months ago, we published a brief list of compliance tips to keep in mind when dealing with Buy American requirements. We got an awful lot of calls asking for more information, so – at the risk of giving you more information than you wanted on a very complicated topic – David … Continue Reading

“Buy American” Compliance Tips

By David Gallacher 1. There is no single “Buy American” requirement – there are numerous statutes with differing requirements. Make sure you know which one applies. 2. Whether you are a prime or a subcontractor, certify only to the specific “Buy American” requirements in the RFP; do not make a broader certification than is required.… Continue Reading

Free Trade Agreement Updates for 2012

By David Gallacher 2012 saw several updates with regard to free trade agreements (“FTAs”) between the U.S. and its international trading allies. The most notable of these was the U.S.-Korea FTA (“KORUS”), but several other changes were made to the U.S. procurement regulations implementing other free trade agreements. Regrettably, negotiations with China remain stalled with … Continue Reading

Final Rule for IR&D Reports Fails to Address Most Serious Questions

By David S. Gallacher and Kerry O’Neill Last April, we wrote about proposed changes to Department of Defense ("DoD") reporting requirements for independent research and development ("IR&D"), raising concerns about how the proposed change would tie recoverability of IR&D costs to new reporting and disclosure requirements. Recently, Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement ("DFARS") 231.205-18(c) was … Continue Reading

Clarity Required: Iran Sanctions Convictions Reversed in U.S. v. Banki

By: Thad McBride and Mark L. Jensen Introduction: On October 24, 2011, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit released an opinion in United States v. Banki, No. 10-3381 (2d Cir. Oct. 24, 2011) that reversed convictions of Defendant Mahmoud Reza Banki on charges of conspiring to violate the … Continue Reading

The Times They Are A Changin’ – Independent Research and Development May Not Be So “Independent” Any More

By David S. Gallacher Those familiar with Government contracting know at least a little bit about the elusive and fickle regulatory requirements for Independent Research and Development (“IR&D” or “IRAD”) costs. IR&D is a means by which the U.S. Government supports a Contractor’s independent R&D efforts. By reimbursing a Contractor’s independent R&D costs, the Government long has … Continue Reading

Bidding Adieu To The “Summer of Recovery”: Changes To ARRA Buy American And Reporting Requirements

By David S. Gallacher While Vice President Biden was busy touting Summer 2010 as the “Summer of Recovery” and the economic effects of the February 2009 Stimulus Act (a.k.a. the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Recovery Act, ARRA, the Stimulus Act, etc.), the gears of the regulatory process ground steadily onward. Throughout the summer, the … Continue Reading

Redefining Cost Or Pricing Data

Effective October 1, 2010, the final rule amending FAR subpart 15.4 expands government contracting officers’ ability to obtain cost or price-related data for all contracts, including currently exempted commercial-items contracts. The amended rule is intended to clarify the FAR’s definition of “cost or pricing data” and to make the definition consistent with that used in the … Continue Reading

Inflation Adjustment Of Acquisition-Related Thresholds In The FAR

By Townsend L. Bourne The Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council issued a final rule on August 30, 2010 adjusting acquisition-related thresholds for inflation as set forth in section 807 of the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005. 75 Fed. Reg. 53129. Section 807 dictates that acquisition-related thresholds … Continue Reading

Implementation Of CISADA: New FAR Requirements

By Jessica M. Madon Effective September 29, 2010, the Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council (“FAR Councils”) issued an interim rule amending the FAR to implement sections of the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 (“CISADA”), signed into law on July 1, 2010. 75 Fed. Reg. 60254 (Sept. 29, 2010). … Continue Reading

Can DoD Be “The Biggest Loser”? Gates Unveils DoD’s New Fiscal Diet Plan

After a decade of increasing appetite for defense dollars, the Pentagon appears to have stepped on a scale and decided to make some changes. Following-on from the Department of Defense’s June 2010 announcement regarding changing its procurement business models, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, Ashton Carter, recently … Continue Reading

DoD Issues Proposed Rule Providing Guidance On Organizational Conflicts Of Interest

By John S. Tobey On April 22, 2010 the Defense Acquisition Regulation Council proposed to amend the Defense Acquisition Regulation Supplement (“DFARS”) to provide uniform guidance and tighten existing requirements for organizational conflicts of interest (“OCIs”) by contractors in major defense acquisition programs.  See 75 Fed. Reg. 20,954 (April 22, 2010). The proposed rule implements section 207 … Continue Reading
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