Federal Register Update

A Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) plan to create a registration exemption for certain finders has generated a mixed response.  The nearly 90 comments received by the SEC by the November 12, 2020 close of the comment period reflect a clear divide along predictable lines.  Broker-dealers, issuers, and some practitioners lauded the proposal for bringing regulatory clarity to what has long been a cloudy issue while regulatory groups and investor advocates criticized the plan for allowing unregistered finders to conduct brokerage activities without sufficient investor protection mechanisms.
Continue Reading SEC Proposal to Exempt Finders from Registration Generates Split Reaction

In response to widespread interest in allowing more small business participation in opportunities involving cloud computing, the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) has decided to exclude cloud computing from the limitation
Continue Reading Small Business Subcontracting for Cloud Computing Gets Easier

Each year, the Government purchases more and more cloud computing from contractors.  But while many small businesses can provide cloud computing, the current rules associated with small business set-aside contracts prevent agencies from awarding prime contracts with a large cloud computing component to small businesses.
Continue Reading More Opportunities On the Horizon for Small Businesses Seeking to Sell Cloud Computing to the Government

SBA Proposes to Increase Small Business Size Standards (79 Fed. Reg. 54145; 79 Fed. Reg. 53646)

The U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”) proposes to increase small business size standards for: (1) 209 industries in North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) in the manufacturing sector; and (2) industries with employee based size standards not part of manufacturing, wholesale trade, or retail trade.  These proposed rules are parts of a series of proposed rules that will review the size standards of industries.


Continue Reading What’s New Out There? Highlights from the Federal Register

DOD Proposed Rules Seeking Contractor Business System Rule Self Assessments

The Department of Defense issued a proposed rule on July 15th that would revise the DFARS Business Systems Rule by requiring contractors with estimating, accounting, material management, and accounting systems that are currently subject to the existing Business Systems Rule to perform self-assessment reports on their business systems compliance.  The proposed rule would have contractors assuming responsibility for annual self-assessments of those systems and for overseeing a triennial audit of the contractor’s compliance by an independent contractor-selected Certified Public Accountant.  As drafted, the proposed rule would only apply to the contractor’s accounting, estimating, material management, and accounting systems used for DOD CAS-covered contracts. Government auditors would examine the results of the self-evaluations.  Contractors will be offered no favorable credit or “safe harbor” for disclosures made in the contractor’s report.


Continue Reading Federal Register Round Up – June/July 2014

Amended SDN Designations Under New Sanctions Programs

On May 23, the U.S. Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) published additional identifying information for persons whose property has been blocked for their activities related to the conflict in the Central African Republic.  See 79 Fed. Reg. 29,842 (May 23, 2014).  On May 12, President Obama issued an Executive Order that authorizes the blocking of all property in the United States of persons for activities including actions that threaten the peace or stability of the Central African Republic, actions or policies that undermine transitional institutions or democratic institutions, targeting women for acts of violence, the recruitment of child soldiers, and other human rights abuses.  See Exec. Order 13,667 (May 12, 2014).  The Executive Order provides authority for persons to be added to OFAC’s Specially Designated National (“SDN”) List.  Once a person is added to that list, that person’s property under U.S. jurisdiction is blocked, and U.S. persons are prohibited from transacting with that person.  The Central African Republic sanctions are the most recent example of sanctions programs targeting human rights violators, and a discussion of previous sanctions can be found in our Global Trade Blog.


Continue Reading What’s New Out There? Highlights from the Federal Register

DoD Issues Final Rule regarding Counterfeit Electronic Parts (79 Fed. Reg. 26092)

The Department of Defense issued a final rule on May 6, 2014 that sets forth contractor responsibilities related to the detection and avoidance of counterfeit electronic parts, including the obligation to report counterfeit or suspected counterfeit electronic parts.  For a detailed discussion of this new rule, see article here.


Continue Reading What’s New Out There? Highlights from the Federal Register

This month’s Federal Register Updates include four important changes that will impact the day-to-day activities of Government Contractors and Agencies alike.  The first, a final DFARS rule on Performance-Based Payments, provides detailed guidance and instructions on the use of the Performance-Based Payment analysis tool, which is required to be used by all Contracting Officers contemplating use of performance-based payments on new fixed-price type contract awards.  The second is a proposed rule that would extend personal conflicts of interest to a newly expanded group of “covered employees” who perform functions closely associated with inherently governmental functions (not simply acquisition functions, as is currently the case under the present rule) and contracts for personal services.  The third change does not impose requirements on contractors, but does establish DoD procedures relating to the reported foreign ownership, control, or influence (FOCI) information that DoD is tasked with evaluating, mitigating, or negating. And the fourth important change, the President’s Memorandum and Executive Order on Compensation Data Issued on National Equal Pay Day, continues the President’s push for greater pay equality between women and minorities.
Continue Reading What’s New Out There? Highlights from the April 2014 Federal Register

A.  EPA Adopts Final Rule: EPA-Specific Past Performance Regulations (79 Fed. Reg. 15921-24) (3/21/2014)

The EPA is deleting EPA-specific past performance regulations in the EPA Acquisition Regulation (EPAAR) because they are no longer necessary to meet the agency’s needs in light of recent updates to the FAR.  See 79 Fed. Reg. 46783 (Aug. 1, 2013).  The new FAR requirements mirror current EPA policies for collecting and maintaining contractor past performance, so there is no longer a need for an EPA-specific supplement.  FAR subpart 42.15, combined with the CPARS guidance and reference material included at the CPARS web site (www.cpars.gov) provides sufficient policy, procedures, and guidance to satisfy the EPA’s needs.  Thus, the EPA deleted EPAAR sections 1542.15, 1552.242-71, and 1553.209.


Continue Reading What’s New Out There? Highlights from the March 2014 Federal Register

1. Proposal to Amend FAR to Implement Revised SBA Regulations

On February 3, 2014, DoD, GSA, and NASA proposed to amend the FAR, via FAR Case 2012-022, to implement revisions made by the SBA to its regulations implementing section 8(a) of the Small Business Act “to provide additional FAR coverage regarding protesting an 8(a) participant’s eligibility or size status, procedures for releasing a requirement for non-8(a) procurements, and the ways a participant could exit the 8(a) Business Development program.”  In addition to several editorial changes, the notice proposes the following substantive changes:


Continue Reading What’s New Out There? Highlights from the February 2014 Federal Register

1. Final Rule Requiring Accelerated Payments to Small Business Subcontractors.

On November 25, 2013, the FAR Councils published a final rule that, inter alia, amended the FAR to require accelerated payments to small business subcontractors in certain circumstances.  The final rule adds a new FAR clause, 52.232-40, Providing Accelerated Payments to Small Business Subcontractors, which must be included in all subcontracts with small business concerns.  The new clause requires prime contractors to make accelerated payments to small business subcontractors “to the maximum extent practicable and prior to when such payment is otherwise required under the applicable contract or subcontract” once the Government has issued an accelerated payment to the prime contractor and once the small business subcontractor has submitted “a proper invoice and all other required documentation” for receipt of payment.  The final rule, which became effective on December 26, 2013, does not provide any new rights under the Prompt Payment Act.


Continue Reading Government Procurement: November and December 2013 and January 2014 Federal Register Update