Category Archives: Regulations

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Federal Circuit Affirms Veteran-Owned Small Businesses Are the VA’s First Priority

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently affirmed a May 2017 Court of Federal Claims decision requiring the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) to give veteran-owned small businesses first priority before purchasing from the AbilityOne Program.… Continue Reading

Crypto Firms Make Inroads with State and Federal Regulators

Over the past couple of years, the crypto industry has come under heavy scrutiny from skeptical regulators seeking to root out fraud and protect investors amid the initial coin offering boom that generated over $4 billion in 2017. However, this skepticism is starting to give way to a more business-friendly attitude. Crypto firms have made … Continue Reading

New York’s AG Enters the Cryptocurrency Ring as Federal, State Authorities Find Regulatory Footing

On April 17, 2018, the New York State Attorney General (“NYAG”) sent a “Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative Questionnaire” to 13 companies operating virtual currency trading platforms. The questionnaire consists of 34 questions covering a number of topics, including ownership and control, operation and fees, trading policies and procedures, outages and other suspensions of trading, internal … Continue Reading

South Korea Steps Up Oversight of Cryptocurrency Exchanges

In January 2018, the Korea Financial Intelligence Unit (“KoFIU”)[1] and the Financial Supervisory Service (“FSS”)[2] conducted a joint inspection of six Korean banks that provide trading accounts for cryptocurrency exchanges. The joint inspection was conducted to collect information and to provide guidance regarding servicing these types of exchanges. The inspection represents a significant step by … Continue Reading

New Legislation Introduced in 2017 Signals the Beginning of a Strong Push for AML Reform

There is universal acknowledgement that anti-money laundering (“AML”) monitoring has become progressively costlier (both in terms of time and money) since the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) was passed nearly five decades ago, and that compliance has become increasingly burdensome, especially for smaller regional and community institutions. According to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”), nearly … Continue Reading

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
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