On November 6, 2023, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) released the contract year 2025 proposed rule for Medicare Advantage (“MA”) organizations and Part D sponsors (the “Proposed Rule”). The Proposed Rule covers an array of regulatory topics including the Star Ratings program, marketing and communications, agent and broker compensation, health equity, dual eligible special needs plans (“D-SNPs”), utilization management, network adequacy, and access to biosimilars.Continue Reading CMS Promotes Competition, Transparency, Health Equity and More in the CY2025 Medicare Advantage and Part D Proposed Rule
On November 14, 2022, the Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) published a proposed rule that would amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to require Federal contractors that receive annual Federal contract obligations over a specified amount to disclose their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate-related financial risk, and set science-based targets to reduce GHG emissions. This proposed rule implements section 5(b) of Executive Order 14030, Climate-Related Financial Risk, which we previously wrote about here. The Government will consider comments from interested parties that are submitted by January 13, 2023, after which a final rule will be formulated.Continue Reading Proposed Rule Requires Contractors to Disclose Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Climate-Related Financial Risk
Effective August 25, 2022, the U.S. Department of Defense (“DoD”) has issued two new changes to the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (“DFARS”) reinforcing national defense priorities that limit DoD…Continue Reading In the Interest of National Security – Two New DFARS Rules Reinforce Increased Scrutiny For Chinese-Origin Supply Chains
The Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council (the “FAR Council”) currently is considering amendments to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (“FAR”) that would elevate the consideration of climate-related risks in Federal Government contracting.Continue Reading ESG for Government Contractors: Climate-Related Risk Considerations in Federal Procurement
Much has been written in this space and others regarding the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank Act”), and its likely and observed impact on the business and legal landscape (e.g., executive compensation, whistleblower incentives, and “conflict minerals”. Not least among the Act’s effects is its mandate for a large number of rulemakings across government regulatory bodies. In total, the Dodd-Frank Act mandated 398 different rulemakings from 20 different regulatory agencies. In some cases, the Act requires more than one agency to issue rules on the same topic. Congress also specified a rulemaking schedule that applies to most of the rules required under the Act. 275 of the required rulemakings carry Congressionally mandated deadlines or annual requirements.Continue Reading The Sisyphean Task Of Dodd-Frank Rulemaking
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 finalized, with changes. See 77 Fed. Reg. 4632 (Jan. 30, 2012). This final rule is a mixed bag that got some things right, but also leaves some of the most serious issues unresolved.Continue Reading Final Rule for IR&D Reports Fails to Address Most Serious Questions
On January 2, 2011, the President signed the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, Pub. L. No. 111-347, which set up a relief fund for victims, first responders, and construction workers who were injured in the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York City. To pay the estimated $4.3 billion price tag for the Act, Section 301 of the Act imposed on any foreign person a tax equal to 2% of federal procurement payment received by that foreign person. See 26 U.S.C. § 5000C. In addition, any person who makes or otherwise is a withholding agent with respect to such a payment is required to withhold the 2% tax from the federal procurement payment and remit the tax withheld to the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) under tax laws and regulations applicable to withholding of United States taxes from payments made to foreign persons. Although the tax has been in place for more than 14 months and the IRS has issued a revised Form 1042 with revised instructions to implement withholding and reporting obligations, the Government is only now turning to the details of how this tax will be accounted for in connection with the procurement process. And – as is often the case – there is quite a lot of devil in those details.Continue Reading Terrorism and Taxes – Proposed FAR Rule Imposes 2% Tax on Foreign Offers to Fund 9/11 Relief Fund
In a significant step in the reform of U.S. export controls, the Department of Commerce issued a proposed rule on Friday, July 15, 2011, that would fundamentally affect the overlap between, and operation of, the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (“ITAR”) administered by the U.S. Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, and the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”) administered by the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security. See Proposed Revisions to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR): Control of Items the President Determines No Longer Warrant Control Under the United States Munitions List, 76 Fed. Reg. 41,958 (July 15, 2011) (amending 15 C.F.R. Pts. 730, 732, 734, 738, 740, 742, 743, 744, 746, 748, 756, 762 ,770, 772 and 774). The changes, which are based on the interagency review of the U.S. export control system that was initiated by President Obama in August 2009, would create a regulatory construct for harmonizing the United States Munitions List (“USML”) of the ITAR and the Commerce Control List (“CCL”) of the EAR, as well as standardizing certain key definitions between the two regulatory systems.
Continue Reading Proposed Rule Details Major Changes to U.S. Export Controls
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 hoped to advance the state of the art without stifling a contractor’s innovation under the weight of a federal bureaucracy, while simultaneously banking on the fact that the U.S. Government also will benefit from the technology advancements. But two recent developments may change the essential nature of IR&D, making it less “independent” and more “dependent” on Government rights and oversight. To quote Bob Dylan – “the times they are a changin’.”
Continue Reading The Times They Are A Changin’ – Independent Research and Development May Not Be So “Independent” Any More
On March 15, 2011, the State Department Directorate of Defense Trade Controls published a proposed new rule that marks a significant change in the approach to ITAR regulation. Historically, ITAR controls have always applied to commercial end products incorporating any ITAR controlled components. This was the basis of the highly publicized QRS chip case, in which the State Department asserted continuing ITAR control over avionics chips that had originated on a military program but had come to be widely used in civilian jet aircraft. That case resulted eventually in a special exception to allow jet aircraft to remain in production and passenger service with the QRS chip and without ITAR licensing.
Continue Reading Proposed ITAR Rule To Relax ITAR Licensing For Components Incorporated Into Commercial Products
We previously noted DCAA’s hasty implementation of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s (“CAFC’s”) decision in Gates v. Raytheon Co., 584 F.3d 1062 (Fed. Cir. 2009), requiring daily compounding of interest on adjustments made to rectify Cost Accounting Standards (“CAS”) noncompliances. DCAA Implements Federal Circuit Decision Requiring Interest Compounded Daily on Adjustments for CAS Noncompliances (June 14, 2010). We say “hasty” because – while noting that its holding was required by Canadian Fur Trappers v. United States, 884 F.2d 563 (Fed. Cir. 1989) – the panel expressed reservations regarding that decision’s validity, commenting that appellee’s (Raytheon’s) arguments “may support the proposition that Canadian Fur Trappers was erroneously decided.” Not surprisingly, Raytheon accepted this implicit invitation to petition for rehearing en banc, and that petition is currently pending. Nonetheless, the FAR Councils are now rushing to mimic DCAA by proposing in equally hasty fashion to extend the holding to overpayments under the Truth in Negotiations Act (“TINA”). 75 Fed. Reg. 57719-57721 (Sept. 22, 2010).
Continue Reading Rush To Judgment – FAR Councils Propose Daily Compounding Of Interest For TINA Violations