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FEDERAL CONTRACTS PERSPECTIVE

Federal Acquisition Developments, Guidance, and Opinions


October 2020
Vol. XXI, No. 10
[pdf version]

CONTENTS


DOD Adjusts Acquisition-Related Thresholds for Inflation, Implements Cybersecurity Requirements
Three Rule Changes Proposed for the FAR
President Orders “Divisive, Anti-American” Training Cease
GSA Does Some Extending



DOD Adjusts Acquisition-Related Thresholds for
Inflation, Implements Cybersecurity Requirements

The Department of Defense (DOD) undertook some significant revisions to the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) in September, including the five-year inflation adjustment to DOD-specific acquisition-related thresholds, and a rule requiring contractors to implement cybersecurity measures. Also, a clause and a provision are repealed; the acquisition of tantalum from North Korea, China, Russia, or Iran is prohibited; and several other changes were made and proposed.



Three Rule Changes Proposed for the FAR

Since the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council didn’t issue any Federal Acquisition Circulars (FACs) modifying the FAR, the Council issued three proposal rules that would amend the FAR to address several miscellaneous topics: encouraging Buy American in federal acquisition; applying to contracts the Mexico City Policy, which prohibits foreign nongovernmental organizations from performing or actively promoting abortion as a method of family planning; and encouraging vendor feedback to support continual improvement of the acquisition process.



President Orders “Divisive, Anti-American” Training Cease

President Trump, having been alerted that “Executive Branch agencies have spent millions of taxpayer dollars to date ‘training’ government workers to believe divisive, anti-American propaganda,” has directed federal agencies to “cease and desist from using taxpayer dollars to fund these divisive, un-American propaganda training sessions,” and to “identify all contracts or other agency spending related to any training on ‘critical race theory,’ ‘white privilege,’ or any other training or propaganda effort that teaches or suggests either (1) that the United States is an inherently racist or evil country or (2) that any race or ethnicity is inherently racist or evil. In addition, all agencies should begin to identify all available avenues within the law to cancel any such contracts and/or to divert federal dollars away from these un-American propaganda training sessions.”

Executive Order 13950, Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping, mandates that all government contracting agencies include in every government contract the following provisions:

Less than a week after the executive order, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a memorandum to all the heads of departments and agencies providing detailed guidance on implementation of the order:


GSA Does Some Extending

Because the COVID-19 has lingered much longer than expected, the General Services Administration (GSA) has decided to extend three acquisition-related actions. In addition, GSA has decided to extend three National Interest Action (NIA) codes and add another (NIA codes are used when reporting awards to indicate the reason for the award).





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