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FEDERAL CONTRACTS PERSPECTIVE

Federal Acquisition Developments, Guidance, and Opinions


June 2021
Vol. XXII, No. 6
[pdf version]

CONTENTS


Executive Order Seeks to Improve Cybersecurity and Protect Federal Networks
New, Improved SAM.gov Unveiled
DOD Addresses Contract Closeouts, Debriefings
Increased Size Standards Proposed for Trade Industries



Executive Order Seeks to Improve Cybersecurity
and Protect Federal Networks

In response to recent incidents like those that occurred to SolarWinds (a software firm that was a victim of a cyberattack by alleged Russian hackers that allowed the hackers to spy on its clients – private firms and government agencies) and the Colonial Pipeline (a fuel pipeline firm that was the victim of a ransomware attack that crippled the southeast of the United States and cost the firm $5 million in ransom), President Biden has issued Executive Order 14028, Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity. “The federal government must improve its efforts to identify, deter, protect against, detect, and respond to these actions and actors,” asserts President Biden. “It is the policy of my administration that the prevention, detection, assessment, and remediation of cyber incidents is a top priority and essential to national and economic security.”

A substantial portion of the 14-page EO requires actions to be take through federal procurement. Specifically, the EO will:

In addition, the EO will:



New, Improved SAM.gov Unveiled

On May 24, the General Services Administration (GSA) completed its years-long merger of the beta.SAM.gov with the SAM.gov (System for Award Management) – no more “beta.” The new SAM.gov is now the system used to register to do business with the federal government, search for contract opportunities, find wage determinations, generate reports based on data in the system, and more. (NOTE: Those searching for data on a specific contract must do so at the Federal Procurement Data System [https://www.fpds.gov] , which remains the authoritative source for contract data.)

SAM.gov users can expect these changes:



DOD Addresses Contract Closeouts, Debriefings

In May, the Department of Defense (DOD) issued two final rules that amended the Defense FAR Supplement (DFARS), two proposed rules to amend the DFARS, and one DFARS deviation, primarily to implement sections of various National Defense Authorization Acts (NDAAs).



Increased Size Standards Proposed for Trade Industries

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is proposing to increase its receipts-based and employee-based small business size definitions (commonly referred to as “size standards”) for North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) sectors related to wholesale trade (14 of 71 industries in NAICS Sector 42) and retail trade (35 of 66 industries in NAICS Sector 44-45). The SBA’s size standards are in Title 13 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 121, Section 121.201, What size standards has SBA identified by North American Industry Classification System codes? (13 CFR 121.201).

SBA is seeking comments on its proposed changes to these size standards and the data sources it evaluated to develop the proposed size standards. Comments on this proposed rule must be submitted by July 26, 2021, identified as “RIN 3245-AH10” and submitted by either of the following methods: (1) Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov; or (2) mail/hand delivery/courier to: Khem R. Sharma, Ph.D., Chief, Office of Size Standards, 409 Third Street SW, Mail Code 6530, Washington, DC 20416.





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