DoD Proposes Updates to its Mentor-Protégé Program

Many federal contractors know of and participate in the SBA’s Mentor-Protégé Program. However, there are many agency specific Mentor-Protégé Programs, including the oldest continuous program, the Department of Defense’s Mentor-Protégé Program. The DoD’s program has been operating since around the First Gulf War, and like any good machine that is a few decades old, regularly needs some updates. Just in the past week, the DoD released the newest proposed changes to its program.

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DoD Revises its Other Transactions Guide

Something we frequently hear, when talking to those involved in the federal contracting industry, is that just when you think you have a handle on all the different ways federal contracting is run, you find out about another new program, authority, protest, guidance, regulation, or any other possible wrinkle of federal contracting. One prime example of this is that many individuals getting into federal contracting will often be surprised that the FAR is not the only standard that may drive how a procurement activity is handled. As we have blogged about in the past, “Other Transaction Authority” can come into play on certain procurements. The Department of Defense (“DoD”) utilizes this unique type of procurement authority and releases an “Other Transaction Guide” to dictate how this authority will be used. But with all things, only change is guaranteed, and any contractor who thought they knew this unique procurement authority’s ins and outs will need to take another look, as the DoD has just released a revised “Other Transactions Guide” based on industry guidance and regulatory changes.

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DoD to Utilize Category Management for Procurements, But this time to Increase Small Business Contracts

Last month, the Department of Defense (DoD), released a memorandum to its contracting specialists asking them to utilize the popular but controversial category management tactics to attempt to increase small business participation in DoD procurements. Some have said that category management tends to decrease small business spend by, for instance, pushing procurement to larger contracting vehicles, so this memo attempts to turn conventional wisdom on its head. The DoD’s intentions with this memorandum will likely increase use of category management at the largest governmental buyers, despite this contracting trend being criticized as ineffective or counter productive to increasing small business participation. Below we dig into what the memo says.

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Final FAR Amendment Encourages Procuring Agencies to Engage with Industry

DoD, GSA, and NASA are issuing a final rule that amends the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), effectively implementing a provision of the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act. The rule permits and encourages agency acquisition personnel to engage in responsible and constructive exchanges with the industry, provided that such exchanges remain consistent with the applicable law and refrain from promoting any unfair competitive advantages.

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DoD CMMC Requirements Begin Rollout November 30

February of 2020 seems like a long time ago, for many reasons. But that was when the official version of the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) standards were released. Recently, the DoD issued an interim rule that will update the DFARS to implement the assessment methodology and CMMC framework for DoD procurements as well as add a new requirement for cybersecurity assessment under the NIST SP 800-171 framework. Here are some of the key points.

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DoD Warns Contractors to be Wary of Adversarial Investments during Pandemic

DoD’s Acquisition and Sustainment Leaders recently updated the public on DoD’s COVID-19 acquisition policy at the Pentagon and announced a joint task force to handle the influx in medical and personal protective equipment needs.

One of DoD’s primary points of focus during this conference was a warning to contractors about adversarial capital during this crisis.

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