Friday Flash 01/20/23

Federal Procurement: Continuing to Sustain the Arsenal of Democracy

On the eve of our nation’s entry into World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt, in a radio address to the nation, first proposed that the U.S. would serve as an “Arsenal of Democracy.” Under this plan, the U.S. provided the United Kingdom the supplies necessary to stand firm against German Nazi aggression that engulfed Europe. FDR’s arsenal of democracy consisted of companies representing a cross-section of U.S. economic sectors, from telecommunications and electronics, steel manufacturing, chemicals, aircraft and automobile manufacturers, and shipbuilding; the list is enormous. This unprecedented focus of industrial power in furtherance of national security goals comes to mind as our nation has joined with other nations to support Ukraine’s defense of its sovereignty from Russian aggression.

The U.S. has led international support for Ukraine’s military struggle, and the hope is for that nation to maintain self-determination and a lasting peace. That struggle, however, has come at a terrible cost to Ukraine in terms of blood and treasure. Though clearly not on the front lines of the conflict, those nations assisting Ukraine are facing challenges, as well. Reports have appeared expressing concerns that military supplies and weapons stockpiles of nations’ supporting Ukraine are diminishing. The U.S., the largest source of supply to Ukraine’s effort, will need to ramp up production and restock its supplies. That production certainly will come from our nation’s industrial base, but the means through which that production finds its way to our nation’s warfighters is the federal procurement system.

Government procurement (and oversight of that system) dates to the Revolutionary War. From the beginning, it was understood that to facilitate access to the innovation necessary to affect the mission of government, a system of purchase was needed. That system comes with certain attributes, like the notice of opportunity; fair consideration; full and open competition; ethics criteria; flexibility in times of exigency; and a means to redress disputes over contract award and contract performance. These attributes provide the order and integrity necessary for not only access to goods and services, but also the fairness necessary to incent industry to compete for the opportunity to supply the government.

We need only look to our nation’s ability to respond to the pandemic to see the capacity of the procurement system to rise to the occasion and serve the national interest. Recall that, as the COVID-19 virus reached U.S. shores, it became apparent that the supply chain for certain supplies, like personal protection equipment, was distributed overseas and in great global demand. The system, however, was able to respond with surge capacity through mechanisms, such as:

  • Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) emergency acquisition flexibilities indexed under FAR Part 18, including increased acquisition thresholds
  • The Competition in Contracting Act (CICA) (c)(7) exceptions to competitive procedures to allow for targeted or expeditious acquisition
  • The Defense Production Act (DPA), which permits the President to allocate facilities, services, and materials in furtherance of national defense, as well as orders for needed items to be issued to entities under government contracts or to entities that do not hold a government contract
  • Cooperative purchasing for states under the schedules

Whether in day-to-day work or in times of crisis, the procurement system is the lynchpin that facilitates the needed collaboration between government and industry in furtherance of national objectives. It provides a mechanism to access the tools to combat growing existential threats, like cyber-attack and environmental issues, and it affords the opportunity to strengthen the industrial base across sectors. It serves as a mechanism to implement policy goals, like protocols for cybersecurity and growth in the industrial base through socioeconomic authorities. By no means is the procurement system perfect; indeed, this blog has addressed systemic challenges related to requirements development, supply chain, and timing issues. As the new Congress begins its work, however, it is our hope that it recognizes the value of the procurement system to government mission fulfillment. To that end, the Coalition offers its support in facilitating dialogue with stakeholders and working to keep the system relevant and responsive to government needs for years to come.

Bipartisan Legislation Introduced to Establish a National Digital Reserve Corps

Representatives Tony Gonzales (R-TX) and Robin Kelly (D-IL) have introduced a new bill in the House to form a National Digital Reserves Corps to address digital and cyber needs across the Federal Government. The Corps would be made up of civilian industry experts. These experts would sign up for a three-year period and be required to work 30 days per year for the duration of their commitment. During their service, they would take on digital and cybersecurity projects, digital education and training, data triage, acquisition assistance, and the development of technical solutions. The bill would task the General Services Administration with assigning the Corps members to agencies and require the Department of Labor to ensure that reservists do not see their civilian employment adversely affected by their service.

Mark Your Calendars: Upcoming Coalition Member-Only Events

The Coalition is excited to kick off 2023 with a full schedule of member-only events to help contractors prepare for the New Year! Learn more and register for these upcoming events at the links below.

We will also host two webinars that non-members may register for:

HHS Chief Data Officer Underscores Importance of Data Sharing

What are the most serious obstacles to data sharing in the Federal Government? According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Chief Data Officer Nikolaos Ipiotis, they are not technical, but cultural. In his remarks at the recent AFCEA Health IT Summit, reported by Fedscoop, Ipiotis stated that the most serious problem for inter-agency data sharing is a “feeling of risk” among Federal employees. He also noted that many data-sharing agreements never make it past the draft stage because agreements can take so long to prepare that the need for them disappears by the time they are complete. Citing HHS’ own COVID-19 surveillance program, HHS Protect, as an example, Ipiotis suggested that Federal leaders must change their employees’ relationship with data sharing and “recognize people for doing the right thing.”

Ipiotis’ remarks echo ongoing Federal efforts to improve data sharing. In 2021, President Biden signed an executive order on transforming the Federal customer experience that directed the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to improve interagency data sharing. Since then, the President’s Management Council has identified key “life experiences,” like having a child or leaving the military, that require interagency data sharing so that services can be designed with sharing in mind.

Independent groups have also called for data sharing improvements. In a December report on Federal customer experience, the Partnership for Public Service encouraged OMB to focus on enterprise solutions for data-sharing to avoid “temporary workarounds” and to audit the Federal Government’s data-sharing capacity.

U.S. Reaches Debt Ceiling, Treasury Takes Extraordinary Measures

On Thursday, The Hill reported that the U.S. reached its debt ceiling of $34.1 trillion. In order to avoid a default, the Treasury Department is taking “extraordinary measures” by reshuffling investments. Current estimates indicate that, with the measures in effect, Congress and the President will now have until the summer to reach an agreement on how to raise the ceiling. While the exact duration of the measures is unclear, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that a “debt issuance suspension period” would last until June 5. 

OFPP Releases Memorandum Regarding FAC-C Modernization

The Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) released a memorandum yesterday that will modernize the Federal Acquisition Certification in Contracting (FAC-C) program, the main training program for the Government’s contracting force. As of February 1, 2023, new hires will follow a new program of certification called FAC-C (Professional). Current FAC-C certified members will be automatically certified in the new program.

Some key changes to the program include the change from a three-level certification to a single level, the incorporation of virtual instructor-led training, curated learning to build technical expertise, greater agency responsibility for professionals, the addition of ANSI-accredited competencies, and the incorporation of a standardized exam. The memo also emphasized that the program will be closely aligned with the Department of Defense’s Contracting Professional Certification, creating more mobility for personnel between defense and civilian agencies. OFPP will convene a working group to develop guidance and templates on several areas including experience, selection and appointment of new officers, and professional development and continuous learning framework.

Legal Corner:

The US Fiscal Year 2023 NDAA Prohibition on Certain Semiconductor Products and Services from China

The Legal Corner provides the legal community with an opportunity to share insights and comments on legal issues of the day. The comments herein do not necessarily reflect the views of The Coalition for Government Procurement.

Note: This piece was published on December 23, 2022. Since then, President Biden has signed the FY2023 NDAA

By Marcia G. Madsen, Cameron R. Edlefsen, and Luke Levasseur, Mayer Brown

The Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (“NDAA”) precludes acquisition of products or services that include certain semiconductors originating in China and other “foreign countries of concern.” The NDAA, as passed by Congress, must now be signed into law by President Biden, which is expected to happen any day. Under Section 5949(a), US federal agencies will be prohibited from:

  • “procur[ing], obtain[ing], or extend[ing] or renew[ing] a contract to procure or obtain, any electronic parts or products, or services that include covered semiconductor products or services,” (Section 5949(a)(1)(A)); and
  • entering into a contract “with an entity to procure or obtain electronic parts or products that use any electronic parts or products that include covered semiconductor products or services” (Section 5949(a)(1)(B)) …

… Under the applicable rule of construction (Section 5949(a)(2)(B)), this use prohibition applies when the covered semiconductor products or services are in “critical systems,” which are defined as “national security systems,” i.e., telecommunication or information systems operated by the federal government, which involves intelligence and cryptologic activities, command and control of military forces, equipment that is an integral part of a weapon or weapons system, or any other system identified by the Federal Acquisition Security Council or the Department of Defense (“DoD”).

Although the prohibitions have five years to take effect, contractors (and their subcontractors and suppliers) must start now to thoroughly analyze their supply chains and identify any products sold to the federal government that contain covered semiconductor products or services. Contractors will then need to take steps to source Section 5949-compliant semiconductor products and services.

What Is a “Covered Semiconductor Product or Service”?

Section 5949 broadly defines “covered semiconductor product or service[]” to mean a semiconductor, a semiconductor product, a product that incorporates a semiconductor product, or a service that uses such a product that is designed, produced or provided by, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (“SMIC”), ChangXin Memory Technologies, Yangtze Memory Technologies Corp, or any subsidiary, affiliate, or successor of these entities.

The definition also includes any product or service that the Secretary of Defense or Secretary of Commerce determines was produced or provided by an entity “owned or controlled by, or otherwise connected to . . . a foreign country of concern.” The provision focuses on entities from China but also applies to entities from North Korea, Russia, and Iran.

What Does It Mean to “Use” a Prohibited Semiconductor?

Although the intent of Congress in Section 5949 is that federal contractors and their subcontractors/suppliers “not utilize companies connected to foreign countries of concern that threaten national security,” the actual language of Section 5949(a)(1)(B) applies to “critical systems” and prohibits federal agencies from contracting with entities to procure “electronic parts or products that use any electronic parts or products that include covered semiconductor products or services.” That language contrasts with Section 889(a)(1)(B) of the FY2019 NDAA, which prohibits agencies from contracting with any entity that uses any equipment, system or service that uses “covered” (i.e., produced by the identified Chinese companies) telecommunications equipment or services as a substantial or essential component of any system or as critical technology as part of any system.

Section 5949(a)(1)(B) appears to allow contractors to use covered semiconductor products or services in electronic parts or products for other than “critical systems.” To the extent that an entity provides a commercial product that is not used in a “critical system,” the product would not be covered (i.e., the prohibition does not apply). However, commercial products and technologies are sometimes used in “critical systems,” e.g., command and control of military forces or in the direct fulfillment of military or intelligence missions. Companies selling electronic parts or products should thoroughly review solicitations to determine whether these products will be used in a “critical system” and inquire as appropriate.

Effective Date and Applicability

Section 5949(c) requires the prohibitions to take effect five years after enactment. Under Section 5949(a)(2), the statute’s Rule of Construction makes clear that the prohibitions will not be retroactively applied and will not require entities to remove or replace any covered semiconductor products or services that are “resident in equipment, systems, or services before the effective date [‘Existing Equipment’].” Moreover, entities can continue to use Existing Equipment throughout that equipment’s lifecycle even if it overlaps with the effective date of the prohibitions.[1]

Implementation of Section 5949

Section 5949(c) requires the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council (FAR Council) to “prescribe regulations implementing the [section’s] prohibitions” within three years of its enactment. Within two years of enactment, the Federal Acquisition Security Council will provide recommendations to the FAR Council on these regulations. Importantly, any regulation will require prime contractors to flow down the substance of implementing contract clauses to subcontractors and suppliers.

The FAR Council’s prescribed regulations will include similar certification provisions to those previously required by Section 889 of the FY 2019 NDAA regarding telecommunications and surveillance equipment from China (FAR 52.204-24, 52.204-26). Under Section 5949(h), contractors must certify to “the non-use of covered semiconductor products or services” contained in electronic parts or products. Moreover, contractors will have the affirmative responsibility to detect and avoid the use or inclusion of these covered products, and contractors will be responsible for “any rework or corrective action” required to “remedy the use or inclusion” of covered semiconductor products in electronic parts or products.

The prescribed regulations will impose additional requirements on “covered entities,” which are entities that “develop[] a design[] of a semiconductor that is the direct product of United States origin technology or software” and purchase covered semiconductor products or services from SMIC or that are produced by an entity designated by the Secretary of Defense or the Secretary of Commerce. These covered entities must disclose to their direct customers whether their electronic parts, products, or services include a covered semiconductor product or service. If a covered entity fails to disclose the inclusion of covered semiconductor products or services to its direct customers, the covered entity will be responsible “for any rework or corrective action” to remedy the use of any covered semiconductor product or service and any of these costs are not allowed to be recovered under the federal contract. This provision (in conjunction with Section 5949’s liability provisions discussed below) focuses responsibility on the point of noncompliance within the supply chain and provides protection to prime contractors or higher-tiered subcontractors regarding liability. Contractors at all levels also should consider adding an indemnification provision to, or revise an existing provision in, their agreements with subcontractors and suppliers to protect themselves from any noncompliance with these prohibitions.

The prescribed regulations also include a notification requirement. A contractor, subcontractor, or covered entity must notify federal authorities, within 60 days of “becom[ing] aware, or ha[ving] reason to suspect, that any end item, component, or part of a critical system purchased by the Federal Government, or purchased by a Federal contractor or subcontractor for delivery to the Federal Government for any critical system, contains covered semiconductor products or services.” Agencies, in turn, must report to Congress the purchase or delivery of covered semiconductor products or services within 120 days.[2]

Section 5949’s Liability Protections for Government Contractors

Under Section 5949(h)(5), contractors can “reasonably rely” on certificates of compliance from subcontractors and covered entities. Moreover, contractors have no obligation to conduct third-party audits to verify the accuracy of the certifications. However if the circumstances are such that the prime (or higher-level) contractor should have reasonably known about problems with the certification, a “see/hear/speak no evil” approach is unlikely to provide a robust shield.

If contractors and subcontractors provide the required notifications described above, Sections 5949(h)(6) and (h)(7) protect them from both civil liability and debarment—which could occur under FAR Part 9.4 if the agency’s suspending and debarring official finds that the contractor or subcontractor is not “presently responsible.” When a notification involves electronic parts or products manufactured or assembled by the contractor or subcontractor making the notification, section 5949(h)(7) further requires the contractor or subcontractor to make “a comprehensive and documentable effort to identify and remove covered semiconductor products or services from the Federal supply.”

Waiver Authorities Applicable to Section 5949’s Prohibitions

Section 5949 entrusts the authority to waive the restrictions set forth in Section 5949 to the Secretary of Defense, Director of National Intelligence, Secretary of Commerce, Secretary of Homeland Security, and Secretary of Energy in the event any one of those officials determines that the waiver is in the “critical national security interests of the United States.” Congress’s Joint Explanatory Statement explains that “critical national security interests” may include “protecting the Nation’s economic security and its technological competitiveness relative to strategic competitors.”

Section 5949 also provides the heads of executive agencies with a renewable, two-year waiver authority when both of these determinations are made:

  • First, in consultation with the Secretary of Commerce, the head of an agency must determine that “no compliant product or service is available . . . at United States market prices or a price that is not [] prohibitively expensive.”
  • And, second, the head of an agency must determine, in consultation with either the Secretary of Defense or Director of National Intelligence, that a waiver will not “compromise the critical national security interests of the United States.”

Requirements for Analysis, Assessment, and Developing Strategies

Section 5949(e) requires the executive branch to provide various reports to Congress on different timelines. These reports must analyze implementation of the prohibitions and the development of strategies related to domestic semiconductor production.

First, within 270 days of enactment, the Office of Management and Budget, in coordination with the Director of National Intelligence and the National Cyber Director, must provide a report on implementing the prohibitions and the effectiveness of the waiver authorities under Section 5949.

Second, within 180 days of enactment, the Secretary of Commerce, in coordination with the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Director of National Intelligence must (i) conduct analyses of the domestic design and production capacity of semiconductors (with “domestic” including allied or partner countries); (ii) conduct assessments on the risks presented by covered semiconductor products or services; and (iii) develop strategies to improve domestic semiconductor design and production capacity and to improve supply traceability to enforce the prohibitions described above. The Secretary of Commerce must then provide a report to the Federal Acquisition Security Council.

Third, within two years of enactment, the Secretary of Commerce, in coordination with the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary of Defense, the Director of National Intelligence, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and in consultation with industry, must establish a “microelectronics traceability and diversification initiative to coordinate analysis of and response to the Federal Government microelectronics supply chain vulnerabilities.”

TAKEWAYS:

  • The Section 5949 prohibitions make clear the vital importance the United States places on its national security and economic interests. These prohibitions are examples of DoD’s efforts to reduce China’s influence in the critical markets (and supply chains) while the Department of Commerce simultaneously attempts to expand domestic design and production capacity in crucial markets. (Commerce is doing so here by implementing the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) Fund.[3])
  • Although Section 5949 is being implemented during the next five years, prime contractors, subcontractors and their suppliers must begin thoroughly analyzing and identifying products sold to the Government that contain covered semiconductor products or services—particularly those products that are or may be used in “critical systems.”

1 Under the Rule of Construction set forth in Section 5949, the Federal Communications Commission is not required to “designate covered semiconductor products or services to its Covered Communications Equipment or Services List maintained under [] the Secured and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019.” This is a list of communications equipment and services that pose an unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States or the security and safety of United States persons. See https://www.fcc.gov/supplychain/coveredlist.

2 Section 5949(h)(5) is unclear concerning whether the federal agency must report to Congress within 120 days of the incident or within 120 days of receipt of a report from a contractor, subcontractor, or covered entity.

3 Mayer Brown’s September 2022 Legal Update explains in detail the CHIPS Fund and upcoming $38 billion federal award program to expand US semiconductor production and $11 billion dedicated to research and development (“R&D”) initiatives.

Healthcare Corner:

Webinar: Medical Device Cybersecurity from a VHA Perspective, January 25

Join a webinar with the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) on medical device cybersecurity hosted by AMSUS-SM and the Coalition for Government Procurement. The webinar will cover how to initiate the cybersecurity approval process, terminology and roles, and what contractors can expect during the VHA’s process. Our guest speakers will be Robert Steldt, Chair of the Medical Device Security Working Group and Healthcare Technology Manager, VISN 12 at the VA along with Megan Friel, Acting Director of the Office of Healthcare Technology Management.

Presenter: Robert Steldt, Healthcare Technology Manager, VISN 12 and Megan Friel, Acting Director, Office of Healthcare Technology Management

Moderator: Alan James, MBA, HCISPP, CC, Senior Government Account Manager, Stryker

Date: Wednesday, 25 January

Time: 12:00 – 1:00 pm EST

Virtual Platform: GoToWebinar

Target Audience: AMSUS-SM and Coalition Members

Fee: $0

Register Now!

A View From Main Street

By Ken Dodds, Live Oak Bank

The following blog does not necessarily represent the views of the Coalition for Government Procurement.

Swing and a Miss

Ostensibly What?
The benefits of set-aside contracts should primarily flow to small businesses, which is why there are rules like the limitations on subcontracting and the ostensible subcontractor rule. Compliance with the limitations on subcontracting is generally a question of contract administration unless there is evidence in an offer that an offeror will not comply. SBA’s ostensible subcontractor rule comes up in a size protest where an unsuccessful offeror alleges that the proposed awardee is unduly reliant on a subcontractor or that a subcontractor will perform the primary and vital portion of the contract. If that is the case, SBA will treat the proposed awardee and the subcontractor like a joint venture, and if the subcontractor is not a small business the deemed joint venture is not small and therefore not eligible for award.[1]

In a recent case, the procuring agency issued a solicitation for the application of herbicides as a small business set-aside. An unsuccessful offeror protested, alleging that the apparent successful offeror was affiliated with a subcontractor. In a formal size determination, the Area Office found that a large business would provide the application equipment, aircraft and much of the labor to apply the herbicide. At the Area Office and on appeal, the apparent successful offeror argued among other things that the entity applying the herbicide was not a subcontractor, but instead was a vendor or lessor of the equipment. OHA rejected this argument. A large business would be performing the primary and vital part of the contract, and therefore the firms were affiliated under the ostensible subcontractor rule and not eligible for award.[2]

Ostensibly When?

In government procurement size is generally determined at the time of initial offer including price.[3] This policy gives offerors and the government comfort in knowing that delays in the procurement process will not negatively impact the eligibility of offerors. Of course, there are exceptions. For example, for purposes of determining compliance with the nonmanufacturer, ostensible subcontractor and joint venture rules, the date of final proposal submission or bid is used.[4] In a recent size appeal, OHA remanded to the Area Office because the Area Office used the date of initial offer (June 9, 2021) not the date of final offer (November 1, 2021) to determine that the awardee was not affiliated under the ostensible subcontractor rule.[5]

No COC for You

Contracting officers must determine that a proposed awardee is responsible prior to award of a contract.[6] Responsibility essentially means the proposed awardee has the financial resources, capacity, skills, equipment, facilities, etc. to perform.[7] If an agency rejects or disqualifies a small business on responsibility grounds, the agency must refer the firm to SBA for a possible certificate of competency (COC).[8] If SBA issues a COC, the agency cannot deny the firm award on responsibility grounds.[9] In a recent bid protest, an agency issued an RFQ on an unrestricted basis to firms on a multiple award BPA awarded under the GSA Schedule. The protester claimed that it was eliminated from consideration on responsibility grounds and the agency should have referred it to SBA for possible COC. SBA’s rules provide that for an unrestricted procurement, a firm must be small at the time of application for the COC.[10] The protester was not currently small and was not small at the time of its offer for the BPA, but claimed it was small in 2011 when it submitted its offer for the underlying GSA Schedule contract. GAO denied the protest. The protester did not dispute that it would not have been small at the time of application for a COC had the agency referred the firm to SBA.[11] Interestingly, size in connection with a COC under a small business set-aside is generally determined at the time of initial offer including price, not at the time of application for a COC. Here, the BPA was also unrestricted and the GSA Schedule is considered full and open or unrestricted, so there was not a procurement where size in connection with a COC would have been determined at any time other than the time of application.

Do you have a topic you wish to be covered or a question on how Live Oak Bank can support your business? Email me at ken.dodds@liveoak.bank.

[1] 13 CFR 121.103(h)(2).

[2] High Desert Aviation, LLC, SBA No SIZ-6179 (November 23, 2022).

[3] 13 CFR 121.404(a).

[4] 13 CFR 121.404(d).

[5] Veterans Care Medical Equipment, LLC, SBA No. SIZ-6176 (October 25, 2022).

[6] FAR 9.103.

[7] FAR 9.104-1.

[8] FAR 9.105-2(a)(2).

[9] 13 CFR 125.5(m).

[10] 13 CFR 121.404(c).

[11] VSolvit, LLC, B-421048,B-421048.2, Dec. 06, 2022.

NASA OIG Releases Report on “Wasteful” Software Licenses and Fees

The National Air and Space Administration Office of Inspector General (NASA OIG) has released a report on the agency’s Software Asset Management. The report showed that current practices expose the agency to operational, financial, and cybersecurity risks due to its decentralized approach to management. The NASA OIG rated the agency’s software asset management at the lowest level available and noted that the agency is both years away from moving to a centralized model for Cybersecurity and Software Asset Management and has not implemented Federal guidance for Software Asset Management.

Per the report, NASA’s lack of a centralized Software Asset Management tool has resulted in $15 million spent over the last five years on unused licenses. The report found that internal policy suffers from a lack of centralization and inventory visibility which restricts the agency’s ability to identify redundancies in software. The agency’s structure also creates issues because the agency’s Software Asset Management Office and Software Manager do not report to the Chief Information Officer as required by Federal policy. A lack of controls on the purchase of software licenses has led to other financial risks for the agency, such as allowing users to bypass authorization to purchase software through purchase cards. Additionally, a lack of tracking for software licenses has led to more than $20 million in fines for license compliance issues. NASA has agreed to implement most recommendations by the end of 2023 and is in the process of piloting an enterprise-wide software asset management tool, with the rollout expected to be finished in 2027.

GSA Issues RFI on Availability of Carbon-Free Energy

On January 10, GSA issued a request for information (RFI) in preparation for purchasing carbon-free electricity (CFE) aligned with the requirements of Executive Order 14507, Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs Through Federal Sustainability. GSA is seeking information from industry on the availability of CFE in the retail choice electricity market, as well as ways that the Federal Government can “incentivize additional production and delivery of CFE.” Feedback from the RFI will be used to develop procurement strategies for future implementation. The Administration’s goal is to achieve 100 percent CFE on a net annual basis by 2030.

CISA to Hold Industry Discussion on New IT Vehicle

FCW reports that the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) will host a pre-solicitation conference regarding its new Digital Support Transformation Services (DSTS) contract before the end of January. An official meeting date has not yet been announced. Per the SAM.gov notice, the DSTS contract will be a multi-vendor BPA to “implement digital transformation technologies and support services” at CISA. The full DSTS pre-solicitation is only available to registered contractors on eBuy. Only vendors who already hold a GSA Schedule contract under the IT Professional Services, Highly Adaptive Cybersecurity Services, and Cloud and Cloud Related IT Professional Services categories will be eligible to compete for the contract. The final solicitation will be released in March.

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