Friday Flash 04.30.21

Spring Conference 2021: Highlighting the Biden Administration’s Priorities

As April comes to an end, the Spring Training Conference draws closer, with only a few weeks left before the opening date. The Coalition is excited to bring our members this two-day virtual experience on May 19-20 that includes a diverse assembly of speakers from multiple agencies, such as the General Services Administration (GSA), the Department of Defense (DoD), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). We would like to thank and recognize our current sponsors for this event, including Title Sponsors: AvKARE and First Nation Group; Gold Sponsors: CACISheppardMullin, and The Gormley Group; and Silver Sponsor: Concordance Healthcare Solutions.

We are thrilled to confirm that the event will commence with a keynote address delivered by Michael Parrish, the VA’s Chief Acquisition Officer and Principal Executive Director of the Office of Acquisition, Logistics, and Construction. The conference is titled The Biden Administration’s Priorities and the Role of Acquisition, and we have formed an agenda of panels that will discuss the impact that these priorities have on agency operations as well as Government contractors.  A few of these sessions are highlighted below:

COVID Logistics and Acquisition. This panel will address the Federal Government’s COVID-19 response and how agencies have worked to deliver care to the American people during the pandemic, and at the same time, continue critical agency missions like national security. The panel features Brigadier General David Sanford, Commander of the Defense Supply Center Richmond and Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, who serves as the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s COVID-19 Supply Chain Task Force. Also joining the panel is Joe Hamel, HHS’ Strategic Innovation and Emerging Technology Manager. Soraya Correa, Chief Procurement Officer at the Department of Homeland Security, has been invited to participate.

Sustainable Procurement. The Sustainable Procurement panel, moderated by George Washington University Law Professor Steve Schooner, includes environmental leaders from across the Government who will address the Biden Administration’s approach to sustainability as a top priority, as well as how agencies are supporting these efforts. Speakers include Holly Elwood, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Senior Advisor for the Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program and Porter Glock, Procurement Analyst for the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Federal Procurement Policy.

Buy American and Domestic Sourcing. Comprised of speakers from both Government and industry, this panel will cover domestic sourcing topics, including the factors needed to develop a secure and resilient supply chain, lessons learned from recent supply chain vulnerabilities, and the reshoring approach. We have confirmed that Kim Herrington, DoD’s Principal Director/Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Policy, Scott Calisti, Defense Price and Contracting’s Director of Contract Policy, and Jean Heilman Grier, Principal and Manager of Trade Practice at Djaghe LLC, will be participating. Dr. Gary Disbow, the Department of Human and Health Services’ (HHS) Director for Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, has also been invited to join the panel. The discussion will be moderated by Moshe Schwartz, President of Etherton and Associates.

Small Business Opportunities. Another important session that we will be holding in the afternoon of May 19 is a discussion of small business opportunities under the Biden Administration. Representatives from GSA’s and the VA’s Offices of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, as well as the Small Business Administration’s Office of Government Contracting & Business Development, have been invited to share insights and updates from their respective agencies on programs assisting small businesses. Coalition Small Business Committee Chairs Ken Dodds, Government Contracting Industry Expert at Live Oak Bank, and David Black, Partner at Holland & Knight will serve as the moderators.

Numerous other must-attend panels are on the agenda, as well, covering critical issue areas, like:

  • Cyber and the supply chain,
  • Priorities from the Federal Acquisition Service,
  • The VA and DLA Partnership,
  • GSA systems and the Multiple Award Schedule,
  • IT modernization, the “VA Modernization Initiative,”
  • Oversight from the VA’s Inspector General and the Government Accountability Office, and
  • Insights from the Senate.

All sessions will provide valuable information to those who attend.

We encourage members to please review the full agenda here. The registration page for the 2021 Spring Training Conference can be found here. For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Matt Cahill at mattcahill@thecgp.org. We look forward to the conference, and hope that you will join us in May.

White House Names First “Made in America” Director

On April 27, President Biden announced that Celeste Drake will serve as the first Director of the new Made in America Office. The office was established in the “Made in America by All of America” Executive Order (EO) issued on January 25, 2021. The Made in America Office within the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will ensure that agencies buy more products made in the United States in accordance with existing Buy American and Buy America statutes. The Made in America Office will review and approve agency waivers to domestic preference laws and will share any waivers with the General Services Administration (GSA) to post on a publicly available website.

Before this new role, Ms. Drake served as the Executive in Charge of Government Affairs for the Directors Guild of America, and as a Trade and Globalization Policy Specialist for the AFL-CIO. 

 

Executive Order for $15/Hour Contractor Minimum Wage  

President Biden issued an Executive Order (EO) which raises the minimum wage for Government contractors from $10.95/hour to $15/hour. The EO will apply to all workers working on or in connection with a Federal contract. Agencies must incorporate the raised minimum wage into new contract solicitations by January 30, 2022, and in all new contracts by March 30, 2022. The increased wage will also be incorporated into all contracts that have an option exercised. The minimum wage will be updated annually and indexed to inflation. 

The EO requires agencies to phase out the minimum wage for tipped workers on Government contracts by 2024. Currently, the minimum wage for tipped workers is $7.65/hour.  

 

Biden Administration Announces More DoD Nominees

The White House announced key nominees for the Department of Defense (DoD). Frank Kendall is nominated for the Secretary of the Air Force. From 2012 to 2017, Kendall served as the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, and as Principal Deputy Under Secretary from 2010-2012. Currently, Mr. Kendall is an independent consultant, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, a Senior Advisor to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Kendall has over 45 years of experience in engineering, management, defense acquisition, and national security affairs.  

The Biden Administration has also nominated Gina Ortiz Jones for Under Secretary of the Air Force. Jones served as an Air Force Intelligence Officer. After serving in the Air Force, Jones counseled on military operations in Central and South America with the 470th Military Intelligence Brigade and U.S. Army South. Ms. Jones served as the Democratic nominee for Texas’s 23rd Congressional District in 2018 and 2020. She was also an inaugural member of the U.S. Africa Command.  

The third nominee announced by the Biden Administration is Heidi Shyu as Under Secretary for Research and Engineering. From September 2012 to January 2016, Shyu served as the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology. Currently, Ms. Shyu is CEO of Heidi Shyu, Inc., consultant for over a dozen companies, member of the Board of Trustees for Aerospace Corporation, and the Chairman of the Board of Plasan North America. 

 

GSA Releases TDR Pilot Results 

The General Services Administration (GSA) published a blog announcing the results of the Transactional Data Reporting (TDR) Pilot for FY20. The TDR pilot replaced the price reductions clause (PRC) and commercial sales practice (CSP) format in some GSA Schedule contracts. GSA found that contract level pricing was lower under TDR contracts, and that small businesses under TDR experienced better growth.  

GSA determined that the pilot has demonstrated the value of TDR and will consider using TDR instead of the PRC and CSP in contract negotiations. GSA will consider the impact of expanded data collection on industry.  

 

DoD Not Properly Following Regulations for Awarding OTs to Consortiums 

On April 21, the Department of Defense (DoD) Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report on other transactions (OTs) awarded through consortiums. DoD has the authority to enter into transactions other than procurement contracts, grants, or cooperative agreements for basic, applied, or advanced research, under the United States Code (U.S.C) Title 10 Section 2371b. This regulation allows DoD to award OTs through a consortium, where DoD typically awards a base agreement to a Consortium Management Organization (CMO). After the base agreement, the CMOs select a member to complete the project. Each OT typically includes the CMO management fee, and the Government pays the CMO based on an agreed-upon percentage of the total project amount. 

The DoD OIG reviewed 13 OTs, valued at $24.6 billion, which were awarded to CMOs and found that DoD did not properly track OTs awarded through consortiums. In addition, DoD could not provide an accurate number of OTs or the corresponding dollar value. DoD consistently did not award OTs according to applicable laws and regulations, nor have a baseline for negotiating the CMO fees associated with managing a consortium. The OIG found that DoD lacked guidance and training, which led to these issues. Since OTs awarded to CMOs are not granted to companies directly, DoD does not have access to certain information, such as the contractor who received the OT award and the specific costs associated with funding the project. DoD could not verify the security of controlled or restricted information because DoD relies on the CMO to vet the awardee. As a result of the OIG’s review, it made the following recommendations: 

  • Develop policies outlining how DoD should award and track OT projects when using a consortium, and whether contracting personnel should award projects using delivery orders, modifications, or some other method, when awarding projects to a consortium; 
  • Coordinate with the General Services Administration to update the Federal Procurement Data System‑Next Generation database to more accurately capture data related to other transactions awarded through consortiums; 
  • Reinforce guidelines or implement additional best practices to ensure OT’s awarded through consortiums use competition to the maximum extent practicable as required; 
  • Implement additional guidance or best practices that ensure contracting personnel maintain documentation for major decisions made to support the award of an OT agreement; 
  • Clarify its policy for determining the approval level required for project awards when using consortiums and ensure the guidance is uniformly applied and implemented by contracting personnel; 
  • Assess and determine whether it will require the inclusion of basic protest language in OT solicitations and establish processes or best practices to address those protests of other transaction agreements; 
  • Establish DoD‑wide training specific to awarding OT’s through consortiums that ensures Agreements Officers receive training to demonstrate expertise in executing, managing, and administering complex acquisition instruments, and can function in a less structured environment where prudent judgment is essential; 
  • Implement DoD‑level guidance establishing a standard Agreements Officer delegation and warrant process; 
  • Implement guidelines or best practices for contracting personnel to consider when negotiating CMO fees to ensure the DoD receives the best value; 
  • Establish requirements to vet consortium members to identify which members meet applicable security requirements for future opportunities; 
  • Establish controls to ensure that the CMO only disseminates controlled and restricted information to consortium members with proper security clearance; 
  • Provide guidance requiring that contracting personnel check the System for Award Management (SAM) prior to the award of an OT through a consortium, to determine and document if a contractor is registered in SAM and is not on the excluded parties list. For those contractors not registered in SAM, provide additional review requirements that must be performed and documented prior to award to ensure they are able to do business with the Government; and 
  • Develop procedures to require security reviews of solicitation and supplementary information, including the aggregate of all information being provided in the solicitations to ensure potential sensitive information is not revealed by the compilation of information. 

 

FCC Publishes List of Telecom Companies that Pose Threat to National Security 

Federal News Network reported that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is applying more scrutiny to IT vendors that have been linked to the Chinese government and pose a national security risk. Last month, the FCC published a list of communications equipment and services that posed an “unacceptable risk” to national security, and is exploring additional consequences for the listed companies. The companies are: Huawei Technologies Company, ZTE Corporation, Hytera Communications Corporation, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company, and Dahua Technology Company. The list, as well as updated versions, will be published on www.fcc.gov/supplychain/coveredlist. The FCC is working with other agencies to maintain the list and ensure that the private sector has access to the most up-to-date information on security.  

The FCC has reestablished its Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council, and has updated how the agency reviews matters pertaining to national security. The FCC has also founded a National Security Policy Council that works closely with the Cybersecurity Information Security Agency (CISA), the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and the White House’s Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Technology.  

In addition, CISA and the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) released a new tool, known as Defending Against Software Supply Chain Attacks, that helps vendors identify and mitigate risks associated with software supply chains. The tool provides an overview of software supply chain risks and recommendations. It also provides guidance on using NIST’s Cyber Supply Chain Risk Management (C-SCRM) framework and the Secure Software Development Framework (SSDF) to assess risks. 

 

New Design for beta.SAM.gov 

The General Services Administration (GSA) announced the rollout of a new streamlined design for beta.SAM.gov. GSA also published resources for users including “before and after” videos. The new design is the first step in the integration and merger of beta.SAM and SAM.gov, which will occur on May 24, 2021 after users have had the opportunity to adjust to the new design. After the merger, SAM.gov will drop the ‘beta,’ and GSA will continue to focus on incorporating feedback from users to improve the system.  

 

New Senate Bill Would Require CISA to Assess Cyber Risks 

Federal Computer Week reported that a new Senate bill, known as the National Risk Management Act, would mandate the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to outline key risks every five years across a number of sectors, such as chemical, communications, energy, and defense. Since the pandemic started, ransomware has become a growing threat, with multiple cybersecurity firms reporting an increase in volume and complexity of attacks. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reported an uptick as well, and the department launched a series called “60-day sprints” in which combating ransomware will be a priority. The Department of Justice (DoJ) also established a task force dedicated to fighting ransomware. Within one year of CISA’s report on key risks, the White House would need to produce a national critical infrastructure resilience strategy that would address these risks.  

The SolarWinds cyber-attack caused an increase in attention to infrastructure risks for legislators. DHS and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) issued a new advisory that describes countertactics for attacks by the Russian foreign intelligence service, known as SVR. The White House formally attributed the SolarWinds attack to SVR on April 15. 

 

Legal Corner: ICTS Investigations: The Commerce Department’s New Tool

Authors: Ronald A. Oleynik, Andrew K. McAllister,  Dariya V. Golubkova, and  Sulan He; Holland & Knight

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. 

Back in May 2019, the Trump Administration issued Executive Order 13873, which was meant to police the use of certain information and communications technology and services (ICTS) purchased from “foreign adversaries.” Then, on the day before the Trump Administration left office in January 2021, the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) issued interim regulations intended to secure ICTS supply chains (ICTS Interim Rule).

There was much speculation as to whether the Biden Administration would utilize this new tool or if it would simply be pushed aside as another turn away from Trump-era policies. However, with no adjustments by the Biden Administration, the ICTS Interim Rule went into effect on March 22, 2021.1 In fact, the Biden Administration embraced the concept even before the new regulations took effect. On March 17, 2021, Commerce issued subpoenas to multiple Chinese companies seeking information about their ICTS operations in the United States.

ICTS Rule Overview

Under the ICTS Interim Rule, Commerce can prohibit or otherwise restrict, on a case-by-case basis, certain acquisition and use transactions (including individual commercial sales) that 1) were initiated, pending or completed on or after Jan. 19, 2021; 2) involve ICTS and 3) were “designed, developed, manufactured, or supplied” by a person under the control of, owned by or subject to the jurisdiction of a “foreign adversary.” At present, named “foreign adversaries” include China (including Hong Kong), Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia and Venezuela. The list, however, is not static and may be reviewed and revised at the discretion of the U.S. Secretary of Commerce (Secretary).

Changes from Proposed Rule and Continuing Barriers

Unlike the proposed rule, the procedural flaws of which were addressed in a previous Holland & Knight alert (see “Proposed ICTS Supply Chain Review Regime Raises Procedural Concerns,” Dec. 26, 2019), the ICTS Interim Rule has a more defined and limited scope — applying to transactions with six specific, named “foreign adversaries” that involve an ICTS hardware, software or technology product from one of six sectors. Importantly, the ICTS Interim Rule also:

  • develops review protocols
  • defines key terms (e.g., “undue or unacceptable” risk)
  • develops a mechanism for parties to request a meeting with Commerce officials following an initial determination (which the Secretary of Commerce can decline, at his or her discretion)
  • confirms that the Secretary can consider mitigating factors when evaluating a ICTS Transaction risk, and
  • sets a clock on Commerce’s review, generally requiring the final determination be issued within 180 days of the review’s commencement2

In some respects, however, the ICTS Interim Rule retains the overly inclusive nature of the proposed rule. By way of example, the Secretary continues to be able to scrutinize U.S. persons’ acquisition or use of ICTS, such as cloud and network management or data storage, in all industries.

Transactions Subject to Review

An “ICTS Transaction” covers acquisitions, transfers, installations, import and dealings in or use of ICTS that occurred on or after Jan. 19, 2021, as well as ongoing activities such as transmissions, software updates, platforming or data hosting for consumer downloads, and managed services. Therefore, even if the underlying contract was entered into before Jan. 19, 2021, installation of subsequent software updates may be reviewable as a new, separate ICTS transaction.3

To trigger the review process, the ICTS transaction must meet certain criteria. First, the ICTS must fall into one of the following six product and technology categories.

  1. Critical Infrastructure: ICTS transactions in one of the 16 critical infrastructure sectors identified in and any subsectors or subsequently designated sectors, which includes, but is not limited to information technology and communications sectors and has overlap with, but is not a direct replica of covered investment critical infrastructure sectors identified by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)
  2. Network Infrastructure: ICTS that is integral to software, hardware, or any other product or service integral to wireless local area networks, mobile networks, satellite payloads, satellite operations and control, cable access points, wireline access points, core networking systems, or long- and short-haul systems
  3. Data Hosting or Computing of Sensitive Personal Data: ICTS that is integral to data hosting or computing services that engage with sensitive personal data4 on greater than 1 million U.S. persons at any point in the 12 months prior to an ICTS transaction (readers familiar with the CFIUS review process will note that the ICTS Interim Rule’s definition of personal data generally tracks that offered by CFIUS)
  4. Popular Surveillance and Monitoring Devices, Home Networking Devices: If 1 million units of such item at issue have been sold to U.S. persons at any point in the 12 months prior to an ICTS transaction
  5. Popular Communications Software: Software designed primarily for connecting with and communicating via the internet that is in use by greater than 1 million U.S. persons at any point in the 12 months prior to an ICTS transaction, including desktop, mobile, web-based and gaming applications, or
  6. Emerging Technology: ICTS that is integral to artificial intelligence and machine learning, quantum key distribution, quantum computing, drones, autonomous systems or advanced robotics

Second, the ICTS product must be sourced (i.e., supplied, developed, manufactured or designed), by a person controlled by, owned or subject to the direction or jurisdiction of a named “foreign adversary” — at present, China (including Hong Kong), Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia or Venezuela. To put into context, to determine whether a non-Chinese entity is controlled by China, the Secretary may considers factors such as whether the non-Chinese entity or its suppliers conduct key operations (e.g., research and development, manufacturing, testing and distribution) in China, or have key personnel, employees, consultants or contractors in China.

Transactions Not Covered by ICTS Interim Rule

Only two transaction types are not covered by the ICTS Interim Rule:

  1. acquisition transactions involving ICTS items authorized under a U.S. government-industrial security program
  2. transactions reviewed or being reviewed by CFIUS

Proceed with caution, however, as Commerce retains the authority to review an ICTS transaction if it is separate from, and subsequent to, a transaction that CFIUS reviewed. Therefore, CFIUS review related to a particular ICTS, by itself, does not constitute a safe harbor for future transactions involving the same ICTS.

Further, although Commerce has not explicitly excluded them, it has indicated that transactions involving ICTS hardware devices such as handsets will not be of particular interest to the agency.

Mechanics of Commerce’s Review and Penalties

Commerce can initiate a review unilaterally (i.e., at the Secretary’s discretion), or at the referral of an appropriate agency head or a private party (e.g., industry competitor). Commerce’s review will generally last 180 days, from day of acceptance to final determination, and will begin with Commerce evaluating a non-exhaustive list of 10 criteria to answer one threshold question: Is the ICTS transaction likely to pose an “undue or unacceptable risk” to U.S. national security?

  • If it likely does not, Commerce will terminate the review without prejudice, meaning the agency can revisit the transaction should additional information come to light.
  • If it likely does, Commerce, in interagency consultation with other appropriate agencies (including, but not limited to, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Department of State), will determine whether the ICTS transaction actually poses an undue or unacceptable risk, looking at the same 10 non-exhaustive criteria, and serve its initial determination.5 Interestingly, Commerce has a choice in how it serves the parties — either through publication in the Federal Register or via more traditional routes such as U.S. registered mail, electronic mail, etc.

Commerce’s initial determination will 1) explain the agency’s basis for prohibiting the transaction or imposing mitigating measures thereon and 2) allow parties 30 days to comment. If the parties respond, Commerce must commence another interagency consultation round to consider any new evidence or argument. If the parties fail to respond, Commerce can proceed without further interagency consultation. Commerce will then publish its final determination, either permitting, prohibiting or imposing mitigating measures on the transaction, in the Federal Register. No further administrative appeals process is available, and violations of Commerce’s final determinations or imposed mitigation measures can result in severe criminal and civil liabilities (up to $307,922 or twice the value of a transaction per violation).

Conclusion and Next Steps

Given bipartisan support for decreasing dependence on China in critical supply chains and the Secretary’s own statements that ICTS sourced from China warrant increased scrutiny, it is anticipated that a healthy number of Commerce’s reviews will have a China nexus.6 For advice on how the ICTS Interim Rule may impact your operations or for assistance in commenting on the preclearance and licensing procedures by April 28, 2021, please reach out to the experienced attorneys in Holland & Knight’s International Trade Group.


Notes

1 Securing the Information and Communications Technology and Services Supply Chain, 86 Fed. Reg. 4913 (U.S. Department of Commerce, Jan. 19, 2021).

2 However, the Secretary may unilaterally extend that deadline if he or she determines additional time is necessary.

3 Commerce explains that any subsequent act or service with respect to an ICTS transaction, such as installation of software updates is an ICTS transaction on the date that the service or update is provided.

4 Sensitive personal data includes personally identifiable information collected by a U.S. business operating in a specific area and results of individual genetic testing.

5 However, the Secretary may unilaterally extend that deadline if he or she determines additional time is necessary.

6 Press Release, U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo Statement on Actions Taken Under ICTS Supply Chain Executive Order(March 17, 2021).

DHS OIG Faces Longstanding Management and Operational Issues 

On April 21, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report which examines the management and operational issues of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG). GAO found areas that contribute to the management and operational challenges, such as strategic planning, quality assurance, and timeliness. The OIG did not have a strategic plan for fiscal years 2015-2017, and 2020. There was a strategic plan for fiscal years 2018-2019, but it did not discuss strategies to obtain its goals and objectives. The OIG is working with a nonprofit to develop a strategic plan for fiscal years 2021-2025 and is expected to have the plan by June 2021. In the past four fiscal years, project time frames from the OIG Offices of Audits and Special Reviews and Evaluations have increased. GAO has not released any recommendations. 

 

DoD Using Direct Hire Authorities for Cyber Workforce 

The Department of Defense (DoD) is increasingly using direct hire authorities to fill cyber positions, reported Federal News Network. So far in fiscal year 2021, 32 percent of new hires for cyber positions were made using the direct hire process. Congress passed additional direct hire authorities in the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which created an exemption to traditional hiring rules that allow DoD to hire for any cyber workforce position. This exemption is to support DoD in establishing a new personnel system for its cyber workforce, the Cyber Expected Service (CES).  

The authority from the 2020 NDAA will expire in 2025. There have been ten DoD organizations that have transitioned their cyber workforces to CES since its authorization in 2016. The CES makes up a small share of DoD’s total cyber workforce. The current DoD cyber workforce is mixed about half and half with civilian and military members. DoD plans on using the CES to fill cyber position vacancies if they reach a certain threshold. 

 

OPM Releases Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey  

Federal Computer Week reported that the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) released its Governmentwide results from its annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) on April 26. The survey provides insights on Government employee engagement and satisfaction, as well as the shift to telework during the pandemic. The survey added new sections on the pandemic and streamlined recurring sections. 624,000 Federal employees from 82 agencies participated in the survey. Overall employee satisfaction went up four points to 69 percent. The overall employee engagement index climbed to 72 percent from 68 percent in 2019. 

During the pandemic, 59 percent of respondents said that they were mostly working from somewhere other than their agency worksite, as compared to 3 percent before the pandemic. Telework was generally tied to higher employee satisfaction and higher engagement. However, 23 percent of respondents said that the pandemic was either extremely or very disruptive to their ability to do work, and 48 percent said that their demands increased due to the pandemic. More employees said that issues of poor performance were being addressed in their agencies than in years past. 

 

2021 Spring Industry Day: Working with Small Business to Meet Category Management Priorities 

On May 4, the Office of Management Budget (OMB) and the Governmentwide Category Management Program Management Office are hosting a Spring 2021 Industry Day: Working with Small Business to Meet Category Management Priorities. The panel discussion will address small business utilization and increasing the presence of small business in Federal procurement. The discussion will be followed by a demonstration of their small business dashboard. The registration link can be found here. Questions can be submitted to the panel in advance here. Here is the agenda: 

  • Introduction – Meredith Romley, Government-wide Category Management leadership  
  • Office of Management and Budget (OMB) update  
    • Lesley Field, Deputy Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy at U.S. Office of Management and Budget 
    • Mathew Blum, Associate Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy at U.S. Office of Management 
  • Small Business Panel – Moderated by Zachary Lerner  
    • Dwight Deneal, Director, Office of Small Business Programs (Defense Logistics Agency) 
    • Michael Hogan, Chief, Sourcing & Transformation at SAF/AQC (United States Air Force) 
    • Bounce C. Quarry, Supplier Relationship Management Specialist (Professional Services Category) 
  • Dashboard Demo – Small Business Dashboard Overview on the small business dashboard and its capabilities; future roadmap for using these tools to promote administration priorities such as minority owned and buy American 
  • Closing remarks – Brian Isbrandt, Government-wide Category Management leadership 
    • Upcoming events 
    • How to get in touch 

 

AFCEA Bethesda’s 2021 Monthly Breakfast Webinar 

The Coalition is proud to sponsor AFCEA Bethesda’s 2021 Monthly Breakfast Webinar Series. Join AFCEA Bethesda on Tuesday, May 18 at 8 AM EDT for the Innovative Uses of Federal Data webinar! Government IT leaders will share how their agencies have utilized data in creative ways to improve operations, better serve citizens, and achieve mission goals. Speakers will also discuss challenges and successes faced in harnessing the power of data while maintaining high standards of governance, quality, and security. Coalition members who are interested in attending can register here.