Defense & Intel Spotlight
By Ryan McDermott | July 27, 2021
Join PSC In-Person at the 2021 Defense Services Conference
On August 17, PSC will host its annual Defense Services Conference from 12:30-4:30pm in-person at the Westin Arlington Gateway, Arlington, VA. PSC is also offering an option for participation virtually. The conference will shine a light on how the defense services sector and Department of Defense (DoD) are adapting to deliver next-generation solutions to meet challenges in a new threat environment. The agenda brings together senior executives across the DoD and industry to discuss current initiatives aimed at accelerating innovation and delivering capabilities to the future force. The conference planning committee, comprised of industry leaders across the PSC community, has finalized two panel topics and is working to confirm a number of speakers. Our confirmed closing keynote speaker is Lt. Gen. Sam C. Barrett, Director of Logistics, Joint Staff. Register here.
The first panel is titled “Collaboration to Deliver JADC2.” Overview: This panel will discuss implementation of the Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) framework. The panel will address: What does JADC2 mean from their respective organizational perspective? What does it need to be successful? And how industry can help make it reality?
The second panel is titled “Enabling Efficient Resource Allocation Decision Making for Readiness & Sustainment.” Overview: DoD leadership has the task of efficiently allocating resources (funding) across the enterprise business systems portfolio in order to optimize modernization and to support data driven decision making to improve readiness. This panel will discuss the investment trade-off decision making process and strategies to accelerate modernization outcome achievement.
Check the conference agenda page linked here to see the current list of confirmed speakers. A limited number of sponsorship opportunities are available. For information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Request for Information: Intellectual Property Evaluation and Valuation Methods and Techniques
On July 1, 2021, DoD published the aforementioned request for information (RFI) seeking information from the public (including, but not limited to, the private sector, academia, and other interested parties) related to Intellectual Property (IP) evaluation and valuation methods, techniques and best practices, and any recommendations for adaptation of any best practices in the DoD acquisition process. *The due date for submitting comments is August 2, 2021. Click here to access more information on this RFI. PSC is in the process of drafting comments for this RFI, and if you have any questions, issues, or wish to send in comments to be submitted in a PSC package, please send those inputs to email@example.com.
Updates from DoD-Industry Calls
PSC continues calls with DoD hosted by Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD) for Industrial Policy Jesse Salazar. DoD last hosted a call on July 21, 2021. Note that DoD-Association calls are now only held once a month. The next call will be Wednesday, August 18, 2021. Some of the recent DoD announcements from the prior month’s calls follow below:
1. DoD announced that the first implementation details to the “Made in America” executive order should be published sometime next week related to the rule-making process. DoD continues to work with the White House on priorities and policy initiatives regarding the various executive orders.
2. DoD updated the associations on recent NSA, CISA, and FBI joint advisories (click here for advisory 1 and for advisory 2) assessing China’s cyberspace behavior, i.e., exposing and identifying tactics, techniques, and patterns used by Chinese state-sponsored cyber actors. Also, the recent Microsoft infiltration has been attributed—with a high degree of confidence—to malicious cyber actors affiliated with the Chinese state.
• The following trends have been observed:
-Acquisition of Infrastructure and Capabilities.
-Exploitation of Public Vulnerabilities.
-Encrypted Multi-Hop Proxies.
• To mitigate these attacks, companies are urged to consider:
-Strong and Timely Patch Management.
-Enhanced Monitoring of Network Traffic, Email and Endpoint Systems.
-Protection Capabilities to Stop Malicious Activity.
3. On the July 21, 2021 call, PSC updated DoD and the associations that it received a response from the Department of State regarding the May 13th multi-association letter sent to both DoD and the Department of State regarding the Afghanistan withdrawal and its impacts to contractors, stating that PSC did receive a response from the Department of State, but the responses to PSC’s questions are specific to Department of State contracting only and not to DoD.
To receive updates on our calls, please subscribe to the D&I Council distribution list. You can manage your PSC engagement options here.
- July 27: PSC is hosting a Discussion with CISA Deputy Director Nitin Natarajan. Nitin Natarajan serves as the Deputy Director for the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) as of February 16, 2021. In this role, he supports the CISA Director overseeing the Cybersecurity Division, the Infrastructure Security Division, the National Risk Management Center, and the Emergency Communications Division. You can register here.
- August 6: PSC will hold its monthly Government Affairs Committee meeting virtually. There is no charge for this session. You can find more information and register here.
- August 12: PSC will convene its Contracting Working Group meeting virtually. There is no charge for this session. You can find more information and register here.
Mid-Tier Working Group Meeting (6/30/2021): Items on the agenda included Mid-Tier Market Squeeze, Output of Past PSC Forums, and Focus Areas & Next Steps.
Webinar: Make the Most of Your PSC Membership (6/29/2021): Hear from PSC's Membership Director, Matt Busby, about all the ways you can maximize your membership.
PSC Applauds House Armed Services Committee's Defense Critical Supply Chain Task Force Report
On July 23, PSC commended the House Armed Services Committee Defense Critical Supply Chain Task Force on the release of its report on supply chain security and the Defense Industrial Base (DIB). To provide industry perspective on possible Congressional actions to improve both supply chain risk management practices and the DIB’s resiliency and supply chain security, PSC participated in a March 18 roundtable discussion hosted by the task force. The report reflects four key areas raised at this briefing. Specifically, the report highlights the need for the Department of Defense to: 1) Develop and maintain a robust national security workforce, 2) Improve government and industry communication, 3) Prioritize obtaining and utilizing real time data, and 4) Address the supply chains through a whole of government strategy. Read the press release here.
PSC Calls for a Pause on CIO-SP4
On July 22, PSC called on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to urge the National Institutes of Health Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center (NITAAC) to: (1) pause the Governmentwide Acquisition Contract vehicle Chief Information Officer-Solutions and Partners 4 (CIO-SP4) Request for Proposals (RFP), as amended; (2) reassess its needs and its approach to this effort with the proper coverage for the business relationships and small business regulations; and (3) issue a final, clean amendment that allows for at least 30 days until proposals are due to ensure that interested offerors have sufficient, uninterrupted time to respond. Read the press release here.
PSC Rates Federal Agency Business Forecast Information
On July 13, PSC released the 2021 edition of its Federal Business Forecast Scorecard. For the third year in a row, the annual Scorecard examines publicly available procurement forecasts, which federal agencies use to provide valuable information to potential offerors on projected needs. The 2021 version assessed the forecasts of 69 federal agencies* and recognized select agencies for various improvements made to their forecasts following last year’s evaluation. PSC scored agencies against 15 key attributes that are necessary for an effective forecast. Among the most important of those attributes are identified action/award type, anticipated solicitation date, and set-aside status. Effective forecasts offer clear project and award descriptions, with clear dollar estimates and ample information for potential offerors to make informed decisions about proposal investments and costs. Read the press release here.
PSC Comments on OMB Equity RFI
On July 6, PSC urged the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to establish clear procurement and contracting goals and baseline measurements in submitted comments on OMB’s recent Request for Information (RFI) entitled “Methods and Leading Practices for Advancing Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through Government.” Read the press release here.