Acquisition and Business Policy Council Spotlight - April
April 11, 2023

Hoping that everyone has enjoyed valued time with friends and family over the spring season! To the members who participated in PSC's Annual Conference this month at the Greenbrier Resort in Wild and Wonderful West Virginia, we enjoyed hosting you and take great value from your engagement.

Our panels during the conference and the resulting conversations ranged from Federal Acquisitions in a Post-Pandemic World to Building Workforce Capacity, Engagement and Resilience, and more. We also appreciated the time spent discussing issues individually important to each of you and how PSC and its Acquisition and Business Policy Council (ABPC) can assist in advocating for better business opportunities with the federal government and your organization. 

Many members mentioned they seek to plug in more to the resources we provide here at PSC in support of your organizations. Within the ABPC, I encourage you to sign up for our Contracting Working Group, which engages with the Federal government on regulatory actions, contract vehicle development, and additional government-wide acquisition and business policy. If you would like to join the group, please contact me. A summary of our most recent discussions follows below and includes many of the topics frequently discussed by our membership. 

Looking forward to your continued participation.

Sebastian Herrick
Senior Associate for Public Policy


Engage with PSC

Organizational Conflicts of Interest: Upcoming FAR Case

Passage on May 25, 2022, of Public Law 117-324 - Preventing Organizational Conflicts of Interest in Federal Acquisition Act, requires that the Federal government prevent organizational conflicts of interest by further defining each of the three current definitions of OCI in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) which are:

  • unequal access to information,
  • impaired objectivity,
  • and biased ground rules.

A FAR Case, Number 2023-006, was opened as a result of this legislation, and we expect a proposed rule. PSC is seeking any input your organization may have on these definitions of organizational conflicts of interest and how any rulemaking on the matter may affect your business. Please contact me with any questions or comments you would like to provide.

DoD Contract Finance Study - Feedback for Continued Discussion 

On April 10, the Department of Defense released a Contract Finance Study. The study was intended to provide a comprehensive assessment of contract financing and profit policies in the defense industry. In aggregate, the report found:

  1. the defense industry is financially healthy, and its financial health has improved over time,
  2. defense subcontractors and suppliers generally do not receive the favorable cash flow benefits to the same extent enjoyed by defense prime contractors,
  3. small businesses are particularly vulnerable when it comes to having cash on hand to cover operating expenses.

PSC found the study to be narrowly focused, where PSC would have emphasized other areas of scope such as those recommended within our comments to the Department of Defense’s Request for Information. PSC is considering follow-on discussions with DoD about this contract finance report. If you have additional questions or feedback on the report, please contact our Executive Vice President for Policy Stephanie Kostro.

PSC Updates

GSA - Alliant 3 Listening Session

On March 22, PSC participated in a listening session with the General Services Administration's (GSA) Information Technology Category team regarding the upcoming solicitation of its Alliant 3 Governmentwide Acquisition Contract request for proposal. During the listening session, PSC encouraged GSA to remove its Organizational Risk Assessment (teaming) criterion and to replace this section with a qualifier that confirms capability in the management of subcontractors. PSC also recommended that GSA remove greenhouse gas sustainability requirements from the master contract level competition so that the government may assess sustainability at the task-order level, which would be more in line and appropriate with current rulemaking processes. This conversation generally represented PSC's comments on the Alliant 3 draft RFP.  

FTC - PSC Comments on Proposed Non-Compete Clause Ban

On March 20, 2023, PSC submitted comments on the FTC's proposed rule to ban non-compete clauses. PSC’s focus areas were: (1) general satisfaction with state approaches to non-competes; (2) potential impacts on IP and other sensitive business information; (3) outsized impacts on small businesses; and (4) treatment of key personnel in federal solicitations. You can read PSC's comments here.

DPC Memo - Termination of COVID-19 National Emergency

On April 10, President Biden signed a House Joint Resolution terminating the national emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Following this Joint Resolution, the DoD Office of Defense Pricing and Contracing issued a memo on April 17, 2023 addressing several planned contracting updates - two of which PSC wishes to highlight for its members:

  • Effective (April 19, 2023), DPC rescinded Class Deviation 2020-O0012, "Undefinitized Contract Actions During the National Emergency for the Coronavirus Disease 2019," and its Revision 1. Contracting officers are to follow policies and procedures found at DFARS 217.74 for undefinitized contract actions.  
  • DPC's April 17, 2023 memo, linked here, identifies that Class Deviation 2020-O0010 "Progress Payment Rates, Revision 1," dated April 16, 2020 "will be superseded and revised to return to a customary progress payment rate of 80% for large businesses. The effective date and details of the planned prospective change for new contracts are forthcoming. The Department anticipates Revision 2 will retain the 95% progress payment rate for small businesses."

Please contact PSC's Vice President for Defense and Intelligence, Lauren Ayers, for additional information.

Upcoming PSC Meetings and Events

Government Affairs Committee

The Government Affairs Committee (GAC) meets the first Friday of every month and is often referred to as “the best information exchange in town.” Each meeting features a special government guest discussing, on a non-attribution basis, one or more critical legislative, regulatory, or other policy issues. The second half of each meeting is the information exchange, where up-to-date information and materials on relevant issues and recent policy developments are disseminated and discussed.
May 5 | 12 P.M. EST | Virtual | Register

Contracting Working Group

The Contracting Working Group within PSC’s Acquisition and Business Policy Council (ABPC) was formed to look for opportunities to improve the federal procurement system that would benefit both government and industry. Commonsense policies and consistently applied procedures for how and when the government acquires services can greatly enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the federal acquisition system. In many areas, improvements to government business and buying policy—whether through statute, regulations, or agency guidance—will lead to positive outcomes that far exceed the magnitude of the changes themselves.
May 17 | 2 P.M. EST| Virtual | Register