Keith Webster Keith Webster
President, Defense and Aerospace Council, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
President, Federal Acquisition Council, Cyber, Space and National Security Policy Division, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Vice President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


August 05, 2020


OSD A&S: DPA activities—two awards in coordination with HHS July 29th NTE $51M to Puritan Medical for swabs; July 30 $23.3M to Buxton Medical for pandemic rapid point of care infection detection. No call next week due to events in the Pentagon. Next meeting will be August 19th -- so mark schedules. Security clearance webinar was attended by over 600 small businesses and will most likely repeat that event later in the year and please let OSD know of any other key topics important to small business for a future webinar.

CMMC: OSD expert on line today. Currently in the middle on rule change DFARS process with hope to issue soon for public comment; completed several table top exercises; don’t want to hold up any contract awards but that could happen; hope to have some announcements next week; class of first 62 assessors to begin end of August—working background checks, etc. to be on course of their training; GSA puts this training in the stars contract; national cyber solarium and OSD have been working closely on legislative proposals and that’s going along well; one issue working thru to keep supply chains moving, that once the training is complete, a company can go to an auditor to conduct a level 1 assessment of your company; expect a substantial need for level one certification; 62 assessors in the first class; level one training is 40 hours of on line and builds up to three weeks to get to level 3 certification; question about has OSD identified those level 2 and 3 technologies to control—OSD stated yes and details will be forthcoming most likely October timeframe; this information is driven by the rule making and rule change; DIB TAC audits that were done are guides for training the auditors—if you as a company have been part of the DIB TAC effort that is a head start on level three certification—those are mostly the big primes who participated; don’t focus on hypersonics or nuclear but everything else is in play; working with internationals—leading the effort are the UK, Canada, Australia, Singapore and Israel.

DLA: Strategic National stockpile effort—fulfilled most requirements thru existing contracts; competed gowns as a new solicitation—the solicitations closed Monday—got significant response and conducting the evaluation now of those proposals—projected delivery is to be September thru January which seems a challenge for a number of proposals; FED Mall 260 active state and local customers, 7 small business customers, 17 suppliers, very small use to date of this new program indicating small businesses are getting their PPE needs met thru other means.

DCMA: DIB remains in single digit closures—5 closures due to COVID; 1 new closure due to layoffs—total of 28 closures non COVID related; of the 28 83% closed due to commercial aviation impact; progress payments taking about 17 days (10 days for DCMA and 7 days for DFAS)—151 payments at over $400M as of last week; 34 performance based payments at $170M as of last week.

DPC: CMMC—we are in the home stretch on adjudicating the interagency debate on the new rule—thus in final stages to publish soon; total DoD COVID activity to date—over 27,000 actions at over $13B in total value—comprising $5.3B FAR based contracts, $6.5B in OTAs (vaccine activity for Warp Speed). Sec 3610 guidance—wrapping up today OGC comments, clean up document tomorrow, goal to OMB by Friday, most likely late next week out of OMB and published towards end of next week. Folks are lined up to implement a change in UCA progress payment limits which would allow DoD to push more money out late summer.


Question concerning DLA working Capital Fund, assessment of demand with canceled/pulled back purchase request to assess inventory to determine appropriate stock levels has sent a chill thru the suppliers over fears of a significant drop in DLA purchases in the near term. DLA responded that they are aware of the seriousness of the demand issue and will continue to engage industry to keep them informed.

Chamber got a big OSD shout out for the work on Section 889—they are very appreciative of the work.

Discussion regarding concerns on liability matters and need to pass some level of legislative protection. Ask was for an OSD position. OSD is unable to due so but aware of the debate.

Note: conversation with Senator Inhofe whereby he predicts no NDAA until after the election.

About the authors

Keith Webster

Keith Webster

Keith Webster, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Defense and Aerospace Council, guides the focus of the council to strengthen the U.S. defense and aerospace industries by influencing domestic and international policy on behalf of its members.

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