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


April 22, 2020


April 22nd OSD A&S COVID Conference Call Notes:

  • DoD CIO representative joined for first time.
  • 28 completed actions; 9 ongoing and 5 working with goal to close.
  • Recent DPA Title 3 contract awards will address immediate COVID needs while returning to the US critical manufacturing for these items.
  • Industry: Please inform OSD what they should be focusing on and bring those problems to OSD now.
  • PPE and testing resources for DIB essential workforce remains an issue.
  • CIO rep has joined per industries ask regarding risks with teleworking, cyber, during the pandemic.
  • SecDef letter to workforce is nearing closure and publication hopefully this Friday.
  • Provision of PPE for workforce is still being worked; additional PPP funding should be available soon.
  • There is a Hill article stating banks collected $10B in PPP fees, which has created some interesting discussion this AM.

Small Business Webinar re Cyber Hygiene

  • This webinar was conducted earlier today.
  • Discussed ways to protect IT systems, lessons learned.
  • 200 participated; next week webinar will be on small business trusted capital.


  • Their portal has received over 3000 company proposals for COVID support.
  • They have vetted many that meet immediate demand signals.
  • They are avoiding brokers and instead focusing on proposals from known vendors.


  • MOCUS payment summaries going to DPC for review and consolidation.
    Progress payments are flowing now; progress payment uptick 13-17 April +331 payments at over $1.453B during that timeframe, which is double pre COVID, averaging just under 11 days to process.
  • Virtual inspections progressing and working with big primes that are now participating in the virtual QA process with new software to enable this approach and virtual QA inspections are working well not only for COVID but will be used post COVID for efficiencies purposes.


  • Great collaboration between DFAS, DCMA and DPC on tracking data re payments.
  • Getting better data and still working to get all the needed payment data.
  • Since COVID, processing time for payments is about 11-13 days, which is down from time it took to process payments pre COVID; most coming in at 11 days to pay; in March they averaged 15 or so days to pay as a comparison.
  • Only published guidance this week is specific to suspension and debarment—DPC granted a deviation to the FAR that allows electronic processing of these actions for both government and industry.
  • Sec 3610 effective date discrepancy discussions continue and OSD DPC has learned that DoD is not alone with respect to taking a position that the effective date is 31 January vice 27 March—so OMB is looking closer at the matter of the effective date of Sec 3610.


  • Their focus is to ensure the DoD is able to operate under this new pandemic work situation:
  • This prompted a discussion and ask of CIO to address in next meeting the impact with respect to the contractor community working for the DoD.
  • CIO agreed to address a more complete information sharing with the DIB.
  • OSD asked CIO to push out lessons learned during this pandemic and to share with the DIB.


  • Payment metrics—working on that data and should have some of that next week.
  • March 2020 payment data—paid 17,122 vendors, $2.4B, avg $143,000 per vendor, and will have more complete data beginning next week.


  • Discussion on Sec 3610 regarding what is allowed regarding reimbursement?
  • 40 hour week pay under Sec 3610 what about flex schedule?
  • Lord stated seeking funding for companies hit by pandemic in next tranche, any details?
  • I asked about published official closure data (primes, subs, not names of companies but numbers) and supply chain data.

NOTE: CARES Act 3.5—small businesses need to ensure that their paperwork is in with their bank or the three banks that OSD has negotiated with to ensure they can move quickly. They are soon to be passed and signed into effect supplement to the PPP will go very quickly. Associations noted that many companies have applications on file with their banks already in the que for additional PPP funds being appropriated but will pass the word as asked.

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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