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 24, 2020


April 24th OSD A&S COVID Conference Call Notes:

  • 15 government offices and 14 associations participated on this call today.
  • 40% of finger printing stations remain operational and working various work arounds to keep clearances working.
  • UK MOD is working impact data from their industries on the US supply chain with the DoD.
  • The SecDef letter to workforce is still with the Secretary pending his signature.
  • During staff meeting this morning with Hon Lord it was noted that Mexico continues to shut down some suppliers that DoD views as essential and she is working with our Ambassador to address these issues.


  • Trump signed into effect the new bill, which provides an additional $320B for PPP under the Cares Act.
  • is the OSD small business website to get the latest.
  • Because of our input on behalf of small businesses regarding the challenges in getting loans, OSD engaged with Treasury Department and members of Congress and found three banks that stand ready to help those that need it.
  • The next small business webinar event is planned for next week and is using a new platform to address issues from this week’s event.
  • OSD small business office formed a partnership with DAU who will be their partner on future webinar series.
  • April 29th at 3pm the office of small business and DAU will host a webinar “foreign investment tools for small businesses and how DoD can help.” Focus of this webinar is to address opportunistic or predatory foreign investors and how best to identify them and deal with them, as well as what DoD tools are available now for small businesses in need.
  • OSD will issue a small business survey to seek ideas for future webinar topics that our members want to see scheduled.

Service small business updates

  • Army: Acquisition Executive is closely tracking COVID impacts and has identified businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic and Army is working to resolve their issues.
  • Navy: conducted a webinar yesterday with small businesses to roll out long range Navy requirements for the next 18 months.
  • Air Force: Air Force, for COVID 19 urgent requirements, completed 200 awards to small businesses for 159 COVID requirements totaling over $20M.


  • CIO will provide their guidance for telework for us to pass to industry.
  • Topics covered by the guidance includes what additional services are being made available for collaboration, what to do with respect to an unauthorized digital platform, whether personal IT products can be added to a DoD provided laptop or desk top computer system, etc.—their guidance can be found at their website


  • Industry portal—they commented that for industry offers for COVID support, the numbers of offers reduced from 200 per day over the past two week down to 50 or less daily this week.
  • They continue to share data with FEMA but have not combined portals; about 78% of industry proposals for COVID support are by small businesses.


  • Continue expediting payments and seeing prime flow down of those payments.
  • 80% of workforce teleworking.
  • They are working with DFAS and DPC on payment process to reduce cycle times down from 11 days today on average to around 5 days on average as a goal.


  • Series of exchanges with DoD’s top 7 largest primes and discussed expediting payments to the supply base as well as the possibility for advance payment options for those in distress.
  • more Sec 3610 FAQs will be published later today.


  • Small business lead—pandemic has adversely impacted their ability to engage with new suppliers.
  • There is a monthly DLA small business webinar to express DLA requirements and thus attempt to reach new suppliers as well as address needs of existing suppliers to DLA.
  • May 13th at 2pm will be the next webinar event—details to be provided thru OSD.


  • I raised for OSD awareness that the Chamber is working now with USTR who is preparing to make a call to Mexico regarding supply chain challenges.

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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