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


May 11, 2020


May 11th OSD ACOVID Conference Call Notes: Over 62,000 DoD personnel supporting COVID response> 46,400 members of the national guard supporting State’s response to COVID. DoD focus remains on testing and screening and warehousing. Last Friday’s Industrial Base Council (IBC) lasted longer than planned and most effective IBC to date. The focus of the IBC was a deep dive review of the classified industrial base. Those working on classified programs at classified installations—decided at Friday IBC to award various contracts to some small businesses based on urgent need. OSD continues to work closer with various international partners to respond appropriately. Wednesday May 13th OSD is hosting another small business webinar at 3pm focused on DPC policy guidance featuring Kim Herrington—following webinar will be specific to telework for small businesses planned for June 3rd. OSD did get some industry input regarding industry PPE needs—specifically small business needs as large companies are reporting that they have access to PPE. 77% said they don’t need it and primes are ok, therefore survey results show that select small businesses are those in need of gaining access to PPE. 72% of businesses are able to provide all three of the following: issuing PPE to employees, accommodating social distancing requirements, and protective workstation shields where needed. 51% of businesses are willing to apply for additional PPP. 51% responded that they applied for loans. 47% replied that although they applied they did not get the loan (NDIA has agreed to OSD sharing the details of their small business survey with all associations and the Chamber). These conference calls will be reduced to twice weekly beginning next week and will be conducted on Wednesday and Fridays. SAPCO (Special Access Program Central Office): The industry question prompting SAPCO to join this meeting was specific to contractors who perform classified services for DoD gaining access to other Agency secure facilities to conduct or continue to conduct DoD classified work when unable as a contractor to gain access to a specific DoD work place. SAPCO stated that this is a complicated problem regarding access to secure facilities and systems as each Agency certifies their secure facilities under different regulations so it’s a bit apples and oranges with respect to moving around personnel. SAPCO in partnership with various Agencies outside of DoD is “99% there” regarding USG and private contractor entities gaining access to secure facilities other than DoD’s and having conversations inside a secure facility but, they are not in agreement beyond conversations with respect to use of SAP equipment (computers) and storing classified material. The COVID situation is forcing a discussion on standards and cross agency reciprocity as this situation must be fixed to allow maximum cooperation. DoD SAPCO has the information needed from industry members who provide TS and TSC SCI contract support and now this issue of Agency SAPCO cooperation is in the government hands to work and fix. OSD will keep industry informed. JATF: Portal process in place to vet industry offers entered into the portal. OSD is now working to establish a process for responding formally to a vendor allowing OSD to then proceed with a potential contract award for an unsolicited offer. The lack of the outcomes process as they are calling it is delaying their response to industry. PA: Public affairs is focused this week on various DoD contracts like the nursing home PPE kit support contract at DLA and a contract to be announced today by President Trump at 4:30PM on the issue of testing and test kits. There is a continued engagement effort by DoD leadership and SecDef over the next couple of weeks with select public events. SecDef is looking for opportunities that are safe to travel and engage throughout the U.S. in the coming weeks. DPC: Working on Sec 3610 guidance document with four sessions scheduled this week internal to DoD with the Services to hammer this memorandum out in draft form. They are working various PPE and COVID cost matters to respond to various industry questions about what is allowable such as the recent question specific to sanitizing previously used masks and whether such a procedure is an allowable pandemic cost. DCMA: DIB is still improving overall with 199 companies reopened, 46 closed. Average days to reopen moving up a bit, which OSD believes is reflective of the timeline to reopen foreign suppliers. Payment status—progress payments as of this morning show a continued decline in payment activity with processing timeline around 5 to 10 days. DCMA has asked Associations and Chamber to ensure industry is submitting what they need and to do so quickly to keep cash flowing. DLA: A steady rate of reopening and few companies added to closure list. 344 closed down from 371 a week ago. Of the 344 closed 341 are averaging 30 days closed which is a concern as they are companies supporting aviation and textile programs. Of the $700M DLA executed for COVID support about 47% have gone to small businesses, which is about 10% on average higher than a year ago with respect to small business awards. Associations/Chamber: Broad policy concern has arisen regarding pension stabilization as it relates to contracts and may require legislative intervention—DPC not aware nor tracking and will check. Industry is still seeking DoD insights into next round of stimulus and what DoD is seeking from the Hill—OSD OMB Hill discussions still ongoing and not able to share.

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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