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 15, 2020


May 15th OSD ACOVID Conference Call Notes:OSD Small Business: This discussion was Small business focused. Federal government sending $11B to States for COVID response. White House working with manufacturers to address need for additional testing and to increase testing for all Americans. This past Wednesdayâs webinar lead by DPC was a detailed discussion on the CARES Act> next webinar June 3rd at 3pm with a focus on teleworking and the new normal for government contract support personnel. PPP--as of today there is still funding available for small businesses and OSD has added two additional banks to the program—now up to five banks OSD secured agreement with that will accept new clients for the PPP program—see OSD website for details. OSD Small Business office updating their website to be a one stop spot for all small business matters to include the Services and others in Government. OSD ABitter sweet discussion of Jenâs departure from OSD A&S as reported in the press yesterday. Appreciation for Associations and Chamber and our industries in responding so quickly and thoroughly during this crisis. 7th Industrial Base Council (IBC) meeting today that lasted two hoursâan intense meeting with much decided in response to Service Acquisition executive needs with respect to the industrial base. No IBC next Friday but will pick up in two weeks. This afternoon a call with all four DoD committees on DPA, JATF, progress payments, etc., to close the loop this week with the Hill staff on DoDâs COVID 19 actionsâOSD also raises our industry issues in these calls on our behalf. Congressional staff calls re COVID response are conducted every Friday afternoon. DPC: On track to finalize Sec 3610 draft, which will be available for industry by Monday evening via the DPC portal and we will get an email notice once the draft is posted to the DPC site. DPC will collect comments on the draft text thru COB next Friday and then the following week will work thru the responses and try and publish final Sec 3610 guidance by end of May. What are we hearing from industry with respect to Sec 3610 challenges or issues as well as any other COVID 19 impact matters that OSD then can share with members of Congress? Someone chimed in that one Section 3610 issue is the Corps of engineers asking their industries to hold off for some time in submitting claims under Sec 3610. Although not a Congressional issue, examples like this are needed by OSD. DLA doing a great job with respect to companies that need access to PPE who desire to order those from a single sourceâclose to a final answer from DLA which may open up use of Fed Mall to small businesses in the DIB in need of PPE. DCMA: Down to 38 closed facilities and 210 reopened> avg days to reopen and avg days closed is growing which is another concern. T Still concerned about layoffs and furloughs as discussed Wednesday. DCMA portal posts stats real time on the DIB metrics—so we can track directly and industry is asked to provide stat input to DCMA routinely. Small Business DoD Offices: Army—16.88% of all COVID awards going to small businesses. Navy—conducted 1 webinar with a prime and their supply chain to discuss their work. Air Force—on track with obligations and jump to $97M in small business awards—huge spike as this number includes the $69M obligation with the contract award to ApiJect, which was a DoD award announced earlier this week as part of the Jump Start program. Associations and Chamber: I raised the issue of accelerating FMS programs—OSD noted that some FMS cases/contracts were accelerated and there were some challenges with accelerating progress payments with respect to some foreign government ability to do so financially—OSD took action to add this FMS matter to their action tracker and to engage with the community Broader discussion on litigation matters and ways to minimize liability to include possible DoD indemnification in some way--OSD said they would look into the matter of DoD or USG indemnification although doubtful this can be done.

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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