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


July 29, 2020



  • Joined by new DASD Dr. Jeb Nadaner who is now on board. Introduced himself and confirmed the effectiveness of the discussion/meetings.
  • Amy Murray will be his Deputy and continue her role leading small business policy.
  • Fed Mall webinar last week successful with just over 300 companies dialing in. Slides on website at
  • DPC urgent notice to contractors operating in Syria and Iraq—more below. Various awards recently: 25 July with HHS, $7.6M contract to Hologic focused on sample collection and to increase the material they use for testing; 24 July with HHS, $2.7M contract with MPF Products who make melt blown fiber which is a key component of N95 mask production and doing so helps supply up to 60M non-surgical and surgical masks; three DPA Title 3 projects—$33.6M agreement with eMagin who makes micro displays to ensure that DoD has access to domestic OLED supplies; $28.8M agreement with Urban Mining for materials associated with rare earth magnets to increase US production of this material.

DPA Title 3:

  • In response to our question last week regarding use of this authority and role of OSD A&S lead industrial base council--ASD Kevin Fahey will join these calls next week or week after to discuss use of DPA Title 3 today and planned use in the near future.


  • Fed Mall—7 active buyers registered; 258 active state and local customers; over 200 items; 14 suppliers; know that registration process for buyers and suppliers cumbersome and working it.
  • Gown solicitation out, closes 3rd of August and a couple of amendments have been issued.
  • For those new to government business make sure you read the solicitation instructions thoroughly and there is assistance available from DLA staff to guide companies in responding.
  • New DLA Director, Vice Admiral Michelle Skubic reported on board and is the first female Director DLA.


  • DIB seeing same trends as we see across country with closures increasing a bit—up to 8 closed to date; monitoring 28 companies impacted by business reductions that are non COVID related impacts; progress payments increasing in count and value over the last week; performance based payments ticking up a bit to 43 valued at ~$700M as of last Friday.


  • Issued guidance memo only for contractors with personnel in Iraq and Syria—contracting officers sending urgent guidance specific to COVID concerns and that in country facilities not capable of handling influx of COVID patients.
  • Direction to identify at risk contractor individuals and redeploy them to a safer duty station.
  • Similar action like this was taken in early April for then at-risk personnel in the same region.
  • Over $2.5B in delta progress payments to support industry. Hopeful next supplemental bill will provide legal help raising the cap for UCAs to then allow OSD to increase UCA progress payment values.
  • In total for all COVID actions just over $10B to date, less than half are new contracts, rest OTAs (Other Transaction Authority).
  • Small business is at 40% close to $2B in value to date.
  • Section 3610 final guidance—no change from last week, reviewing final version now, then to OGC, then OMB, then publish late next week or sooner.
  • Keeping a watchful eye on supplemental funding to fully execute Section 3610.
  • Sec 889 implementing guidance published and was released last week.
  • Waivers not likely to occur—only hope for any waiver may be DPC collaboration with ODNI to pursue a class waiver around certain product service codes deemed not significant to national security which would allow contracting officers to process that activity much faster. But major weapon systems and critical supply matters will be impacted significantly. Pain will have to be felt to build consensus on doing Sec 889 differently as DoD spending grinds to a halt.

Chamber and Associations:

  • Chamber raised Australia Policy study and how OSD wants to connect with our members. OSD Policy took action to get back to the Chamber with contact information.
  • CMMC concerns raised as the implementation date approaches. OSD A&S CMMC manager will join the call next week and most likely OSD will schedule a webinar.
  • Section 3610: supplemental funds and extension of authority. Much discussion about ability for OSD to handle supplemental funds and ability to actually obligate additional funds. OSD A&S believes they can obligate the additional funds prior to expiration of authority but prefer to have an extension of the date of expiration and are working with the Hill to influence the discussion and decision.

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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