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


June 01, 2020


May 29th OSD ACOVID Conference Call Notes: OSD A&S: Have received PPE industrial availability information which is helpful to OSD. OSD talked about the issue of standards matter (industry complaining about the lack of a DoD PPE standard for employees and contract personnel) and asked industry to provide examples of conflicting or varied standards in DoD which would be helpful to OSD A&S leadershipâthe company can mask the installation or office if they prefer as they just need examples not to call out specific offices. Beginning the process of a complete Pentagon return to operating business post COVID as announced on the Pentagon website today under a measured basis from 20% cap today to something a little higher and slowing opening up to more employees in the building thru the summer. DLA: Fed Mallâproviding non-medical PPE to small businessesâDLA looked at a variety of ideas and decided to focus on Fed Mall which is a government e commerce acquisition platform allowing DoD and State governments to buy a number of items thru DLAâs J6 managed Fed Mall program. Primary concern with enabling small businesses to get PPE was to ensure that doing so did not interfere with DLA standing government requirements. DLA therefore set up a small business âFed Mall corridorâ that will allow industry to buy thru this program. Likened to a COVID store and identified over 100 vendors to participate in supplying this âcorridorâ and then opening access to those small businesses in need. DLA has developed requirements and are now testing the system and target 12-14 June to deploy this new program/catalogue and hopefully could do so as early as 5 June. Again, non-medical grade PPE. Limited to $10K per transaction per company for each requisition. Still working to identify exactly who those small business buyers are that will take advantage of this new program. DLA has not set an end date for this program but will be closely monitoring the buyers and assessing the success of this program. If deemed the program is being abused by any one company, DLA will block them from future purchases. Vendors supplying this program are those identified from the JATF portal and DLA has confirmed that these are suppliers who will not interfere with the normal DLA USG supply chain. So these will be new vendors to DLA who have demonstrated an ability to meet this small business need. DLA confirmed that given the micro purchase level of each acquisition the Buy America Act restrictions do not apply so suppliers can supply from a foreign source. Vetting of buyers will be done by confirming the vendors existing contract number with the U.S. government via the DoD contracting officer. A potential buyer of this PPE thru DLA Fed Mall must demonstrate they are on contract with DoD and have a need accordingly. DLA will publish a fact sheet that will be published along with opening the Fed Mall corridor. This Fact Sheet will be provided to the Associations and Chamber once finalized. NOTE: OSD A&S has asked us to not publicize this new effort publically until their press release is issued over the weekend. OSD Small Business: Next Wednesday webinar with focus on Telework at 3p--see for details and to sign up. Army small business officeâcontinue to hover around 16.6% COVID small business awards, larger buys are winding down, excited about ability to assist DLA on the new Fed Mall concept. Navy small business officeâresponse to date $115M awarded to date for COVID response which is slightly over 12% of all Navy money spent to date for small businesses. Air Force small business officeâCOVID 19 activity at about $100M to 250 different small businesses representing 33% of COVID 19 funds to small businesses DoD wide. DCMA: Slight change in Defense Industrial Base (DIB) status with uptick in closures from 33 last week to 35 this week as they are starting to see repeat of exposure forcing new closures. 18 days on average to reopen. 43 days on average closed. Five planned closures next week and monitoring unplanned pop up closures>

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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