OFCCP Hazards Heightened for Providers of Specialized Services

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) enforces Executive Order (EO) 11246 (Equal Employment Opportunity) and requires contractors, as a condition of having a federal contract, to engage in a self-analysis and discover barriers to equal employment opportunity. A contractor in violation of EO 11246 may have its contracts canceled, terminated, or suspended in…


Co-utilization of Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities

Despite laudable efforts to promote the co-utilization of Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities (SCIFs) across the Intelligence Community (IC), significant challenges persist. Understanding the process from your customer’s perspective is the first step towards achieving Co-use approval. And you can help your case by being proactive. In SCIF co-use, a sponsoring element that has previously accredited…


New DoD Rule Redefines Cyber Security Compliance

Though long anticipated, the effect of recent amendments to the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) are nonetheless dramatic in application. They change the definition of a compliant cyber security system, and they impose sweeping new reporting requirements. What constitutes “adequate security” has now changed. Previously, contractors were required to meet standards articulated in National…


NISPOM Best Practices: Taking a Page from the FOCI Mitigation Playbook

Too many small businesses working in the classified space seek to squeak by in terms of NISPOM compliance. They ask, “What are the minimum requirements?” This is the wrong question, and it evinces a risky approach to information security. Contractors should seek to implement best practices, such as standing up an internal function modeled after…


Protests Involving Classified Contracts

After investing bid and proposal dollars and intellectual capital in submitting a bid, most businesses can ill-afford to allow procurement error to prevent their win. But frequently companies working in the classified space are unsure of their ability to protest. While some of the procedures are novel, contractors have just as much right to protest…


WOSB Self-Certification: Risky Business.

Congress and the SBA have a difference of opinion over the status of self-certifying Woman Owned Small Businesses (WOSBs). Congress thought it eliminated self-certification, while the SBA maintains the program is being phased-out. Siding with the SBA in this tussle is risky business. The 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) eliminated the ability of WOSB…


NISPOM Reports Concerning Cleared Employees

Most companies active in the classified space understand their reporting requirements under the National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual (NISPOM). But few realize that, if submitted improperly, adverse information reports can give rise to individual liability. Companies subject to the reporting requirements of the NISPOM have a duty to report adverse information about persons working…


Risk Free Workplace Investigations

Workplace investigations are a critical risk management tool, but they don’t come without risks of their own. Most employers understand the critical importance of conducting internal investigations when confronted with evidence of possible employee misconduct. But many are surprised to learn that a delayed or poorly performed workplace investigation can form the basis for corporate…


Three Steps to Encourage Proactive Compliance

Get your .COM to act like a .MIL to encourage proactive regulatory compliance. Companies can take three steps to encourage more proactive (vs. reactive) regulatory compliance within their enterprise: if you Measure, Institutionalize, and Lead (“MIL”), your company will soon be “leaning forward in the foxhole.” Measure Management expert Peter Drucker is credited with the…


Time to Go Outside

There are a number of good reasons to have inside corporate counsel conduct your internal investigation. Examples include greater employee buy-in, case familiarity, and cost control. Ignore them all. Even the most careful corporate counsel can worsen the company’s position by failing to properly establish, or by inadvertently waiving, the attorney-client privilege. While the exact…


Compliance Programs and Internal Control Systems

Large government contractors have been rolling out FAR-mandated compliance programs and internal control systems for years. Meanwhile, small businesses have taken comfort in the FAR’s small business exemption. But they shouldn’t get too comfortable. The FAR’s small business exemption is a trap for the unwary. Government contractors need to conform to the provisions of 48…


Agency-Level Bid Protests

Many bid protest attorneys routinely dismiss the agency-level protest as a waste of time and money. This is unfortunate. When used properly, an agency-level protest can save both. And it also offers aggrieved bidders a way to correct the government’s error without rubbing their noses in it. The agency-level protest is the child of Executive…