Transitioning to Twitter

After distributing industry news, updates, and practice tips relating to the legal and business aspects of government contracts via its blog, the Government Contracts Practice Group in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office will soon be retiring

The bloggers have begun a transition to Twitter, and will continue to address such topics as bid protests, contract claims, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, small business issues, suspension and debarment, GSA FSS schedules, audits and more. During and after the transition, the blog’s past posts will remain accessible in the near future as a continuing resource.

Please follow us at our exciting new home on Twitter – @GovConConnect – and, as always, thank you for your loyal support!

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The May 24, 2013 Proposed Rules introduced by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) and the U.S. State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (“DDTC”), a part of the on-going Export Control Reform (“ECR”) initiative, are consistent with the previous changes made as part of the initiative.  BIS:  DDTC: They introduce substantive changes to the rules to reduce unnecessary, outdated, or disproportionate regulation, and clarify the current rules to reduce confusion about their interpretation.  The broad objective of ECR is to replace existing catchalls with more targeted standards for those items controlled by the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (“ITAR”), which are listed on the United States Munitions List (“USML”).  Many articles are being moved from the more restrictive USML, regulated by DDTC under the ITAR, to BIS’ Commerce Control List (“CCL”).

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President Obama’s Export Control Reform (ECR) initiative has taken a significant step forward with the final rule changes published by the U.S. State Department and U.S. Department of Commerce on April 16, 2013.  State: Commerce: ECR began in 2009, and new rule changes are expected throughout 2013. The first set primarily deals with aircraft and associated parts – changes in regulation of other defense articles are likely later this year. The total export value of the items affected by the recent rule changes exceeds $20 billion annually. Continue reading

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Energy Savings Performance Contracts

The Department of Energy is extending the deadline for industry feedback on its Energy Savings Performance Contracts (“ESPC”) to May 17, 2013.

The Department of Energy website explains ESPCs as follows:

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OFCCP Echoes EEOC’s Recommendations on the Use of Criminal Records in Making Hiring Decisions

On January 29, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued Directive No. 306: “Complying with Non-Discrimination Provisions: Criminal Records Restrictions and Discrimination Based on Race and National Origin.”  The directive advises federal government contractors and subcontractors that hiring policies and practices that exclude workers with criminal records may violate employment discrimination laws because of racial and ethnic disparities that exist in the criminal justice system.  The OFCCP cautions that hiring policies “that exclude people from employment based on the mere existence of a criminal history record and that do not take into account the age and nature of an offense . . . are likely to unjustifiably restrict the employment opportunities of individuals with conviction histories.  Due to racial and ethnic disparities in the criminal justice system, such policies are likely to violate federal anti-discrimination law.”

To read the full article, click HERE.

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