Following rules of engagement is a common concept, but knowing the rules — and whether they really apply to one’s own business — is not always a common condition. The federal market can be especially confusing for smaller companies that may be delivering similar products or services to both civilian and military/defense/aerospace agencies.
If you know enough to ask about DFARS 252.204-7012 compliance, hold grants or contract awards subject to the provisions, or are contemplating entering the Department of Defense (DoD) market, you should at least be on the path to Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) compliance. By September 2020, meeting the required security level contained in a DoD solicitation will be the basis for a go/no-go decision on further consideration of an offeror’s cost, schedule, and performance qualifications.
Announced changes to federal procurement practices, particularly for DoD-related contracts, put into play provisions for supply chain security and resiliency based, in part, on the 2018 “Deliver Uncompromised” study from MITRE Corporation. Widely publicized leaks of government-funded intellectual property and other proprietary information have intensified concerns about the vulnerability of the defense industrial base (DIB), one of the 16 industry sectors defined by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as “critical infrastructure.” The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition & Sustainment notes on its website that DoD is “planning a series of engagements across the United States in order to solicit inputs and feedback from the [DIB] sector.”
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