NDAA in play

President Biden recently signed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023 into law thereby setting policy and budget priorities for the Department of Defense and, in this case, authorizing $858 billion in defense spending. 

Congress annually also employs the NDAA to established new initiatives and make changes to federal procurement policy. This year, it includes new measures intended to strengthen the U.S. supply chain and inhibit the influence of China; enhance cybersecurity, including for cloud services; and modify small business programs. 

That last point involves new requirements for the DOD to perform due diligence to assess potential security risks when small businesses seek Small Business Innovation Research or Small Business Technology Transfer awards. It also establishes a program to assist those businesses in identifying threats by malicious foreign actors.

PTACs rebranded as APEX Accelerators

Last Oct. 1 the Procurement Technical Assistance Program and Procurement Technical Assistance Centers transitioned from the Defense Logistics Agency to the Defense Office of Small Business Programs, which supports industry concerns with the intention of strengthening the defense industrial base. 

This change allows the Department to further integrate these centers, which were recently rebranded as APEX Accelerators, into industry. It also leverages them to provide support to suppliers seeking to do business with other federal agencies.

In addition, a new leadership team was established under Khalil Mack, who serves as director. As we enter this new era, know that APEX Accelerators are located in all 50 states; Washington, D.C.; Puerto Rico; Guam and U.S. Virgin Islands, and are available at 96 locations. APEX will enhance access of the defense industrial base to small, medium, large and new business entrants. 

The PTAC moniker will sunset during this fiscal year. For more information, visit www.apexaccelerators.us.

The E-Government Act affects all agencies at twenty-year mark

January marked the 20th anniversary of the implementation of the E-Government Act of 2002, which was designed to ensure easy, equitable access for all American citizens and businesses to online government services. 

The Act creates a structure for federal agencies to better deliver services using technology and the internet. That mission began with the establishment of the Office of E-Government and the Federal Chief Information Officer in the White House’s Office of Management and Budget. 

It also established the Federal CIO Council, which is comprised of chief information officers across the executive branch; it also encompasses the Federal Information Security Management Act, which reflects the growing importance of information security to the U.S.

Understand, however, that the General Services Administration (GSA) leads this overall effort. For instance, the act required GSA to manage an E-Government Fund that supports projects across the federal landscape. Also, a new E-Government Strategy supported a feasibility study to integrate federal information systems across agencies and lead e-government initiatives.

Many initiatives established during this period have lived on, via the GSA and other agencies. In one for instance, GSA led efforts to create numerous services that were shared across federal agencies; they include SAM.gov, eRulemaking, USA.gov, IDManagement.gov, the Integrated Award Environment and the E-Gov Travel Service. 

The SAM.gov web site combined nine different websites into one, and serves as the central location for federal contracting for large and small businesses worldwide. The E-Gov Travel Services initiative from the E-Government Strategy was set up to establish one travel management system across government. It consolidated resources and simplified processes, resulting in a less expensive, yet more efficient, operation that achieves its goals of centralization and efficiency. 

The finer point is that E-Gov Travel allows government agencies to establish e-travel services through a competitively bid master contract, with two vendors providing agencies travel and expense software, as well as hosting and support services that are based on fixed-price transaction fees. 

Today, GSA continues to administer cross-government information technology funds and to manage related initiatives. 

Gloria Larkin is President and CEO of TargetGov, and a national expert in business development in the government markets. Email [email protected], visit www.targetgov.com or call toll-free 1-866-579-1346 x 325 for more information.