Federal News: Exploring the Trends and Innovations in Government Contracting

Federal News: Exploring the Trends and Innovations in Government Contracting

Staying up-to-date with federal news provides government contractors with important updates on policy changes, regulations, and contract opportunities. It enables contractors to get valuable insights into emerging trends and market shifts, all of which are essential for informed decision-making and strategic planning.


Read about the latest news, explore updates across major industries, and thrive in government contracting.


Latest Federal News on Government Contracting


A group of contractors and industry leaders at the 4th Annual AI Summit
Photo/ Executive Mosaic


Below are the federal news, recent developments, and updates in federal procurement policies and regulations.


Implementation of Build America, Buy America Act (BABA) Guidance


The Build America, Buy America Act (BABA) mandates that infrastructure projects funded by federal financial assistance use domestically produced iron, steel, and construction materials. This requirement ensures that taxpayer-funded projects support American industries and workers. 


BABA was integrated into the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), signed into effect by President Biden on November 15, 2021, as part of the broader efforts to modernize the country’s infrastructure.


On October 25, 2023, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released Memorandum-24-02 to provide direction to federal agencies regarding the implementation of BABA and its relevance to federal financial assistance programs.


Publication of Federal Acquisition Circular 2024-02


Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) 2024-02 is a comprehensive Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) update that introduces significant changes in federal procurement policies and regulations. 


Below are the updates highlighted in the FAC 2024-02. 


  • Implementation of Executive Order 14063, pertaining to the use of Project Labor Agreements for Federal Construction Projects
  • Small Entity Compliance Guide (SECG) to assist small businesses in understanding and complying with the new regulations


Publication of FAC 2024-03


The Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) 2024-03 was officially released in the Federal Register on February 23, 2024. This rule, jointly established by the Defense Department, the General Services Administration, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, encompasses three documents relevant to federal acquisitions:


  • Trade Agreements Thresholds
  • Certification of Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses
  • Small Entity Compliance Guide


Publication of FAC 2024-04


The Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) 2024-04, published in the Federal Register on April 1, 2024, introduces information security and supply chain security changes. Specifically, it establishes FAR Part 40, containing policies and procedures for managing information and supply chain security when acquiring products and services.


Publication of New FAR Proposed Rules


In January 2024, the Federal Register published the following Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Proposed Rules:


FAR Case 2021-020 (Limitations on Subcontracting Revisions) 


This proposed rule, jointly presented by the Defense Department, the General Services Administration, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, aims to simplify and clarify subcontracting limitations and the nonmanufacturer rule. It intends to facilitate easier implementation of regulations for offerors, contractors, and contracting officers.


FAR Case 2023–021 (Pay Equity and Transparency in Federal Contracting)


Proposed by the Defense Department, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Federal Procurement Policy Office, this rule limits and forbids contractors and subcontractors from factoring in the salary history of job applicants when making certain employment decisions. Additionally, it mandates disclosing compensation or its range in job announcements for specified positions.


Federal News and Industry Updates in Government Contracting


A soldier and civilian shaking hands with the USA flag in the background
Photo by Africa Studio/ Shutterstock


Below are the federal news and latest updates across major industries in government contracting.


Defense and Aerospace


Anduril Technologies and Hanwha Group’s U.S. business arm have joined forces to vie for a U.S. Army contract to develop the next generation of Small Multipurpose Equipment Transport ground robots.


Lockheed Martin secured a $127 million modification from the U.S. Navy. It modifies the cost-plus-incentive-fee contract award N00024-19-C-5603, specifically its engineering services for ship self-defense system combat systems.


Ensign-Bickford Aerospace & Defense was awarded $11.7 million by the Department of Defense to enhance its capacity for producing printed circuit board assemblies utilized in hypersonic weapons.


Firefly Aerospace was selected by the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) to participate in the Sinequone project. Under this initiative, Firefly will conduct a trade study to assess its rapid space launch and mission support capabilities. This study lays the groundwork for up to two demonstrations involving the launch of its Elytra Dark spacecraft and the delivery of multiple payloads to xGEO. 


Information Technology (IT) and Cybersecurity


Syneren Technologies was awarded a potential $31.1 million contract by Washington Headquarters Services to provide a range of services to the Defense Technology Security Administration Information Technology Enterprise and its users. This contract includes basic services, enhanced IT surge capabilities and training, and service and enterprise IT management.


KBR secured a one-year, $60.7 million task order for cybersecurity services from the Defense Health Agency, with the potential for a three-year extension and a total value of $245.6 million if all options are exercised. 


The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) amended its acquisition regulation to include a new contract clause for information security and IT resources. Effective May 20, the revisions to the USAID Acquisition Regulation (AIDAR) aim to enhance oversight and management of IT contractors.

Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals


The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released a draft strategy to coordinate the use of federal health information technology systems to improve patient care.


Varda Space Industries raised $90 million in series B funding, led by Caffeinated Capital, to advance its infrastructure for pharmaceutical manufacturing in space. This investment comes on the heels of the successful launch and reentry of its W-1 hypersonic reentry capsule, demonstrating the production of pharmaceuticals and other materials in microgravity.


DARPA introduced a new program, EQUIP-A-Pharma, focusing on the creation of a digital regulatory framework for pharmaceutical manufacturing. This program supports up to four pilot agile pharmaceutical manufacturing sites in their regulatory approval framework.


Construction and Infrastructure


Yates Construction was awarded a potential $148.4 million contract by Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Southeast to construct an engine assembly facility in Texas. This facility, named the Powertrain Engines Assembly Facility, is set to accommodate rotary wing component rebuild and maintenance activities.


NASA awarded Firelake-Arrowhead NASA Services a potential $38.8 million contract for construction management services. The company is tasked to deliver construction management, inspection, surveying, and testing services across various NASA facilities.


The U.S. Air Force issued a draft request for proposal (RFP) for a prospective ten-year, $12.5 billion contract for the modernization, operation, and maintenance of network infrastructure across all of the agency’s bases globally.


Top Government Contracting Trends


Government contractors must stay ahead of the curve to increase their chances of securing government contracts. Outline the major federal news and trends impacting the GovCon industry below.


Government Budget Instabilities


Several factors affect federal government agencies’ budget plans, such as continuing resolutions and debates over general spending levels. This unpredictability of government spending allocations influences contract opportunities, project timelines, and revenue forecasts.


Increasing Demand for AI Solutions


Over the past few years, the U.S. government has shown a clear commitment to adopting AI technologies, evident in the Executive Order issued in October 2023. Consequently, government contractors face increased demand for innovative AI solutions to improve efficiency and productivity.


Small Businesses Growth in GovCon


The Biden Administration actively expands small business access to federal contracting. In January 2024, the Office of Management and Budget issued guidance to all federal agencies to increase opportunities for small businesses in high-use contracts. 


Moreover, the Small Business Administration (SBA) improved its technical assistance program, known as Empower to Grow, to assist SDBs in obtaining contracts and expanding their revenue.


Frequently Asked Questions


What is the daily newspaper for the federal government?


The daily newspaper for the federal government is the Federal Register. It disseminates federal news and other information to the public regarding changes to government requirements, policies, and guidance.


Who issues the Federal Register?


The Federal Register is issued by the Office of the Federal Register (OFR), which operates under the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

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Written by Annie Tyler

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