Government Contracts & Investigations

Senate and House Make Progress in Passing the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021

By | July 31, 2020

A  recent article on this blog reported on the contents of the Senate version of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (NDAA), which had been rolled out of committee for consideration by the full Senate. The Senate has since passed its version (S. 4049) and the House has passed its own version of the bill (H.R. 6395). The House bill reflects some of the same concerns as its Senate counterpart, especially those relating to national security and supply chain risk. Some key portions of H.R. 6395 focused on these areas are discussed below:

  • Sec. 825 would require, as of October 1, 2021, at least 75% of the components of manufactured articles, materials, or supplies procured in connection with a major defense acquisition program to be mined, produced, or manufactured in the United States. The requirement would increase 5% per year through October 1, 2026, when the requirement would be 100%.
  • Sec. 826 would make the content requirement for the portion of printed circuit boards manufactured and assembled in covered countries at least 50% starting in FY 2023. Under the provision, this content requirement would grow over time to 100% in FY 2033.
  • Sec. 1254 would direct the Department of Defense (DoD) to develop and maintain a list of companies with ties to the Chinese military operating in the United States, the unclassified portions of which would be published in the Federal Register.
  • Sec. 1632 would require DoD to establish a threat intelligence program for obtaining information from and sharing it with the defense industrial base. Beginning one year after passage of the NDAA, this provision would prohibit DoD from procuring from any entity that is not participating in the program or an equivalent DoD program.
  • Sec. 1634 would require DoD to report on the feasibility of implementing a Defense Industrial Base Cybersecurity Threat Hunting Program to actively identify cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities within the information systems, including covered defense networks containing controlled unclassified information (CUI), of entities in the defense industrial base. If the program were implemented, DoD would be prohibited from procuring from any entity that is not compliant with all program requirements starting one year after passage of the NDAA.
  • Sec. 1705 would direct the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to conduct a study and make recommendations about the impact of policies and industrial coordination within China on international bodies engaged in developing and setting international standards for developing technologies.

There are many other provisions in the House version of the bill. We can expect the House and Senate to work to develop a bill that incorporates some of the above, since the Senate bill also included similar provisions. We are tracking these matters closely, so stay tuned!

Contact Eric Whytsell for more information.