On September 18, 2017 the Senate passed its version of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018.
The Senate version of the NDAA authorizes defense spending at close to $700 billion for Fiscal Year 2018, which begins on October 1. The Senate NDAA’s $700 billion total is more than President Donald Trump requested, and also exceeds the caps set by the Budget Control Act of 2011. In order to provide the authorized $700 billion level through appropriation bills, Congress will need to address the limits of the Budget Control Act and eliminate the threat of sequestration.
As is the case each year, the NDAA will include significant procurement reform provisions. Although it remains to be seen which of these provisions will be included in the final version of the NDAA passed by Congress and signed into law by the president, the Senate and House versions both contain notable reforms that would impact the laws and regulations applicable to government contractors. For example, the Senate version contains reforms to the debriefing and bid protest process and the House version would permit and promote Department of Defense (DoD) purchases through online commercial marketplaces. Both versions contain significant potential reforms to the regulation of commercial items.
In its recent vote, the Senate was acting on H.R. 2810, the House version of the 2018 NDAA, and voted on Amendment #1003, which included the Senate version of the NDAA. This version was further modified by numerous bipartisan amendments, including an amendment that incorporated the Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act. The MGT provisions would establish information technology working capital funds at 24 federal agencies and set up a separate $500 million modernization fund within the Department of the Treasury, to be administered by the General Services Administration, for the purpose of improving information technology and cybersecurity across the federal government.
Below is a summary of several significant procurement reform provisions in the Senate and House versions of the NDAA, each of which contain more than 50 separate sections related to procurement policies and reform.
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