For several years, we have witnessed the emergence of a statutory and regulatory framework to tighten controls on the export of emerging and critical technology, as well as the review of inward foreign investment into said technology. As was evident in the listing of Huawei and other Chinese technology giants, the United States has demonstrated a willingness to use alternative punitive measures against China. Whether the desired impact of this approach has been achieved is difficult to determine. We have, nevertheless, no reason to believe that the tide will ebb in 2020.

Continue Reading Export Controls and Global Trade: A Forecast and the Year in Review

As the frequency and sophistication of existential threats to national security over the past decade have drastically increased, the United States’ reliance on software to identify threats, rapidly share information, and manage its military resources has increased. Accordingly, the federal government’s ability to timely develop, procure, and deploy software to the field has been—and continues to be—a critical component of national security. Notwithstanding the growing importance of software to national security, the Department of Defense (DoD) software-acquisition process mirrors the lengthy, inflexible process typically reserved for the acquisition of major weapon systems. As a result, the DoD’s software development and acquisition cycles are significantly longer for their commercial counterparts, thus affecting the DoD’s ability to deliver timely solutions to users and rapidly respond to urgent threats.

Continue Reading Slow and Steady Doesn’t Always Win the (Acquisition) Race: The CODER Act Aims to Transform DoD Software Acquisition

On December 12, 2017, President Trump signed the $700 billion 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (“NDAA”) into law. Following negotiations between the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, the NDAA includes new provisions relating to software acquisition within Title VIII — Acquisition Policy, Acquisition Management, and Related Matters, Subtitle H, and the following five sections:

SEC. 871. Noncommercial Computer Software Acquisition Considerations.

SEC. 872. Defense Innovation Board Analysis of Software Acquisition Regulations.

SEC. 873. Pilot Program to Use Agile or Iterative Development Methods to Tailor Major
Software-Intensive Warfighting Systems and Defense Business Systems.

SEC. 874. Software Development Pilot Program Using Agile Best Practices.

SEC. 875. Pilot Program for Open Source Software.


Continue Reading National Defense Authorization Act FY 2018: Directions in Federal Software Acquisitions