Govt

A Refresher For Gov’t Contractors On Bid Protest Intervention

Law360 (October 7, 2020, 4:29 PM EDT) — As a result of increased government spending at the end of the government’s fiscal year — the 12-month period beginning on Oct. 1 and ending on Sept. 30 — the number of bid protest filings peaks in October. Accordingly, government contractors should be particularly mindful this time of year of their rights with respect to intervening in bid protests both at the U.S. Government Accountability Office and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

In this regard, this article provides a user-friendly refresher for government contractors on the process for intervening in bid protests and provides 10 reasons why government contractors should…

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OSG asks SC to reverse decision allowing foreign contractors to work in private, gov’t projects

MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) has asked the Supreme Court to reverse its decision which allows foreign contractors to obtain licenses and participate in government or private projects in the country.

In a statement on Sunday, the OSG said that it filed a 29-page motion for reconsideration, where it argued that the limitations on the participation of foreigners in the contracting industry must be retained “to protect the interests of Filipino contractors and workers.”

The motion was signed by Solicitor General Jose Calida, Assistant Solicitor General Ma. Antonia Edita Dizon and State Solicitor II Perfecto Adelfo Chua Chen.

“Allowing the issuance of regular license to foreign contractors would result to unbridled influx of foreign contractors to the detriment of local contractors in micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), including the concerned professionals and Filipino workers, among others,” the OSG said in the motion, which was filed on behalf of the Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board (PCAB).

The motion comes after the High Court, in a decision promulgated March 10 but released only on Aug. 26, upheld a lower court resolution that declared void a provision of Republic Act 4566 or the  Contractors Licensing Law’s Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR), which classifies the licenses that may be issued by the PCAB  to contractors into regular and special license.

Under Section 3.1 of the IRR, companies with at least 60 percent Filipino equity participation can be granted a regular license, which gives them continuing authority to engage in many contracting activities throughout a one-year period. Foreign firms can only be granted a special license, and they need to have a separate license for each contracting activity.

This regulation, according to the SC, is “a deterrent to the foreign players in the construction industry.”

According to the OSG, the

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Suspicious logins reported after ransomware attack on US govt contractor

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Customers of Tyler Technologies, one of the biggest software providers for the US state and federal government, are reporting finding suspicious logins and previously unseen remote access tools (RATs) on their networks and servers.

The reports come days after Tyler Technologies admitted last week to suffering a ransomware attack.

The Texas-based company said that an intruder gained access to its internal network on the morning of Wednesday, September 23.

The intruder installed ransomware that locked access to some of the company’s internal documents.

Tyler initially played down the incident

Tyler played down the incident and said that only its internal corporate network and phone systems were impacted.

Its cloud infrastructure, where the company hosts its customer-facing applications, was not impacted, the company said in a statement published on its website and via emails sent to customers last week.

But over the weekend, the situation changed as Tyler made headway investigating the incident. The company changed its statement on Saturday.

“Because we have received reports of several suspicious logins to client systems, we believe precautionary password resets should be implemented,” the company said.

“If clients haven’t already done so, we strongly recommend that you reset passwords on your remote network access for Tyler staff and the credentials that Tyler personnel would use to access your applications, if applicable.” [emphasis Tyler’s]

Customers report remote access tools on their servers

At the same, some of Tyler’s customers also reported seeing new software installed on their systems.

“If you’re a Tyler customer check your servers for Bomgar that they installed,” wrote one of many users on Reddit over the weekend.

A similar report followed on Monday from cyber-security training outfit SANS.

“One of our readers, a Tyler Technologies’s customer, reported to us that he found this morning the Bomgar client (BeyondTrust) 

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Trump Further Guts Govt Anti-Racism Trainings By Extending Ban To Contractors

President Donald Trump increased the scope of his assault against the government’s anti-racism workplace trainings on white privilege on Tuesday night with an executive order banning government contractors from holding the trainings.

In the order, Trump claimed that trainings that discuss the disproportionate amount of power afforded to white men “perpetuates racial stereotypes and division and can use subtle coercive pressure to ensure conformity of viewpoint.”

“Such activities also promote division and inefficiency when carried out by Federal contractors,” the order said.

The contractors thus “will not be permitted to inculcate such views in their employees,” according to the order.

Trump touted the ban on Twitter on Tuesday.

“Americans should be taught to take PRIDE in our Great Country, and if you don’t, there’s nothing in it for you!” he tweeted.

The order follows Trump’s ban prohibiting federal agencies from conducting workplace sensitivity trainings that explore power structures embedded in the U.S. that favor white men socially and economically. The President and his administration have derided the trainings as “anti-American propaganda.”

Last week, White House budget chief Russell Vought stated that he was directing federal agency leaders to look out for “buzzwords” associated with the trainings.

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