Archives: Compliance Issues

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BSA/AML Reform in the 2021 NDAA Becomes Law

On January 1, 2021, the Senate voted to override President Trump’s veto of the National Defense Authorization Act (the “NDAA” or “Act”), which includes over 200 pages of significant reforms to the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) and other anti-money laundering (“AML”) laws that have been working their way through Congress for several years.  The Senate’s … Continue Reading

Technically Still Yours: Court Holds that Contractors May Mark Unlimited Rights Data with a Proprietary Legend

If your company delivers technical data to the Department of Defense, you should take a close look at the Federal Circuit’s decision issued yesterday in The Boeing Co. v. Secretary of the Air Force. The Court acknowledged that contractors may retain ownership and other interests in unlimited rights data, and it held that they may … Continue Reading

Contributions-for-Pardons Opinion Reveals DOJ Efforts, and Challenges, Prosecuting Lobbying Violations

An opinion by Chief Judge Beryl Howell of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia unsealed yesterday has generated much attention for its discussion of contributions-for-pardons allegations in a case that is still largely obscured from public view.  But the underlying offenses at issue in the case also include an alleged “secret lobbying … Continue Reading

CFTC Announces Organizational Changes to Agency Divisions

On November 2, 2020, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued a press release announcing organizational changes to several areas of the agency’s operating divisions. According to CFTC Chairman Heath P. Tarbert, these changes are intended to better align the agency’s structure with its strategic objectives. As depicted in the agency’s new organizational chart, … Continue Reading

How is DoD Planning to Use the Supplier Performance Risk System (SPRS)?

As described in an earlier blog post, the Department of Defense (DoD) released an Interim Rule on September 29, 2020 that address DoD’s increased requirements for assessing whether contractors are compliant with the 110 security controls in National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication (SP) 800-171 (NIST 800-171).[1]  Under this new Interim Rule, … Continue Reading

New Executive Order May Significantly Expand Number of Executive Branch Officials “Covered” Under the Lobbying Disclosure Act

Despite his promises to “drain the swamp,” last week President Trump issued an Executive Order that may inadvertently create a large number of new lobbyists.  The order creates a new category of federal employees who are exempt from competitive service requirements, all of whom may qualify as “covered executive branch officials” under the Lobbying Disclosure … Continue Reading

Department of Labor Requesting Information on Federal Contractor Workplace Diversity Training

On October 21, 2020 the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) published a Request for Information (“RFI”) seeking voluntary submissions of workplace diversity and inclusion training information and materials from federal contractors, federal subcontractors, and their employees. The RFI was published pursuant to Executive Order 13950, Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping … Continue Reading

CFTC Approves Three Final Rules at Open Meeting

At an open meeting on October 15, 2020, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC” or the “Commission”) voted to adopt three final rules.  First, the Commission adopted by a 3–2 vote a final rule overhauling its regulatory framework governing speculative position limits on a large variety of commodities.  Second, the Commission unanimously approved amendments to … Continue Reading

Department of Defense’s Interim Rule Imposes New Assessment Requirements But is Short on Detail on Implementation of CMMC

On September 29, 2020, the Department of Defense (DoD) released an interim rule that industry hoped would provide clear guidance with regard to DoD’s implementation of its Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) framework.  The vast majority of the rule focuses on DoD’s increased requirements for confirming that contractors are currently in compliance with all 110 … Continue Reading

CFPB Finalizes Amendments to Payday Lending Rule

Today, July 7, 2020, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) released final amendments to its small-dollar lending rule published in November 2017 (the “2017 Rule”), specifically repealing the mandatory underwriting provisions of the rule.  The CFPB did not rescind or alter the payments provisions of the 2017 Rule, and instead ratified those provisions and will … Continue Reading

NY DFS Launches Virtual Currency Initiatives

The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) launched a series of virtual currency initiatives last week meant to expand access to and clarify rules regarding the use of virtual currencies in the state. First, DFS has proposed a conditional licensing framework for virtual currency providers. In connection with this framework, DFS has signed … Continue Reading

CFTC’s Civil Monetary Penalty Guidance: A Perspective from a Former CFTC Regulator

On May 20th the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC”) Division of Enforcement (the “Division”) announced new guidance for Division staff to consider when recommending civil monetary penalties in an enforcement action (the “CMP Guidance” or the “Guidance”).  As a former CFTC regulator who brought dozens of cases over a 13 year career in … Continue Reading

CFTC Approves Both Interim Final Rule and a Proposed Rule and Extends No-Action Relief in Response to Covid-19

On May 28, 2020, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) unanimously approved an interim final rule in order to grant an extension of the compliance schedule for uncleared swaps in response to the many operational challenges entities are facing in the wake of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. It also approved a proposed rule exempting certain … Continue Reading

Washington Becomes Latest State to Pass Law Prohibiting Foreign Involvement in Campaign Finance Activity

Effective today, June 11, 2020, a new law in Washington state prohibits involvement of “foreign nationals” in state campaign finance activity.  The law also requires corporations and other entities to certify their compliance with the new law whenever they make a contribution in the state.  This new law reinforces Washington’s reputation as one of the … Continue Reading

Congress Increases Flexibility for Forgiveness under the Paycheck Protection Program, yet Uncertainty about Implementation Remains

The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 (the “Flexibility Act”) was signed into law on June 5, revising a number of key requirements for loan forgiveness under the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”).  The Program has provided support to a number of organizations negatively impacted by COVID-19 in the form of loans that can be … Continue Reading

Reporting Donors’ Names to IRS No Longer Required for Certain Nonprofits Per Final Treasury Regulations

Certain tax-exempt organizations are no longer required to report to the IRS the names and addresses of donors on IRS Form 990, Schedule B, according to final regulations published on May 28, 2020.  Noncharitable organizations, such as 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations and 501(c)(6) trade associations, may report only the amounts received from each substantial contributor … Continue Reading

Federal Agencies Share Principles for Offering Small-Dollar Loans

On May 20, 2020, the federal financial institution regulatory agencies—the Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency—issued principles for responsibly offering small-dollar loans in order to meet consumers’ growing short-term credit needs.In the interagency statement of principles, the agencies recognized … Continue Reading

Federal Reserve Publishes Additional Detail on TALF

On Wednesday, May 20, 2020, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Board”) announced further details on the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (“TALF”).  The Board’s announcement contains key documents and forms, including the Master Loan and Security Agreement; updated FAQs and a blackline reflecting changes made against the version published on … Continue Reading

The PPP Economic Necessity Certification: SBA Provides Additional Guidance

On May 13, 2020, the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) released two FAQs, numbers 46 and 47, regarding two safe harbors from an SBA inquiry into a borrower’s statutorily required certification of economic necessity for a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program  (“PPP”).  FAQ 46 states that the SBA will deem any borrower that, together with … Continue Reading

Federal Reserve Announces Further Details on TALF

On Tuesday, May 12, 2020, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Board”) announced additional details regarding the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (“TALF”).  The TALF is a financial crisis-era liquidity facility designed to help meet the credit needs of consumers and businesses by facilitating the issuance of asset-backed securities (“ABS”). The … Continue Reading

Senators Criticize the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection’s Decision to Ease Home Mortgage Disclosure Act Reporting Requirements

On April 28, 19 Democratic senators sent a letter to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (“Bureau”) protesting both its decision to temporarily suspend quarterly mortgage lending reporting requirements under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (“HMDA”) during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to permanently reduce the number of entities that must provide certain types of  reporting … Continue Reading

A Rookie’s Guide to Federal Lobbying Compliance: Four Key Risks for Companies Contacting Government Officials on COVID-19 Matters

As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic spreads through every industry, companies that previously steered clear of Washington, D.C. may find themselves contacting the federal government for assistance. From communicating with Members of Congress about potential provisions of the CARES Act to requesting new forms of assistance from federal agencies that oversee their industries, these … Continue Reading

Campaign Finance Violation for Unregistered Political Committee Upheld in Washington State, but $18 Million Penalty Must Still Pass Excessive Fine Test

In one of the most watched campaign finance disclosure enforcement cases, last week, the Washington State Supreme Court upheld a trial court’s finding that a trade association intentionally failed to register and report contributions and expenditures in opposition to a ballot initiative that would have required labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food.  In … Continue Reading
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