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The Week Ahead in the European Parliament –  November 8, 2019

Summary Next week will be a mini-plenary week in the European Parliament.  Members of the European Parliament (“MEPs”) gather in Brussels for Committee meetings and Plenary Sessions. On Wednesday, MEPs will discuss the state of play and rising tensions between Eastern Mediterranean Member States and Turkey due to Turkey’s drilling operations off Cyprus that intensified … Continue Reading

The Death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi: One Week Later

One week ago, American special operations forces killed the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in northwestern Syria. The next morning, President Trump described the operation in vivid detail and the story was later amplified with accounts from the Secretary of Defense and the National Security Advisor. While the Islamic State was a … Continue Reading

A New Normal for Foreign Military Sales? Total Sales for FY 2019 Nearly Matches FY 2018

On October 15, 2019, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced that foreign arm sales for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 totaled $55.4 billion. This amount nearly matches the total from FY 2018 of $55.7 billion, continuing the significant increase in foreign arm sales under the Trump Administration and potentially signaling that the enormous 33 percent … Continue Reading

New Changes to Foreign Agents Registration Act Forms and E-File System

Following the Department of Justice’s announcement in March of an initiative to increase enforcement of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (“FARA”), the Department has rolled out a new e-file system for FARA registrations.  Notably, the new system only applies to new registrants, although the Department indicated that it will transition existing registrants to the new … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Grants Certiorari in Seila Law v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

On October 18, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Seila Law v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The question presented before the Court is “whether the substantial executive authority yielded by the CFPB, an independent agency led by a single director, violates the separation of powers.”  In addition, the Court requested that the parties brief … Continue Reading

Five Key Considerations For Handling Internal Corporate Investigations

Companies today face increasingly complex regulatory frameworks globally and intense levels of corporate scrutiny from government enforcement agencies around the world. As government agencies embrace sophisticated crime-busting technology and the world shrinks through greater inter-agency cooperation, there are more ways than ever for governments to identify misconduct and hold companies to account through criminal prosecutions … Continue Reading

ITC Issues Notice for Petitions for the 2019 Miscellaneous Tariff Bill Cycle”

With the recent plethora of new tariff measures aimed at imports of steel, aluminum, solar panels, aircraft, and a wide array of products from China, tariffs are affecting the bottom lines of American companies in a way not seen in decades.  For importers seeking tariff mitigation options, a window of opportunity has just opened.  In … Continue Reading

United States and European Union Impose Additional Sanctions in Response to Actions by Turkish Government

Introduction On October 14, 2019, President Trump issued an Executive Order Blocking Property and Suspending Entry of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Syria. This Order provides authority for the imposition of sanctions (including secondary sanctions) on certain entities and individuals in response to Turkey’s military operations in Syria, which the Order states endanger … Continue Reading

FDA Issues Updated Guidance on the Regulation of Digital Health Technologies

On September 26, 2019, the FDA issued two revised guidance documents addressing its evolving approach to the regulation of digital health technologies.  These guidances primarily describe when digital health solutions will or will not be actively regulated by FDA as a medical device.  In parallel, FDA also updated four previously final guidance documents to ensure … Continue Reading

Hiring Employees vs. Independent Contractors: Navigating Classification Issues in a Drastically Altered California Legislative Landscape

Recently enacted California Assembly Bill 5 (“AB-5”) is a game changer for businesses that use independent contractors in California — and a warning shot for employers nationwide.  Subject to exemptions for certain occupations and professions, AB-5 imposes a strict “ABC” test that appears to put a thumb on the scale of classifying workers as employees … Continue Reading

Blowing the Whistle on a Breach of Contract? D.C. Circuit Addresses Scope of FCA’s Anti-Retaliation Rules

The False Claims Act has long protected relators from retaliation for preparing a qui tam complaint.  But what if an employee “blows the whistle” on a garden-variety problem — for instance, a laboratory that she believes is falling short of standards in a federal funding agreement?In a split decision, a panel of the D.C. Circuit … Continue Reading

U.S. Draft Human Rights Guidance for Exporters of Surveillance Technology

On 4 September 2019, the U.S. Department of State (“DoS”) published draft ‘Guidance for the Export of Hardware, Software and Technology with Surveillance Capabilities and/or Parts/Know-How’ (the “Guidance”). The DoS invited public comment on the draft Guidance until 4 October 2019, after which they will publish finalised guidance. Goal: Preventing Human Rights Abuse While noting … Continue Reading

Expanded Conditional Approval Draft Guidance Issued

On September 26, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) issued a draft guidance explaining the criteria it plans to apply when granting “expanded conditional approval” to new animal drugs not intended for minor uses or minor species that address a serious or life-threatening disease or condition or fill an … Continue Reading

Suspension & Debarment Update: SBA to Sharpen Suspension & Debarment Procedures

Changes are coming to the suspension and debarment practices of the Small Business Administration (SBA), and contractors should ready themselves for an uptick in suspension and debarment activity as a result.  That’s the takeaway from a new audit report released last week by the SBA’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) criticizing aspects of the … Continue Reading

The Re-Imagined National Counterterrorism Center

President Trump’s nomination of Vice Admiral (Ret.) Joe Maguire to become the country’s next Director of National Intelligence both elevated the profile of the decorated Navy SEAL and the organization he currently leads, the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC).  The nomination comes in the wake of the El Paso Attack that claimed 22 lives and the … Continue Reading

A Director’s New Threat Assessment

On Capitol Hill last week, an FBI Director provided a troubling update regarding America’s national security.  Robert Muller’s appearance before the House Judiciary Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence regarding his tenure as Special Counsel was not the source of this update, however.  It was Christopher Wray, the current Director, who provided … Continue Reading

Senators Introduce Legislation to Regulate Privacy and Security of Wearable Health Devices and Genetic Testing Kits

Last week, Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced the Protecting Personal Health Data Act (S. 1842), which would provide new privacy and security rules from the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) for technologies that collect personal health data, such as wearable fitness trackers, social-media sites focused on health data or … Continue Reading

Federal Reserve Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Regarding Confidential Supervisory Information and FOIA Procedures

On June 14, 2019, the Federal Reserve Board (“Federal Reserve”) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPR”) requesting public comment on updates to its regulations governing the disclosure of confidential supervisory information (“CSI”) and its Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) procedures. Although the Federal Reserve classified many of the proposed revisions as “clarifications” or “technical … Continue Reading

Beyond The FCPA: New U.S. Regulator Enforcing Against Foreign Corruption

Yet another U.S. regulator is entering the foreign corruption space.  The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is a civil agency that oversees commodity and derivatives markets in the United States.  It enforces the Commodity Exchange Act, a set of statutes that are enforced criminally by the U.S. Department of Justice.  The CFTC has authority to impose … Continue Reading

Florida FARA Case Leaves Troubling Precedent

On May 7, 2019, a federal District Court in the Southern District of Florida ruled that an American company, RM Broadcasting, must register as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (“FARA”) for its agreement to broadcast radio programming from Rossiya Segodnya (meaning “Russia Today”), a Russian state-owned news agency.  Although the decision … Continue Reading

Ranking the U.S. Economy:  “New Normal” or Room for Improvement?

For decades, the U.S. economy was the envy of the world.  With few, notable exceptions the U.S. economy was a consistent model for growth, innovation, diversification and job creation. The US economic engine, and the optimistic middle class it enabled, also has been a testament to the value of our democratic, rule-of-law-based governance system. Unfortunately, … Continue Reading

ABSCA Confirms Contractors May Challenge Unfavorable CPARS Ratings

While you might not be able to fight City Hall, you can fight your CPARS rating. In a short opinion published last week, the ASBCA confirmed it has jurisdiction to annul an inaccurate and unfair government evaluation of a contractor’s performance. Cameron Bell Corporation d/b/a Government Solutions Group, ASBCA No. 61856 (May 1, 2019).  Though … Continue Reading
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