US Space Force has updated the requirements for the satellite communications contract to include CMMC conditions

The United States Space Force is a branch of the Department of Defense (DOD) that heads space activities such as awarding contracts and vetting suitable contractors. The agency has rolled out a fresh commercial satellite communications contract which is part of the DOD’s pilot initiative to advance cybersecurity standards for contractors. The new requirements for contractors, Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) program, is a new weigh scale to measure the readiness, capabilities, and sophistication of these companies to gauge their suitability for DOD projects.

On March 31, a Request for Information (RIF) for the Inmarsat Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) and Global Express was amended to include provisions for the CMMC program. According to the Space Force, these changes are crucial to “explain and incorporate CMMC requirements that will apply to the procurement.” The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is in charge of the RFI in aid of Commercial Satellite Communications Office at the Space Force. DISA noted that the aim of using CMCC is to alienate contract vehicles for the BGAN and GX quotes. Contractors who bid earlier before the amendment will have to tender their updated response by April 8, 2021.

“To be eligible for the award, the offeror is responsible for contracting with an authorized CMMC Third Party Assessment Organizations (C3PAOs) to support a CMMC Level certification,” read the updated notice. A C3PAO is a service provider approved by CMMC-AB to carry out tests on aspiring contractors and submit findings and recommendations. The CMCC-AB will use the results to decide if the organization seeking a tender meets the requirements of CMCC to work on a particular project.

The announcement also highlighted that CMMC Accreditation Body (CMMC-AB) would be put up a list of approved C3PAOs on its website by June. In the meantime, companies rooting for DOD contacts “are encouraged to complete a self-assessment based on CMMC Assessment Guides.” CMMC-AB is in charge of the implementation of the CMMC program. The governing body of the program has also improved and updated the training environment. There are better course materials and well-trained assessors to gauge organizations, a prerequisite for implementing the arrangement.

According to Ben Tchoubineh, the training committee’s chairperson, there are a hundred and nine compliant C3PAOs and a hundred approved provisional assessors. For an organization to be approved for assessing contractors, it must become certified at CMMC Level 3. Tchoubineh revealed only one organization meets the threshold. Future pilot tenders from the DOD will rely on the new provisions of the CMMC program, including some tenders in line later this year.

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