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November 16, 2020

Impact of COVID-19, cybersecurity hot topics at virtual ABA Public Procurement Symposium

CHICAGO, Nov. 16, 2020 — Legal experts will examine recent developments in the law and best practices for procuring or securing contracts from the government and industry perspectives during the American Bar Association 2020 Public Procurement Symposium, held in virtual format Nov. 18-20.  

This year’s symposium features two keynote presentations: David Silverman, founder and CEO of CrossLead Inc., at noon on Thursday; and Nathan Picarsic and Emily de La Bruyere, co-founders of Horizon Advisory and senior fellows at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, at noon on Friday.

2020 Public Procurement Symposium: Public Contracting in a Changing World
Sponsored by the ABA Section of Public Contract Law

Wednesday-Friday, Nov. 18-20


Program highlights include:

“Identifying and Responding to a Cyber-Related Disaster” — Increasing cyber threats to our infrastructure and other targets threaten our national security and safety. Government contractors are now required to quickly report on actual or suspected cyber incidents, to engage in the preservation of data, and to work with government officials to mitigate such events. In this practicum, we present four professionals who have been at the table for real and simulated cyber-related events affecting national security, electrical power infrastructure, government operations, finance and transportation. Using our simulated cyber-disaster exercise, we will walk you through what you need to know.

3:30-5 p.m. ET Wednesday

“The Impact of COVID-19 on Federal Contracting: Where We Are Today and Where We Are Going?” — This panel will discuss the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) provisions and other key COVID-19 legal provisions that are most relevant to federal contractors. Panelists will explore the various legal, contractual and oversight implications of these key statutes as well as major emerging issues.

12:45-1:45 p.m. ET Thursday

“State and Federal Biohazard Contracting: Developing Countermeasures and Stockpiling” — This panel, with more than 40 years of experience in local, state and federal government contracting related to bioterrorism and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats, will discuss contracting in the state and federal biohazard arena. Panelists will discuss:

  • The role of the federal government in the development and acquisition of medical countermeasures against CBRN threats
  • Best practices in submitting a proposal response for an advance development and procurement contract for the medical countermeasure procurement
  • State, county, local ethics and purchasing limitations and budget timetables
  • Acquisition vehicles and fiscal limitations involved with medical biohazard countermeasure procurement

12:45-1:45 p.m. Friday

A complete agenda can be found here

This event is open and free to members of the press. For media credentialing, please contact Jennifer Kildee at 202-662-1732 or [email protected].

With more than 3,000 lawyer members, the ABA Section of Public Contract Law is committed to the improvement of the public procurement process and upholding the highest ethical and professional standards while providing a collegial forum of networking, sharing ideas and building consensus.      

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews.