Category Archives: Government Contracts Law

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Lots of Little Things – FAR Updates from the Federal Acquisition Circular

Every now and then, the FAR Councils issue a Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) – an update to the Federal Acquisition Regulation implementing a number of changes. Often these changes are rather pro forma. But occasionally, you get a Circular with many different (and interesting) issues. FAC 2005-67, issued in late-June 2013, with rules becoming effective … Continue Reading

Playing Cards With a Government That Stacks the Deck – D.C. District Court Radically Expands The “Christian Doctrine” To Subcontracts

By Franklin Turner and David Gallacher  On March 30, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a decision imposing certain socio-economic contract requirements on subcontractors operating hospitals associated with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centers. See UPMC Braddock, et al. v. Harris, Civ. 09-1210 (PLF) (D.D.C. Mar. 30, 2013) (“UPMC Braddock”). … Continue Reading

The ABC’s of Government Contract Claims – 10 Ways to Maximize Your Chance of Success

By John W. Chierichella 1. Understand the Basic Contract Requirement – Every contract lawyer will begin an assessment with a very simple, fundamental question, i.e., “What does the contract say?” Your obligation is to perform to the contract; nothing more; nothing less.   2. Identify Variances Between What the Contract Says and What You Actually … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit: FERA False Claims Act Amendment Applies Retroactively to Cases Pending as of June 7, 2008

By John Hynes On November 2, 2012, the Sixth Circuit held that a 2009 amendment Congress made to the liability provisions of the False Claims Act ("FCA") applies retroactively to civil FCA cases pending as of June 7, 2008. U.S. ex rel. Sanders v. Allison Engine Co., Nos. 10-3818/10-3821, at *17-20 (6th Cir. Nov. 2, … Continue Reading

“Buy American” and Photovoltaic Devices – Interim Rule Issued by DoD

By David Gallacher and Curt Dombek Last year in January 2011, the President signed the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act (Pub. L. No. 111-383, Section 846), which included a “Buy American” requirement for photovoltaic devices being purchased by the U.S. Department of Defense (“DoD”). We previously discussed this new requirement in our blog. Twelve months … Continue Reading

New 2012 Updates to U.S. Free Trade Agreements Expected; No Progress With China

By David Gallacher 2012 will see changes regarding U.S. free trade agreements relating to, first, the dollar thresholds at which the various agreements apply to federal purchases and, second, the likely expansion of the scope of the World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement ("WTO GPA"). The updated dollar thresholds are important for government contractors because … Continue Reading

Court of Federal Claims Reaffirms Exceptions To The Anti-Assignment Act

By: Marko W. Kipa The United States Court of Federal Claims recently reaffirmed the applicability of two exceptions to the Anti-Assignment Act (the “Act”). Liberty Ammunition, Inc. v. United States, 2011 WL 5150221 (Fed. Cl. Oct. 31, 2011). Specifically, the Court acknowledged that (1) the Government may prospectively waive the Act, and (2) the Act does not … Continue Reading

Federal News Radio: Mergers and Acquisitions in the Federal Marketplace

On May 24, 2011, one of our Government Contracts lawyers, Marko W. Kipa, was interviewed by host Roger Waldron on Federal News Radio’s (Washington 1500AM) Off The Shelf – a weekly radio program devoted to topics of interest to the government contracting community. The interview focused on key issues facing government contractors when assessing an acquisition … Continue Reading

Let Bygones Be Bygones – Except When It Comes To “Out of Scope” Modifications

By Marko W. Kipa After an unsuccessful bid protest, many contractors assume that their chance at getting a piece of the action has passed. They assume that they have exhausted their remedies and that all of the spoils inevitably will go to the victor. They let bygones be bygones and move-on to the next capture opportunity and … Continue Reading

Redefining Cost Or Pricing Data

By Alexander W. Major Effective October 1, 2010, the final rule amending FAR subpart 15.4 expands government contracting officers’ ability to obtain cost or price-related data for all contracts, including currently exempted commercial-items contracts. The amended rule is intended to clarify the FAR’s definition of “cost or pricing data” and to make the definition consistent with … Continue Reading

Can DoD Be “The Biggest Loser”? Gates Unveils DoD’s New Fiscal Diet Plan

By Alexander W. Major After a decade of increasing appetite for defense dollars, the Pentagon appears to have stepped on a scale and decided to make some changes. Following-on from the Department of Defense’s June 2010 announcement regarding changing its procurement business models, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and … Continue Reading

Precision Pine & Timber, Inc. v. United States: An Unexpected Test For Determining Breach Of The Implied Duty To Cooperate And Not To Hinder Contract Performance

In Precision Pine & Timber, Inc. v. United States, 2010 WL 569733 (C.A. Fed. 2010), the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit articulated an unexpected test for determining when a party to a contract has breached the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing.[1] The court in Precision Pine found that the … Continue Reading

Administration Actively Solicits Higher Costs From Bidders – Is Its “High Road Procurement Policy” Headed Off a Cliff?

The Obama Administration is now planning yet another spending plan, this time in the form of a policy that actively encourages federal contractors either to increase the pay and benefits extended to their workforces, or to face an evaluative disadvantage in competing for federal contracts. This so-called "High Road Procurement Policy" includes an evaluative reward for … Continue Reading

The Fourth Amendment Trumps Unbridled Government Searches Of Electronic Data(And What Companies Should Know To Protect Their Interests)

There are few things worse for a business than starting the day with FBI agents at the door demanding to search the files and computers with a search warrant in hand. Matters have not improved for businesses in the last ten years.  Courts have struggled with balancing the government’s interest in discovering evidence of a crime … Continue Reading

Six Questions To Ask In Figuring Out Whether The Recovery Act Buy American Requirement Applies To You

Nearly one year ago on February 17, 2009, President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Pub. L. No. 111-5), more commonly known as the Stimulus Act, the Recovery Act, or ARRA. One of the key features of the Act included a "Buy American" requirement, requiring domestically manufactured "iron, steel, or … Continue Reading

Novations: A Simple Checklist For A Not So Simple Requirement

As though the risks inherent in a merger or acquisition were not enough to turn any business person prematurely gray, when one or both of the entities in play are federal contractors, the risks become even greater. One of the primary sources of these additional risks is the federal Government’s novation rules. Anyone looking to buy or … Continue Reading

New 2010 Updates to Buy American and Trade Agreements Dollar Thresholds; Buy American Requirements Remain Elusive and Complicated

Effective January 1, 2010, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), Ronald Kirk, published new dollar thresholds determining the applicability of the Buy American Act (BAA), the Trade Agreements Act (TAA), and (potentially) other "Buy American" preferences to the United States’ various international free trade agreements. See 74 Federal Register 68907 (December 29, 2009). The changes to the dollar … Continue Reading

The “Franken Amendment”: A Blow to Arbitration and Increased Litigation and Compliance For Government Contractors

In October, the United States Senate, by a 68-30 vote, approved an amendment to the Department of Defense (“DoD”) appropriations bill for fiscal year 2010 which prohibits the use of appropriated funds, if such funds are to be paid to any contractor or subcontractor, at any tier, which requires its employees or independent contractors to … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Affirms, Requires Showing of Benefit to the Government for Allocability of Development Costs

In Teknowledge Corp. v. U.S., Fed. Cir., No. 2009-5053, 11/03/09, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a decision by the Court of Federal Claims (COFC) that software development costs were not allocable to the Government because the Government did not receive a benefit from the costs.  Earlier this year we wrote … Continue Reading

Trust, but E-Verify: A Cheat Sheet for Mandatory Employment Eligibility Verification by Federal Contractors

The final rule mandating E-Verify for federal contractors became effective on September 8, 2009. The lawsuit that stayed implementation of E-Verify since January ended with the district court’s granting of the Government’s motion for summary judgment. As long as Congress continues to fund E-Verify, it should remain a permanent fixture of federal procurement.  … Continue Reading

Trimming the Fat in Government Subcontracts — Recognizing What Really Needs to Be Flowed Down by the Prime

Even experienced contractors can find themselves in unfamiliar waters when delving for the first time in the world of government contracts. In many cases, the first step for a commercial company may be acting as a subcontractor (the "Subcontractor") for another company (the "Prime") that is contracting directly with the Government. Even though the Subcontractor’s contract is … Continue Reading
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