On August 25, 2016, the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) and Federal Acquisition Regulatory (“FAR”) Councils published “Guidance for Executive Order 13673, ‘Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces’” (“final rule”).  See 81 Fed. Reg. 58562. Also referred to as the “blacklisting” rule, it imposes strict disclosure guidelines and requires that both prospective and existing contractors – as well as subcontractors – disclose violations of federal labor laws that resulted in administrative merits determinations, civil judgments, or arbitral awards or decisions.  The final rule also requires that contractors and subcontractors disclose specific information to workers each pay period regarding their wages and also prohibits contractors from requiring that their workers sign arbitration agreements that encompass Title VII violations and claims of sexual assault or harassment.
Continue Reading Agencies Publish Strict New Labor Reporting Guidelines for Government Contractors

Volume V—The Land Mines Strewn Throughout the Data Room

M&A transactions, like most transactions in life, involve a cost/benefit analysis.  Some cost/benefit analyses are relatively easy to perform.  For example, if I buy an energy efficient appliance, I can calculate the likely savings in energy costs over the useful life of the appliance (the benefit) and compare it with the acquisition cost of the appliance (the cost).  M&A transactions, of course, involve far more complex cost/benefit analyses.  But the key to any such analysis is the ability to identify and quantify the costs and benefits with some measure of confidence.  Every line of business has its own quirks and idiosyncrasies, and they need to be understood when evaluating the acquisition of a company that operates in that line.  More than most, the business of government contracting is replete with such quirks and idiosyncrasies, and they can have a dramatic effect on the “cost” side of the cost/benefit analysis.


Continue Reading What You Need to Know About Mergers and Acquisitions Involving Government Contractors and Their Suppliers

After nearly four years of planning and comments, DoD, GSA, and NASA issued a final rule today amending the Federal Acquisition Regulations (“FAR”) with a new Subpart 4-19 and a new contract clause 52.204-21 addressing the basic safeguarding of contractor information systems.  Applicable to all acquisitions, including commercial items other than commercial off-the-shelf items (“COTS”), the Final Rule applies to any contractor information system that may contain “Federal contract information,” meaning “information, not intended for public release, that is provided by or generated for the Government under a contract to develop or deliver a product or service to the Government.”  See FAR 4.1901.  The term expressly excludes information provided by the Government to the public (e.g., on public-facing web sites) or simple transactional information, “such as that necessary to process payments.”
Continue Reading It’s Arrived! FAR Final Rule Addressing “Basic Safeguarding of Contractor Information Systems”

Volume IV – Key Issues in Government Contracts Due Diligence

This posting is the fourth in our ten-part series on unique issues that arise in connection with mergers and acquisitions involving government contractors and subcontractors.  Parts 1 through 3 focused on the structure of the transaction and the implications of that structure on the transfer of pending contracts and proposals.  This posting, Part 4, introduces some of the most important issues that potential buyers should consider and address during the due diligence and negotiation process.  The posting is not intended to be a detailed “due diligence checklist,” but rather a high level overview of certain key factors that are likely to impact the “go/no go” decision and the buyer’s valuation of the target company.
Continue Reading What You Need to Know About Mergers and Acquisitions Involving Government Contractors and Their Suppliers

Volume III—What Happens to Pending Proposals?

Thus far in this ten-part series, we have discussed whether and how existing contracts with the Government can be transferred to the buyer or surviving entity when an acquisition, merger, or consolidation occurs. Today, we leave the world of existing contracts and turn to bids and proposals that are pending when the deal closes.  What happens to those as-yet-unaccepted offers?  Is there anything you can do to enhance the likelihood that the Government will be willing to accept such offers notwithstanding the organizational change?  And, if you are in second place when the award is made to a “reorganized” offeror, are there possible protest grounds lurking in the deal that you could assert to obtain the award?
Continue Reading What You Need to Know About Mergers and Acquisitions Involving Government Contractors and Their Suppliers

Volume II – Obtaining Consent to Assign a Government Contract

This posting is the second in a ten-part series on unique issues that arise in the acquisition and disposition of a company that performs government contracts or subcontracts.  Part 1 focused on the types of deal structures that are subject to the anti-assignment statutes, and therefore require Government consent.  We explained that consent is not required for stock purchases, is required for asset sales, and may be required for other types of transactions, including mergers.  This posting, Part 2, addresses the consent process, including the who, what, when, and how of obtaining a novation agreement.  It also includes practical tips, based on our experience, for navigating the novation process efficiently and successfully.
Continue Reading What You Need to Know About Mergers and Acquisitions Involving Government Contractors and Their Suppliers

FAR 52.222-50 prohibits “human trafficking.” To quote the current GEICO TV commercials, “Everybody knows that.” But do you know exactly what the FAR prohibits? The answer includes some obvious pernicious acts, but it also covers some related activities that might not necessarily jump immediately to mind. Remember, these prohibitions apply to all contractors – large and small, commercial and non-commercial, whether the contract was awarded via sealed bidding or negotiation – and to their employees and agents, and they must be flowed down to subcontractors. Moreover, there is an obligation to conduct “due diligence” and certify to subcontractor compliance with the prohibitions if the subcontract exceeds $500,000 and any portion is for non-COTS supplies acquired or for services performed outside the United States.
Continue Reading Human Trafficking Is Forbidden by Government Contracts. But What Is “Human Trafficking”?

Volume I – The Structure of the Deal and Government Consent

With today’s posting, we begin a ten-part series on unique issues that arise in connection with the acquisition or disposition of a company that performs government contracts or subcontracts. These issues obviously come into play when the target company fits the bill as an established “government contractor,” replete with all of the infrastructure, systems, and processes that one normally associates with that term.  They also come into play, however, in connection with companies that sell standard commercial items to the Government under the auspices of the General Services Administration’s schedule contracts and companies that operate at all tiers within the Government’s supply chain.  They apply whether such companies are selling specialized products manufactured  to Government specifications or commercial items adopted or adapted for use, ultimately, by the Government.
Continue Reading What You Need to Know About Mergers and Acquisitions Involving Government Contractors and Their Suppliers

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 in June and July 2013, is one such circular. We thought it would be helpful to highlight five of these rules that raise interesting and timely issues, especially where they may signal additional changes yet to come.
Continue Reading Lots of Little Things – FAR Updates from the Federal Acquisition Circular

By David Gallacher

Two months ago, we published a brief list of compliance tips to keep in mind when dealing with Buy American requirements. We got an awful lot of


Continue Reading Buy American Redux – 15 Tips for Navigating the Buy American Maze