Category Archives: Legislation

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“Bah! Humbug!” – 3% Withholding and the Ghost of Christmas Future

By: David S. Gallacher Just in time for the end-of-year push to fund the Government and to "create more jobs," members of Congress and President Obama had a rare moment of consensus when they unanimously(!) repealed an extremely unpopular withholding requirement that has been haunting recipients of federal funds since 2005. The "3% Withholding Repeal … Continue Reading

Task And Delivery Order Protests: Taking Aim At A Moving Target

By Marko W. Kipa The saga began with the passage of the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act. While the Act contained a general prohibition barring bid protests of task and delivery order awards (excluding challenges to scope, period, or maximum value), it granted the GAO exclusive jurisdiction over bid protests of civilian and defense agency … Continue Reading

The GAO Holds It Possesses Jurisdiction Over Bid Protests of Civilian Agency Task and Delivery Order Awards

By Marko W. Kipa Many believed that the Government Accountability Office’s (“GAO’s”) jurisdiction over bid protests of civilian agency task and delivery order awards valued at over $10 million expired on May 27, 2011. This belief was based on the fact that certain broadened jurisdiction over civilian agency task and delivery order protests granted by the … Continue Reading

Making Amends: Countdown To May 27, 2011

By Marko W. Kipa Over the past three years, government contractors have been able to pursue bid protests at the Government Accountability Office (the “GAO”) challenging awards of defense and civilian task and delivery orders valued at over $10 million. This expanded jurisdiction, however, is set to expire on May 27, 2011. Congress appeared to have addressed … Continue Reading

The Times They Are A Changin’ – Independent Research and Development May Not Be So “Independent” Any More

By David S. Gallacher Those familiar with Government contracting know at least a little bit about the elusive and fickle regulatory requirements for Independent Research and Development (“IR&D” or “IRAD”) costs. IR&D is a means by which the U.S. Government supports a Contractor’s independent R&D efforts. By reimbursing a Contractor’s independent R&D costs, the Government long has … Continue Reading

Frankenstein’s Monster: Data Rights Changes Adopted In The National Defense Authorization Act For Fiscal Year 2011

By Louis D. Victorino A great deal of discussion has transpired regarding recent legislation that reportedly could alter significantly the established “follow-the-funds” test used for the allocation of intellectual property rights in data developed under a government contract. The legislation involved is a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 (the “Act”), signed … Continue Reading

Has The Sun Set On GAO’s Civilian Contract Task And Delivery Order Bid Protest Jurisdiction?

By Marko W. Kipa With the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (the “2008 Act”), Congress expanded the GAO’s jurisdiction to include bid protests in connection with civilian and defense contract task and delivery orders valued at over $10 million. See Section 843 of the 2008 Act, Pub. L. No. 110-181. Congress also … Continue Reading

Size Does Matter – Impacts Of The Small Business Jobs Act Of 2010

By David S. Gallacher On September 27, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010 (Pub. L. No. 111-240). The Act is intended to free up capital by providing tax cuts for small businesses (some of which are temporary) and to promote exports of U.S. products, all with a … Continue Reading

Bidding Adieu To The “Summer of Recovery”: Changes To ARRA Buy American And Reporting Requirements

By David S. Gallacher While Vice President Biden was busy touting Summer 2010 as the “Summer of Recovery” and the economic effects of the February 2009 Stimulus Act (a.k.a. the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Recovery Act, ARRA, the Stimulus Act, etc.), the gears of the regulatory process ground steadily onward. Throughout the summer, the … Continue Reading

Proposed Whistleblower Provision Could Dramatically Increase FCPA Risk

By Bethany Hengsbach An often-overlooked provision in the financial reform legislation now before Congress would allow employee whistleblowers to receive a reward of up to 30% of the fines collected by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) from corporations who violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”). We … Continue Reading

Recovery Act and Updates to “Buy American”

By David S. Gallacher On March 25, 2010, the Office of Management and Budget ("OMB") offered three small, yet significant, amendments to the rules implementing the "Buy American" requirement of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Section 1605 of the "Recovery Act" or "ARRA"). See 75 Fed. Reg. 14323. The new rules do liberalize the … Continue Reading

Final Rule Issued on Enhanced Competition for Task and Delivery Order Contracts

By Marko W. Kipa On March 19, 2009, the FAR Councils issued a final rule providing for enhanced competition for task and delivery order contracts. See 75 Fed. Reg. 13416 (Mar. 19, 2009). The final rule was the culmination of a rulemaking process that surfaced in Section 843 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2008, Pub. L. … 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

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

It’s Time to Report That Stimulus Information That You’ve Been Collecting — Are You Ready?

If you are a company that has received funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (also known as “ARRA,” “the Recovery Act” or “the Stimulus Act”) and that has a requirement to report the data required under the Act (under FAR 52.204-11 and Section 1512 of the Act), you have until the … Continue Reading

You Want a Piece of Stimulus Spending? How Much Risk Are You Willing to Accept?

Stimulus projects are likely to come with a thick string of transparency and accountability requirements, along with potentially severe financial penalties and, in some cases, possible prison time. These conditions may be extended not only to U.S. government contractors, but to companies undertaking federally funded projects for state and local governments. Companies that plan to … Continue Reading

New FCA Materiality Definition Enters Time Warp, Influences Interpretation of 1986 Statute

The civil False Claims Act (FCA) prohibits using false statements related to a false claim. (Other types of FCA liability include presenting a false claim, concealing an obligation to pay money to the government, and conspiring to violate the FCA.) In the recent FCA amendments, Congress explicitly added materiality as an element of FCA false statement liability. … Continue Reading

Federal Court Limits Retroactive Application of FCA Amendments

Congress recently expanded contractors’ liability under the civil False Claims Act (FCA). The substantive changes include eliminating the presentment requirement, adding liability for claims seeking non-United States funds, expanding the scope of reverse false claims and conspiracy liability, and eliminating the intent requirement for conspiring to violate the FCA and for using false statements material to … Continue Reading

New FCA Rules Put Lenders and Brokers Directly in Their Gun Sights

I.  INTRODUCTION Without a doubt, the False Claims Act ("FCA") has been dramatically changed in the last few months. As will be discussed in more detail herein, it certainly appears that the FCA has been retooled so that the playing field is now stacked in favor of the government and qui tam plaintiffs. There is also every … Continue Reading

The President Admits the Stimulus Is Not Working as Hoped. Well, Duh.

The Administration has conceded that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (“ARRA”) has not worked as planned. With unemployment numbers continuing to climb, the Administration now acknowledges it “misread the economy.” But from the beginning not everyone believed ARRA would achieve the desired stimulative effect. After all, $787 billion cannot be disbursed without some complication.  … Continue Reading

New Recovery Act Rules Implement Provisions Relating To Government Audit Access, Whistleblower Protections, And Buy American Requirements; Much Confusion Remains

On March 31, 2009, the FAR Councils issued several new interim rules (effective March 31, 2009) implementing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-5) (also known as ARRA, The Recovery Act, or the Stimulus Act). See Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) 2005-32, published at 74 Federal Register 14621-14652. The FAC issued new interim rules on … Continue Reading

FAR Councils Issue Interim Rule For Reporting On Recovery Act Work

Federal contractors that perform work funded, in whole or in part, by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 must report on certain aspects of that work under an interim rule issued by the FAR Councils on March 31, 2009. As currently written, the interim rule provides that recipients of Recovery Act funds must report … Continue Reading

Proposed False Claims Act Amendments Increase Contractor Liability By Further Empowering Whistleblowers

Currently before Congress are at least two bills that could significantly increase government contractors’ liability and strengthen whistleblowers’ power to sue on behalf of the government. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) are spearheading a bipartisan effort to revise the False Claims Act (FCA), the government’s primary tool to recover damages for fraud related … Continue Reading

More Buy American Requirements in the 2009 Stimulus Act: Berry Amendment Expanded To Include DHS

On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 ("the Act" or "the Stimulus Bill") (P.L. 111-5) (H.R. 1).  We already have discussed some of the provisions of this Act here and here, focusing on the implications of the various audit and Buy American provisions (including … Continue Reading
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