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 manufactured goods" to be used in Recovery Act funded projects (located at Section 1605 of the Act). This requirement has proven to be a collossal headache for vendors supporting Recovery Act projects and has also proven to be immensely complicated for the good men and women in Government (including those at the State and local levels), who are faced with the task of figuring out how, where, and when the Recovery Act Buy American requirement applies. 
 


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

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 thresholds are effective through the end of 2011, so it is doubtful that we will see any additional escalation until 2012. 
 


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

Recently, contractors have begun receiving formal requests for information from the Defense Contract Audit Agency (“DCAA”). The purported purpose of these requests is to “[o]btain an understanding of the management control environment” of major government contractors. In pursuit of this goal, DCAA has crafted a letter that demands, among other things, the following:

  • A list of all ethics training, copies of agendas, and attendee lists
     
  • Copies of the company’s written Codes of Conduct, copies of the policies dealing with communications of the Code, and a list of employees who have acknowledged receiving the Code over the past 12 months
     
  • A list of all violations of the Code over the past 12 months
     
  • All “noncompliances” reported through the contractor’s internal control system (such as a hotline) within the past 12 months
     
  • A “company-wide list of any current open investigations”


Continue Reading What Exactly Is DCAA Thinking?

In early July, we discussed that fact that Taiwan would soon be an approved country of origin for purposes of the Trade Agreements Act.  This was, in our view, good news and a welcome development.


Continue Reading The Moment of Truth Has Arrived — “Made In Taiwan” Now Qualifies Under the TAA

On June 16, 2009, Taiwan (aka Chinese Taipei) took the penultimate step in acceding to the World Trade Organization’s Government Procurement Agreement (WTO GPA), which will eventually grant Taiwan "free trade partner" status under the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and allow companies selling to the U.S. Government to deliver products that are manufactured in Taiwan. The accession process is expected to be complete by July 15, 2009. After that date, and once the FAR is updated accordingly, "Made in Taiwan" will finally be an approved country of origin for products and services delivered to the U.S. Government.
 


Continue Reading Country of Origin – “Made In Taiwan” Will Soon Be TAA Compliant China Continues to Dawdle Costa Rica, Peru, and Oman also Recognized

In McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. United States, Civil Action No. 2007-5111-5113 (Fed. Cir. June 2, 2009), the Federal Circuit, after more than a decade of A-12 litigation, upheld a termination for default, finding that the Government was justifiably insecure about the contract’s timely completion. The Court’s opinion articulates the sustainable rationale for a default termination when there is no firm contract end date or set delivery schedule.
 


Continue Reading Federal Circuit Grounds The “Flying Dorito”