Tag Archives: Government Contracts Law

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

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 Allocability of IR&D — A Fork in the Road?

With the elimination of the IR&D and B&P ceiling a decade or so ago and the recognition of “dual use” technologies as appropriate subjects of IR&D, contractors have tended to place questions relating to the allocability of IR&D on the back burner. True, the old concurrency issue remained, but allocability seemed to be relatively non-controversial. Based upon … Continue Reading

Working Like a Highway Road Crew — Government Finally Amends SF 1443 to Eliminate References to “Paid Cost Rule,” a Mere Seven Years After the Fact

In November 2002, the FAR Councils eliminated the so-called "paid cost" rule from the FAR, which had previously prevented federal prime contractors other than small businesses from recognizing incurred subcontractor costs for purposes of progress billing until "payment by cash, check, or other form of actual payment" had actually been made. See 67 Federal Register 70520 … Continue Reading

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

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 … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Casts Cloud on Future Recovery of Settlement Costs in Non-Fraud-Related Cases

On May 19, 2009, the Federal Circuit in Secretary of the Army v. Tecom upheld the contracting officer’s disallowance of a contractor’s legal costs and settlement expenses in a sexual harassment and retaliation action brought under Title VII. The opinion is sweeping, and appears to extend the holding in Boeing North American, Inc. v. Roche, 298 F.3d … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Grounds The “Flying Dorito”

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 … Continue Reading

“There You Go Again” – Does the Fourth Estate Even Try to Get it Right When it Comes to Government Contracts?

The influential inside-the-Beltway newspaper and website Politico "reports" in its May 26th edition that, as the Administration is "following through" on its campaign pledge to cut wasteful Pentagon spending, it is finding that "the price is high." Politico, May 26, 2009 at 14. Well, OK, as a well worn bumper sticker says “Choices have consequences,” … Continue Reading

Government Contractors Are Spared E-Verify (For Now) But Face Debarment for Hiring Illegal Immigrants

For the third time, the Government has agreed to delay the mandatory implementation of E-Verify for government contractors. They will not have to comply with E-Verify until June 30, 2009, when contracting officers can begin inserting FAR clause 52.222-54. Employment Eligibility Verification, into solicitations and contracts. 74 Fed. Reg. 17793. E-Verify has been pushed back once already … Continue Reading

Quo Vadis? – Rothe and the Future of Federal Contracting Programs for Minority-Owned Small Businesses

The Congressional Research Service has recently published a useful and thought-provoking report on the potential Government-wide impact of the Federal Circuit’s November 4, 2008 decision in Rothe Development Corporation v. Department of Defense, 545 F.3d 1023 (Fed. Cir. 2008). Although we have previously reported on Rothe as it wound its way through the courts click here and here, … 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

When “Generosity” Becomes a Vice: Eighth Circuit Affirms Gratuities Conviction Based on Email Correspondence Between Contractor and Government Employee

In United States v. Hoffman, 556 F.3d 871 (2009), the appellate court upheld a gratuities conviction based on an indictment alleging that the defendant had given a Government employee a set of golf clubs for or because of that Government employee’s role in rating the contractor’s performance under a contract with the United States Army … Continue Reading

Identifying Viable Post-Award Bid Protest Allegations At The GAO

The Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) denies more than three quarters of all bid protests decided on the merits. Certain categories of protests, however, tend to be more successful than others.  Three of our Government Contracts lawyers – Keith Szeliga, Marko Kipa, and Daniel Marcinak – recently published an article that assists protestors in identifying such allegations. Among … Continue Reading

District Court Enjoins Enforcement of Statute Providing for Race-Based Preferences in Federal Procurement and University Contracts; DOD Issues a Pyrrhic Waiver

On November 4, 2008, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued an opinion in Rothe Development Corporation v. Department of Defense, holding that a statute providing for race-based preferences in DOD procurements was unconstitutional.  We discussed this decision previously when it was released, noting that the ultimate consequences of the decision were … Continue Reading

The First 100 Days

Since the FAR Council’s November 2008 publication of new regulations mandating the disclosure by federal contractors of certain categories of wrongdoing and Government overpayments, there has been much ink spilled by lawyers, consultants, and the Government itself regarding what it all means.  The lack of clear definitions in the rule – notwithstanding the accompanying pages … Continue Reading

FAR Councils Issue Final Rule for Human Trafficking

On January 15, 2009, the FAR Councils issued the final rule implementing the provision of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005 ("TVPA") 22 U.S.C. § 7104(g).  The final rule is implemented by FAR 52.222-50 entitled “Combatting Trafficking in Persons.”  … Continue Reading

E-Verify Postponed . . . Again

Mandatory implementation of E-Verify by government contractors – which was originally scheduled for January 15, 2009 and postponed until February 20 – has been postponed again in connection with a lawsuit filed by the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America and its co-plaintiffs in U.S. District Court seeking declaratory and injunctive relief … Continue Reading

Internal Control Compliance: It’s More Than You Think

By now, everyone who has even a passing familiarity with the new “Contractor Code of Business Ethics and Conduct” clause that went into effect on December 12, 2008 knows that “internal controls” are important.  In fact, with the stakes under the new clause so high, many government contractor personnel can tell you that, under the … Continue Reading

Glass Houses and Stones – Does Anyone in Government Ever Try to Connect the Dots?

In its 2008 report on the Government’s financial consolidated statements released on December 15, the Government Accountability Office criticized “serious financial management problems at the Department of Defense, the federal government’s inability to adequately account for and reconcile intragovernmental activity and balances between federal agencies, and the federal government’s ineffective process for preparing the consolidated … Continue Reading

Federal Contractors Must Now Verify the Legal Work Status of Employees

Beginning on January 15, 2009, certain federal contractors will be required to utilize the E-Verify system to assure that employees assigned to work on federal procurement contracts and all new employees are authorized to work in the United States.  E-Verify is an Internet-based employment verification system administered by the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) designed … Continue Reading
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