Archives: Government Contracts & Grants

Subscribe to Government Contracts & Grants RSS Feed

Government Contracts M&A Moving at Breakneck Speed: Contractors Advised to Slow Down and Ensure Compliance

The pace at which government contractors are engaging in mergers & acquisitions has increased notably in recent years, as a stream of recent stories in the Washington Post and New York Times have reported. The acquisition of a government contractor frequently provides the buyer an opportunity to increase its market share and/or strengthen its capabilities … Continue Reading

Department of Labor Announces Increase to Minimum Wage for Government Contractors

Effective January 1, 2018, the minimum wage for federal contractors working on or in connection with contracts covered by Executive Order 13658 will increase to $10.35 per hour. The current minimum wage under Executive Order 13658 is $10.20 per hour. The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor posted notice of the … Continue Reading

Proposed Internet of Things Cybersecurity Bill May Create Hurdles for Government Contractors

The federal government dramatically has increased its spending in recent years on Internet of Things (“IoT”) devices, including biosensors that can gather medical and security data from soldiers and vehicles in the field; smart-building applications that reduce energy (such as desks that automatically power on when an employee scans his or her identification badge upon … Continue Reading

Senate’s Bid Protest Reforms a Step Backwards for Transparency

On July 10, 2017, the U.S. Senate placed the FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act on its Legislative Calendar. This action means the historically must-pass legislation is now ready for amendment and debate. Just as it did last year, the Senate Armed Services Committee (“SASC”) has included two provisions focused on bid protest reform.  Given … Continue Reading

What a New ‘Space Corps’ Military Branch Could Mean for Government Contractors

The House and Senate Armed Services Committees recently completed their respective markups of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The House version requires the Pentagon to establish the “U.S. Space Corps” – the first new military branch in 70 years – by January 1, 2019. The proposed Space Corps would fall under the secretary … Continue Reading

GAO Makes Rare Finding of Error in Past Performance Evaluation, and Underscores Incumbents Are Not Automatically Entitled to Highest Technical Rating

The GAO recently sustained a protest challenging the U.S. Coast Guard’s evaluation of past performance in a task order competition to obtain information technology support services under a multiple-award IDIQ enterprise acquisition gateway for leading edge solutions (EAGLE II) contract. Despite being decided in April, the decision was released recently to the public. SITEC Consulting, … Continue Reading

Your Contract Requires You To Be Named as an Additional Insured: Are You?

Last week, New York joined the ranks of several states that may limit a government contractor’s access to insurance coverage despite being added, as set forth in the contract, as an “additional insured” under a prime or subcontractor’s insurance policy. Generally, it is within the purview of a government contractor to add its prime or … Continue Reading

What VA Contractors Can Expect from Proposed Amendments to VA Acquisition Regulations

In efforts to bring the VA Acquisition Regulation (VAAR) “in line” with Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), the US Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) has proposed amendments to its acquisition regulation.  The VA proposes to eliminate any procedural guidance from the VAAR that is internal to the VA, to incorporate new regulations and policies, and to … Continue Reading

On-Time Bid Proposals—Not a Second Too Late

Submitting your company’s bid proposal close to the deadline can be risky and have grave consequences. The government has repeatedly rejected proposals submitted before, but received after, the deadline because of technical glitches.  In submitting a proposal for a government contract, the onus is on the contractor to ensure that its proposal is received prior … Continue Reading

Non-Federal Entities Receive Extra Year to Comply with Overhauled OMB Procurement Standards for Federal Assistance Agreements

Non-federal entities that receive federal assistance—such as colleges and universities, hospitals, nonprofits, and state, local and tribal governments—have been given an additional year to comply with the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) revised procurement standards for grants and federal funding. In December 2013, OMB overhauled its guidelines for the oversight and administration of federal … Continue Reading

Modernizing Government Technology Act Passes House, Moves to Senate

The revised Modernizing Government Technology Act (HR 2227) passed the House by voice vote May 17. Identical legislation already has been introduced in the Senate by Sens. Gerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.), and with strong bipartisan and industry support, the bill is expected to advance to the president in upcoming weeks. As Reed … Continue Reading

DOD Audits Identify Evaluation Errors, Shows Need For Proactive Contractor Diligence

On May 9, the Department of Defense Inspector General (“DoD IG”) released Audit Report No. DODIG-2017-081, Summary of Audits on Assessing Contractor Performance: Additional Guidance and System Enhancements Needed (the “Audit Report”). The audit identified weaknesses within the DoD’s contracting officials’ preparation of contractor Performance Assessment Reports (“PARs”) and potential improvements to the Contractor Performance … Continue Reading

With Unanimous Support, the Revised MGT Act Quickly Clears the House Oversight Committee

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee recently passed the revised “Modernizing Government Technology Act,” and the bill will proceed to the House floor for a vote.  The legislation aims to modernize federal IT infrastructure and to reduce wasteful government spending on the maintenance of existing “legacy” IT systems.  The bill has bipartisan, bicameral and … Continue Reading

The Supreme Court’s Recent Confirmation that Yearsley Derivative Sovereign Immunity Extends Beyond Public Works Projects

On January 20, 2016, the Supreme Court clarified the scope of “Yearsley immunity” – a form of derivative sovereign immunity available to qualifying government contractors – in its decision in Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez. Until two weeks ago, many courts had misconstrued the Supreme Court’s 1940 decision, Yearsley v. W.A. Ross Const. Co., 309 U.S. … Continue Reading

‘Implied Certification’ Theory Under the False Claims Act to be Reviewed by U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court recently granted certiorari in Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar, No. 15-7, to review the “implied certification” theory of liability under the False Claims Act.  In recent years, that theory has been applied in a wide variety of circumstances with increased frequency, exposing defendants to substantial damages … Continue Reading

Reed Smith’s Government Contracts Weekly Rundown

Here is a rundown of last week’s top developments related to government contracts to get you back on track and ready for this week. 1. DOD UNVEILS STRATEGY FOR CYBER DEFENSE On April 23, Defense Secretary Ash Carter unveiled the Defense Department’s second cyber strategy to guide the development of DoD’s cyber forces, and to … Continue Reading

Reed Smith’s Government Contracts Weekly Rundown

Here is a rundown of last week’s top developments related to government contracts to get you back on track and ready for this week. 1. ISDC REPORTS 14 PERCENT RISE IN DEBARMENT ACTIONS On March 31, the Interagency Suspension and Debarment Committee (“ISDC”) released its report to Congress detailing an increase in the use of … Continue Reading

GSA Faces Push-Back on Proposed Rule Eliminating PRC

Reed Smith attended last Friday’s General Services Administration’s (GSA) public meeting on the proposed Transactional Data Reporting rule. GSA’s proposed rule would eliminate the Price Reduction Clause (PRC) in favor of transactional data reporting. We previously blogged about the parameters of the proposed rule here. GSA held this meeting in the hopes of opening dialogue … Continue Reading

Raising the Bar: New Report Shows an Increase in Suspension and Debarment Actions

On March 31, 2015, the Interagency Suspension and Debarment Committee (“ISDC”) released its report to Congress detailing federal suspensions and debarment actions for fiscal year 2014. From 2013 to 2014, federal agencies in aggregate increased their use of exclusion actions. The number of persons and entities proposed for debarments jumped from 2,229 to 2,241, and … Continue Reading

Reed Smith’s Government Contracts Weekly Rundown

Here is a rundown of last week’s top developments related to government contracts to get you back on track and ready for Monday. 1. 6TH CIRCUIT REVERSES $657M FCA JUDGMENT Last week, the Sixth Circuit found that the government failed to adequately prove damages against United Technologies Corp and reversed the $657 million judgment against … Continue Reading

Reed Smith’s Government Contracts Weekly Rundown

Here is a rundown of last week’s top developments related to government contracts to get you back on track and ready for this week. 1. SEC MESSAGE TO GOVERNMENT CONTRACTORS, DON’T LIMIT WHISTLEBLOWING On April 1, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) settled its first enforcement action against a company for violating whistleblower protections by … Continue Reading

SEC Message to Government Contractors: Don’t Limit Whistleblowing

On April 1, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) settled its first enforcement action against a company for violating whistleblower protections by including restrictive language in confidentiality agreements used in its internal investigations. The SEC charged a Houston-based government services contractor with violating whistleblower protections codified in section 21F of the Securities Exchange Act. Rule … Continue Reading

DOE to Award 12 Contracts Totaling $55 Billion

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) intends to award up to 12 indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contracts, including two awarded to small businesses, with a total contract celling of $55 billion. The DOE released Request for Proposals (RFP) on March 23, 2015 for the implementation of energy savings performance contracts (ESPCs) at any U.S. … Continue Reading

Reed Smith’s Government Contracts Weekly Rundown

Here is a rundown of last week’s top developments related to government contracts to get you back on track and ready for Monday. 1. ACCESS TO SOLICITATION DOCUMENTS = CONFLICT OF INTEREST The Court of Federal Claims upheld the VA’s decision to cancel a contract award, agreeing that the contractor’s access to solicitation documents created … Continue Reading
LexBlog