Tag Archives: government contracts

GAO sustains a protest because agency documentation fell short

On March 14, 2022, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) sustained a protest (B-420267.3, B-420267.4) filed by Starlight Corporation (Starlight), a small business based in Carlsbad, California, contesting the Air Force’s award of a contract to a competitor. In its protest, Starlight complained that the Air Force’s past performance evaluation was not in accordance with the … Continue Reading

GAO denies a protest as untimely, notwithstanding the Agency’s decision to answer additional questions after enhanced debriefing concluded

On March 7, 2022, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) dismissed a protest in the Matter of K&K Industries, Inc. B-420422; B-420422.2, finding the protest untimely because it had been filed more than ten days after enhanced debriefing concluded. This decision serves as another reminder that when it comes to bid protest litigation before the GAO … Continue Reading

FAR Council mandates more domestic content in Buy American Act revision

75% domestic requirement takes effect in 2029 On March 7, the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council issued a final rule changing the “Buy American” requirements for federal contractors. The final rule is very similar to the proposed rule published in July 2021 and it materially changes the regulations at FAR Part 25, which implements the … Continue Reading

GAO sustains protest because of material key personnel misrepresentations and disparate treatment during proposal evaluation

Late last year, on December 20, 2021, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), sustained a protest in the Matter of Insight Technology Solutions, Inc. B-420133.2, B-420133.3, B-420133.4 when it found that the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Agency) unreasonably and disparately evaluated the Awardee’s proposal to provide information technology (IT) support services … Continue Reading

Federal agencies must update cybersecurity controls to achieve a zero trust architecture

On January 26, 2022, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published Memorandum M-22-09, “Moving the U.S. Government Toward Zero Trust Cybersecurity Principles” (the ZTA Memorandum), which requires federal agencies to take a hard look at their cybersecurity controls, and invest in and implement new measures to better protect the government’s networks, systems, and … Continue Reading

Tracking federal agencies’ re-opening plans for government contractors

After months of federal agency closures, and a wide expansion of teleworking and other remote work policies crafted in response to the novel coronavirus, the federal government is planning for a phased re-opening.[1] This post was most recently updated on June 26, 2020, and it includes updates to the following agency plans: Department of Defense, … Continue Reading

Contractor successfully uses GAO pre-award protest to modify solicitation

When the terms of a solicitation run contrary to the regulations, challenging the solicitation in a pre-award protest may provide contractors the chance to shift the tide in their favor before bids are submitted and an award is made. In January 2020, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) sustained a pre-award bid protest brought by Noble … Continue Reading

Riding the cybersecurity compliance wave: How defense contractors can navigate the rising tide of cybersecurity regulations

Cybersecurity attacks targeting government information have drastically increased, and both the federal government and private industry have struggled to implement effective means of protecting this information. Federal agencies continue to strive for a unified approach to protect critical data; however, the various regulations leave contractors without a clear set of requirements that are applicable to … Continue Reading

Legal Fees Spent Successfully Defending Qui Tam Whistleblower Claims May Be Recoverable Even Under Fixed-Price Contracts

As a lawyer who regularly defends qui tam suits brought against government contractors under the False Claims Act (FCA), a recent decision from the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in The Tolliver Grp. Inc. v. United States, Fed. Cl., No. 17-1763C (J. Lettow 10/26/18) prompted me to remind federal government contractors defending civil qui tam … Continue Reading

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

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

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 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

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. DOWNLOADING OS DOES NOT “SUBSTANTIALLY TRANSFORM” LAPTOP U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued a final determination, finding that downloading an operating system into a laptop that was manufactured and assembled in … Continue Reading

Reed Smith’s Government Contracts Weekly Rundown

1. COMMERCIAL CONTRACTING RULES APPLY TO FEDERAL SUPPLY SCHEDULES On Tuesday, March 10, 2015, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed and remanded a decision by the Court of Federal Claims, which permitted the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) to include contract clauses that deviated from federal government commercial contracting rules. … Continue Reading

The Big Bad Price Reduction Clause Might Be On Its Way Out: GSA Proposes New Rule Replacing Customer Tracking Requirements With Price Paid Reporting Requirements

Government contracting is not for the faint of heart when it comes to compliance woes. Private companies looking to do business with the government face a regulatory maze so great that it may inspire references to Greek mythology, labyrinth and all. Few contract clauses reflect this sentiment of compliance pitfalls better than the General Services … Continue Reading

FAR Part 12 Applies to CMS Orders on Federal Supply Schedule Contract

On Tuesday, March 10, 2015, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed and remanded a decision by the Court of Federal Claims, which permitted the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services (CMS) to include contract clauses that deviated from federal government commercial contracting rules. By doing so, the Court of Federal Claims held … Continue Reading

FinCEN Targets Community Bank – $1.5 Million Penalty for Failure to File Suspicious Activity Reports

On February 27, 2015, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) announced a $1.5 million civil penalty against the First National Community Bank of Dunmore, Pennsylvania (“FNCB”), arising from FNCB’s admission that it violated the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) by failing to detect and report suspicious financial transactions. The penalty is concurrent with a $500,000 penalty … Continue Reading

Reed Smith’s Government Contracts Weekly Rundown

Spring forward with a rundown of last week’s top developments related to government contracts. 1. Proposed Rule to Change Price-Reduction Clause The General Service Administration (GSA) proposed a new rule to change the basis of award monitoring requirement of the existing price-reductions clause, resulting in a burden reduction for participating FSS contractors. 2. OFPP Takes … Continue Reading

Reed Smith’s Government Contracts Weekly Rundown

In case you spent last week (this morning) dealing with winter weather instead of reading the latest and greatest in the realm on federal contracting, 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. Senate Passes “Clean” Spending Bill To … Continue Reading

Final Rule on Human Trafficking Prevention Set to Take Effect and Require Additional Compliance Actions for Certain Contractors

Starting the first week of March , federal contractors will be subject to new prohibitions and obligations related to human trafficking. These new requirements stem from a final rule issued January 29, 2015, that significantly strengthens the Federal Acquisition Regulation’s (FAR) existing provisions to prevent trafficking in persons. The new rule goes into effect March 2, … Continue Reading

How ‘FAR’ We Have Come: Looking Ahead to What 2015 May Bring in Federal Procurement Policy

The Office of Federal Procurement Policy (“OFPP”) is now under new leadership. Confirmed by the Senate in September, Anne Rung will take on the job of managing the federal government’s acquisition policy. Prior to her most recent appointment, Rung held the position of General Services Administration chief acquisition officer and associate administrator of governmentwide policy. … Continue Reading

FY 2015 Ebola Federal Funding: Congressional Increases and Program Support

FY 15 Omnibus spending legislation sent to the President for signature. This past weekend, the Senate finished work on an omnibus spending bill, Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (“Act”), which funds most of the federal government for the remainder of FY 15. The House of Representatives passed this legislation last week and it … Continue Reading
LexBlog