The Federal Government Contracts & Procurement Blog

https://governmentcontracts.foxrothschild.com/

To help clients avoid risks and perform successfully in the hyper-competitive environment of government contracting, The Federal Government Contracts & Procurement Blog addresses current and future issues affecting federal contractors and procurement professionals in both the Washington, D.C., area and throughout the United States. It provides insight on the complex web of rules and regulations that govern the procurement process.

Recent Blog Posts

  • Money for Nothing: Recovering Bid Protest Attorneys’ Fees Winning bid protests all share one common theme – the government erred somewhere in the procurement process and the contractor was unfairly prejudiced as a result.  It is then up to the contractor to expend the time, effort, and resources necessary just to return to the status quo of basic fairness. Fortunately for contractors, the burden of pursuing a meritorious protest can (sometimes) be lifted. By law, the GAO has authority to recommend the reimbursement of protest costs (including attorneys’ fees) when... More
  • Bid Protest Denied After Contractor Declines to Engage with Agency Regarding Price Government agencies have ample discretion when it comes to corrective action in response to a bid protest.  A recent GAO bid protest shows that contractors must tread lightly when it comes to challenging that discretion. Unlike negotiations in the private sector, power plays against the government can end in lost contracting opportunities. The procurement that spawned the protest in question started as a sealed IFB by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for dredging services.  In response, to the IFB, the... More
  • Contractor Alert: Beware Bilateral Modification Release Language Contractors intending to submit a Request for Equitable Adjustment or Claim on a government contract need to be aware of the implications of bilateral modifications. In simple terms, a bilateral modification is a supplement to your company’s contract with the government that is signed by both you and the government.  The agency can use a bilateral modification to execute any number of contract changes or otherwise modify the terms of the agreement. Sometimes, however, a contracting officer may use a bilateral modification... More
  • WOSB Certification Errors Lead to Size Protest Small business owners need to be aware of the simple, proactive measures that are available right now to avoid headaches down the road. One prime example is properly maintaining your SAM.gov profile.  Taking the time to properly check (and periodically re-check) your SAM.gov reps and certs can help to establish and maintain your eligibility in the SBA’s socio-economic programs (like the Women-Owned, Service-Disabled, and HUBZone programs). For example, a recent SBA size protest considered the case of whether an apparently woman-owned small... More
  • How to Approach Best Value RFPs and Protest Improper Award Decisions Government contractors responding to RFPs understand the need to read the fine print. Mostly commonly, we discuss this topic in terms of pure proposal acceptability.  Protest decisions from the GAO and Court of Federal Claims make it abundantly clear that the burden falls on the contractor to follow directions and include all of the required information in all of the right places.  It is for that reason (among others) that we always recommend having an outsider (be it a consultant, a... More
  • False Claims Act Recoveries: FY 2017 Picks Up Where FY 2016 Left Off The U.S. Department of Justice is maintaining its momentum in the prosecution of alleged government contracting fraud.  DOJ had its third largest year ever in terms of civil False Claims Act recoveries in Fiscal Year 2016, clawing back $4.7 billion from government contractors accused of misconduct.  And the latest trends for 2017 show that individual corporate executives (not just the companies themselves) should be on high alert in the year ahead. On December 28, 2016, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore announced... More
  • Awards to Lower Tier Small Business Subcontractors Finally Count towards Small Business Subcontracting Goals After years of pushing by industry groups and the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) issued a final rule to amend the federal small business subcontracting plan requirements in order to allow other than small (i.e., large in SBA speak) federal prime contractors to receive credit for lower-tier subcontracting awards to small business concerns (SBCs) and other socio-economically disadvantaged SBCs.  Effective on January 23, 2017, federal prime contractors will... More
  • GAO: Contractor (Not Agency) Responsible for Alleged Technical Glitch Bid protests concerning proposal interpretation present an uphill battle for federal contractors.  Both the Government Accountability Office and the Court of Federal Claims take the expansive view that the contractor is responsible for the content of its proposal — and that it is not the agency’s role to play detective or dig through a proposal to piece together responsive information. For example, a few months ago, we looked a case where the protester’s proposal was rejected for failing to include certain required... More
  • Contractor Wins Claim for Additional Costs After Partial Termination by Government It is common for government contractors to file claims on federal projects where there are government-directed changes to the contract that add time or scope. But what if – instead of adding time and/or scope – the government de-scopes work from the contract by issuing a partial termination?  A recent successful claim shows that the contractor can still recover its increased costs. In a decision by the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA), the Board considered a contract for the provision... More
  • COFC: HUBZones Are Responsible for Tracking 35% Employee Residency Requirement The Small Business Administration’s HUB Zone program seeks to encourage development in historically underutilized business (or HUB) zones.  Like the SBA’s other socio-economic programs, HUBZone contractors are eligible for certain set-aside contracting opportunities, as well as participation in the SBA’s new All Small Mentor Protégé Program. The HUBZone program is different from other SBA programs in that owning a HUBZone business depends less on who you are (unlike, for example, the SBA’s women-owned or service disabled veteran-owned programs) and more on... More