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

  • 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
  • Eye on Affiliation: The Ostensible Subcontractor Rule Small business owners must always be mindful of what it means to be “small” in the world of government contracting.  After all, losing that small business size status means losing direct access to the lucrative world of set-aside contracts and the SBA’s socio-economic programs. In the past, we’ve discussed the SBA’s rules on affiliation – in short, the rules that determine whether you actually own and control your small business.  A finding of affiliation between two companies means that the firms... More
  • GSA Leasing: How to Recoup Operating Cost Escalations GSA leases include operating costs (for example, the cost of cleaning services, supplies, materials, maintenance, trash removal, landscaping, water, sewer charges, heating, electricity, and certain administrative expenses attributable to occupancy) that will rise year after year. The key question for leaseholders is how to position yourself to recoup those cost increases beginning with the second year of the lease and for each year thereafter. The typical GSA lease includes a clause that determines whether the rental rate remains firm throughout the term... More
  • Don’t Be Fooled by the Latest Example of Federal Small Business Contracting Fraud As I’ve covered extensively on this blog, the U.S. government is conducting a wide-spread and on-going crackdown on contracting fraud.  Under the Civil False Claims Act alone, the government clawed back $3.5 billion in 2015.  And 2016 is poised to be another banner year. One of the hot topics in fraud prevention of late is small business contracting fraud.  The government is investing heavily in making sure that there are optimum opportunities for small businesses to receive federal contracting dollars (for example,... More
  • Should I File a Claim or an REA on my Government Contract?   Government contractors are frequently faced with the situation where they are owed additional time or are entitled to damages from the government on a contract.  For example, the government might be responsible for delays to the project schedule.  Or it might direct changes to the contract that make it more expensive to perform. There are generally two methods for the contractor to pursue recovery – (1) filing a Claim under the Contract Disputes Act or (2) submitting a request for equitable... More
  • Slow March to SBA’s New Small Business Mentor-Protégé Program Continues – More Changes Coming November 1   If you’re a government contractor, you likely already know about the Small Business Administration’s new Small Business Mentor-Protégé Program (now also being referred to as the “All Small” Mentor-Protégé Program by the SBA).  If you’re playing catch-up, you can find our initial thoughts on the Program here, our summary of Program pros and cons here, and our strategies for effective mentor-protégé teaming here. The SBA started accepting applications for the Program on October 1, 2016.  During this early roll-out period, applicants initiated... More