The Federal Government Contracts & Procurement Blog

http://governmentcontracts.foxrothschild.com/

Nicholas contributes to the Federal Government Contracts & Procurement blog, addressing current and future issues affecting federal contractors and procurement professionals in both the Washington, D.C., area and throughout the United States.

Recent Blog Posts

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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