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

  • Fox Speaks: Interpreting Government Contracts If you are interested in an overview of the unique framework of laws, regulations, and rules that govern the interpretation of government contracts, I invite you to join me for a live webinar on Monday, December 18. More information on registration and attending the webinar can be found here. During the webinar, I will discuss the unique interaction between your business and the Federal government when it comes to contracting in the public sector.  A marked departure from private contracting, businesses must understand how government contracts are formed and administered in order to... More
  • Litigation Update: Contractor Not Entitled to Delay Costs Based on Access to Information Included in its Contract Understanding claims under the Contract Disputes Act is an essential skill for government contractors.  Claims (and related requests for equitable adjustment) are by far the most common remedy for contractors seeking to recover additional time and/or costs from the agency administering the contract. Part of understanding the claims process is appreciating what kind of impacts do – and do not – lead to recovery for the contractor.  For example, and as I’ve covered before, contractor claims often arise in the context... More
  • GAO Protest Primer: Effective Use of Pre-Award Protests It seems that when we discuss GAO bid protests, we most often refer to the post-award variety.  Your company lost a contract award due to a procurement error by the agency (like the failure to adhere to the RFP requirements or properly evaluate proposals) – and the fight is on to win it back. However, Federal contractors have another effective tool at their disposal – the pre-award protest. A pre-award protest is based on alleged improprieties in the RFP that are apparent... More
  • SBA: Ostensible Subcontractor Rule in Play Even Between Two Small Firms As I have covered here before, every small business owner needs to be aware of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) ostensible subcontractor rule. In a nutshell, ostensible contractor affiliation occurs when a small business holds a prime contract – but a subcontractor hired for the job actually ends up controlling the work.  The SBA targets instances where the subcontractor (and not the small business prime) performs the “primary and vital” work of the contract.  Affiliation can also arise under the ostensible... More
  • GAO: Excellent Performance of Incumbent Contract Does Not Guarantee Future Follow-On Work   Every government contractor that begins performance on a new engagement has the same basic goal – superior performance that bolsters the company’s bottom line and garners excellent past performance ratings from the agency. But, when the contract ends, will your company’s status as a successful incumbent contractor increase the odds of winning future follow-on work from the agency?  While it never hurts to have exemplary past performance, GAO recently cautioned that nothing is guaranteed. The protest in question (filed by the incumbent... More
  • Fox Speaks: The Impact of the SBA’s All Small Program on the Design-Build Community Join me on Friday, November 10, 2017 to discuss the impact of the Small Business Administration’s All Small Mentor Protégé Program on the Design-Build Community.  My program is part of the Design-Build Institute of America’s Conference & Expo (Philadelphia, PA). The impact of design-build in the public sector is well documented.  Federal agencies are increasingly employing integrated delivery services on government construction projects. Now, the rise of design-build is coupled with the new opportunities (and challenges) presented by the Small Business Administration’s “All Small”... More
  • New GAO Decision Emphasizes “Should Have Known” Element of Bid Protest Timeliness The most common basis to establish timeliness for a Government Accountability Office (GAO) bid protest is found in Section 21.2 of the GAO’s regulations.  Under the regulation, the protester must file the protest “not later than 10 days after the basis of protest is known or should have been known”. Important Disclaimer:  There are plenty of other events that can trigger the running of a GAO bid protest filing deadline.  Please feel free to reach out to me directly if you... More
  • CPARS Challenge Primer: Formal Claim Required to Appeal Negative Performance Evaluation For federal contractors, it is not an exaggeration to say that performance evaluations are the lifeblood of the business.  A less-than-satisfactory evaluation in the Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS) affects far more than just the agency’s assessment of performance on a particular project.  A negative evaluation follows a contractor around – impacting the ability to obtain future contracts due to the specter negative past performance ratings. The good news for contractors is that the ability to challenge and – if... More
  • SBA Size Update: Strategies for Contesting Affiliation based on Economic Dependence   Today, we take a look at the culmination of a long fight over the size status of a joint venture competing for a Federal contract.  After losing battles at the Small Business Administration (SBA) Area Office and Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) – the joint venture finally won the war when the Court of Federal Claims (COFC) declared that SBA incorrectly applied the economic dependence test. A quick refresher on SBA economic dependence:  In a nutshell, the SBA will find two firms... More
  • Proposal Prep Tips: Better Does Not (Necessarily) Mean “Best Value” In a recent post, I discussed new legislation that could signal an uptick in Best Value procurements for complex service-based contracts.  In the view of many (including me), more Best Value RFPs is a win/win for both contractors and the government. As a quick refresher, Best Value procurements utilize a Best Value Tradeoff Analysis, which gives the agency the ability to weigh proposal costs and benefits and award the contract to the offeror that will provide the “best value” to government... More