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

  • When to Protest: Thoughts on Challenging a Defective Solicitation Two pieces of advice I often provide to government contractors are: 1.When responding to a solicitation, give the government precisely what it asks for – right down to the letter.  This includes providing the information in the correct section of your proposal.  The agency will not play hide-and-seek; and 2.  If you think there is something askew with a procurement or award decision – act fast.  There are lots of different deadlines enforced by GAO, but they all come and go very... More
  • Federal Contractors’ Guide to Small Business Administration Set-Aside Contracts, Size Standards, Size Protests, and Affiliation Please see the following link for Fox Rothschild LLP’s Federal Contractors’ Guide to Small Business Administration Set-Aside Contracts, Size Standards, Size Protests, and Affiliation.  http://www.foxrothschild.com/douglas-p-hibshman/publications/federal-contractors-guide-to-small-business-administration-set-aside-contracts-size-standards-size-protests-and-affiliation/ The federal government sets aside a significant portion of its procurement dollars each year for purchasing goods and services from small businesses.  Small business set-aside procurements and small business contract awards (“Set-Aside Procurements” and “Set-Aside Contracts,” respectively) provide substantial opportunities for a certified small business concern (SBC) to compete for and perform federal contract work. However, SBCs... More
  • Contractors Need Not Wait To Pursue Delay Claims Do contractors need to wait for a project to be complete to file a delay claim? The answer is a resounding NO! There is no reason for a contractor to finance a government-caused delay for any longer than absolutely necessary. The Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA) recently drove this point home in CTA I, LLC v. Department of Veterans Affairs, CBCA 5826 (2018). In that case, CTA filed an Appeal in August 2017 seeking approximately $2 million in delay, inefficiency,... More
  • Government Shutdowns: Practical Strategies for Mitigating Contractor Risk Crisis averted – at least for the time being. The government shutdowns in January and February 2018 were big news, but ultimately resulted in very little actual downtime for the Federal government.  But does that mean its back to business as usual for government contractors?  Not by a longshot. As Politico Playbook reported today, March has its own funding deadline.  With political hot-button issues (like immigration reform) still unresolved, there are legitimate concerns that another shutdown looms on the horizon. In light of... More
  • Failure to Meaningfully Consider OCI For contractors, defending (and overcoming) bid protests that challenge contract awards based on alleged Organizational Conflicts of Interest (OCI) may hinge on what a contractor does at the very beginning of the procurement process.  Whether the contractor revealed, acknowledged, addressed, and documented potential OCI with the Contracting Officer (CO) could determine the fate of the protest (and, in turn, the contract award). In a recent decision, GAO sustained a protest asserting that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) failed to meaningfully consider... More
  • New COFC Decision Highlights Danger of Contract Modifications on CDA Claims The Contract Disputes Act (CDA) provides a remedy for contractors seeking to recover additional time or costs on a government contract (as part of a Claim or Request for Equitable Adjustment).  But when the basis for recovery is tied up in a contract modification, contractors must beware the agency’s standard waiver language – or risk losing the battle before it even begins. The government utilizes contract modifications to implement any number of contract changes, ranging from minor adjustments to major alterations.  Modifications come... More
  • 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