Government Contracts

Review of NAICS Codes Assignments Reveals Inconsistencies and Small Percentage of Successful Appeals

February 15, 2018
By Ambika J. Biggs and A. John Shoraka
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) has released a report on its review of several issues related to the North American Industry Classification System (“NAICS”) codes. Although it found that there are some inconsistencies in the assignment of NAICS codes – and thus size standards – for substantively similar procurements, only about 20 percent of NAICS codes appeals are successful. This is likely due to the fact that, in order to win a NAICS code appeal, an appellant must demonstrate that the contracting officer made a clear error of fact or law, not just that he or she had suspect intentions in assigning the code, such as favoring an incumbent.

Cybersecurity Update

February 9, 2018
By Kimi N. Murakami
Last month many of you listened to the webinar Jon Williams and I did regarding the December 31, 2017, deadline to comply with the Department of Defense (DoD) Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) 252.204-7012 and how to implement the security controls set forth in the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication (SP) 800-171. Now that the deadline has passed and we’ve entered into a new era of being compliant with the rules, we thought it would be a good time to follow up on several issues discussed during the webinar and to respond to the most commonly asked questions.

Don’t Get Lost Filing and Prosecuting CDA Claims

February 2, 2018
By Michelle E. Litteken
Although the Contract Disputes Act (“CDA”) is intended to provide an efficient way for contractors to resolve disputes with the Government, contractors often encounter difficulties when submitting and prosecuting CDA claims. A claim may not satisfy the CDA’s requirements, such as providing a certification or requesting a final decision. Or, a contractor may face problems at the appeal stage due to jurisdictional issues. A recent decision from the Federal Circuit, Securiforce International America, LLC v. United States, Nos. 2016-2586, 2016-2633 (Fed. Cir. Jan. 17, 2018), provides a good reminder on some of these issues.

Defining “Unconditional” Ownership and Control of SDVOSBs: SBA Proposes to Relax Ownership and Control Requirements

February 2, 2018
By Meghan F. Leemon
Recently, we wrote about the VA’s proposed rule to eliminate its own ownership and control criteria for SDVOSB and VOSB eligibility under the Vets First contracting program. The proposed rule stems from Congress’ mandate in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 (“NDAA”) that SBA be the sole agency responsible for issuing regulations relating to the ownership and control of SDVOSBs and VOSBs. On Monday, the SBA released a proposed rule regarding the sole definition of ownership and control that would apply to VA, Vets First, and all other Government acquisitions that require self-certification as an SDVOSB or VOSB.

How to Tell Your Customer “Hands Off My Workforce!”: Understanding Your Rights as a Government Contractor

January 24, 2018
By Sarah L. Nash
I need this project completed by next week! We decided to move your offices down two floors. Can you work through the weekend? Most contractors are used to their government customers’ idiosyncratic preferences. Satisfying the customer’s needs is par for the course. But at what point does a government official’s overbearing nature change from inconvenient to impermissible?
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