Welcome to the PilieroMazza blog, featuring trending legal insight in the areas of government contracting, general business and corporate issues, labor and employment, and civil litigation matters.

ASBCA Confirms That It Has Jurisdiction to Entertain Fraud-Based Defenses

March 20, 2018
By Kathryn M. Kelley
The Federal Circuit’s holding in Laguna Construction Co. v. Carter seemed, when the case was decided in 2016, to scale back the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals’ (“ASBCA”) jurisdiction to entertain fraud-related defenses. 828 F.3d 1364. In that case, the government asserted a defense that Laguna could not recover in its claims because several of the company’s officials had pled guilty to a kickback scheme involving those contracts. The ASBCA found in the Government’s favor, relying on the guilty pleas as having established the underlying fraud. On appeal of that decision, Laguna argued that the ASBCA lacked jurisdiction to hear fraud-based defenses under the Contract Disputes Act. The Federal Circuit confirmed that the Board had jurisdiction, though it only seemed to allow the defense because “the Board did not have to make any factual findings of fraud.” In other words, it appeared that the ASBCA could not entertain a fraud defense absent a decision from a tribunal with jurisdiction over criminal or civil fraud cases.

Pre-Award Notifications in a Set-Aside Procurement: Can I Get a Debriefing Now?

March 16, 2018
By Julia Di Vito
If you pursue contracts that are set aside for small businesses, you have probably noticed that if your proposal is not successful, you will get what is called a “pre-award” notification from the agency informing you of the identity of “apparently successful offeror.” If you receive such a notice, you may be eager to get a debriefing to find out why your company was not identified as the “apparently successful offeror.”

HUBZone Definition of “Employee” Not So Black-and-White

By Peter B. Ford
In a recent decision, HUBZone Appeal of Q Services, Inc., the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) clarified that the number of hours worked by a person does not bar SBA from examining the totality of the circumstances to determine whether that individual qualifies as an employee for HUBZone program eligibility purposes.

Other Transaction Authority: What Is It and How Can I Get It?

March 8, 2018
By Megan C. Connor
If you followed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 (“FY 2018 NDAA”) or the recent cloud computing award to REAN Cloud, you likely heard the term “other transaction authority,” but may have wondered what it means. The term is an invention of lawmakers to give the U.S. Department of Defense (“DOD”) maximum flexibility in obtaining innovation without the trappings of traditional procurements. Contractors looking to take advantage of “other transaction authority” or “OTA” need to know some basics.

Do Millennials Pose a Retention Risk?

March 6, 2018
By Isaias Alba IV
According to GAO, it's reasonable for agencies to consider it in evaluating quotes. The topic of millennials in the workforce is no stranger to anyone in the working world. A plethora of articles, blogs, reports, polls, and studies have been devoted to the subject. The issue has been debated for years, and a main point of the discussion is how frequently millennials move from one job to the next.
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