Government Contracts

BLOG: Helping Government Contractors Prevent Unwarranted Tax Liabilities in Afghanistan

October 17, 2019
By Lauren Brier
On September 20, 2019, the Department of Defense ("DoD"), General Services Administration ("GSA"), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration ("NASA"), published a document proposing to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation ("FAR") to add two new clauses that notify contractors about the exemptions from liability for Afghanistan taxes, customs, duties, fees or similar charges. Comments for the proposed rule will continue to be accepted on or before November 19, 2019. Small and large government contractors performing in Afghanistan need to ensure they are registered to do business in Afghanistan and have the proper tax-exemption certificates in place prior to performance to avoid incurring Afghan tax liabilities that are otherwise exempt.

BLOG: A Thank You to the Small Business Administration: SBA Takes a Stand on OIG's Approach to Suspension and Debarment

October 16, 2019
By Isaias "Cy" Alba IV
The ability to suspend and debar contractors is a tool the federal government can deploy when necessary to protect it from unscrupulous contractors. Critically, it is not intended to be used punitively. The reason for this is clear, especially when dealing with small businesses: if you debar or suspend a company without evidence that it is not a responsible contractor, you risk destroying part of the United States' industrial base and numerous jobs that Americans rely on without good cause. Too often the Inspector Generals look to "shoot first and ask questions later" when it comes to suspension and debarment, taking a "guilty until proven innocent" approach. This approach can have catastrophic effects for small businesses. Luckily, the Small Business Administration's ("SBA") suspension and debarment officials understand this risk and have taken to heart the underlying principles, enshrined in law, that all government contractors are innocent until proven guilty.

BLOG: Government Contractor Acquisitions and Clearances: Deal Structure Matters

October 11, 2019
By Megan C. Connor and Kathryn L. Hickey
Our Corporate and Government Contracts attorneys often counsel contractors interested in acquiring an entity with a clearance or assets used on a classified contract. The clearance is a consideration in the transaction that cannot be overlooked. Indeed, the clearance is often one of the seller's most important "assets." Buyers and sellers alike should be aware of the National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual ("NISPOM") requirements.

BLOG: Buyer Beware: More Stringent Standards for Government Contractors under the Buy American Act on the Horizon

October 4, 2019
By Jacqueline K. Unger
President Trump has made "buy American and hire American" a key goal for his administration. To that end, the President has signed three executive orders to impose stricter enforcement of the Buy American Act (BAA), the latest of which was issued on July 15, 2019. While this new Executive Order on Maximizing Use of American-Made Goods, Products, and Materials (the Executive Order) does not have any immediate effect on federal procurements, it proposes significant changes to the Buy American requirements, and government contractors would be wise to keep abreast of the changes which could be implemented as soon as the spring of 2020.

BLOG: Start Preparing Now for DoD's Upcoming Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC)

September 27, 2019
By Jonathan Williams and Emily J. Rouleau
For a while now, we have been writing about the increasing impact of cybersecurity on the government contracting world, which, as Jon wrote, has become the "fourth pillar" of Department of Defense (DoD or the Agency) acquisitions. The latest evidence of this was discussed by our colleague, Dave Shafer, in his recent blog discussing a new DoD cybersecurity certification. This certification, called Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification or "CMMC," will significantly alter the DoD-acquisition landscape next year. Indeed, when this certification requirement comes online, all DoD contractors will be required to have CMMC to bid on, win, and retain new DoD contracts.
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