Government Contracts

BLOG: What Will Happen to the DoD's Mentor-Protégé Program?

June 11, 2019
By Emily J. Rouleau
As many of our clients know, there are several mentor-protégé programs run either by the SBA or specific agencies that are intended to help small businesses develop and enhance their ability to serve as a prime contractor or subcontractor in federal contracts. For example, the SBA has the 8(a) mentor-protégé program and the all-small mentor-protégé program, and it also approves agency mentor-protégé programs, such as the Department of Homeland Security's program, which is designed to help small businesses obtain and perform subcontracts under agency prime contracts.
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BLOG: Halting Employee's Right to Report Cybersecurity Noncompliance Can Land Government Contractors in Hot Water

May 28, 2019
By Sarah L. Nash
Last week signaled a potential rude awakening for government contractors subject to cybersecurity requirements. A California U.S. district court ruled that allegations against Aerojet Rocketdyne could progress following a former employee's complaint that the company terminated his employment after he disclosed cybersecurity failures to the company's board of directors and refused to sign documents indicating that the company was compliant. Among the employee's chief allegations is a charge that the company violated the False Claims Act by falsely representing its level of compliance with applicable cybersecurity standards so it could appear eligible for certain federal government contract awards.
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BLOG: Challenging a Negative CPARS: What Remedies Are Available?

May 22, 2019
By Samuel S. Finnerty
As any experienced government contractor knows, poor performance under a federal contract can have significant consequences. Not only can it lead to contract termination and damages, but it can also affect a contractor's ability to obtain future work, as agencies are generally required to consider past performance information posted on the Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System ("CPARS") when making source selection decisions. Because a CPARS rating is generally valid for 3 years (6 years for construction/architect-engineer contracts), a contractor may be inclined to challenge a negative CPARS if it believes it has been unfairly evaluated. As outlined below, there are a number of ways this can be done. However, the specific remedies available when challenging a negative CPARS will depend largely on the venue/juncture at which relief is obtained.
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BLOG: Justice Department Issues New False Claims Act Guidance on Cooperation Credit That May Reduce FCA-Defendant Liability

May 16, 2019
By Matthew E. Feinberg
Last week, on May 7, 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice ("DOJ") announced the issuance of formal guidance to clarify the manner in which the DOJ allocates credit to defendants who cooperate with government investigations in False Claims Act ("FCA") matters. In a press release from the Office of Public Affairs, the DOJ explained that it "has taken important steps to incentivize companies to voluntarily disclose misconduct and cooperate with [DOJ] investigations[.]" Specifically with regard to the FCA, the DOJ announced, "False Claims Act defendants may merit a more favorable resolution by providing meaningful assistance to the [DOJ] – from voluntary disclosure, which is the most valuable form of cooperation, to various other efforts, including the sharing of information gleaned from an internal investigation and taking remedial steps through new or improved compliance programs."
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BLOG: SBA Proposes to Implement Certification Requirement for WOSB/EDWOSBs and Revise Economic Disadvantage Criteria for 8(a) Eligibility

May 15, 2019
By Meghan F. Leemon
A few years ago, we wrote about how through the 2015 NDAA, Congress directed SBA to end self-certification for WOSBs and EDWOSBs and implement a certification process. On May 14, 2019, SBA issued the proposed rule which, if finalized, would implement a certification requirement for WOSBs and EDWOSBs. In this proposed rule, SBA has also proposed revising the economic disadvantage criteria for 8(a) companies, particularly for initial eligibility purposes, and to make these consistent between the 8(a) and EDWOSB programs.
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