The 2019 NDAA's Impact on Small Business Programs

September 21, 2018
By Samuel S. Finnerty
Published by Set-Aside Alert: On Aug. 13, the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act ("NDM") for Fiscal Year 2019 was signed into law by President Trump. As with prior NDAAs, the 2019 NDM includes a number of provisions that affect procurement policy, management, and related matters. Below, we summarize some of the more notable provisions that will impact small business procurement

False Claims Act cases involving set-aside contracts held to more stringent requirements following Escobar

July 30, 2018
Published by WestLaw Journal for Government Contracts: Two years have passed since the U.S. Supreme Court issued Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar, a key False Claims Act ("FCA") case that resolved a circuit court split regarding the scope and validity of the implied false certification theory and established that the materiality standard for FCA cases is "demanding." Since that time, lower courts have been implementing those standards to varying effects. The trend has been favorable for companies facing FCA cases that allege false certifications related to qualifications to participate in socio-economic contracting programs.

SBA Continues to Focus on Fraud in Set-Aside Programs

July 20, 2018
Published by Set-Aside Alert Newsletter: During the past few years, the number of False Claims Act (FCA) civil cases has grown exponentially. While most of this growth has come from an increase in the number of actions involving fraud in the health care industry, plaintiffs also have found the U.S. Small Business Administration's set-aside programs to be fertile ground for FCA claims. As a result, the government has focused its resources on investigating fraud in these programs.

Section 809 Panel's Recommendations on Bid Protests May Cause Major Headaches for Contractors

May 25, 2018
By Isaias Alba IV
Published by Set-Aside Alert Newsletter: In Section 809 of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2016, Congress created a panel, known as the Section 809 Panel, to review and to provide recommendations on how to streamline and improve the Department of Defense's (DOD) acquisition process. The Section 809 Panel issued the first volume of its report in January 2018. The second volume, slated for release in June 2018, may include sweeping recommendations for a drastic overhaul of the bid protest process for DOD procurements. While a successful offeror on any given procurement may stand to benefit from these significant changes, overall, this potential overhaul does not bode well for contractors and would undermine the integrity of the procurement process.

OFCCP Announces Commitment to Training and Transparency: Can They Deliver?

May 11, 2018
By Nichole D. Atallah
Published by Set-Aside Alert Newsletter: The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs ("OFCCP") is a federal agency charged with ensuring that approximately 200,000 federal contractors refrain from discrimination and take affirmative action to provide equal employment opportunities for certain protected classes of workers. In recent years OFCCP has developed a reputation as being difficult to work with to resolve concerns and differences arising out of compliance audits. Additionally, compliance requirements under the jurisdiction of the OFCCP are generally not well understood.  On May 1 , OFCCP took the first step in changing these perceptions by announcing its action plan to provide contractors with more compliance information and training and committing to more transparent investigations ("Action Plan").
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