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.

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: In Win for Whistleblowers, Supreme Court Clarifies Statute of Limitations for False Claims Act Actions Where Government Elects Not to Intervene

May 20, 2019
By Timothy F. Valley
Recently, in Cochise Consultancy, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Hunt, the Supreme Court resolved a circuit split and clarified in a unanimous decision that the statute of limitations period for qui tam actions where the Government declines to intervene could extend to ten years, if the plaintiff can show when the Government knew or should have known of the material facts related to the alleged false claim. The Supreme Court noted that under the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3731(b), civil actions must be brought either (1) within six years of when the alleged violation occurred; or (2) "[three] years after ‘the official of the United States charged with responsibility to act in the circumstances' knew or should have known the relevant facts, but not more than [ten] years after the violation . . . ." And, whichever period is later qualifies as the limitations period, even if the Government chooses not to intervene in the action.
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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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BLOG: CVE Denies SDVOSB Verification Application Based on Outdated VIP Profile

May 14, 2019
By Peter B. Ford
SDVOSBs participating in the VA's Veterans First Contracting Program are required to maintain a Vendor Information Page ("VIP") profile which contains a significant amount of information about the company, such as ownership structure, financial data, and capabilities. Making sure this information is current and accurate is critical to your verified SDVOSB status, as a recent OHA decision demonstrates.
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