New CVE Guidance on Joint Ventures and Mentor-Protégé Relationships

Earlier this month, the VA’s Center for Verification and Evaluation (“CVE”) published a new VA Verification Assistance Brief, Understanding Joint Venture and Mentor-Protégé Agreement Eligibility (“Assistance Brief”). The Assistance Brief explains the criteria that make a joint venture (“JV”) eligible for verification and inclusion in the VA VetBiz Vendor Information Pages (“VIP”) database, which is helpful given that the VA’s regulations, specifically 38 C.F.R. Part 74, say very little in terms of how a JV can be verified by CVE . . . Read More

Navigating Your DBE Certification

The Department of Transportation’s (“DOT”) Disadvantage Business Enterprise (“DBE”) program is not as well-known as the Small Business Administration’s (“SBA”) 8(a) and other small business programs, but it offers an excellent opportunity for eligible small businesses to expand their reach into state and local markets. The DOT requires that state and local agencies that receive DOT funding spend at least 10 percent of funds for certain projects on contracts with certified DBEs, which include woman- and minority-owned businesses. The DOT . . . Read More

The Firm Fixed Myth

In November of last year, I prepared a blog article about a specific clause that started appearing in firm-fixed-price contracts with various agencies which allowed them to reduce the price paid to the contractor based upon any absence, regardless of how short or the reason for the absence. Since that time, we have been assisting more and more clients in situations where the government is demanding discounts or refunds on firm-fixed-price contracts. Given this fact I believe it would be . . . Read More

GAO Finds NIH Failed to Refer SDVOSB Offeror’s Capability to SBA

In a recently published  GAO decision , GAO sustained a SDVOSB’s protest of its exclusion from the competitive range by NIH under the CIO-SP3 SB GWAC procurement.  The CIO-SP3 SB RFP required an evaluation of proposals in two phases. NIH evaluated offerors in Phase 1 under four “Go/No-Go” requirements, including factor 2, management approach, subfactor 1, domain-specific capability in a health-related mission. NIH found the protester’s proposal unacceptable under this factor/subfactor because the protester’s proposal was “not sufficient to demonstrate inherent capabilities . . . Read More

Earn-Outs in M&A Transactions: Red Flag Issues that Government Contractors Should Avoid

By Michael A. de Gennaro Government contractors who wish to grow by purchasing an existing business are aware of one simple truth:  The value of the target is linked directly to its ability to transfer its existing contracts. If there is a high risk profile—for example, if assets of the target are subject to novation in connection with the acquisition—then a purchaser is likely to seek either a downward adjustment in the purchase price or to propose deferred compensation, such . . . Read More

Understanding Government Contract Terminations

It is important for prime contractors to understand what it means if its contract with the Federal Government is terminated and what rights and obligations it has. Nearly every Government contract contains a clause allowing the Government to terminate a contract either for convenience or for default (also known as for cause). The Government may terminate your contract, or a portion of your contract, for convenience when it is in the Government’s interest. Essentially, this means that the Government has made . . . Read More

Get a Handle on Changing Leave Laws

Picking up work across states can be challenging for any employer, particularly with respect to employment law, and it’s not getting any easier. Recently, a number of states and localities are proposing and passing sick and family leave laws, each with differences, making it challenging for employers to comply with and pay for the additional benefit. States are motivated by the federal government’s failure to address paid sick and family leave broadly at the federal level. As a result, states . . . Read More

Government Asking for More Transparency on Federal Contracts Over 150K

By Dana Livne and John Shoraka For years the federal government has attempted to increase transparency in the federal marketplace and last month, U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Jon Tester (D-MT) introduced a  bill  that would require the posting online of the exact details of all government contracts worth $150,000 or more. The bill, “Contractor Accountability and Transparency Act of 2017”, seeks to implement a “machine-readable, searchable copy of each covered contract entered into by a Federal agency”.  If the . . . Read More

What Every Contractor Should Know About Requests for Equitable Adjustment

By Michelle Litteken Government contractors quickly learn to expect the unexpected. While working on a construction contract, a contractor may encounter undisclosed utility lines 15 feet underground. Or, an information technology support contractor may be asked to comply with heightened security requirements without being given a contract modification. These changes increase the cost of performance and can put a small business in a precarious position. In situations like this, many contractors file a request for equitable adjustment (“REA”), seeking additional . . . Read More

CVE Extends Verification Eligibility Period: What This Means for VOSBs

Last week, the Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) final rule extending the eligibility period for participation in the VA VetBiz Vendor Information Pages (“VIP”) Program took effect. The final rule extends the verification eligibility period from two to three years. For those service-disabled-veteran-owned small businesses and veteran-owned small businesses (“VOSBs”) wondering what they need to do to take advantage of an additional 12 months of eligibility, the answer is nothing.  All VOSBs listed in the VIP database as of March . . . Read More