In the Aftermath of the Granston Memo, the DOJ Addresses (Some of) Grassley’s Concerns

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As previously discussed in a Law360 article by Jeffrey Belkin and Michael Mortorano, the DOJ’s Granston memo, dated January 10, 2018, “advised DOJ attorneys that, in tandem with their decisions to decline intervention in qui tam suits, they should consider proactively seeking dismissal under 31 U.S.C. § 3730(c)(2)(A).” On September 4, 2019, Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) wrote to Attorney General William Barr expressing his concerns about the DOJ’s implementation of the Granston memo, a topic that we noted Grassley had previewed during Barr’s confirmation hearing. While recognizing [...]Read more

Construction-Manager-As-Constructor Recognized as an Acceptable Project Delivery Method in Federal Contracts

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On December 19, 2019, the U.S. General Services Administration (“GSA”) issued a final rule which amends the General Services Administration Acquisition Regulation (“GSAR”) regarding project delivery methods for construction.[1] This rule, effective January 21, 2020, adopts the Construction-Manager-as-Constructor (“CMc”) project delivery method, one of the three most common construction services delivery methods. By adding the CMc delivery method in the GSAR as an alternative to design-bid-build and design-build, the Government is making it easier to comply with contracting requirements [...]Read more

Warning: Iranian Cyber Response Possible Against Government Contractors

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As a result of heightened tension between the United States and Iran, companies, especially those that do business with the Federal Government and with the Department of Defense in particular, would be well-advised to take immediate steps to confirm and strengthen their cybersecurity measures.  Read on for the post from our firm’s Privacy & Cybersecurity Blog discussing how regulators are warning of a possible rise in cyber-attacks. ... After Friday’s announcement of the killing of Major General Qassem Soleimani, a leader of Iran’s Quds Force, several regulators have put industry on [...]Read more

Food Marketing Institute v. Argus Leader Media: Enhanced FOIA Protection for Contractors’ “Confidential” Commercial or Financial Information

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For the last 55 years nearly all federal agencies and courts tasked with determining whether a contractor’s “commercial or financial” information is “confidential” for purposes of exemption from public disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act have had to evaluate – among other things – whether disclosure of the information likely would cause substantial harm to the competitive position of the person from whom the information was obtained. In Food Marketing Institute v. Argus Leader Media, 588 U.S. ___ (2019), the Supreme Court rejected this decades-long “competitive harm” [...]Read more

Final FAR Council Rule Expands the Scope of GIDEP Screening and Reporting and Effectively Mandates GIDEP Membership for Covered Contractors

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The FAR Council recently issued a Final Rule on the Reporting of Nonconforming Items to the Government-Industry Data Exchange Program (GIDEP) to address supply chain risks from counterfeit and nonconforming goods. The Rule goes into effect on December 23, 2019. While the Final Rule on its face addresses counterfeit and nonconforming parts, the GIDEP program is potentially more onerous than meets-the-eye. GIDEP is a U.S. Government funded and managed voluntary information exchange program among government and industry participants.  Its members include, among others, dozens of government [...]Read more

DOJ Antitrust “Strike Force” Will Crack Down on Collusive Bidding and Procurement Fraud

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On November 5, 2019, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the formation of a new Procurement Collusion Strike Force (PCSF) to prosecute collusive bidding and procurement fraud in government contracting. According to Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, the PCSF “will target bid-rigging and other antitrust crimes that can cost American taxpayers billions of dollars each year by undermining the federal government’s processes for purchasing goods and services and for money granted to states and municipalities to undertake large, high-dollar-figure public improvement projects.” The PCSF will [...]Read more

Government Contracts Team Serves As Specialty Counsel in $1.365 Billion M&A Deal

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On July 30, 2019, BBA Aviation plc, a market-leading provider of global aviation support and aftermarket services, announced an agreement to sell their Ontic business, a division providing high-quality, OEM-licensed parts for legacy military and aerospace platforms, to CVC Fund Vll, for $1.365 billion. Alston & Bird’s Government Contracts team served as specialty counsel to CVC, a UK-based private equity firm. Completion of the sale is expected in Q4 2019. Press about the sale can be found here.  The Alston & Bird attorneys who represented the buyer were Jeff Belkin,  Katherine [...]Read more

Jeniffer Roberts and Katherine Veeder Published in Law360: “Government Contractor Compliance: 1 Size Can’t Fit All”

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Alston & Bird partner Jeniffer Roberts and senior associate Katherine Veeder were published in Law360 on June 17, 2019 with their article, “Government Contractor Compliance: 1 Size Can’t Fit All”, on how government contractors can develop a comprehensive program for facilitating compliance with regulations at the federal, state and local levels. The article provides examples of conflicting requirements in the regulatory landscape and best practices for designing compliance programs that span doing business with federal, state, and local U.S. government entities. Read the full article here. [...]Read more

DOJ Affirms Cooperation Principles in Government Contract Fraud Investigations

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Those of us who have had more than a few discussions with the Civil Fraud Section of the Department of Justice (DOJ) over the years about federal procurement and grant fraud have come away with a clear enough understanding of a few basic principles of cooperation. First, while it is cliché to say that the “multiple” on single damages that the DOJ might demand in settlement of a civil False Claims Act (FCA) case varies depending on the circumstances, the general understanding is that if a defendant settles at or before the time the DOJ must file its complaint, then the DOJ may be more willing [...]Read more

Alston & Bird Construction & Government Contracts Group Honored by Chambers USA

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We are excited to announce that our Government Contracts Group has earned recognition in the 2019 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. We are also proud of our Construction colleagues, some of whom focus on public construction. Government Contracts Nationwide: Recognized Practitioner Construction California: Band 3 Georgia: Band 2 The groups had a total of eight individuals recognized, including Jeff Belkin, Debbie Cazan, John Hanover, Bill Hughes, Mike Shanlever, Jessica Sharron, John Spangler, and Chris Roux. We are proud of our recognition, [...]Read more