Is a Shakeup Still Imminent for U.S. Domestic Sourcing?

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Following a February 18, 2020 blog post, Jeff Belkin, Mike Mortorano, and MJ Kim explain in Contract Management Magazine how a recent Federal Circuit decision and possible U.S. withdrawal from the World Trade Organization’s Government Procurement Agreement could impact existing procurement policies and supply chain decisions. Now with the sudden economic devastation brought on by the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Trump Administration’s next move is more important than ever. As the U.S. economy falters and stimulus bills are pushed out, the potential implications of withdrawing from the WTO [...]Read more

President Invokes Wartime Production Law to Require Commercial Businesses to Prioritize Manufacturing & Delivery of Goods to Combat Coronavirus Pandemic

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At a news conference this morning, March 18, 2020, President Trump announced he was invoking the Defense Production Act of 1950 (“DPA”) to thwart the Coronavirus pandemic. Among numerous broad powers, this 1950 law authorizes the President to force commercial entities to prioritize and accept contracts for materials and services deemed necessary to promote the national defense. While initially passed to ensure the nation’s wartime readiness following the Korean War, Congress has greatly expanded the scope of the law to include – within the meaning of “national defense” – emergency [...]Read more

Alston & Bird Team Returns to D.C. for Thomson Reuters Government Contracts Year-in-Review Conference

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The Alston & Bird Government Contracts team is excited to be gathered again for the annual Thomson Reuters Government Contracts Year-in-Review Conference in Washington, D.C. this week. The conference takes place at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, which, for the next few days, will feature a robust discussion of government contracting issues and recent developments for the hundreds of attorneys, executives, and government officials in attendance. We are looking forward to connecting with colleagues, clients, and friends from around the country! [...]Read more

Are the Stars Aligning for a Major Shakeup of the TAA Domestic Preference Regime?

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Domestic sourcing policies may soon see a major shakeup after a one-two punch this past week from the Trump Administration and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. First, earlier this month, government officials circulated plans for the Trump Administration to issue an Executive Order threatening the U.S.’s withdrawal from the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) unless undisclosed changes favored by the Administration are made. The WTO GPA provides the baseline of international participation in government procurements around the globe, with signatories [...]Read more

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