Category Archives: Advice to Contractors & Grant Recipients

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

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

Will DOJ’s False Claims Act ‘Voluntary’ Dismissals Accelerate Under Attorney General Barr?

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It has been a few months since the 2015 “Yates Memo” was updated by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s announcement in late November 2018, as reflected by our colleagues in our White Collar Group.  While the principles behind the earlier policy were laudable – objectionable behavior will be deterred better when individual managers are at risk of criminal liability and financial ruin – the revised policy may not have had a sufficient time “in force” to result in actual behavioral modification.  At least from our vantage point of the government contracts industry.  Keep in [...]Read more

GOVERNMENT CONTRACTORS BEWARE! New Definition of “Recruitment Fees” Clarifies What Constitutes Human Trafficking-Related Activities – And It May Not Be What You Think

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Can requiring that a job applicant obtain and pay for a passport photo make a U.S. government contractor run afoul of human trafficking rules? Potentially “yes” under a new final rule clarifying what constitutes human trafficking under the Federal Acquisition Regulation (“FAR”). Since 2015, the U.S. government has prohibited U.S. government contractors from engaging in human trafficking, including charging employees “recruitment fees,” via FAR 52.222-50. Previously, the U.S. government’s prohibition lacked a definition for the term “recruitment fees.” To provide clarity and [...]Read more

Looking into the GovCon Crystal Ball for 2019: Jeniffer Roberts and Katherine Veeder Discuss Supply Chain Management with Inside Defense

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Alston & Bird partner Jeniffer Roberts along with senior associate Katherine Veeder spoke with Inside Defense last month regarding potential hot topics in government contracting for 2019.  One such topic, as highlighted in the publication’s article, “Looking to 2019: Contracting advocates and experts lay out key issues in the year ahead” is supply chain management, including the new requirements and prohibitions that U.S. government contractors may need to flow down to their subcontractors.  As Jeniffer Roberts explained, “certain prohibitions, including those on the government [...]Read more

Chris Roux in U.S. News–Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” on the State of American Infrastructure

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Alston & Bird partner Chris Roux had his article, “Building Blocks: Everyone Agrees U.S. Infrastructure Is in Lamentable Shape,” published in the 2019 “Best Law Firms” edition of U.S. News–Best Lawyers.  The article evaluates the current condition of infrastructure in the United States and the extent to which Congress and the Trump administration can and/or will take action to remedy the problems.  Although there were high hopes, Congress has failed to pass major infrastructure legislation.  Roux evaluates the potential impact of public-private partnerships as a possible delivery [...]Read more