Category Archives: Defense

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

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

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

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

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

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