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and Construction Matters Since 1893.
Oles Morrison

The Department of Defense Will Allow Cybersecurity Costs as an Allowable Cost

By on July 22, 2019 | Posted in Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity compliance has become an increasingly trending and important area for government review, especially by the Department of Defense (DoD), placing an emphasis on defense contractors and the government alike in ensuring that sensitive government data residing on nongovernment systems are protected from third party intrusion and disclosure.  Indeed, recent cases in False Claims Act litigation have demonstrated just how serious a contractor’s noncompliance with cybersecurity requirements can be.  For example, in U.S. ex rel. Markus v. Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc., the court, in denying the defendant’s motion to dismiss, allowed a non-intervened qui tam complaint to proceed, where the relator alleged that the defendant’s systemic noncompliance with contractual cybersecurity standards resulted in the submission of false claims that the relator claimed warranted the imposition of treble damages that could far exceed the value of the contracts themselves.  2019 WL 2024595 (E.D. Cal. May 8, 2019).  Notably, the court held that the relator had sufficiently pled violations of the False Claims Act even though, as the defendant argued, the regulations in question had recently been issued, frequently amended, and some agency guidance could reasonably be construed as relaxing any requirements.  Id.

The Supreme Court Decides that a Relator May Have More Than Six Years to File a Qui Tam False Claims Act Complaint

By on June 19, 2019 | Posted in False Claims Act

In Cochise Consultancy, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Hunt, 139 S. Ct. 1507 (2019), the Supreme Court of the United States interpreted the statute of limitations (“SOL”) provision of the False Claims Act (“FCA”) to allow a relator’s qui tam action to proceed even though he filed more than six years after the alleged violations occurred (i.e., after the standard SOL period expired).  This decision may restrict SOL defenses for FCA defendants because it confirms that, even if the Government does not intervene, a relator may have up to ten years to file a qui tam action, depending on when “the official of the United States charged with responsibility to act” (to quote the language of the statute) learned the material facts of the right of action. 

The Section 809 Panel Recommends Substantial Changes to DoD Bid Protests

By on February 5, 2019 | Posted in Bid Protests

The Section 809 Panel, which is tasked with developing and providing recommendations to improve and enhance the efficiency of the Department of Defense procurement system, issued the third volume of its report and recommendations Jan. 15, 2019.  Among the numerous recommendations for streamlining DoD acquisitions, several of which relate to […]

President Trump Expands Buy American Act – Another Wrench in the Works?

By on February 1, 2019 | Posted in Buy American Act

While domestic preference requirements in federal procurements, namely the Buy America and Buy American Acts, are not new their increased emphasis are.  As has been well publicized, a central focus of the Trump Administration has been to encourage and increase the use of domestically sourced products and materials in connection […]

Government Allowed Contractor to “Twist in the Wind,” Violating Duty of Good Faith and Fair Dealing

By on August 28, 2018 | Posted in Claims and Disputes

Contractors frequently claim that owners have breached the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing, largely as an alternative to more specific claims for constructive change or breach. These good faith and fair dealing claims are difficult to recover on, largely because courts and the boards have required a […]

New Rule, Same Requirements? – The Department of Defense’s New Rule on Voluntary Disclosures of Defective Pricing Matters

By on May 23, 2018 | Posted in Cost and Pricing

The Department of Defense (“DoD”) recently issued a final rule regarding contractor disclosures of defective pricing issues on DoD contracts, which can arise where the contractor’s certified cost or pricing data is inaccurate, incomplete or is not current.  In such cases, these errors and omissions can result in significant contract […]

Supreme Court Denial Highlights Risk to Contractors of Rule Giving Deference to Agency’s Interpretation of Regulations

By on March 29, 2018 | Posted in Legislative and Regulatory Developments

Since at least 1945, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the unique ability of government agencies to create binding, unwritten interpretations of their own regulations. What is most troubling about this is that the agency can make or amend its regulations during the course of a contractor’s performance.  This government interpretation […]

An Overview of Cooperative Agreements in Federal Contracting

By on March 1, 2018 | Posted in Procurement Issues

“Cooperative Agreements” are legal instruments that facilitate the transfer of something of value from federal executive agencies to states, local governments, and private recipients for a public purpose or benefit. Cooperative Agreements are distinct from traditional procurement contracts and thus are not subject to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). Like […]