Government Contracts Legal Blog

Mergers and Acquisitions

Posted by Joseph Whitcomb on Oct 6, 2017 2:09:11 PM

 

Government Contract Legal Issues with

Mergers and Acquisitions

 

Government contractors have significantly increased mergers & acquisitions activity in recent years. A stream of recent stories in the Washington Post and New York Times has documented this. The acquisition of a business that has earned a government contract frequently provides the buyer an opportunity to increase its market share and strengthen its capabilities within an existing industry. The addition may also allow the new parent company to expand their portfolio to market and develop a new government contracting capability that was previously not available.

 

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Topics: Government Contracting

Covered Defense Information

Posted by Joseph Whitcomb on Oct 3, 2017 1:15:20 PM

New Guidance Issued by Department of Defense Regarding Cybersecurity Regulations for All Defense Contractors

A new clause in the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations Supplement was added on 9/17/2017; DFARS 252.204-7012 - It describes how Covered Defense Information (CDI) must be protected inside the contractor's system(s) and their use of the cloud. This is a new clause for government procurement personnel and contracting officers, issued by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense.

Many U.S. defense contractors, especially small and medium-sized businesses have been struggling with the strict regulations that are designed to protect Covered Defense Information (CDI). This new category of information refers to unclassified information that is considered sensitive. This new clause is now included in all DoD solicitations other than Commercial-Off-the-Shelf (COTS) Procurements. It stipulates that all defense contractors who handle CDI must be compliant with the wide-ranging set of security controls including all of the requirements prescribed in the NIST Special Publication 800-171; "Protecting Controlled Unclassified Information in Nonfederal Information Systems and Organizations." Compliance must be met no later than December 31, 2017. (More details and resource links are available at www.eresilience.com/dfars-7012)

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Topics: Government Contracting

The HUBZone Unification and Business Stability Act of 2017

Posted by Dan McAuliffe on Sep 29, 2017 8:21:43 AM

 

The HUBZone Unification and Business Stability Act of 2017

The federal government has never been able to achieved its goal of awarding 3% of government contracts to HUBZone-certified businesses. The program's participation has dropped off since the redesignation of HUBZone areas by the 2010 decennial census. Some newly introduced legislation seeks to revitalize the U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) Program.

Click HERE for the SBA HUBZone Map

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Topics: Government Contracting

Hurricane Recovery Contractors Recieve Emergency Procurement Authority

Posted by Joseph Whitcomb on Sep 28, 2017 10:47:20 AM

 

Several Federal agencies have implemented the following special emergency procurement authority and temporary national interest exemptions to assist with hurricane relief efforts:


To help streamline and expedite procurements the General Services Administration (GSA) increased several special emergency procurement authority thresholds related to micro-purchases, $20,000 (up from $3,000). An increase of the simplified acquisition threshold was raised to $750,000 ($13 million for commercial items). An increase of the GSA's simplified lease acquisition threshold was increased to $750,000. A GSA memoranda directs contracting officers to give preference to "local firms in the disaster area" and to "limit competition when needed." The threshold increases will remain effective until December 31, 2017, unless otherwise rescinded, modified, or extended.

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Topics: Government Contracting

New Privacy Act Training Rules for Federal Contractors

Posted by Joseph Whitcomb on Sep 26, 2017 8:13:03 AM

Federal government contractors must comply with new Privacy Act training procedures due to a final rule passed by the United States Department of Defense, General Service Administration, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Federal contractors are now required to meet training obligations to address the protection of privacy with the Privacy Act of 1974 and the handling and safeguarding of personally identifiable information. These new regulations became effective on January 19, 2017. To make sure that an individual is in full compliance with these rules, it is often a good idea to contact a knowledgeable government contracts attorneywho can help to make sure that you are in full compliance.

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Topics: Government Contracting

NAICS Code Appeal

Posted by Joseph Whitcomb on Sep 25, 2017 10:01:52 AM

 

NAICS Code Appeal of The Bionetics Corporation

SBA No. NAICS-5829 (2017)

 

This case concerns the Small Business Act of 1958. Recognizing the importance of free enterprise and competition, the Small Business Act requires the U.S. Government to assign a fair portion of contracts and purchases to small businesses. The Small Business Administration (SBA) and its Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) oversee the administration of the Small Business Act. The SBA uses size standards and the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) to define what qualifies as a small business. 

The Background of an NAICS Code Appeal

On April 13, 2017, the Department of the Navy, Naval Air Systems Command (Navy), submitted a request for “maintenance, repair, and overhaul services for the Fleet Readiness Center Aviation Southeast (FRCSE).” The Contracting Officer (CO) reserved this request for small businesses and classified as NAICS code 488190, under the category of “Other Support Activities for Air Transportation” and carrying a $32.5 million size standard.

 

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Topics: Government Contracting

The Ostensible Subcontractor Rule

Posted by Joseph Whitcomb on Sep 21, 2017 8:09:38 AM

 

Size Appeal of Bridgeway Professionals, Inc.

SBA No. SIZ-5827 (2017)

 

This case concerns the Small Business Act of 1958. Recognizing the importance of free enterprise and competition, the Small Business Act requires the U.S. Government to assign a fair portion of contracts and purchases to small businesses. The Small Business Administration (SBA) and its Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) oversee the administration of the Small Business Act. The SBA uses size standards and the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) to define what qualifies as a small business. 

A Brief Background on an Ostensible Subcontractor

On April 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of the Air Force (Air Force) submitted a request for a “contractor to provide courier services.” The Contracting Officer (CO) reserved this request for small businesses and classified as NAICS code 492110, under the category of “Couriers and Express Delivery Services” and carrying a size standard of 1,500 employees. 

The deadline to submit bids was December 30, 2016. Bridgeway Professionals, Inc. (Bridgeway) submitted a bid for this request. On January 25, 2017, the CO granted the request to Bridgeway. 

But January 31, 2017, the CO received a challenge from Crosstown Courier Service, Inc. (Crosstown) concerning the size of Bridgeway. The CO forwarded Crosstown’s size protest to the SBA Office of Government Contracting for Area II (Area II Office) for review. 

On March 31, 2017, the Area II Office delivered a formal size standard decision concerning Bridgeway. Due to the relationship with its “ostensible subcontractor,” Advanced Delivery Systems (ADS), the Area II Office determined that Bridgeway did not qualify as a small business. 

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Topics: Government Contracting

Government Contract Size Appeal

Posted by Joseph Whitcomb on Sep 19, 2017 2:58:51 PM

 

Size Appeal of Veterans Construction Coalition, LLC

SBA No. SIZ-5824 (2017)

 

This case concerns the Small Business Act of 1958. Recognizing the importance of free enterprise and competition, the Small Business Act requires the U.S. Government to assign a fair portion of contracts and purchases to small businesses. The Small Business Administration (SBA) and its Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) oversee the administration of the Small Business Act. The SBA uses size standards and the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) to define what qualifies as a small business. 

Government Contract Size Standards Background

On June 9, 2016, the U.S. Department of the Air Force (Air Force), submitted a Request for Proposals (RFP) for “Simplified Acquisition of Base Engineering Requirements (SABER) procurement.” The Contracting Officer (CO) classified this request as NAICS code 236220, under the category of “Commercial and Institutional Building Construction” and carrying a size standard of $36.5 million. On December 7, 2016, the CO awarded the RFP to Megen-AWA 2, LLC (MA2), which classified itself a joint venture between AWA Business Corporation (AWA) and Megen Construction Company, Inc. (Megen). 

On December 14, 2016, Veterans Construction Coalition, LLC (VCC) issued a challenge, arguing that MA2 should not qualify as a small business. VCC elaborated that AWA and Megen are essentially the same company, not a joint venture. The CO forwarded VCC’s size protest to the SBA Office of Government Contracting for Area IV (Area IV Office) for review. 

On February 14, 2017, the Area IV Office delivered a formal size standard decision concerning MA2. The Area IV Office determined that MA2 qualified as a small business for this RFP. 

On February 17, 2017, VCC appealed the Area IV Office decision, requesting review from the OHA. VCC claimed that the Area IV Office made an error in qualifying MA2 as a small business for this RFP. 

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Topics: Government Contracting

Default by the Appellant

Posted by Joseph Whitcomb on Sep 15, 2017 7:47:10 AM

 

Appeal of Northrop Grumman Corporation, 2017 WL 2962585

 

The Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA) decided this case. The ASBCA is an impartial forum that deals with contract disputes that arise between government contractors and various federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Central Intelligence Agency. 

The ASBCA operates primarily under the Contract Disputes Act (41 U.S.C. 7101-7109) and the ASBCA Charter. All ASBCA decisions are made pursuant to procedures outlined in the ASBCA Rules. The rules include instructions for contractors to proceed without the representation of a lawyer as well as procedures for expedited hearings. 

The ASBCA also supports the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to resolve any and all disputes. The ASBCA has developed an award-winning approach to ADR, helping parties resolve their disputes effectively and efficiently. 

Background of a Default by the Appelant 

Northrop Grumman Corporation (Northrop Grumman) won a contract award from the Air Force. The cost-plus-fixed-fee contract called for “Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program radar system development and demonstration alignment with the Global Hawk Block 40 program schedule.” 

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Topics: Government Contracting

Joint Motion to Settle Disputes

Posted by Joseph Whitcomb on Sep 12, 2017 3:27:52 PM

E & A Restoration Inc. v. Department of the Interior, 2017 WL 3114028

 

The Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA) decided this case. As part of the General Services Administration (GSA), the CBCA hears various cases concerning federal agencies in the executive branch. Under the Contract Disputes Act (41 U.S.C. 7101-7109), the CBCA conducts dispute resolution between government contractors and agencies. 

The CBCA was established on January 6, 2007, in accordance with Section 847 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006. After its formation, the CBCA consolidated the authority of eight different governmental bodies – the contract appeal boards of the Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Labor, Energy, Transportation, Veterans Affairs and Agriculture as well as the General Services Administration. 

The CBCA has authority to hear cases involving all federal government agencies, except for the Department of Defense, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the United States Postal Service, the Postal Regulatory Commission and the Tennessee Valley Authority. 

The CBCA also promotes the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) techniques to resolve disputes quickly, effectively, and at low cost. Employing various practices to streamline regular case procedure, the CBCA encourages all parties to resolve conflicts out of court. 

Background of a Joint Motion to Settle Disputes

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Topics: Government Contracting

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Whitcomb Law, PC is dedicated to helping government contractors extract all the benefits that can be derived from doing business with federal, state, and local governments.  We strive to provide content on this blog that is up-to-date, relevant, and easy to read.  We enjoy reading your feedback especially when it helps us improve the way in which we serve you.

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