If you own a business and are actively seeking a government contract or need assistance maintaining an existing government contract, it is essential to have an experienced government procurement attorney who can assist you throughout the process. Government procurement can involve many different types of contracts for goods or services from contractors. Whether you are just getting started in your business and want to learn more about government procurement, or if you need assistance with the complex formal legal process of government procurement and securing a contract, one of our experienced government procurement attorneys can assist you.
Do not hesitate to get in touch with Whitcomb, Selinsky, PC to learn more about the services our firm provides in Colorado, Northern Virginia (just outside Washington, D.C.), and other areas. We are committed to providing experienced and tailored representation to small- and medium-sized business owners.
If you own a small- or medium-sized business and do not have a government contract, you may be wondering, “What is government procurement, and how could it impact my business?” Government procurement is a term that refers to a government agency’s procurement of goods and services, typically from small- and medium-sized businesses that enter into contracts with the government agency. Sometimes government procurement is also known as government purchasing. In order to hire a business to provide goods or services, a government agency must go through a formal process that involves the following:
When we refer to government agencies seeking businesses to provide goods or to perform services, we are referring to government agencies at all levels — local city government agencies, city departments, state government agencies, and federal government agencies. By law, in order to hire a business to provide goods or services, a government agency must go through the procurement process we have outlined above.
At Whitcomb, Selinsky, PC, our federal government procurement lawyers can assist your business with a wide range of legal matters pertaining to federal government procurement and contracts with government agencies, including but not limited to the following:
Other legal matters also may arise in government procurement, and the dedicated government procurement attorneys at Whitcomb, Selinsky, PC can assist your business.
A bid protest is a challenge to the award of a government contract for goods or services. In other words, if you believe a government contract was not issued properly, you may be able to initiate a bid protest.
If you wish to protest a government procurement contract that you believe was erroneously awarded to a competitor, or if you find yourself defending against a bid protest, the talented attorneys at Whitcomb, Selinsky, PC can help. We will help shepherd you through a bid protest if you choose to initiate one or help defend you if the contract you have won is jeopardized by a competing company’s bid protest. We will handle your case as quickly and efficiently as possible so you can get back to the business of running your company and competing for the next contract. The attorneys at Whitcomb, Selinsky will provide you with personalized service and regular updates about the progress of your bid protest or the defense of your bid.
The FAR (Federal Acquisition Regulation) is the authority on doing business with federal agencies. From the text of the FAR, it is the “codification and publication of uniform policies and procedures for acquisition by all executive agencies.” Failure to comply with the regulations set out in the FAR can result in civil and criminal penalties. Therefore, having an attorney who has experienced handling government procurement law issues can help business owners and prospective contractors to avoid costly and potentially criminal violations.
You should also be aware of the Competition in Contracting Act (CICA), which is a foundational law for the FAR and is designed to increase competition and reduce costs. The CICA requires that most government procurements are “full and open” to allow any business to submit an offer. The CICA also requires procurements that have a value of more than $25,000 to remain advertised for at least 15 days before solicitation begins. The law also has a minimum response time for receipt of business proposals. There are a variety of other requirements under the CICA that are designed to make government procurement a fair process.
False Claims Act and procurement fraud issues are another area of the law that can come up in government procurement and government contracts. A clear benefit of having the attorneys at Whitcomb, Selinsky, PC assist you in your government procurement efforts is to avoid misrepresentations that could lead to False Claims Act violations.
The False Claims Act assesses penalties to an individual who knowingly submits a false claim to the government. The penalties for such actions are steep, and having a knowledgeable attorney on your team can help you avoid these missteps. The lawyers and legal staff at Whitcomb, Selinsky, PC stand ready to help you defend against such a claim should you find yourself accused. However, good legal counseling during the government contracting period can help prevent the need for costly legal defense or hefty financial penalties.
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) allows individuals and entities to obtain certain records from federal agencies. FOIA can apply to government procurement issues when there are questions about the prices that a government agency is paying (or has paid previously) for goods and services from a business with which it has a government contract. According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the “prices in government contracts should not be secret.” To be sure, “government contracts are ‘public contracts,’ and the taxpayers have a right to know—with very few exceptions—what the government has agreed to buy and at what prices.”
Accordingly, the prices contained in government contracts generally cannot be kept secret and can be obtained through a FOIA request. Sometimes there are reasons to keep prices secret, but these are rare. If you have concerns or questions about FOIA and its relation to your government contract, one of our attorneys can help.
The Contract Disputes Act (CDA) governs negotiations and litigation that arises from government contract disputes. Accordingly, if your business has a dispute with a term or issue pertaining to a government contract, the CDA is controlling law. It outlines a process by which a dispute is heard and decided. The first step is having a Contracting Officer issue a Final Decision on the dispute. If one of the parties disagrees, the Board of Contract Appeals or the United States Court of Federal Claims may then hear the issue. If there is a need for a higher appeal, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is the next option, followed by the Supreme Court of the United States.
If your business is considering a merger or acquisition, it is important to be aware of how an existing government contract might affect your merger and acquisition plans. A government procurement lawyer at our firm can speak with you today about your questions or concerns.
There are specific supply chain requirements that must be met in government procurement. For example, Section 889 of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) limits certain telecommunications products and services in federal government contracts. This is just one example. If you are unsure about how supply chain regulation and compliance could impact a government contract, it is important to speak with the government procurement lawyers at Whitcomb, Selinsky, PC. Some supply chain requirements apply only to federal government agencies, while others apply more generally.
Winning a federal government procurement contract for your goods or services can be extremely lucrative, but it can also be wrought with legal pitfalls. Whether you are seeking a state or federal government contract, the attorneys at Whitcomb, Selinsky, PC are prepared to help your small- to medium-sized business compete for, win, and remain competitive in federal, state, and local government procurement.
Our attorneys pride themselves on finishing the job in less time than anticipated and responding to client communications within 24 hours of receiving a call, email, or text. Our team also stays current on the changes in government contracting law, including the regulations and relevant case law. Whitcomb, Selinsky, PC brings the skills, tactical decision making, and discipline each member of our team has learned through professional experiences representing each of our clients — business and individuals alike. We measure our success by the success of our clients. Give us an opportunity to serve you here at Whitcomb, Selinsky, PC. The experienced government procurement attorneys at our firm can begin working with your business today. Contact Whitcomb, Selinsky, PC online or call our offices at 866-476-4558 for more information.