Recently, our colleagues Emily Erlingsson, Kathy Donovan and Anita Mayo posted their client alert discussing the amendments made by the Office of Government Ethics to the executive branch gift rules. These changes included clarifications to existing gift exceptions that are commonly used by corporations and organizations whose employees interact with federal officials. The changes and clarifications seek to strengthen the executive branch gift rules and increase transparency. The alert is titled 2017 Brings Changes to the Federal Executive Branch Gift Rules.
Recently, our colleagues Michael Reese, Andrew Home and Roland Backhaus posted their client alert discussing the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act. This legislation creates new obligations as well as new opportunities for infrastructure constructors, owners/operators of public water systems and their lenders. This new legislation and related appropriations may pave the way for President-elect Trump’s proposed significant investment in American water infrastructure. The alert is titled 2016 Water Legislation Reaches New Areas & Sets the Stage for President-Elect Trump
Two new statutes—the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and the GAO Civilian Task and Delivery Order Protest Authority Act of 2016 (Civilian Task Order Act)—greatly impact the ability of government contractors to pursue bid protests of task order awards. The NDAA increases the jurisdictional threshold from $10 million to $25 million to file a bid protest at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) for Department of Defense (DoD) task order awards. The Civilian Task Order Act, signed into law on December 14, 2016, restored the GAO’s jurisdiction over protests involving task order awards valued at over $10 million issued by civilian agencies, which had lapsed on September 30, 2016.
Today, our colleague Glenn Sweatt published a client alert discussion the Defense Innovation Unit (Experimental) (DIUx) relaunched in May 2016 and recent developments, including the award of more than $36 million in new contracts in FY 2016, and what is expected in the coming year. The alert is titled High-Tech Government Contracts Program Shows Promise, but Long Term Success Uncertain.
On December 13, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit decided the case of United States of America, e ex rel. Jeffrey M. Simoneaux v. E. I. duPont de Nemours & Company. Reversing the district court, the Fifth Circuit held that “potential or contingent penalties” are not obligations under the federal False Claims Act (FCA) and they are not obligations under the FCA “even when a statute requires immediate action from a violator,[because] the Government must still choose whether to impose a penalty.” Continue reading
Our colleagues Julia Judish, Dick Oliver, Glenn Sweatt and Nathaniel Miller recently published a very interesting client alert discussing U.S. District Court Judge Marcia A. Crone’s issuance of a preliminary injunction that suspends the implementation of certain portions of President Obama’s Executive Order 13673, called the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, that otherwise would have gone into effect on October 25. Judge Crone enjoined two key provisions in the new regulations that would require government contractors and subcontractors to report adverse labor law determinations and prohibit pre-dispute arbitration agreements regarding matters under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and torts based on sexual assault or harassment. These regulations, commonly called the “blacklisting” rule by opponents, could be used to preclude otherwise qualified government contractors from receiving awards of federal procurement contracts. The alert is titled Executive Order Stayed by District Court Judge.
Additional Source: Associated Builders and Contractors of Southeast Texas v. Rung, No. 1:16-CV-425 (E.D. Tex. Oct. 24, 2016); Final Rules and Guidance Issued on “Blacklisting” Executive Order
The U.S. Department of Labor has issued its final rule implementing President Obama’s 2015 Executive Order 13706, “Establishing Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors,” an executive order requiring federal contractors and subcontractors to provide their employees working on covered government contracts with up to seven days of paid leave per year for covered purposes. Our colleagues Rebecca Rizzo, Glenn Sweatt, Julia Judish and Dick Oliver discuss the final rule in their recent publication Department of Labor Issues Final Rule Requiring Federal Contractors to Provide Paid Sick Leave.
Our colleagues Jennifer Trock, Kenneth Quinn, Chris Leuchten and Graham Keithley recently published an interesting alert titled FAA Proposes Updated Rule for Airport Safety Management Systems. The Alert discusses the Federal Aviation Administration’s recent publication of a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking on safety management systems (SMS) for airports. The revised proposal narrows the applicability of the SMS rule to far fewer airports and also lessens certain training requirements on covered airports. Comments on the revised proposal are due before September 12, 2016.
Photo: Rene Schwietzke, Airport, Taken October 16, 2006 – Creative Commons
Our colleagues, Kimberly Higgins, Julia Judish, Selena Brady, Rebecca Carr Rizzo, John Jensen and Dick Oliver, today published their alert titled Final Rules and Guidance Issued on “Blacklisting” Executive Order, Controversial Mandate Requires Disclosure of Labor and Employment Violations as Part of the Federal Contracting Process discussing the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council’s final rules and the Department of Labor’s published final guidance implementing President Obama’s 2014 “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” Executive Order 13673.
Our colleagues Dick Oliver, Selena Brady and Travis Mullaney, in SBA To Begin Accepting Online Applications for Small Business Mentor-Protégé Program, encourage everyone to check out the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) new government-wide mentor-protégé program for all small businesses, covering Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) businesses, Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSB), Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned small businesses (SDVOSB), and other small businesses generally. The new program expands mentor-protégé access to a wider community of federal contractors than the pre-existing SBA 8(a) Business Development program. The SBA will start accepting applications for the new Small Business Mentor-Protégé Program via the online portal on October 1, 2016.