Articles Posted in Government Contracts

Posted

Recently, Pillsbury attorneys Fred Lowell , Emily Erlingsson, Anita Mayo and Kathy Donovan published their client alert titled D.C. Circuit Upholds 44-Year-Old Ban, The answer is still “no” for individual federal contractors wishing to contribute to federal candidates and parties. The Alert discusses the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit’s recent decision in Wagner, et al., v. Federal Election Commission, upholding the ban on individual federal contractor contributions to federal candidates and political parties. The same rationale should apply to corporate federal contractors. The Court of Appeals did not address the ban on federal contributions by corporate federal contractors or whether federal government contractors may make independent expenditures or contributions to Super PACs.

Additional Source: Federal Election Commission, Court of Appeals Issues Opinion in Wagner, et al. v. FEC

Posted

Beginning July 1, 2015, in Washington, to protect against unlicensed electrical contractors fraudulently obtaining electrical work permits, electrical contractors purchasing electrical permits using the paper application form will be required to print their name and mark their affiliation with the company on the permit application. The customer service representative will then check the license information to confirm that the person purchasing the permit is authorized under Washington Administrative Code section 296-46B-901(3) to do so. If the person identified on the permit application is someone other than the assigned administrator, master electrician, owner, principal of the corporation, or a documented authorized signer, the customer service representative will not sell the permit.

Posted

On June 2, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit decided the case of Adkisson v. Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc.. The Court of Appeals reversed the federal district court’s dismissal of lawsuits premised on the argument that Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. was entitled to derivative governmental immunity based on its contractual relationship with a government entity protected by the Federal Tort Claims Act, directing the district court to its decision. The Court of Appeals noted that the extent of immunity for government contractors has been debated by the courts of appeals, suggesting that the Supreme Court may want to take another look at some of its rulings in this area.
Continue reading

Posted

Recently, a California Court of Appeals, in East West Bank v. Rio School District, concluded that “a dispute over the contract price does not entitle a public entity to withhold funds due a contractor,” avoiding the Public Contract Code § 7107 penalties. It further noted its disagreement with the 2009 decision in Martin Brothers Construction, Inc. v. Thompson Pacific Construction, Inc., 179 Cal.App.4th 1401 (2009), and confirmed that the doctrine of unclean hands does not apply to Section 7107.
Continue reading

Posted

Recently, the California Contractors State License Board announced that it will be hosting a seminar/webcast to help contractors to comply with the new requirements imposed by Senate Bill 854, including the requirement that contractors register with the Department of Industrial Relations in order to bid or be listed on a bid for a public works project and to work on a public works project awarded on or after April 1, 2015.
Continue reading

Posted

Today, Pillsbury attorneys Glenn Snyder and Matt Valdez published their client alert titled Enhanced Infrastructure Districts: A Flexible New Tool for Local Governments. The Alert discuss the developments occurring after the dissolution of California redevelopment agencies (RDAs) in 2011. In particular, many local governments desired a tool to raise capital to invest in infrastructure and community revitalization. On September 29, 2014, Senate Bill 628 was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. SB 628 grants cities and counties the power to create Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts (EIFDs) in order to finance public capital facilities or other specified projects of communitywide significance that provide significant benefits to the district or the surrounding community; and expands on the powers granted to cities and counties pursuant to Infrastructure Financing Districts (IFDs) and Community Facility Districts (CFDs). In turn, the EIFDs provide greater flexibility to local governments seeking to invest in infrastructure and community revitalization, including a lower voter approval threshold to issue bonds and a wider range of infrastructure investments.

Posted

Yesterday, we published our client alert titled House Small Business Bill Could Have a Large Impact on Small Businesses. The Alert discusses the House Small Business Committee’s recent approval of The Small Contractors Improve Competition Act of 2015 (H.R.1481) (“SCICA”). SCICA would amend the Small Business Act and the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, and is intended to increase the number of awards made to small businesses by addressing several perceived obstacles that inhibit opportunities to increase small business participation in Federal contracting.

Posted

The California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) recently issued a press release reminding California contractors that, beginning March 1, 2015, all contractors are required to register with the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) in order to bid on public works projects and, on April 1, 2015, all contractors will be required to be registered with DIR to be awarded a public works contract, even if the project did not go out to bid. This new requirement became effective on June 20, 2014 as a result of Senate Bill 854. DIR maintains a listing of registered contractors and subcontractors on its website to assist the various awarding bodies to confirm that bidders are properly registered, and for contractors who need to confirm that their bid team members are registered.

The CSLB also reminded contractors that they are also required to submit certified payroll records (CPRs) to the Labor Commissioner’s office for all new projects awarded on or after April 1, 2015, and for other projects if the projects are still on-going after January 1, 2016. The only exception will be projects awarded by Caltrans, the City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Unified School District, Sacramento County, or projects that utilize a project labor agreement.

Additional Source: CA: Public Works Contractors Online Application System

Posted

Yesterday, Pillsbury attorneys John Jensen and Claire Cavaliero published their client alert titled GSA May Abolish the Price Reduction Clause. The Alert discusses the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) recently issued proposed rule that could abolish the long-standing price reduction clause (PRC) from the GSA Schedule program. GSA is proposing to eliminate the clause and to use, instead, the submission of “transactional data reporting” to help achieve its goal of fair and reasonable pricing on all orders. The rule would require contractors to report transactional data for orders placed against GSA Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) and other GSA contracts. The proposed rule is designed to improve GSA’s ability to conduct meaningful price analysis and more efficiently and effectively validate fair and reasonable pricing. It is also intended to reduce the burden on contractors imposed by the current GSA PRC.

Posted

On March 10, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued an unpublished opinion in Precon Development Corporation, Inc., v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. For several years, Precon has been contesting the Corps’ assertion of Clean Water Act (CWA) jurisdiction over Precon’s planned commercial and residential development in Chesapeake, Virginia. At issue is the jurisdictional status of 4.8 acres of wetlands that Precon wants to fill in: Is this land subject to the Corps’ permitting authority under Section 404 of the CWA because the wetlands are “water of the United States” on the basis of Justice Kennedy’s “significant nexus” test, as explicated in the 2006 Supreme Court case of Rapanos v. United States, 547 U.S. __ (2006)?
Continue reading