Articles Posted in Government Contracts

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On March 14, U.S. Federal Judge Royce Lamberth granted Halliburton’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed Mr. Barko’s claims against Halliburton, filed under the False Claims Act (FCA), which, along the way, resulted in important rulings protecting the attorney client privilege. The case is United States of America ex rel. Harry Barko v. Halliburton Company, et al. As a result of Judge Lamberth’s ruling, this long and protracted litigation may be nearing an end after twelve years and several decision by the federal district court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

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Below is a brief summary of the Office of Management and Budget’s recently issued “America First, A budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again.”  The Blueprint only provides details on discretionary spending proposals. The full budget, to be released later this spring, will include specific tax proposals and a “full fiscal path.”

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Yesterday, the White House published a Presidential Executive Order on a Comprehensive Plan for Reorganizing the Executive Branch directing the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, after a period of review and consultation with the agencies, to propose a plan to streamline the federal government’s executive agencies, both reorganizing governmental functions and eliminating unnecessary agencies. It may take a year to formulate.

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In Great Expectations,  DOJ holds anti-corruption compliance programs to a high standard in evaluating their credibility, our colleagues Bill Sullivan, Nancy Fischer, Aaron Hutman and Fabio Leonardi discuss the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) February 8 release of a list of important topics and sample questions that the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section has frequently found relevant in evaluating the adequacy of a corporate compliance program. The new guidance is intended to assist ethics and compliance officers in crafting effective corporate compliance policies and procedures, and signals how DOJ’s new compliance expert, Hui Chen, is expected to assess a company’s compliance program.

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Referencing Executive Orders issued by past administrations, on February 24, 2017, President Trump issued a new Whitehouse-300x225Executive Order: “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda.” The Executive Order establishes new procedures and timelines by which most federal administrative agencies must conduct their regulatory planning and review.

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In its recent Atlantic Systems decision, the Government Accountability Office clarified whether an agency is required or simply has discretion to credit past performance references submitted on behalf of an offeror’s proposed subcontractor. The answer: it depends on the type of procurement. For more information, read our  Taking Credit for Subcontractor Past Performance GAO clarifies when an agency may decline to evaluate a proposed subcontractor’s past performance references.

Additional Source:  Matter of Atlantic Systems Group, Inc., File B-413901; B-413901.2, Decision (Jan. 9, 2017)

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In Brexit and Procurement, Pillsbury partner Tim Wright discusses the UK Government’s January 23 publication of a 132-page strategy green paper—or consultation document—entitled Building our Industrial Strategy. The paper sets out the Government’s “buy British” plan aimed at helping UK-based suppliers, supply chains and infrastructure companies when
bidding for public sector contracts. The paper confirms that focusing Government buyers on “social and economic factors” when designing their procurements will “encourage innovative solutions and maximise the positive impact of public procurement on strengthening the [UK’s] economy.”

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Yesterday, our colleagues James Gallagher, Kevin Slattum and Glenn Sweatt published their client alert discussing a recent and important decision issued by the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA) in Lockheed Martin Integrated Systems, Inc., ASBCA Nos. 59508 and 59509. The decision exposes what has been in recent years an all-too-familiar practice by the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) of questioning the allowability of government contractor costs based on meritless arguments and the Defense Contract Management Agency’s (DCMA) related rubber- stamping of the DCCA’s disallowance of costs without proper exercise of its authority. The alert is titled Warning Shot Fired (Finally) at Improper DCAA Cost Disallowance Basis.

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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.

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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