Category Archives: Government Contracts

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Department of State Releases 2017 TIP Report

The Department of State has released its 2017 Trafficking in Persons (“TIP”) Report.  As with prior versions of the annual report, the State Department reviewed efforts made by more than 180 countries to address the minimum Prosecutorial, Protective, and Preventative standards necessary for effective anti-trafficking measures, as these standards are outlined in the United States’ Trafficking …

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Congress Boots “Blacklisting” Regulation and Sends it to President’s Desk

On March 6, 2017, on a narrow straight party line vote of 49–48, the U.S. Senate passed a Congressional Review Act (CRA) Joint Resolution of Disapproval, which moots Executive Order (EO) 13673, “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces“—also referred to as government contractor “blacklisting”— and which revoked its implementing regulations and Labor Department guidance. The U.S. …

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The Department Of Homeland Security Proposes New Rules Affecting Federal Government Contractors

This week, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) issued three proposed rules expanding data security and privacy requirements for contractors and subcontractors. The proposed rules build upon other recent efforts by various federal agencies to strengthen safeguarding requirements for sensitive government information.  Given the increasing emphasis on data security and privacy, contractors and subcontractors are …

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Contracting by Tweet: What Impact Can the New Administration Have on Existing Contracts and Future Awards?

Among the many subjects to receive President-elect Trump’s attention in advance of his swearing in on January 20 are venerable defense contractors and their performance of major systems contracts.  The Boeing Company (Boeing) and Lockheed Martin (Lockheed) have both felt the “heat of the tweet” – Boeing for the projected cost of the next generation …

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Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Final Rule Presents Challenges to Government Contractors

Last week, the FAR Council released its Final Rule implementing President Obama’s 2014 Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order. At the same time, the U.S. Department of Labor released its Final Guidance on the rule. Contractors need to take action immediately—the Final Rule goes into effect on October 25, 2016. The proposed rule was …

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DOJ Announces Dramatic Increase in False Claims Act Penalties

On May 6th, we posted about the possibility that the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) might dramatically increase False Claims Act penalties after the Railroad Retirement Board (“RRB”) nearly doubled the per-claim penalties it imposed under the FCA.  After nearly two months of anticipation, DOJ published an Interim Final Rule yesterday announcing that it intended to increase the minimum per-claim …

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OFCCP Reduces Veteran Hiring Benchmark

On June 16th, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, OFCCP, announced that, effective March 4, 2016, the annual hiring benchmark for veterans pursuant to Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act, VEVRAA,regulation is 6.9%.  This is a slight decrease from last year’s 7.0% benchmark. As part of the release OFCCP clarified that “Contractors who adopted the previous year’s national benchmark …

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Supreme Court: False Claims Act & Materiality Requirement

The U.S. Supreme Court has rendered a unanimous decision in the hotly-awaited False Claims Act case of Universal Health Services v. United States ex rel. Escobar.  This case squarely presented the issue of whether liability may be based on the so-called “implied false certification” theory.  Universal Health Service’s (“UHS) problem originated when it was discovered …

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False Claims Act: DOJ Appealing AseraCare Loss

On May 27, 2016, the US Department of Justice said it will appeal to the Eleventh Circuit its loss in the False Claims Act (FCA) case against hospice chain AseraCare Inc. The government’s decision to appeal comes as no surprise, and it means that the substantial attention this case has received will continue. As a …

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Whistleblower Wins Big in Case that Tests Limits of Confidentiality Agreements

Confidentiality agreements are common in corporate America. Many companies require new employees to sign them as part of the hiring process. In some industries like healthcare, privacy policies are elevated to a legal requirement. Can these agreements be used to stop an employee from reporting his or her employer for fraud or turning documents over …

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