Since August 13, 2019, the government has been prohibited from procuring equipment or services using “covered telecommunications equipment or services” as a substantial or essential component of any system according to the implementation of Section 889(a)(1)(A) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19 NDAA).

Beginning on August 13, 2020, according to the implementation of Section 889(a)(1)(B), the government is prohibited from contracting with an entity that uses any equipment or services using “covered telecommunications equipment or services” as a substantial or essential component of any system or as critical technology as part of any system. This applies regardless of whether the use of the prohibited equipment or services is in the performance of work under a government contract.

Continue Reading Section 889 Prohibitions Expanded from Procurement to “Use”

We recently wrote about the impacts of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) on pending bids in Bloomberg Law and our GovCon & Trade Blog. A key point discussed in both articles is that a bidding company’s buyer may not have standing to protest if the buyer is not the complete successor-in-interest to the bidding company. The U.S. Court of Federal Claims recently affirmed this principle in a decision it handed down in the case of Centerline Logistics Corp. v. United States issued in May 2020.

The case involved Centerline’s protest of the U.S. Shipping Command’s determination that Centerline’s proposal to transport bulk fuel was “unacceptable.” Prior to the determination, the agency inquired as to whether Centerline was the complete successor-in-interest to Harley Marine Services (Harley Marine), the company that originally submitted the proposal to the agency, to which Centerline chose not to respond. Despite Centerline’s assertion to the court that it was the same legal entity as Harley Marine, the court found that Centerline was incorporated in Delaware, while Harley Marine was incorporated in Washington state, and that Mr. Harley, Harley Marine’s namesake, did not have an equity stake in Centerline. Further, the court could not ascertain whether Harley Marine retained some of its assets or if Centerline had sufficient assets to perform the contract. For these reasons, the court held that Centerline was not the complete successor-in-interest to Harley Marine and, thus, lacked standing to protest the agency’s determination.

Continue Reading Recent Decision Impacts Complete Successor-In-Interest Claims

On Wednesday, June 24, Bass, Berry & Sims continued its COVID-19 M&A Environment: Dealmaker Perspectives Webinar series with leading professionals in the government contracts services industry. The panelists included Bass, Berry & Sims members Jason Northcutt and Todd Overman, who were joined by Craig Reed, Chief Growth Officer and Senior Vice President at Serco; Kate Troendle, Director at KippsDeSanto & Company; and Eric Wolking, Operating Partner at Bluestone Investment Partners. A recording of the webinar can be found here.

The panelists’ discussion focused on market considerations for deal professionals in the new and evolving era of COVID-19. Some of the key takeaways from this installment are listed below.

  • Market Improvement Observations. As with other sectors, the government contracts services industry experienced a slowdown in deal flow as participants assessed the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and endured the chilling effects of the implementation of quarantine procedures. However, the government contracts services industry was impacted less severely than other industries as smaller, quality transactions continued to close over the past few months. Notably, the indexed share price performance for government services continued to trade above the S&P 500 and recently rebounded to near-record highs achieved in February. Continue Reading Key Takeaways from the COVID-19 M&A Environment: Government Contracts Dealmaker Perspectives Webinar

I am looking forward to participating in a panel session at the Memphis Construction Connections and Training Conference presented by the Tennessee Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), Tennessee Small Business Development Center, and City of Memphis Office of Business Diversity and Compliance.

My panel will focus on issues surrounding the formation of subcontracts and joint ventures as they pertain to construction and engineering firms. Other panels will cover topics, including why mentoring is a must in construction and forecasting what is to come for the industry.

The conference will be held over a virtual platform on Thursday, July 23, 2020 from 9:00 a.m. For more information and registration, please visit the event website.

Join Bass, Berry & Sims attorneys and leading industry dealmakers for a series of lively panel discussions focused on the nuts and bolts of executing a buy- or sell-side deal in a post-pandemic environment. Each discussion in this series will focus on industry-specific guidance, including food and beverage, retail and healthcare, among others. The June 24 installment of the series will focus on the government contracts services industry.

With social distancing and travel limitations, regulatory changes and approvals, COVID-19-specific diligence, and financing considerations top of mind, our panelists from within the government contracts industry will share their experiences and perspectives on what deal professionals should consider in a new and evolving market.

Continue Reading COVID-19 M&A Environment Dealmaker Perspectives Webinar Series: Government Contracts Dealmaker Perspectives

This Friday, June 12, I will be participating in a Solvability Freedom Friday webinar discussing legal developments for government contractors during COVID-19.

Discussion topics will include the following:

  • PPP oversight and enforcement.
  • CBCA decisions on compensating contractors during a pandemic.
  • CMMC delays.
  • New WOSB certification program.

Details follow for this complimentary session:

Time: June 12, 2020 01:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Zoom Meeting Link
Meeting ID: 445 463 234
Password: 185202

As developments related to COVID-19 continue to unfold, Bass, Berry & Sims attorneys are monitoring the situation and providing guidance through a series of video chats entitled, “COVID-19 Compliance Conversations.”

In this episode, Thad McBride is joined by Mahesh Joshi, Vice President & Chief Compliance Officer at NCR. Mahesh shares thoughts on how he and his team are proactively establishing processes both internally and externally to address the routine and the new compliance challenges arising during the COVID-19 pandemic.

View our other videos in this series:

COVID-19 Compliance Conversations – Episode IV

COVID-19 Compliance Conversations – Episode III

COVID-19 Compliance Conversations – Episode II

COVID-19 Compliance Conversations – Episode I

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has released the first major guidance regarding the forgiveness of loans made under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) by publishing the form of the PPP loan forgiveness application. The forgiveness application, which was posted to the U.S. Treasury’s website on May 15, provides some long-awaited and much needed clarity regarding the calculation of forgivable expenses and the statutory reductions in the amount eligible for forgiveness based on reductions in employee compensation and headcount. The application also contains a number of borrower certifications and outlines the extent of the documentation that borrowers will be required to reference in calculating the forgiveness amount.

Continue reading on BassBerry.com to learn more about:

  • Forgivable Expenses.
  • Reductions to the Forgivable Amount.
  • Application Process and Certifications.

The recently passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) injected previously unthinkable amounts of stimulus funds into the struggling U.S. economy. To oversee the disbursement of these funds and to curb fraud and misuse, the CARES Act created various oversight and enforcement mechanisms. Notable among these is the Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery (SIGPR). As we explained in a recent post, the SIGPR is conferred broad powers to audit and investigate waste, fraud and abuse involving hundreds of billions of dollars in CARES Act funds. Additional primary oversight bodies include the Congressional Oversight Commission and the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC).

While arguably the most significant oversight leadership position, the SIGPR remains vacant; however, that may not be the case for much longer. President Trump’s pick for the SIGPR role, Brian D. Miller, has not yet been confirmed by the Senate – although Miller’s confirmation hearings were held on May 5 and his nomination was advanced to the Senate floor on May 12. The actions of similar special inspectors general offices, and in particular that established to oversee the stimulus package Congress passed after the 2008 financial crisis (the Special Investigator General for the Troubled Assets Relief Program, or SIGTARP), suggest the office of the SIGPR will be particularly aggressive in pursuing fraud and misuse related to disbursed CARES Act funds. Yet, even if the Senate confirms Miller soon, considerable time may pass before the Office of the SIGPR can bring to bear its full investigative and audit powers. After all, the Office of the SIGPR is not yet in existence and should Miller, who served as the GSA Inspector General from 2005 through 2014, be confirmed, he will need to lay the agency’s operational groundwork from scratch, including hiring a full staff of employees (Miller expects to hire 75-100 employees), securing office space, and equipping the office, etc.

Continue Reading Update: Investigations Under the CARES Act Ramp Up Even as Oversight Roles Remain Vacant

As developments related to COVID-19 continue to unfold, Bass, Berry & Sims attorneys are monitoring the situation and providing guidance through a series of video chats entitled, “COVID-19 Compliance Conversations.”

In this episode, Thad McBride is joined by Ernie Edgar, General Counsel at Atkins North America, to discuss operational and legal challenges he and his team are currently facing, as well as best practices for promoting compliance during this unprecedented time.

View our other videos in this series:

COVID-19 Compliance Conversations – Episode V

COVID-19 Compliance Conversations – Episode III

COVID-19 Compliance Conversations – Episode II

COVID-19 Compliance Conversations – Episode I