Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Richard Arnholt provided comments on the questionable communications related to the bidding process for two separate contracts awarded by the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership. In both cases, email exchanges between individuals in the St. Louis county executive and economic partnership offices and a top donor to the county executive’s campaign revealed that the donor requested feedback on his proposal prior to formally submitting the bid. The Economic Development Partnership subsequently awarded the two government contracts to the donor’s company.
In early April, the GAO issued a final rule revising the existing bid protest process—the major revisions being the introduction of an Electronic Protest Docketing System (EPDS) and a protest filing fee. When the rule takes effect on May 1, 2018, the new EPDS will launch as the GAO’s electronic filing and document dissemination system for bid protests.
Richard Arnholt will speak at the 17th Annual DOE Small Business Forum & Expo. Richard will speak on the topic of, “Teaming 101: Utilizing Teaming Arrangements and Joint Ventures in Subcontracting as a Competitive Advantage.”
- Practical guidance about teaming agreements and joint venture agreements
- Key terms that both types of arrangements should contain
- Pros and con of each arrangement type
- Overview of associated risks
In an article published by National Defense Magazine, Bass, Berry & Sims attorneys Richard Arnholt and Sylvia Yi provided insight on the significant changes affecting defense contractors from the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2018, specifically concerning bid protests.
There are two significant big protest changes in the new NDAA:
- the introduction of a new three-year pilot program in which large defense contractors will be required to pay the Department of Defense’s costs where a protest is denied by the Government Accountability Office (GAO); and
- the enhancement of post-award debriefing rights.
Two Washington, D.C. area government contractors have agreed to pay the government for their respective roles in defrauding the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in schemes to fraudulently obtain government contracts set aside for small businesses. These two cases highlight the importance of small business compliance and the submission of accurate and complete certifications. Continue Reading Small Business Fraud Leads to Large Monetary Liability in Recent Cases
Teaming Arrangements under the FAR
Under Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 9.6, a contractor teaming arrangement is when:
- Two or more companies form a partnership or joint venture to act as a potential prime contractor; or
- A potential prime contractor agrees with one or more other companies to have them act as its subcontractors under a specified government contract or acquisition program.
Both of these arrangements have the potential to help small businesses increase the number of solicitations they can confidently bid on, but both also come with their own set of limitations to consider.
This Post at a Glance:
- Company made false statements related to import duty charges
- Investigation initiated by whistleblower complaint from company’s competitor
- Trump Administration likely to impose more anti-dumping duties
On February 6, 2018, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that Home Furnishings Resource Group Inc. (HFRG), of Hermitage, Tennessee, agreed to a $500,000 settlement to resolve allegations that the company violated the False Claims Act (FCA). The DOJ contended that HFRG made false statements on customs declarations to avoid paying anti-dumping duties on wooden bedroom furniture that HFRG imported from China between 2009 and 2014.
The Government recently indicted an Army veteran for allegedly using his status as a service-disabled veteran to help a company qualify as a service-disabled veteran-owned small business and falsely obtain nearly $40 million in healthcare facility construction task orders from the Department of Defense.
The indictment is an indication that the government is continuing to aggressively pursue small businesses that fail to comply with set-aside requirements, and is a reminder that businesses benefiting from small business programs must be fully compliant with the complex regulations governing those socio-economic programs. It is also a reminder that the consequences of failing to meet those requirements are real – the Army veteran, Joseph Dial Jr., is facing over a century in prison.
Congress recently concluded the conference on the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), resolving the differences between the House and Senate versions of the FY18 NDAA passed earlier this year.
Pilot Program Will Require Contractors to Reimburse the Department of Defense for Protest Processing Costs
Among other significant procurement provisions in the bill that came out of conference, Section 827 of the 2018 NDAA includes a three-year pilot program that will require that large Department of Defense (DoD) contractors – those with revenue in excess of $250 million during the previous year in FY17 constant dollars – reimburse DoD for “costs incurred in processing covered protests” if a protest is “denied in an opinion” issued by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). This provision, which is similar to legislation proposed by the Senate last year, reflects Congress’ belief that contractors are taking advantage of the GAO protest system by filing frivolous protests that are delaying properly awarded contracts and imposing unnecessary costs on DoD. As it appears now, the provision will take effect two years after the bill is signed.
Join us on Thursday, September 14, as we co-sponsor the 4th Annual Compliance & Government Investigations Update: Practical Strategies for Responding to Government Investigations and Improving Your Compliance with BDO.
This full day seminar will provide practical takeaway tips for preparing for, responding to and resolving a government investigation. Panel discussions filled with experienced counsel and government officials will deliver insight into a comprehensive list of government enforcement and compliance topics.
The afternoon sessions will feature a government contracts focused panel moderated by Todd Overman called Service Contract Act Compliance and Enforcement Trends. Sharing their insight on this informative panel will be Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Richard Arnholt and Aaron Raddock, Director, Government Contracts Advisory Services for BDO. Continue Reading Event: 4th Annual Compliance & Government Investigations Update