More Acquisitions May Be Blocked in the Future

Last month, asserting national security concerns, President Trump blocked a $1.3 billion acquisition of Oregon-based Lattice Semiconductor by a subsidiary of the Canyon Bridge Fund (Canyon Bridge), a private equity fund backed by Chinese investors.  This is one of the few instances to date in which a sale to a non-U.S. buyer of a U.S. company has been blocked under rules administered by the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).  Yet the facts of this matter suggest that more potential acquisitions are likely to be blocked in the future.

Continue Reading CFIUS, POTUS Block Chinese Acquisition of U.S. Semi-conductor Maker

In an article posted by Bloomberg BNA, I discussed the success of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) expanded mentor protege program one year post launch. Until October 2016, the mentor-protégé program was only available to just one category of disadvantaged businesses. But last year, the SBA expanded the program so all small businesses could participate and partner with larger government contractors in bidding for work.

“The first year has been a real success story for the SBA,” I stated in the article. “It’s been a long-awaited program.” I commended the SBA saying “The program’s leaders should be commended for keeping application wait times short; for getting the application and approval system entirely online; for working with companies on their applications to help improve their chances; and for raising awareness about the program.”

The full article, “Mentor Program Spawns 300 Partnerships in First Year, SBA Says,” was posted by Bloomberg BNA on October 10, 2017, and is available online (subscription required).

We provided insight on opportunities in government contracting for women-owned small business (WOSB) owners in a September 22, 2017, article in the Nashville Business Journal.

Tennessee is among the 10 fastest-growing states for women-owned companies and currently has approximately 64,000 women-owned businesses. The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) women-owned small business program aims to provide eligible businesses a better shot at securing government contracting opportunities, and since it began in 2011, the program has been updated to eliminate barriers to entry, such as the removal of contract caps on set-aside awards and the authority to award sole-source contracts. These improvements helped lead the government to meet and exceed its 5% contracting goal to women-owned small businesses for the first time in fiscal year 2015.

Continue Reading Calling All Women-Owned Small Businesses: Self-Certify with Caution

Last month, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington denied a motion to limit damages against a government contractor, United States ex rel. Savage v. Washington Closure Hanford LLC, where the government sought several categories of damages for alleged False Claims Act (FCA) violations.  With a case centered on a nuclear waste company falsely certifying compliance with small business plan participation requirements, the Court ruled that damages would not be limited to remedies provided in the contract.

Continue Reading Court Rejects Cap on FCA Damages for Allegations of Subcontracting Plan Fraud

The level of devastation caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in Texas and Florida, respectively, is estimated to have caused $150-200 billion in damages. With this devastation comes a multibillion-dollar recovery effort that will bring federal money and procurement into the affected areas. With past natural disasters as a guide, much of the work needed for short and long-term cleanup and rebuilding will be contracted to government contractors. The Robert T.  Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act of 1988 (Stafford Act) will help facilitate these contracts but come with unique preference requirements aimed to favor the affected communities.

Continue Reading Hurricane Recovery Contractors Beware

4th Annual Compliance & Government Investigations Update: Practical Strategies for Responding to Government Investigations and Improving Your Compliance

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

A recent report from the Department of Defense (DoD) Inspector General (IG) identified a number of significant flaws regarding the Defense Logistics Agency’s (DLA) compliance with the Buy American Act (BAA) and the Berry Amendment.  The IG’s findings will likely result in a renewed focus on both BAA and Berry Amendment compliance.  As a result, contractors are likely to experience increased frustration as they seek to remain aligned with DLA policies.  The IG’s report also draws further attention to the previously discussed government-wide effort by President Trump to both enhance compliance with the BAA as presently drafted and potentially strengthen the BAA through legislative action in the future.

Continue Reading DoD IG Report Highlights Flaws in DLA Compliance with Buy American Act and Berry Amendment

On April 18, 2017, Donald Trump signed a Presidential Executive Order on Buy American and Hire American (EO). As we reported at the time, Section 3 of the EO directed the heads of all federal agencies to, among other things: (1) assess the monitoring of, enforcement of, implementation of, and compliance with Buy American laws within their agencies; (2) assess the use of BAA waivers within their agencies; and (3) develop and propose policies to ensure federal funds maximize the use of materials produced in the United States. It also ordered the Department of Commerce (DOC) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to issues guidance to agencies about how to comply with their obligations.

Continue Reading U.S. Government Guidance on Buy American Executive Order Could Signal Impending Headaches for Government Contractors

On Wednesday, May 10, 2017, I will be in Oak Ridge, Tennessee taking part in a Mentor Protégé & Joint Venture Speaker Panel Seminar. This interactive seminar will offer insights for small businesses and large prime contractors on assembling, marketing, and administrating joint ventures and teaming arrangements. It will address the unique challenges presented by teaming agreements and joint ventures while offering best practices for navigating these strategic alliances more effectively to win government contracts.

This program is sponsored by The University of Tennessee Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and the Oak Ridge Chamber.

Visit the SBDC website for more information and registration.

Last month, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released results from its investigation into the effectiveness of the Department of Defense (DoD) Pilot Mentor-Protégé Program. In accordance with the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2016, GAO reviewed DoD’s procedures for approving mentor-protégé agreements, its performance measures for the program, and the differences between its program and the new All Small Mentor Protégé Program established by the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Continue Reading GAO Review Calls for Greater Oversight of DoD’s “Pilot” Mentor-Protégé Program