On August 9, 2022, the CHIPS and Science Act was signed into law allocating $52.7 billion in funding to the semiconductor industry. The legislation represents a historic investment in a critical industry and is designed to drive innovation and global economic competitiveness. Continue Reading First CHIPS Opportunity Lays Out Requirements and Application Process
The $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) that President Biden signed on November 15, expands the provisions supporting American manufacturing through federal procurement. The IIJA statutory directives impose novel domestic origin requirements and standards for construction materials and products acquired for federally-aided public works infrastructure projects at state and local levels.
Prior efforts to protect and promote the U.S. industrial base consisted of President Trump’s July 15, 2019 Executive Order 13881, Maximizing Use of American-Made Goods, Products, and Materials, and President Biden’s January 25, 2021 Executive Order 14005, Ensuring the Future is Made in All of America by All of America’s Workers. Find more information about these two executive orders on our blog post titled “Heightened Buy American Act Requirements Are Here and More Are on the Way.”
President Biden’s EO 14005 was reinforced by the statutory authorities detailed in the domestic preference provisions of the IIJA. The three key concepts of the IIJA are:Continue Reading Advancing the “Made-in-America” Movement
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…
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.Continue Reading If You Don’t Do the Work, You Might Do Time Instead: Service-Disabled Veteran Faces Jail Time for Failing to Run Day-to-Day Operations
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently published four protest decisions that were all denied due to timeliness issues. This string of cases serves as a reminder that no matter how strong a protest’s basis may be, if it is not timely filed with GAO; then the protest will most likely be dismissed. GAO’s regulations set strict deadlines for filing protests at GAO. These rules reflect GAO’s dual requirements of
(1) giving parties a fair opportunity to present their cases
(2) resolving protests expeditiously without unduly disrupting or delaying the procurement process. GAO strictly enforces these requirements and will quickly dismiss a noncompliant protest, so contractors must be aware of these protest timeliness requirements.Continue Reading Learning from Bid Protests: Don’t Lose Your Protest Before You Begin
On April 18, President Trump signed the “Presidential Executive Order on Buy American and Hire American” (the Order), which declares the Executive branch’s policy to buy American goods and rigorously enforce and administer laws governing entry into the United States of workers from abroad. The Order is keeping with President Trump’s campaign promises regarding hiring American workers and promoting U.S. manufacturing, and signals a renewed focus on domestic sourcing requirements as well as the likelihood of greater restrictions on work visas for non-U.S. citizens.
Continue Reading Buy American Executive Order Means Renewed Obligations for Government Contractors
In Kellogg Brown & Root Services, Inc. v. Murphy, Kellogg Brown & Root Services (KBR) filed a claim with the Army to recover costs associated with a subcontractor’s work on a dining facility in Iraq. The Army denied the claim and KBR appealed to the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (the Board). On the Army’s motion, the Board dismissed the claim, finding the six-year statute of limitations under the Contracts Dispute Act (CDA) had expired. KBR appealed to the Federal Circuit, which reversed the Board’s decision, finding the claim did not accrue, and thus the limitations period did not begin to run, until KBR had a basis for a “sum certain” to “fix” its liability.
Under a cost-plus-award-fee contract with the Army, KBR subcontracted work to the joint venture of KCPC/Morris. KBR later terminated the subcontract for delay and KCPC/Morris stopped work on September 12, 2003. On January 24, 2005, after KCPC/Morris had filed suit against KBR, the parties entered into a settlement agreement that liquidated a portion of KCPC/Morris’ claim. On the remainder of the claim, the parties agreed to cooperate to submit an invoice to the government.Continue Reading Federal Circuit Clarifies “Accrual” of Claims under Contract Disputes Act
In a recent Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA) decision, Nelson, Inc., a Small Business Administration (SBA) certified HUBZone construction company based in Memphis, Tennessee, succeeded in reversing the termination for default of its $9.2 million contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps). The decision highlights how important it is for contractors to maintain careful records of delays caused by factors outside of their control, not just to prove entitlement to additional time or damages, but also to protect against improper default terminations.
Nelson had a contract with Corps to build stone dikes on the Mississippi River. The project involved four sites, Loosahatchie, Robinson Crusoe, Friars Point and Cow Island, and spanned across three states, Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas. Nelson’s progress was significantly delayed at one of the sites, due to low water levels that precluded Nelson floating its equipment, then high water levels that prevented the contractor from working, as well as delayed guidance from the Corps regarding differing site conditions. When Nelson exceeded the 165 days allotted for the entire project, the Corps terminated the contract for default despite having not yet issued notices to proceed at two of the sites. Although extra days were supposed to be added to the schedule when river levels were too high or low for construction, the Corps ignored these days when calculating its timeline.Continue Reading The Importance of Keeping Detailed Records of Delays on Construction Projects