On January 29, the Biden administration announced several policy initiatives aimed at addressing pay transparency and equity, including a proposed rule issued by the Department of Defense (DOD), General Services Administration (GSA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP). Continue Reading Proposed Rule Seeks to Bring Gender Pay Equity to Federal Contracting Community
On December 20, 2023, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) denied an unsuccessful bidder’s protest, arguing, among other things, that the procurement was tainted by an appearance of impropriety after the agency appointed a senior executive from a competing firm, formerly responsible for their proposed technical approach, to be the agency’s new director. According to the protester, the taint arising from the agency’s action could only be cured by disqualifying the competitor and making an award to the protester.Continue Reading Bid Protest Minute: Proving an Organizational Conflict of Interest Exists
On July 8, the Department of Defense (DoD) Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment (OUSD (A&S)) announced its first update to the Other Transactions (OT) Guide since November 2018. The DoD OT Guide provides a detailed overview of the OT process and best practices, from pre-solicitation to award and post-award management. Continue Reading Department of Defense Issues First Update Since 2018 to Other Transactions Guide
Last month, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that a Florida grand jury indicted three men for conspiring to rig bids for customized promotional products to the U.S. Army and charged two of them with conspiring to defraud the United States. Bid rigging is how conspiring competitors effectively raise prices where purchasers — often federal, state, or local governments — acquire goods or services by soliciting competing bids.
Continue Reading PCSF Strikes Again: Scheme to Rig Bids Results in Federal Grand Jury Indictment
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
On July 26, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced a long-promised bill to amend the False Claims Act (FCA). Not-so-creatively entitled the False Claims Act Amendments Act of 2021 (S.B. 2428), the proposed legislation is notably co-sponsored by a prominent—and bipartisan—group of senators. The text of the bill, available here, would most importantly bring changes…
We are excited for this year’s complimentary CLE program, which will provide the same caliber of practical advice, insight into government developments, and thoughtful discussion from industry panelists you have come to expect from this seminar. This year’s topics include:
- Inside Scoop: Top Issues In-House Counsel Currently Face
- Update on International Trade Regulations and Enforcement
- SEC Update: Key Enforcement and Regulatory Priorities
- Running an Investigation
- Antitrust Is Back: DOJ and FTC Signal Significant Increase in Antitrust Enforcement
- Data Privacy Update
- Healthcare Fraud Enforcement Updates
- Hot Topics in Procurement Fraud in 2021 and Beyond
- COVID-19 Funding Fallout: Preparation for Government Scrutiny
This year’s seminar will be held from 8:30 a.m.–3:45 p.m. CDT on Tuesday, September 28. To register, please click here.
This past January, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that procurement fraud recoveries comprised the second largest category of fraud recoveries in Fiscal Year (FY) 2020, a trend that continued from FY 2019. With last November’s announcement of DOJ’s intent to expand its Procurement Collusions Strike Force (PCSF), we expect to see a continued trend…
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.
Continue Reading Information on Inquiries Arising from Economic Development Partnership Bidding Process
In another example of the government’s efforts to root out fraud in government procurement programs, on July 5, U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton sentenced Virginia businessman, Tarsem Singh, to 15 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiracy to commit major fraud on the United States. In December of 2015, Singh pleaded guilty to executing a scheme to defraud the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the General Services Administration (GSA) through fraudulent procurement of more than $8.5 million in federal government contracts through SBA’s 8(a) program. Created to help small, disadvantaged businesses engage in federal procurement, the 8(a) program requires that qualifying businesses are at least 51% owned and controlled by a socially and economically disadvantaged U.S. citizen.
From 2000 to 2009, Singh was the vice president of “Company A,” a construction company specializing in renovating and altering buildings. From 2000 through 2009, Company A was certified under the 8(a) program and lawfully received approximately $23 million in contracts from the GSA. The real trouble began in 2009, when Company A graduated from the 8(a) program and, on the same day, entered into a Mentor-Protégé Agreement with “Company B.” With monetary support and guidance from Company A, Company B was certified under the 8(a) program and was ultimately awarded 26 federal contracts under the program. According to the government’s calculations and Judge Walton’s Memorandum Opinion, the contracts awarded to Company B totaled more than $8.5 million.Continue Reading Business Owner Sentenced to 15 Months for Defrauding SBA’s 8(a) Program Through Use of “Shell” Company to Receive 8(a) Contracts