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.
- Previously permissible activities must be wound down in 90 or 180 days
- Non-U.S. companies at particular risk of enforcement action
- Only limited guidance issued so far, unclear what authority U.S. companies have
On May 8, 2018, President Trump announced that the United States is leaving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The U.S. Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which administers most U.S. economic sanctions programs, has taken an initial stab at providing guidance in a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) released the same day as the President’s announcement.
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
- 7-year denial order imposed against Chinese telecommunications equipment maker
- Denial order strictly limits business with company
- Action comes as U.S. imposes other trade restrictions on China
On April 16, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced a seven-year denial order (the Order) against Chinese telecommunications company Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment Corporation (ZTE). The Order prohibits ZTE from engaging in virtually any trade or other activities involving U.S.-origin goods or technologies.
Congress created the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs in 1982 and 1992, respectively. These programs require certain government agencies to set aside a percentage of their extramural budgets so domestic small businesses can engage in research and development (R&D) with a strong potential for technology commercialization. Accordingly, 11 agencies support the SBIR program with five of them also having STTR programs. The Small Business Administration serves as the coordinating agency for the programs.
Small businesses receive multiple benefits by applying for SBIR/STTR awards. The funding is stable, predictable, and not a loan. In addition, the capital is non-dilutive, and the small business retains certain intellectual property rights for their developments. Companies can use their proposals for SBIR/STTR awards as an opportunity to develop a relationship with a university or other research institutions. These programs allow innovative small businesses to offset the cost of R&D while leaving them in control of any developed IP.
In late March, Tennessee Governor Haslam proposed an amended budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2018, which included $3 million toward LaunchTennessee Grants—demonstrating that Tennessee’s implementation of a matching program for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs (STTR) survived as more than just a 12-month initiative.
Previous State Funding
Within the last year, Tennessee became the seventeenth state to implement a matching program for SBIR and STTR federal funding. However, there was no guarantee that the program would be funded for a second year. While Tennessee is among national leaders in terms of research funding, Tennessee-based businesses have not been as successful as other states in winning SBIR and STTR awards. This matching program sought to help increase the success rate.
Todd Overman will be presenting at the 31st Annual Government Small Business Conference in Tampa on May 4, 2018. The event, co-hosted by the Florida Procurement Technical Assistance Center at USF and the Florida SBDC at USF, is a unique conference for small business owners to learn how to optimize business opportunities through informative workshops, panel discussions, and a Business Opportunity Expo featuring federal agencies.
Todd’s presentation, “Early Themes for Government Contractors Under the Trump Administration,” will highlight regulatory updates implemented by the Trump Administration that impact government contractors, as well discuss enforcement trends that could impact certain industries. Issues to be covered include domestic preference, small business developments, and cybersecurity enforcement.
Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Thad McBride co-authored an article for Compliance & Ethics Professional magazine outlining best practices for conducting effective internal compliance investigations. Thad co-authored the article with Kate Garfinkel, Vice President and Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer at Alcoa Corporation.
As the article states, “A strong internal investigation process can make the difference between identifying and addressing a problem early on or letting it fester into an issue that becomes a legal liability and reputational crisis … Internal compliance investigations and reviews, when conducted in a confidential and professional manner, ensure that a company can adequately address compliance issues.”
On March 12, 2018, President Trump blocked Broadcom, a Singapore-based semiconductor manufacturer, from pursuing the purchase of U.S.-based Qualcomm, a rival chip maker. Broadcom’s offer, reportedly for $117 billion or perhaps even more, would have been one of the largest technology deals in history.
The president’s decision followed a determination by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) that the transaction was likely to pose unacceptable national security risks to the United States. The president apparently made his decision shortly after Broadcom met with Pentagon officials in a final effort to salvage the deal.