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.”

Continue Reading Thad McBride Co-authors Article with Alcoa VP on Best Practices for Internal Investigations

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.

Continue Reading CFIUS Continues Aggressive Intervention, Qualcomm Deal Blocked

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is responsible for developing information security standards and guidelines—including minimum requirements for federal information systems. At the end of February, NIST released its Final Draft of Special Publication (SP) 800-171A—Assessing Security Requirements for Controlled Unclassified Information.

First proposed in November 2017, the publication means to provide agencies and contractors with guidance regarding how to conduct assessments under the prominent cybersecurity standard NIST SP 800-171—Protecting Controlled Unclassified Information in Nonfederal Systems and Organizations. This standard acts as the foundation for how contractors must protect all forms of Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI).

Continue Reading Final Draft of NIST SP 800-171A Still Open for Comments

Thad McBride will present with Brian Cope, Director of International Trade for International Paper Company, at a Clear Law Institute webinar focused on exploring the key challenges companies face when engaging in export transactions, as well as best practices for avoiding enforcement action. Attendees of the webinar will learn to:

  • Examine the primary U.S. export controls laws and regulations
  • Understand penalties and recent enforcement actions
  • Recognize key compliance challenges, such as
    • Technology transfers
    • Conducting business with third parties
    • Entering new markets
  • Explore compliance best practices to prevent and detect violations

EVENT DETAILS:

Continue Reading Webinar – Export Controls: Compliance Challenges and Best Practices

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:

  1. 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
  2. the enhancement of post-award debriefing rights.

Continue Reading Richard Arnholt and Sylvia Yi Examine 2018 Changes in Challenges to Bid Protests from NDAA

On January 24, 2018, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) denied a bid protest that in part, focused on the issue of price credit. VT Halter Marine, Inc. (VT) protested the award of a Department of the Army contract—for design and manufacture of maneuver support vessels (MSVs)—to Vigor Works LLC (VW). VT alleged the agency misevaluated the proposals and made an unreasonable source selection decision. The GAO disagreed. This bid protest provides a great example of the importance of understanding up front how the government plans to calculate price credits and how those credits can make your proposal more advantageous to the government.

Continue Reading Learning from Bid Protests: Price “Credits” for IP 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:

  1. Two or more companies form a partnership or joint venture to act as a potential prime contractor; or
  2. 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.

Continue Reading What Small Businesses Must Consider When Using Teaming Arrangements or Joint Ventures

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.

Continue Reading Tennessee Company Skirts Customs Obligations, Pays $500,000 FCA Penalty

In 2016, Congress instructed the Department of Defense (DoD) to review its procurement regulations by convening a panel of procurement professionals—from both the public and private sectors. This panel became known as the Section 809 Panel (809 Panel). Congress instructed the 809 Panel to recommend amendments or repeals of defense procurement regulations. The 809 Panel’s objective was to help streamline or improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the defense acquisition process while still maintaining an advantage in defense technology. While Congress and the DoD are not required to adopt these recommendations, the report shows an attempt to define the issues in modern federal procurement and improve upon the old system. Continue Reading Section 809 Panel Releases First Volume of Recommendations for the Overhaul of DoD’s Acquisition Process