GovCon & Trade Webinar SeriesPlease join us on September 17, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. EDT as we launch a series of complimentary briefings via webinar that will serve as an extension of this blog and feature timely and practical guidance on key topics of interest.

We will host the first GovCon & Trade briefing that will highlight recent bid protest decisions involving asset deals and corporate reorganizations, and their impact on pending bids.

Given the continued high volume of transactions in the federal marketplace, buyers and sellers need to be aware of the developing body of case law at GAO and COFC regarding how acquisitions are impacting pending bids and the steps that parties can take to protect those bids in certain situations.

The discussion will highlight recent cases and provide practical guidance on diligence, deal timing, and communications with government customers regarding transactions.

Who Should Attend

Executives and management professionals, including general counsel and other in-house legal and compliance personnel of government contractors, financial institutions and manufacturers.

Register Now

 

*IMPORTANT: Audio for this webinar will come through computer speakers, so please be sure you are in a space that can accommodate. If you do not have access to a computer with speakers, please email Claire Krummenacher who will provide you with a call-in option. You can also contact Claire with any other questions regarding this webinar.

The Department of Defense (DoD) Inspector General recently issued a report summarizing the findings of an audit into the protection of Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) on contractor networks.  Based on an in-depth review into nine contractors, the audit uncovered some common practices that fall short of meeting the standards set forth in NIST SP 800-171, which contractors are obligated to follow under DFARS 252.204-7012.

Shortcomings Discovered in DoD Audit

These common lapses include the following, among others:

  • Inconsistent tracking of cybersecurity threats
  • Failure to consistently mitigate network vulnerabilities
  • Uneven use of strong passwords
  • Inconsistent use of multifactor identification

Continue Reading Vulnerable Systems: Contractor Protection of Controlled Unclassified Information at Risk

  • OFAC proposes new reporting requirement for rejected transactions
  • Agency issues guidance on dealing with Iran
  • Additional parties designated under Magnitsky sanctions program
  • Careful diligence of international transactions and business partners is essential

On a regular basis over the past several months, the U.S. Treasury Department, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has introduced new sanctions requirements, guidance, and restrictions.  OFAC is the U.S. government agency which administers most U.S. sanctions programs.

Many of these measures have been quite targeted.  For instance, on July 29, 2019, OFAC designated Kim Su Il as a Specially Designated National (SDN) of North Korea.  According to the SDN listing, Kim Su Il is a resident of Vietnam.  Thus the designation, while limited to Kim Su Il, demonstrates one of the challenges of U.S. sanctions compliance: many SDNs reside in or are nationals of countries against which the United States does not otherwise maintain sanctions.

Continue Reading Update on U.S. Sanctions: New Requirements, Continuing Enforcement

At the end of June, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an important Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) decision that decreases the burden on contractors seeking to protect confidential information.  As most contractors are aware, FOIA requires that, upon request, the government disclose information in its possession, unless an exemption applies.  This presents a significant risk for contractors as they regularly provide highly sensitive information to the government in the course of obtaining or performing federal contracts and grants.

Fortunately, that type of information falls within the scope of the exemption at 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4) (Exemption 4), which shields from disclosure “trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential.”  After receiving notice that a party is seeking the public release of such information, in order to protect it, contractors previously had to demonstrate that the information was customarily kept private and that the government agreed, implicitly or expressly, to treat it as confidential.

Continue Reading Protecting Government Contractors’ Confidential Information Just Got Easier

Bass, Berry & Sims attorneys Todd Overman and Sylvia Yi will be presenting on key government contracting issues for small businesses.

We are excited to be presenting on key government contracting issues for small businesses on July 17, 2019 at The Tower at Peabody Place in Memphis, Tennessee. The presentation, titled, “Government Contracting Law Overview,” will discuss the pros and cons of business entity types, requirements of the SBA’s All Small Mentor Protégé Program, protecting partnerships with key teaming terms, and steps for guarding against size protests.

The program is sponsored by the Tennessee Procurement Technical Assistance Center, Tennessee Small Business Development Center and Greater Memphis Chamber.

For more information and registration, please visit the Tennessee Procurement Technical Assistance Center’s website.

Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Thad McBride was interviewed for the “Bribe, Swindle or Steal” podcast regarding the corruption, sanctions and compliance challenges associated with doing business in Russia. In case you missed it, I was recently interviewed for the “Bribe, Swindle or Steal” podcast regarding the corruption, sanctions and compliance challenges associated with doing business in Russia.

During the podcast, I discussed compliance issues related to the Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs) list and how challenging it is for companies to remain compliant with the constantly shifting regulations that the United States imposes on U.S. businesses operating in Russia.

I also warned companies considering entry into the Russian market that “just like in any place you’re doing business, but especially in Russia – you need to do a really, really careful diligence review and get as much information as you can.”

Continue Reading Doing Business in Russia: Legal & Compliance Challenges

Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Richard Arnholt provided insight into delays to the procurement timeline in the Department of Defense’s (DoD) important $10 billion "JEDI" cloud procurement due to pending and potential protests.I recently provided insight into delays to the procurement timeline in the Department of Defense’s (DoD) important $10 billion “JEDI” cloud procurement due to pending and potential protests.

In a recent court filing, DoD said it would not award the contract until at least July 19, but the resolution of Oracle’s pending suit, as well as other potential related actions, may push the award and implementation dates out past this summer.

Continue Reading Protest Challenges for the Defense Department’s “JEDI” Cloud

I am excited to be presenting, “Realizing the Desired Reward on Exit,” at the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) New England Chapter’s Getting Your Government Contract Business from Spring to Summer event on May 22, 2019 in Burlington, Massachusetts.

This advanced workshop will provide benefit across the spectrum from firms providing services to the federal sector and prime contractors, research-centric entities that rely on government grants and research contracts, and component manufacturers that develop and make products embedded in integrated platforms.

In an article published on April 9, 2019 in CO—, a new digital platform by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, I provided insight on the process of securing federal contracts for small businesses.

Once a business has searched for contracting opportunities and has completed all the necessary registration requirements, it can begin bidding on contracts. Though before bidding, it is important that the company can handle the job the contract requires and that it can meet all of the regulatory requirements – otherwise the contract could ultimately be terminated. “Don’t overpromise in your technical proposal, that becomes part of your contract and you’re going to have to deliver to those technical specs,” I explained.

Additionally, the proposal should include pricing information and according to Todd, the company will want to be realistic and not overcharge while also keeping in mind that the government sometimes chooses the best value over the lowest price.

Continue Reading Government Contracts Process for Small Businesses

What are "secondary sanctions"? How do they enforce U.S. sanctions & embargoes against non-U.S. parties? Thad McBride explains to the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics. Read more.I recently discussed how the United States uses “secondary sanctions” to enforce U.S. sanctions and embargoes against non-U.S. parties. Under secondary sanctions, the U.S. government restricts U.S. companies and individuals from conducting business with non-U.S. companies and individuals because of those parties’ affiliation with a sanctioned business or person.

As I explained, “[Secondary sanctions] are an example of U.S. extraterritorial jurisdiction at its most extreme. Even if there is no U.S. actor, no goods or parts of U.S. origin, no direct connection whatsoever, the U.S. wants to nevertheless strongly discourage non-U.S. companies from doing business with [sanctioned entities] by, for example, restricting their access to the U.S. market.”

Continue Reading Secondary Sanctions in Trade Compliance