Paycheck Protection Program under the CARES Act: Keeping Small Business Workers Employed

In the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Congress appropriated $349 billion for loans to small businesses. These loans, issued under the Paycheck Protection Program, are aimed at helping small businesses keep their workers on payroll by providing loans, up to $10 million, that are partially forgivable. Let’s explore some of the details of this important program instituted as part the U.S. Government’s response to COVID-19.

Continue reading

YouTube Tuesday: What Small Business Government Contractors Should Know about the Buy American Act

The Buy American Act is an important domestic preference statute applicable to many U.S. Government procurements. Despite COVID-19, we have not seen any blanket suspension or waiver of this law. So, it’s worth understanding the statute’s basic requirements. Watch the video below to learn more.

President Invokes Stafford Act: What that Means for Federal Contractors

Under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5121-5207), or more commonly the “Stafford Act,” the President can declare an “emergency” or, if the incident is more serious, a “major disaster.” These declarations, among other things, give federal contracting officials certain acquisition flexibilities not normally available.

In response to COVID-19, President Trump declared a nationwide emergency (an unusual step because these declarations are typically limited to a limited geographic area). And he has since approved major disaster declarations for at least seven states: New York, Washington, California, Iowa, Louisiana, Texas, and Florida. What are some of the flexibilities that have been unleashed by these declarations and how might they impact federal government contractors?

Continue reading

OMB Offers Guidance to Agencies about Managing Contractors during COVID-19

Late last week, the Office of Management and Budget issued a memo providing direction to agencies on how to best coordinate with and manage contractors as the nation presses through the disruption caused by COVID-19. Below are some of the salient points.

Continue reading

Prime Contractor Can Sponsor Subcontractor’s Claim to Government

Let’s say you’re a subcontractor to a prime contractor, which holds a construction contract with the Government. And you run into problems which need to be solved by submitting a claim to the contracting officer. But, as the subcontractor, you don’t have a contractual relationship (privity of contract, in legal speak) with the Government. Can you still submit the claim?

Continue reading

Federal Circuit Interprets the FAR’s Trade Agreement Act Clause

It’s relatively rare for the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (an intermediate federal appeals court immediately below the Supreme Court) to weigh in on the Trade Agreements Act, as it applies to federal government contracts. So, when we saw the Federal Circuit’s recent decision on the issue, we had just one thought: this has to make the blog. So, here it is.

Continue reading

Agency Bungles Proposal Evaluations; GAO Sustains Protest and Awards Costs

Bid protests are an important part of the federal government’s procurement system. Why? Because sometimes agencies really get the evaluation wrong. They read non-existent requirements into the solicitation; give credit where none is due; and adjust an offeror’s price without forewarning. Thankfully, in those cases, we have GAO to make course corrections.

Continue reading